USB3 or TB?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Ifti, Feb 21, 2016.

  1. Ifti macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    At the moment I edit via FCPX connected directly to a Lacie TB2 Raid drive as my project/render drive, and all works fine.
    Most of my video projects use 1080p footage - I haven't made the move to 4K just yet as I have no need.

    I have always been under the impression that TB is better then USB3 when it comes to editing due to the streaming of data over TB, compared to the packet sending of data with USB.

    However, with the high speeds of external SSD based drives now, and the capacities that are increasing (the Sandisk Extreme 900 is available at 1.92TB) Im after a small portable drive for editing when not at home with the main big TB drive.

    Anyone here edit over USB3??
    Is it reliable?
    Any performance degradation to note??

    Many thanks in advance for your input.
     
  2. kohlson, Feb 21, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2016

    kohlson macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    #2
    I have used an external Sandisk 480GB in a usb3 enclosure. Cooks along at about 315 MBps according to Black Magic disk test. This is somewhat slower than the internal 1TB SSD that came standard with my late 2013 MBP, about 930/850 MBps. I think, in theory, a TB2 set up could go faster. Short answer: it's fast enough for HD in FCPX. Long answer: there are other variables: intermediate FCPX file formats (4:2:2, 4:4:4, proxy, etc). My set up was inexpensive - $150 for both drive and enclosure (Black Friday!). But I am happy enough with it for FCPX use.
    [edit - I am using a UASP enclosure]
     
  3. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #3
    Theres not a pat answer that fits everyone's situation.

    You would have the same issues as anyone has with USB storage and disk intensive tasks. SSDs are not going to make the USB protocol storage bandaid and loose compliance with USB standards go away.

    You could be happy with a USB drive, but I was not. You would be happier using small portable TB drives, unless money is much more important than your time.
     
  4. RCAFBrat macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2013
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #4
    While in theory a TB connected drive enclosure will be better, a USB 3 enclosure is more than fine; just be sure to get one that features UASP:

    My son was editing a really complex project in FCPX and was experiencing a lot of problems (crashes, etc) even with 250 GB Samsung 840 EVO in a cheap USB 3 enclosure. Problem solved moving the SSD to a Vantec Nexstar 6G (model NST-266S3-SV) with UASP. BlackMagic showed read and write times close to the rated performance of the SSD.

    Just picked up a -BK enclosue today to pair with a 500 GB Samsung 850 EVO that is on order.

    I expect it will work just fine as new, larger scratch disk.
     
  5. BeechFlyer macrumors regular

    BeechFlyer

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2015
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    #5
    +1.

    A drive connected through USB 3 is perfectly fine for many editing tasks in FCP X.
     
  6. Ifti thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    Thanks for the replies guys.

    My main editing drive is a Lacie 5big ThunderBolt 2 drive, although I want something thats portable to use while I am not at home and have some time to edit.

    I would really like one of these:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lacie-90004...&keywords=lacie+little+big+disk+thunderbolt+2

    Although I've been eyeing up this, which costs a bit less and has almost double the storage!
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/SanDisk-Ext...456170602&sr=8-2&keywords=sandisk+extreme+900

    Last weekend I edited a small project using a Sandisk Extreme 500, which seemed to be fine, hence my reason for asking.

    Which of the two above options would you go for??
     
  7. campyguy macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #7
    Neither, but definitely the LaCie option if I had to pick one of the two. If I were were you, you're already just about halfway to a nice-n'-speedy solution tho'.

    I like the LaCie drive, a couple of my friends have and use one, but it's not bus-powered, so you'll need a wall-wart for it. The main reason I don't like that drive is that we're all so close to TB3/USB-C solutions that are being announced every day. Not that you'll need the new stuff, but my vendors are trying to pawn off the "old stuff" as in TB2/USB3 to me every day to clear the way for the new stuff - the "old" but still serviceable stuff will be getting marked down big time in the coming weeks. That TB2 peripheral you're eyeing will be much cheaper soon, trust me on that (look at some vendor sites here in the US, like B&H Photo - so many items that are TB2 are "out of stock" now...). TB2 products are heading to the dustbin.

    I don't like the SanDisk option. As an owner of the same rMBP you listed, you'll never be able to take advantage of its USB 3.1 Gen 2 interface & speeds. It's basically a USB SS device, with half of the potential throughput for us Mac users; AFAIK there aren't any adapters between TB1/2 and USB 3.1 Gen 2. TB2 carries USB 3.1 Gen 1 ("SS" or SuperSpeed") and TB 3 carries USB 3.1 Gen 2 but our Macs can't take advantage of that, even with a dock as we'd be limited to TB2 compatibility (hence, USB 3.1 Gen 1).

