USB 2 Hard Drive OK for video?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by iViking, Nov 14, 2007.

  1. iViking macrumors 6502

    Oct 23, 2006
    I'm thinking about getting the LaCie USB 2 500 GB HD for video editing. Is USB fast enough for importing footage or do I need a drive that uses FW 400 or even a FW 800 drive?

  2. zioxide macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2006
    Get something that does at least FW400.

    USB's burst transfer could result in dropped frames.
  3. Kankki macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2007
    Österbotten, Finland
    Off course you could capture to your internal disk and move it over to the USB disk, but that is a bit of a hassle to do.
  4. bigandy macrumors G3


    Apr 30, 2004
    I couldn't be happier to advise you against USB2 based drives if your plan involves doing anything with video.

    FW400 is a minimum, FW800 is good.
  5. AviationFan macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    Another vote for FireWire. It's not so much the maximum bandwidth, but the fact that FireWire devices can schedule (and are then guaranteed) bandwidth for upcoming transfers - this is ideal for working with video.

    If you absolutely want to use a USB drive (e.g., if you already have one), use it for rendering or storage, but not for capturing video from a camcorder.

    - Martin
  6. ChemiosMurphy macrumors 6502

    Sep 25, 2007
    Warminster, PA
    I work at DUTV (Drexel University's TV station in Philadelphia) and we NEVER use USB2.0. Sure it says that its 480 mbps, but its not sustained like firewire400 is. Shoot for a Firewire800 drive if you can, but 400 is a bare minimum.
  7. FF_productions macrumors 68030


    Apr 16, 2005
    Mt. Prospect, Illinois
    Another vote for Firewire 400/800.

    Just do it.
  8. Cromulent macrumors 603


    Oct 2, 2006
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    Not really. You need to use a second drive for capture and USB 2 is not up to the task. If you are talking about a second internal drive (ala a Mac Pro) then yes your way could work although that would call into question the need for an external drive in the first place.
  9. tharris macrumors newbie

    Nov 18, 2007
    Are you kidding?

    I've used both USB2 and FW400 external drives for capturing DV tapes to AVI and have never had problems with either. Considering the capture bit rate is much lower than the total throughput of either USB2 or FW400, that shouldn't be too surprising.

    FW400 doesn't take as much CPU time as USB2 but given the performance of today's systems, either will work without dropped frames.
  10. SHOlover macrumors member

    Nov 8, 2007
    So Cal
    I've used both USB 2.0 and 400 for capture and both have worked fine for DV. I've used USB for HDV (Sony) and that has worked as well on FCP. It really depends on what you are capturing (DV, DVCAM, DVCpro, HDV), and with what compression (if any). With HD MPEG2 compression, it might be a good idea to go with 400 or 800, because if you drop a "frame" it could be an "I frame" which means you lose a GOP (many frames) not just one frame (even though dropping one frame is unacceptable in the professional video world:eek:). I would go with firewire just as a safe investment in more advanced technology.

    Stick with USB if you are on a tight budget and are editing DV.

    Buy firewire for reliability and efficient workflow, and if you want to edit HD.

  11. Schtumple macrumors 601


    Jun 13, 2007

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