Video editing with MacBook Pro Retina... questions about storage.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jshbckr, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. jshbckr macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2007
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #1
    Anyone out there using a MacBook Pro and Thunderbolt for editing?

    I am considering selling my current 2010 MacBook Pro (dual i7) and my 2007 8-core Mac Pro for the new Retina MBP, which (if Geekbench is any indication) is actually more powerful than my 8-core Mac Pro. I figure it would be nice to consolidate both machines into one that is not only more powerful, but has USB 3.0, Thunderbolt, retina, etc.

    The one thing I'm struggling with a bit right now is finding a good solution for my footage. In my Mac Pro, I currently have two 2TB drives dedicated to footage. One is the main footage drive and the other is an nightly backup of the footage (with auto-archiving for deleted files). I also have another 2TB for personal media and archiving of completed projects.

    I've been looking at Thunderbolt external storage but they look to be considerably more expensive than non-Thunderbolt drives. Even eSATA G-Tech RAID drives are relatively cheap compared to the Thunderbolt equivalent (of course, then I need an eSATA to Thunderbolt adapter... $200. Plus Thunderbolt cable... $50).

    I don't mind investing the money in something if I know it's going to be a worthwhile investment. I've heard that single-drive Thunderbolt externals are a waste of money because you're not actually utilizing the speed of Thunderbolt (due to SATAIII being 6.0Gb/s and simply using a 7200RPM drive). Basically, you need a RAID to justify Thunderbolt.

    On the other hand, USB 3.0 externals are dirt cheap. I planned on getting at least one for my personal files and data backup/archive. But from what I've heard, USB 3.0 still suffers some of the performance issues that USB 2.0 did with intensive video editing--dropped frames and slow response in editing software.

    Does anyone have experience with these different drive types? If you're an editor/animator that primarily uses a MacBook Pro, what is your setup like?

    Thanks!
     
  2. jshbckr thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2007
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #2
    No professional editors using newer MacBook Pros?
     
  3. MacBookProzak macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    #3
    As and editor that abuses a MBP all day long editing, my choice was to go with the 2012 MBP as you see in my signature line. This 2012 was an upgrade for me from the 2011 - 15 inch MBP

    You can browse this thread where I explain my experience as well as why I choose not to go with the retina.
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1386040

    I was a day 2 adopter of the LaCie little big disk Thunderbolt drive and I feel that Thunderbolt is a game changer in the video editing realm. I use an eternal monitor to edit from so the retina model was of no use to me. For me I think of this MBP and how it is set up as a MacPro till a refresh is available.... hopefully in 2013.
     
  4. jshbckr thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2007
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #4
    I worry that the LBD has either too small of capacity (with SSDs) or has poor performance/protection trade off. I don't want RAID 0 because it has no protection. I don't want RAID 1 because it has slower performance. I could always get two and have one be a backup of the other, but then I'm sinking more money into those drives than I would buying a Pegasus R4, with its RAID 5 and significantly faster speeds.

    How do you have your LBD set up and do you use any other drives for backing up footage? I'd hate to lose projects or footage because of a drive failure. Also, what kind of footage are you usually working with? And how big of projects?

    As for non-retina vs. RMBP... I really don't think there are many features of the non-retina that I feel I need. 16GB of RAM is the max a non-retina MBP can take right now. So with either computer I'd have 16GB of RAM, meaning the RAM being soldered in makes no difference. FW800 and ethernet are on the back of the Thunderbolt display, I can get adapters if I need those ports while on the road (chances are I won't). I removed the optical drive on my old MBP to put in an SSD, so I'm fine losing the superdrive. And I love having an SSD, so the new 512GB SSD in the RMBP will be fantastic for me. The only small thing I worry about with the Retina MBP is how much of an impact the screen makes on the graphics card if I'm doing things like 3D text and ray-tracing with CUDA in After Effects CS6. While I'm working at home, I'll use both the laptop and the 27" thunderbolt display. While I'm out, I'll either work in Retina or boost the screen real estate to 1680x1050 or 1920x1200 and have more work space.
     
  5. MacBookProzak macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    #5
    Perhaps you cant loose either way you go in your case. The other point of me sticking with the non-retina MBP is that it talking with other editors that I consider more tech sharp on the nuances is that if I was to editing in the retina mode and color grade and any other corrections I make to footage that when I share the project with others who are not editing on a retina there may be a difference in how it looks to be consistent across the various editors that may work on a project.
     
  6. jshbckr thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2007
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #6
    Yeah but you will run into those differences with any display, really. I've got a 23-inch (aluminum) Cinema Display at home, 27- and 24-inch LED Cinema Displays at work (which actually look slightly different from each other when not calibrated) and a matte MacBook Pro... all can look slightly different. And in the end, I've got no control over the type of display people watch something on.

    Do you do any After Effects work? I'll often animate at 1/4 to 1/2 resolution in the preview window, because things render faster, but I'm interested in seeing how After Effects responds to the high pixel density of the retina display... since it can show true 1080p in such a small area. I don't want it to require more resources. I guess I could technically drop it to 1/8 res and have the same effect as my current 1/4 res.
     
  7. ryanide macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    #7
    similar situation

    I also sold my 2009 MBP and will be replacing my 2007 Mac Pro (16GB, 2x3GHz) with a rMBP (2.7, 16GB, 512). My 2011 Mac Mini Server (2.0 i7, 8GB) is about 25% faster than my current Mac Pro, so I'm confident that the rMBP will be significantly faster also.

    I'm planning to use the rMBP with my 27" LED and I am also looking into external storage. I think the Promise Pegasus Thunderbolt is a little over priced and I have read that some people have lost their entire RAID because of a total system failure. That kinda scares me.

    I do have a Synology DS1010+ (the DS1512+ is the current model) with a 10TB RAID 6. It has pretty fast transfer rates (194.83 MB/sec Writing, 200.31 MB/sec Reading) over gigabit, but not good enough for video or photo work. It is great as a backup & iTunes Media server.

    I'm thinking that I will buy a G-Tech 8TB Thunderbolt RAID and use it in RAID 1 (for 4TB) and then use the Synology as a Time Machine backup, if necessary I will add additional storage to it to support the TM space requirements.

    Of course, since all of this is in the same location, then I have to have another backup copy that gets stored in the bank safe deposit box. Probably a 3TB USB 3.0 will do just fine. Optimally I would have 2, one in the bank and the current at home to update and swap on a regular schedule.

    I will be moving my SSD drives from the old MBP & MP into USB 3.0 external cases to use when on location for additional backup. Macsales.com has good SSD drives and a nice external enclosure: http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/ES2.5BPU3W/
     

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