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macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 15, 2004
I have over 60 HDV tapes that I am finally getting around to editing. I am using a late 2009 iMac, iMovie HD, with two external drives. One of the external drives is a 3TB Seagate (not sure which model) running at 7200RPM. The other external drive is a 4TB WD Green (model WD40EZRX), which I believe runs at 5400RPM. I will be using the faster Seagate to import my footage on to, then edit. I will then export as a full quality movie to the slower WD.

Finally, to my question…Is the WD Green drive fast enough to receive the exported footage at full quality? I like the idea of using the WD Green drive because of it's low power consumption and excellent reviews. Ultimately, I'll be using the WD external to store home movies while connected to a Mac Mini I use as a media center for viewing on an HDTV.

So, will I have problems with this workflow using a 5400RPM WD Green drive, or will this workflow be OK?

Thanks in advance for feedback!


macrumors 6502
Apr 18, 2013
Chicago, IL
why wouldn't the 5400rpm drive be able to take in full quality video? the speed of the drive has nothing to do with its capability to be rendered to at any particular quality level. Now, it won't be as efficient to render to, but the data being written to it is done so incrementally and the export from your project will only go as fast as the drive will allow. You must be confusing the Black Magic Speed Test interface, thinking that the numbers it's displaying are what are required for general video work. But that interface is designed to indicate functionality with one of their many live feed video capturing devices, which unlike a post production render, MUST be written to in real-time, hence the checkmarks for whether the drive speed can handle particular video formats.


macrumors 6502a
Feb 15, 2006
Kent. UK
For what you are looking to do the WD greens should be fine. I have 4 of them, although older models, around 5 years old now, at least. The WD greens have a firmware which puts them to sleep and does something clever so that they are not spinning all the time, hence using less power. The only thing I would say to be aware of, is that because of this facility, they sometimes take a while to wake, rev-up, and be read. If your home movies are in iTunes, for example, sometimes you may be fooled into thinking iTunes is hanging, but really it is just the slow start-up of the drives, give it 20 seconds or so and all will be fine.


macrumors 6502
Mar 26, 2012
Good for storage but I was recently advised to go at least up to the Black level for editing. I recently burned out my first scratch drive pretty fast and was told about all the different levels of hard drives, and which ones are good for editing. Didn't know there were subtle differences in them and how fast they can be slowed at lower levels.
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