What Thunderbolt 2 RAID External Hard drive/s are using for 4k

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Ray&Paula, Jan 31, 2016.

  1. Ray&Paula, Jan 31, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2016

    Ray&Paula macrumors regular

    Feb 12, 2015
    I've been on the edge of purchasing a maxed out 27" iMac with Retina 5K display for the past year. I held off due to wanting to see what the (late 2015) iMac would bring. So far, I like what it has to offer. I would like to know what Thunderbolt 2 RAID external hard drive/s you are using for 4k video editing? Throughout this past year some of you have replied to some post's that I have made in regards to which RAID to use. RAID 5 seems to be the most popular due to its good throughput and redundancy. I really like the 24TB Pegasus2 R8 from Promise Technology, but it may be a bit overkill for my needs. I do understand that the more drives you have, the faster the throughput will be.
    I do like using some effects, chroma keying, transitions, photos, music. My final event edits range from 10 minutes to an hour. I do realize, with the iMac you suffer from fast rendering due to the lack of cores that are found in the Mac Pro's. Rendering times are not important to me simply due to no real deadlines. I normally render overnight.
    I realize that RAID 0 shouldn't be an option, but since I always do a backup of the project I'm working on "daily" on another external hard drive, would it make sense to step down for example to a 18TB Pegasus2 R6 in RAID 0 and receive approx. the same speed/throughput? I'd like to add; I want a good workflow without any hiccups/lagging while working on multiple timelines during my editing.
    Please give me your thoughts along with what your setup is or may be for 4K video editing with the iMac?
    "As always, Thank You in advance for your help and time." Ray

    Equipment and formats used:
    Sony XDCAM PXW-X70

    4K - 60 Mbp/s (30p/25p/24p) Note: There are rumors of an 100 Mbp/s update coming soon.
    XAVC L (GOP)
    Go Pro Hero 2 (1080p)

  2. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a


    Sep 1, 2007
    i use a seagate backup fast usb3 drive. the limiting factor is not the drive or port. it is the graphics cards ability to handle effects in real time. i can get one lut and some basic correction using pro res on premiere pro before i need to play back in a lower resolution or render. it is a simple raid 0 set up for 4tb and a one hour show takes about 2tb ymwv. i have a second backup of the footage.
  3. joema2 macrumors 68000


    Sep 3, 2013
    I use an 8TB Pegasus 1 R4 in RAID5. It works fine for 4K H264 editing. If I need more space I'll probably get a 16TG OWC Thunderbay IV: http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/Thunderbolt/External-Drive/OWC/ThunderBay-4

    This may be true in the narrowest technical sense but will not translate into faster editing performance. Your main bottleneck in H264 editing is CPU and GPU, not I/O. Good I/O performance is important -- but only to a certain point. Once you reach around 400-500 MB/sec, you are unlikely to see further real-world improvements in editing performance.

    First we must clarify the terms: rendering means fully calculating all effects in the timeline, which is written to invisible render files. Exporting (or sharing) means transcoding the current timeline to the final output codec. If you export an un-rendered timeline, it will be transparently rendered before the export phase.

    FCPX is similar to Premiere in that you typically do not need to render the timeline when editing. FCPX has a background rendering option, but you can usually just turn that off.

    In general a top-spec 2015 iMac 27 is about as fast as an 8-core Mac Pro at most editing operations, including rendering. There are some highly CPU-bound effects such as stabilization or 3rd party Neat Video noise reduction where a 12-core Mac Pro would be faster. The iMac will usually be much faster on exporting to H264 since its CPU has Quick Sync, which the Xeon CPU in Mac Pros lack.

    IMO a big RAID 0 array doesn't make sense. If editing H264 4k material, the added I/O rate will not produce faster editing performance. If you edit raw video (e.g, ArriRaw or Redcode Raw) only in that case might extreme I/O rates be useful.

    FCPX has seamless, integrated proxy support, so you can decrease both I/O and CPU demands and increase editing performance by simply transcoding to proxy. This can be done during or after import. This isn't needed on 1080p but on multicam H264 4K it can be useful.

