USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt scratch disk for Professional Video? [rMBP]

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by uhslax24, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. uhslax24 macrumors 6502

    uhslax24

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2012
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA
    #1
    Hi Everyone!

    Any fellow videographers out there with thoughts? Currently managing ~3TB of raw footage on USB 2.0 drives (bleh), and seeking a MUCH smoother option.

    Is USB 3.0 an acceptable solution? Thunderbolt is pretty expensive for my preference....

    Thanks!
    Brandon
     
  2. Tonioboy macrumors newbie

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    Feb 25, 2011
    #2
    Bump

    I'd like to know a good solution for this too.

    God I hate USB 2.0 lol
     
  3. diabora macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    Location:
    DK
    #3
    Well it sure is a bottleneck! I just Finished of a 200GB (dslr video) Project on my brand new rMBP 2.3 / 256 / 16

    Started out with all the data on the internal SSD which were great! Then ran out of space, and moved all the project files to A external Seagate goflex desk 7200rpm USB 3.0 drive. And things slowed down noticeable! 2-3 sek delay when pushing space to play timeline (FCPX) instead of instant on SSD!

    So when you first have tried the SSD speed, traditional drives are annoyingly slow! By the way I am getting around 90 MB/Sek Read/Write from the Seagate.

    Cheers

    Alex
     
  4. SDAVE macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

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    #4
    You can get a USB3.0 external SSD. 512GB Crucial M4's are $400 and external enclosures are around $50.

    I would look into a RAID 0 via USB 3.0.
     
  5. mackid1993, Jul 30, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2012

    mackid1993 macrumors member

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    Aug 16, 2009
    #5
    Thunderbolt's transfer maximum transfer rate is effectively double USB 3's-- however you have to take into account the amount of storage that you are after, and the rotational speed of the drive itself. Faster I/O isn't going to help a drive with a slow tracking speed... the drive still has to cycle to your data. However, fast I/O will decrease the time it takes for your computer to read the data.

    I'm not sure what you are looking for in regard to transfer rates, but users claim around 120 mbps for this FD external. It also runs at 7200 RPM. It isn't an SSD, but it's a nice 3TB USB 3.0 drive for under $200 that should be relatively snappy. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822204105

    If you want a large SSD however, this 1 TB drive is available, but as it is more expensive than a new rMBP, a standard HDD stands at the most practical drive for video editing for those of us that aren't absurdly wealthy.
     
  6. pgiguere1 macrumors 68020

    pgiguere1

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    Montreal, Canada
    #6
    Thunderbolt = best
    USB 3 = best value

    Depends on your budget
     
  7. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

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    Orlando
    #7
    Keep in mind that while USB 3 has very fast transfer rates, it's still not great at sustained throughput, because of it's design, so Thunderbolt will perform better as a scratch disk (heck, FireWire 800 with a Thunderbolt adaptor might perform better, I'm not really sure). Probably not a huge difference, but if you can afford the price difference, go for Thunderbolt.

    jW
     
  8. SDAVE macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

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    #8
    Um no, FW800 is around 80MB/sec. or 800Mbps.

    Sure, by design TB is pretty much a PCIe connection, directly connected to the South Bridge and FW800 is similar in the fact that it doesn't have overhead, but USB3.0 is no slouch. It is 5Gbps., theoretically you can get 4.5Gbps with overhead.
     
  9. uhslax24 thread starter macrumors 6502

    uhslax24

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    #9
    Awesome feedback -- thanks everyone! Think I'll probably be looking up a 7200 RPM USB 3 drive...
     
  10. gentlefury macrumors 68030

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    Los Angeles, CA
    #10
    I would say SSD in a USB 3 enclosure would be the best value/speed combo.
     
  11. Fry-man22 macrumors 6502

    Fry-man22

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    Nov 25, 2007
    #11
    I would say for single spinning disks USB3 is fine for sure. Unless there is an SSD in the external (or a RAID with a few strips) then the drive itself will be the bottleneck and not USB3.

    You can get a USB3 hub for pretty cheap as well if you need to hook up a few disks and just want one cable.

    If you use a referenced aperture library (I'm sure you do with that much data) then the hires thumbnails on the rMBP still look really good for just a quick slideshow. They are also of course available with the external media disconnected if your ap library is small enough to store locally.

