What is the best Macbook pro Video Setup??


macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 12, 2005
Houston, Tx
What would be the Quickest External Drive setup for a 15" Macbook Pro?
This will be used for Video editing. (FCP, Imovie, After effects):

External SATA2 HD with a Firewire 800 express card/34?
External SATA2 HD with a eSATA express card/34 ??

Some sites list the fw/800 transfer speed @ upto 800 mb/s while others list it as 80 mb/s
sataII is supposed to be 3.0GB/s but ive found it listed as 300MB/s on some sites???? Who is correct?

lists speeds like this:
USB2 = USB 2.0 port rated at 48MB/s
1394a FW400 = FireWire 400 port rated at up to 40MB/s
1394b FW800 = FireWire 800 port rated at up to 80MB/s
SATA = SATA port rated at up to 150MB/s
SATA2 = SATA II port rated at up to 300MB/s

According to them Sata is the quickest: BUT does this speed transfer through with a eSATA expresscard adapter?
I can get a eSATA Express card from FirmteK
Anyone with a good video editing setup with a Macbook Pro please let me know :D THANKS


macrumors Penryn
Mar 23, 2005
Depending on the Express Card SATA adapter you're going to get USB2.0 or x1 PCI-Express. I believe that x1 PCI-Express is 500 MB/s.


macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
Redondo Beach, California
The "wire speeds" are really misleading. They tell you only how fast the bits move between two boxes when bits are actually moving. In almost every case the wire speeds are much faster then the fastest sustained data transfer rate. What happens with (say) FW800 is the data moves in bursts where the you see the 100 million bytes per second for a few micro seconds and then the wire is dead for a much longer period. So ignore wire speeds.

What you care about is how many bytes per second fly under the read/write heads in the disk drive. This is simply the number of bytes in a "track" (concentric ring on the disk) times the speed that the disk is spinning.

You can go with FW800 USB Sata or whatever but the real speed that you see while editing is the bits flying under the read/write heads. You should care more about specs on the disk inside the box than how the box connects to your computer.

One way to make the whole thing faster is to in effect double the number of read/write heads by using two disks in parallel. Find an extrnal box that supports "RAID 0", of course you can tripple or quadruple the speed by using a 3 or 4 disk RAID 0 system.

Next you have to decide on some details: should all the disks be in one box or do you want a stack of little boxes all cabled together? Where should the RAID system live? In the disk box or inside your Mac (Software RAID) or on a file server connected by Ethernet or fiber. It basically comes down to money and how much data you have to store


macrumors 6502a
Jul 2, 2005
Im using a SATA drive in my external enclosure connected via USB 2.0 and its working great... I use it with Final Cut Express, LiveType, and Soundtrack, nothing but the actual App is saved on my MBP. All my scratch disks, all the fonts/effects and all the soundtrack loops are all on the external. It has worked just fine. I import SD video through firewire and it goes right out to my HD. It doesnt even seem like my HD has to work that hard to get the data... :rolleyes: