What external RAID drive are you using?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Chris7, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. Chris7 macrumors 6502

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    #1
    About to dive into HD for the first time, and have no idea which external raid drive to get for my MacBook Pro. Will be using Final Cut Pro, and may use at least five streams of ProRes (1080 x 1920) at once, maybe more. Do you recommend using ExpressCard/34 for data transfer?
     
  2. ChemiosMurphy macrumors 6502

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    #2
    Um wow.

    5 streams of ProRes in 1080p on a MBP.

    According to the ProRes white paper on Apple's site, you're gonna need three drives on a SATA connection in Raid 0 to achieve a mere 4 streams of 1080i60. That's with the 8 core 3.0 GHZ Mac Pro. You are not going to be able to acheive that natively on the MBP.


    I have two 640GB drives on Esata (SW raid) on my Mac Pro for 720p ProRes422 (HQ) and it works.

    The catch with Esata is one port per drive, so that is out of the question with this operation.

    Pretty much you are locked into FW 800. You can get an Expresscard for another FW800 bus so that you are on two seperate busses, but I dunno.

    I've been eyeing this Sans Digital 4 bay enclosure for a while, but can't justify the cost. Maybe you could try this with the expresscard FW800 since the enclosure needs two FW800 ports. I don't think it's gonna work though.
     
  3. Chris7 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Oops. Guess that's out of the question. I'll need to decrease the resolution for that particular project. Here's the question I probably should have asked:

    "Which external RAID drive for under $1000 (ExpressCard/34 or FW 800?)"
     
  4. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

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    #4
    edit: you posted while I was responding...

    new post:
    1) why would you need 5 constant streams?

    2) you won't get much for under $1k. FW800 will be more economic, but you won't see any performance increase past a 2-drive enclosure.
     
  5. AviationFan macrumors 6502a

    AviationFan

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    #5
    Chris,

    With your budget (< $1,000) I would suggest you look into editing with a lower resolution proxy of the soure material. Or get advice from a value added reseller about your scenario, but it'll cost you a bit more.

    - Martin
     
  6. Chris7 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Thanks for the replies. I’ll probably end up using proxies, but still…

    I guess at this point I’m wondering what duel-drive RAID 0 devices are out there that use an ExpressCared/34 slot.

    It seems like the FW 800 is the limiting factor, and the ExperessCared/34 just gives me two FW800, so twice the data transfer speed. This Sonnet Fusion 2 (below) has a read/write data transfer of 133 MB/sec, which the manufacturer says is fast enough for two streams of 1080 ProRes HD (even though 1080 ProRes HD is 220 MB/sec – how’s this possible, BTW?). I assume it would do four streams of 720 ProRes HD, and maybe five streams of regular 720 ProRes (I’m not going to use ProRes HD).

    http://www.sonnettech.com/product/fusionf2.html

    Whereas the G-RAID 2 uses the FW 800 slot, and I assume would only do one stream of 1080 ProRes, with a read/write speed of 79 MB/sec and 51 MB/sec respectively (at least on a review of the 2005 model).

    http://www.g-technology.com/Products/G-RAID2.cfm

    With the Sonnet Fusion 2, I think I’m paying a lot for the portability and look of the thing, but it is almost twice as fast as the G-RAID2.
     
  7. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

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    #7
    ProRes HQ is 220Mb/s. There is a difference between MB and Mb.

    Don't assume 720p will be a lower data rate. Standard 720p and 1080i streams are both 220Mb/s in ProRes HQ. If you are shooting 23.976, then yes, 720p will be lower.

    with needing 5 streams, proxies is going to be the way to go.
     
  8. Chris7 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #8
    If anyone knows of another external RAID duel-drive unit that will do a 133 MB/sec. or so transfer rate, please post. It doesn't look like the Sonnet Fusion 2 is an especially good value.

    Thanks for your posts, and thanks for posting re. my question on another thread about which monitor to get the text bigger in FCP.

    Aha. Megabyte (MB) is eight megabits (Mb). Thanks. Still can't seem to calculate possible streams from just knowing the read/write speed of the drive, though. If I convert 220 Mb/s. into 27.5 MB/s (by dividing by eight), then it would appear that a hard drive with a 133 MB/s data transfer rate could handle over four streams of 1080 ProRes HQ, which is not the case.

    On the Final Cut 6 Working with High Definition and Broadcast Formats Manual (p. 9), ProRes HQ in 720p30 is 110 Mb/s and in SQ its 73 Mb/s. Am I missing something? http://manuals.info.apple.com/en_US/FCP6_HD_and_Broadcast_Formats.pdf


    It looks like I could do five streams in the standard ProRes 720p30 if the data transfer rate were 133MB/sec., without using proxies. What do you think? Is workflow faster in general when using proxies, even if the transfer rate to the hard drive is not exceeded?
     
  9. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

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    #9
    they may claim 133MB/s, but that is most likely a peak rate on an empty drive. that is probably not the sustained rate you'll get with a partially full drive.

    you might be able to get 5 streams of 720p30, no idea.
     
  10. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    #10
    Yes, that's a maximum rating. On a partially full drive, you can probably expect between 80-90MB/sec, realistically. That's assuming use of the eSATA interface, of course.

    CalDigit probably has the fastest dual-disk RAID-0 box on the market, the S2VR Duo (you would have to buy an eSATA ExpressCard, though). At near full capacity (like 90%), I've gotten just shy of 105MB/sec sustained on it (and close to advertised 150MB/sec near empty). They also make a FW800 version of it called the FireWireVR. I've used those too, they sustain about 80-85MB/sec near capacity. The FWVR also daisy-chains very well without significant performance loss. These drives are expensive, however. A 1TB S2VR Duo is around $700 (because it comes with a PCIe or PCI-X eSATA card that you wouldn't have a use for on a MBP). You can get a 1TB FWVR for around $400.

    Honestly, getting something faster than that will require large multi-disk RAID boxes with more than 2 drives.
     
  11. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #11
    What is it specifically are you doing that'll require 5+ RT streams of 1080i60 or 720p30 ProRes?


    Lethal
     
  12. Chris7 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Many thanks for the reply. This is probably what I’m looking for. At least $300 cheaper than the 1 TB Sonnet Fusion 2 and a little faster, plus the necessary cards for when I upgrade to a MacPro.

    I was wondering where you were. One idea I had that would require five streams is a montage of a subject or subjects, filmed at different locations, doing different things, at varying speeds. I figure the most I would show at one time is four frames (scenes in boxes with the edges blurred or filmed on a green screen), the frames moving, changing both location and size, with one full screen super. Each frame would eventually make up enough of the screen to merit the higher resolution.
     
  13. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #13
    What are you going to be shooting with and what is the purpose/final destination of the video (DVD, internet, etc.)? I'm asking so we can get a more specific idea of what your needs are to come up w/a better workflow. For example, finding storage to pull 4-5 streams of HD ProRes seems a bit unnecessary because what you plan on doing to those streams (scaling, green screen, text, etc.,) can't be pulled off w/o rendering. And when you talk about varying speeds is that an effect you wanted to shoot in camera (over/under cranking) or were you going to do the speeding up/slowing down completely while editing?


    Lethal
     
  14. Chris7 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #14
    Thanks. I am about to purchase FCP and this will be my first shot at HD, so much (most) of this stuff is new to me (have prior experience with SD using Adobe Premier and Sony Vegas). I have a lot to learn about how to use FCP in general, but there’s not much I can do until I get an external hard drive, and I want to get the right one so I don’t have to upgrade once I know what I’m doing.

    As far as this project, using five streams or even editing in HD is not the first thing I’ll try when learning FCP. But when I do, I would shoot on standard speed on consumer AVCHD or HDV on 30P (I don’t think I’ll decide between the HF11 and HV30 until the day I order, within a couple weeks). I would apply various amounts of slow motion to the images, and they would get bigger and smaller, and move about the screen. I do not need to preview anything in full HD, so I guess proxies would be fine – I just don’t know how much more of a pain it is to make and use them. The video would ideally be shown on a duel-layer DVD on a Blue Ray player onto a front projection screen, but I may have to use DVD at first, and later burn the project into duel-layer DVD.

    I have no idea how much data my MacBook Pro can handle before it will no longer allow real-time preview. My graphics card is only 128 of VRAM, so I doubt I would be able to use Motion with real time preview, if at all, but I don’t think I need Motion this project.
     
  15. LukeG macrumors newbie

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    #15
    I second Caldigit, take a look at the HDPro and HDOne. They won't run at their max speed using the ExpressCard/34 but they're the fastest i've seen in the real world.
     
  16. Chris7 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Called CalDigit today, and some of their resellers. Closed (of course). I'm wondering if this ExpressCard/34 thing is really worth it. It would seem that if the limiting factor when using a duel hard drive box is the data transfer method (i.e. FW800) and not the actual read/write speed of the drives, then the FW800 duel-drive units would not decrease in actual performance as they get full, whereas the ExperessCard/34 units would. The logic being that the FW800 units are already reading/writing much faster than the FW800 connection would allow anyway. Any truth to this?
     
  17. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #17
    Honestly, I wouldn't worry about getting the fastest storage possible because the limiting factor is going to be the CPU, not the hard drives since you want to pull multiple streams and animate them around the screen. All that is going to have be rendered regardless if you have storage that can pull 2 streams or 20 streams. HDV is the same bit rate as DV so no need for a fast RAID there and if you go AVCHD I'd suggest looking at transcoding into AIC instead of ProRes. The footprint is much smaller and considering the cameras you are looking at you don't gain anything by bumping the footage up to ProRes.

    As far as disc burning goes, keep in mind that there is no Blu-ray equivalent of iDVD or DVD SP out there for the Mac. You'll be able to make playable BR discs using Toast, but you won't be able to author a 'fully functioning' BR disc w/menus and stuff.


    Lethal
     

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