    So, the halfway-there thing. One of my employees does our video stuff, and wanted more/bigger/better/much-much-faster. He's using a 1TB Samsung T1 drive. I loaned him my 1st-gen LaCie Rugged SSD (which has OS X 10.10 installed, and has both TB1 and USB 3 interfaces), and purchased a second, identical Samsung T1 drive. I then used Disk Utility on the 10.10 drive to put the two T1 drives in RAID 0, and the resulting RAID 0 array over the two drives installed in the two USB ports on his (and mine) rMBPs just frickin' screams. I'd suggest you try out the same, with the current and a second of the two SanDisk external drives - that's one heck of a scratch disk, and you'd be seeing both USB buses being utilized to near-capacity.

    I have a newer LaCie Rugged RAID drive (two 2TB HDD drives, set to RAID 0 by default, but changed to RAID 1 by me) for field use. I used my 1st-gen LaCie Rugged SSD to change that RAID setup, as El Capitan's Disk Utility has RAID capabilities removed (insert grumpy comment here).

    There's my 2 quid worth. Cheers!
     
  8. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #8
    USB3 (UASP) enclosures serve just as well as TB single drive enclosures with respect to speed of reads and writes. This is not opinion but bench tested. - Even Barefeats gives example such as the Firmtek offerings where one USB3 bested a TB counterpart enclosure.

    However, I would imagine an ideal set up would be at least 2 SSD drives set to RAID 0 and that is where TB has the advantage in actual throughput. As with anything set to RAID 0, best to have a back up drive as well.
     
  9. Ifti thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Dec 14, 2010
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    UK
    #9
    I had read about this also - so there is no way to easily change the RAID setup of the drive?
     
  10. campyguy, Feb 23, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2016

    campyguy macrumors 68030

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    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #10
    Yes, and no. A lot of manufacturers haven't updated their product pages to reflect that 10.11 has had RAID features removed, including LaCie relative to this drive. My workaround is to keep the LaCie Rugged TB drive (it can be any old bootable drive) around with a few partitions on it - 10.9/10/11 and Win 10 - with no other software on it. This good old SSD drive is bootable, and can be plugged into our Macs or PCs, now doing double-duty as a drive with the older 10.10 Disk Utility for setting up RAID configurations. I just used it a couple of weeks ago to put the two spinners in my Mini Server in RAID 0 and it worked perfectly, then used it to install 10.11 from that partition on the Rugged SSD. Not too big of a deal but a minor pain to dance around with...

    It's pretty much the same dance we used to create a RAID 0 volume from the two T1 drives that I alluded to earlier. I can use those two drives with any Mac in this office, including my Mini Server - it's a hella fast solution if you have "one of something laying around...". :evil grin:

    The LaCie drive you crave uses software RAID and supports 0, 1, and JBOD and I am aware of a couple of commercial products that stepped into the void for this, that is creating RAID volumes in El Capitan.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 23, 2016 ---
    I recall reading a post on BF's site, a few years or so ago. I think, but don't know, that that particular comparison put two of the bus-powered Firmtek enclosures (with 840 EVO SSDs, me thinks?) in a RAID 0 configuration as I'm describing, which screamed - the miniSWAP, followed by the test comparison you're alluding to.

    I love rob-ART... :)
     
  11. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #11
    Yep, that can work indeed amazingly fast. I admit my natural over caution on RAID 0 being engaged with two USB3 ports. However, proof is there that it does work and "screamed." I have both Firmtek offerings and one is more expensive but built like a tank and the other is almost like a sleeve around the SSD (the dLight model). Both serve me quite well.
     
  12. RCAFBrat macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2013
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #12
    For reference:

    Results of Blackmagic speed test with new 500 GB Samsung 850 EVO in NexStar NST-266S3-BK enclosure:

    DiskSpeedTest.png

    Not blazing fact but more than adequate.

    This is a USB 3 enclosure with UASP.
     
  13. Ifti thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #13

    I have been sent a Sandisk Extreme 900 by Sandisk for review. Upon testing I get similar speeds to the above drive via the standard USB3 Gen 1 connection, which should be mor then adequate for FCPX 1080p editing??

    Unfortunately I do not have a 3.1 Gen 2 port or Type-C to get the full 850MB/s speeds they say are supported by the drive!!

    Its a fantastic drive so far - will get the video review up on my channel soon ;)
     

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