    In general I'd suggest a 4-to-6 drive RAID5 Thunderbolt array, and something of similar size to back it up. These could be from Promise, OWC, G-Tech, CalDigit, etc.
  4. Ray&Paula thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 12, 2015
    Thanks to all for the great replies...... I need to educate myself of which would be best for transcoding in FCPX. Camera native, Optimized ProRes 422 and/or Proxy ProRes 422. I believe (and please correct me if I'm wrong), Optimized would be the best for both quality and final output. Transcoding to Proxy during the editing process would be the best way to edit if using Optimized is slowing you down.
    I have a couple questions;
    1) If I edited my entire project in Optimized, could I save it as Proxy on my editing RAID hard drive and/or backup hard drive in order to save space? If so, could I bring it back and make the project Optimized once again?
    2) How would this effect the rendering process?

    As you can see, I need to learn about these processes within FCPX. I'm well versed in Sony Vegas Pro, therefore I do have a some feel in video editing. I do expect that stepping up to the iMac and FCPX there will be a number of learning curves, but I'm up for it. With all the tutorials out there and even more importantly, suggestions, tips, etc. from folks like all of you, I feel I can't go wrong. I sincerely appreciate your help and time. Thanks, Ray
  5. joema2 macrumors 68000


    Sep 3, 2013
    You normally don't need to transcode anything nor use optimized nor proxy media. FCPX is perfectly capable of editing the camera native files in most cases. While there may be some narrow exceptions, in general transcoding does not add appreciably to final quality.

    If you are editing H264 4K multicam it might be useful to transcode to proxy for smoother editing performance. However I have edited that on my 2015 iMac 27 without transcoding and it's not bad, just a little laggy.

    In general you don't need to "save it as proxy". Proxy and/or optimized files are transparent scratch files transparently used by FCPX if you request that. They are non-essential and can both easily be deleted to save space without losing any edits. If you want them back, just ask FCPX to re-generate them using your current edits and timeline. They have no material effect on image quality of the final exported product.

    Rendering (ie applying an effect in the timeline then doing an in-timeline render) will be significantly faster for proxy. Whether that makes a useful difference varies based on material and machine. I never use proxy on 1080p and not always on 4k. FCPX is so fast on a new iMac you don't need it. In some cases using proxy files can be useful.

    The artistic aspects of editing don't change but FCPX uses profoundly different paradigms in two main areas. You don't have to use the new workflow -- you can continue editing on FCPX the same as Vegas. However it is more efficient to learn the new style. These two main areas are:

    (1) Database-driven media management. FCPX facilitates and encourages importing *all* your data without even examining it outside the editor. The tools for skimming, rating and keywording your content are much faster than any other tool. Instead of messing around with folders and bins, you skim it and quickly mark the content various ways, and only then start editing in the timeline.

    (2) Magnetic timeline, which encompases several related concepts. You can override this using the "precision editor" and detach the audio to separate "tracks" but it is not the optimal working style.

    It is worth getting quality on-line training from Larry Jordan, Ripple Training or Lynda.com.

    Rick Young has a good book on FCPX (Focal Easy Guide to Final Cut Pro X 2nd ed), plus some tutorial videos here:
  6. Ray&Paula thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 12, 2015
    Thanks again for your help....... I'm beginning to understand the workflow. I have been looking at all three of the trainers you mentioned for the past year. I totally agree that these trainers are the best out there. I truly enjoy listening to Mark Spencer from Ripple and plan on purchasing their FCPX and Motion bundle tutorials. Mark and Larry both are very clear and great teachers. I'm am very excited about learning FCPX and Motion. Right now my biggest concern is getting the proper setup in regards to hardware/external hard drives. I believe with a maxed out iMac, 24TB Pegasus2 R8 and a couple backup external hard drives I should be well on my way to a great video editing experience. I enjoyed learning Sony Vegas, but I really believe that learning FCPX, Motion, Compressor along with Plugins will be in a word Awesome. Your advise is most welcome anytime. Thanks again for all your help, you are truly a great asset to this forum. Ray

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