    My personal ap file is only 78GB so I can keep that locally with the 500GB of masters on a 1TB 2.5 USB3 external and I just love it.
     
  12. tillsbury macrumors 65816

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    Dec 24, 2007
    #12
    I put my old 512Gb SSD from my desktop in a $10 USB3 case and get about 90% of the internal SSD's benchmark from it. Pretty much indistinguishable from internal to USB3.
     
  13. Fry-man22 macrumors 6502

    Fry-man22

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    Nov 25, 2007
    #13
    I transferred a 54GB VM file to a SSD in a USB3 enclosure today - that's pretty sustained throughput. It took less than 10 minutes. I was watching the progress at about 4 or 5 seconds per GB. That's fast.

    I have FW800 RAID Studio drives, FW800 portable drives, and a lot of single FW800 3.5 drives I use for media - none of these comes close to the kind of speed offered by USB3.

    My Win7 development VM runs off this setup as of today, so far it is the best Windows can be.
     
  14. wethackrey macrumors 6502

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    Redondo Beach, California
    #14
    A couple of things. I suspect the Apple Thunderbolt to FW800 adapter will see the light if day any minute now, which would allow you to make use of any Firewire assets you may have.

    Thunderbolt is really a far superior buss for sustained throughput than USB3. Seagate makes Thunderbolt I/O adapters for both their desktop and portable drives. The desktop adapter will daisy-chain. I have both the portable and desktop versions and they are VERY fast.

    Western Digital makes 4TB and 6TB RAID 0/1 Thunderbolt external drive arrays for $499 and $579 respectively The drives are user replaceable, which is pretty cool. WD doesn't specify the rotational speed or throughput of the drives themselves but with RAID that would be less of an issue. Here's the WD page.

    LaCie makes 2, 4 and 6TB external RAID arrays as well and claim 327MBs transfer speeds and the drives are 7200RPM. The price at Amazon is just a bit more than the WD arrays.
     
  15. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

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    #15
    Yeah, USB 2.0 is a bit slow for lossless 1080p. USB 3.0 should be much better, if you use a 3 TB or 4 TB high density drive (Hitachi or WD) within a high quality enclosure, such as the SK-3500 Super-S3. The limitation is the HDD speed, not USB 3.0.

    For realtime applications i recommend Thunderbolt, eSATA or FW800 and the appropriate RAID-configuration.
     
  16. jtopp macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    #16
    Usb 3 external

    I picked up an usb3 external enclosure for a 2.5 drive and an 7200rpm WD 2.5 750g for about $120. I edited a short film for it on it and it worked pretty well. Not much lag and the transfer rate was decent without benchmarking the setup.

    Also, it was bus powered which I preferred for portability. I have the base 2.3 model.
     
  17. wethackrey, Jul 30, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2012

    wethackrey macrumors 6502

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    #17
    I had run these tests with Thunderbolt and posted them on an earlier thread:

    I'm consistently getting in excess of 100MB/sec to the Seagate 7200 RPM drives over Thunderbolt. That's about twice the throughput I'm seeing to the same drive over USB 3. By that I mean the identical drive connected with Seagate's USB 3 I/O adapter.
     
  18. Fandongo macrumors 6502

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    #18
    If you're not RAIDing or using an SSD, you might as well use FW800...

    Just get the adapter that comes out "July" :D
    ^^^ The reason I don't own a new Macbook :mad:.
     
  19. uhslax24 thread starter macrumors 6502

    uhslax24

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    Jul 21, 2012
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA
    #19
    Yeah, I would but I need the adapter and I have to use firewire for my camera.. (no way I'm buying two of those adapters haha)
     
  20. gentlefury macrumors 68030

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    Los Angeles, CA
    #20
    Sadly, it seems that usb3 support is pretty broken on Mac right now.
     
  21. terraphantm macrumors 68040

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    Jun 27, 2009
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    Pennsylvania
    #21
    I fear it might be a hardware issue. I can't get USB 3 drives to be recognized in Windows either. Maybe an SMC update will fix it

    Asides for the issues with USB3 support currently, I think it'd be fine as a scratch disk. Especially if you've been able to manage on USB 2 up 'til now.
     
  22. Fandongo macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Ah, so it's not CF or SD (built-in hard disk)?
    I use FW for my CF reader, so I debated getting the retina 2.3Ghz and this... But of course it doesn't work.
    Holy cr:apple:.
     

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