View Full Version : External Drives

11-27-2008, 04:53 AM
Can anyone recommend a good external FW800 hard drive for use with HMC150 and FCP on an iMac?


Mark Whalen
11-27-2008, 05:37 AM
I have a couple of G Drives: 1TB and 500GB. They're not the Qs that have FW800, but the drives are well built and have thus far been very reliable.

11-27-2008, 04:44 PM

11-27-2008, 05:04 PM
I'm considering a Drobo as a rushes backup/archive system, but I don't expect to be able to edit directly from the thing - they're really quite slow. DV, probably, but ProRes would be pushing it. Stills photographers I know seem to have settled on using their Drobos for Aperture vault backups, but not for editing current projects - I can't imagine video will fare better than what they're doing.

My current media drives are LaCie 1Tb USB2/FW400/800 RAID 0 arrays. I've three of them hanging off my MacBook Pro (over FW800), and have been solid and good value so far, and reasonably quiet. Cutting ProRes from them is fine.

11-28-2008, 03:28 AM
There is now a FW800 version of the drobo. The previous version was USB which might be what you were thinking of.

11-28-2008, 06:43 AM
yea I was looking at the drobo as well... Hummm...

Michael T
11-28-2008, 06:53 AM
With Firewire 800 and large drives, over 500 gig like the 750's or 1 terabyte drives make sure the power supply is heavy duty enough to handle them. Lots of people have had issues with cases not having enough power to handle two large drives in them. A few companies have recently come out with larger power supplies for there cases because many lost a drive or two because they weren't getting enough power. before buying read the fine print about drive size and power and call and ask questions about the size drives you'll be installing.

Good luck

11-28-2008, 06:58 AM
Despite FW800, and I believe a faster processor, Drobo benchmark results are pretty variable: see http://episteme.arstechnica.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/24609792/m/750009293931. Anecdotal reports on Apple's Final Cut forum suggest it can indeed work well as a media drive, but I'm not entirely sure I'd trust it for that (and, as I say, stills photography friends seem to have moved back from storing their working masters on their Drobos, citing performance concerns).

Besides, FW800 RAIDs can be had for much less money; the Drobo's advantage is security, not capacity or performance.

The workflow I'm currently considering would involve a Drobo to which I'd archive project files and HMC150 rushes. But I'd transcode to ProRes, on fast FW800 RAIDs or SATA, for editing. In my head, in this model, the Drobo is the equivalent of shelves full of DV tapes.

I'm willing to accept that I could be blinkered here, however. I have a bit of a thing about keeping 'working media' and 'archives/backups' separate. Every time I've failed to enforce such a separation it's ended up causing me grief in the end.

12-01-2008, 03:15 PM
Do you recommend a particular FW800 RAID? I've never dealt with mass storage requirements before like I'm needing to now using the HMC150 for a documentary.

Thomas Lew
12-01-2008, 04:27 PM
I hate picking out externals cause they seem to be all very incredibly un reliable. That's why I have 3! =]

thrillcat editorial
12-02-2008, 05:40 AM
I personally don't like buying preconfigured FW solutions, unless I know for sure what drives are going into them.

I like this little box: http://tinyurl.com/7m4kc

It also comes in a SATA drive version: http://tinyurl.com/2bvsw8

I like knowing that I have quality drives in my enclosures, not whatever was cheapest that day.

I had a couple issues when I first started working with HMC150 footage off one of these, but it was nothing attributable to the drive, since it's working fine now. I think it may have been my needing to format the SD cards in the camera more than once the first time around. No problems since.

When you get into the larger external RAID solutions, there's something to be said for buying a "solution" from a company. One stop support if you have a problem. For a smaller 1 or 2 drive portable RAID, I build my own. Plus it's a TON cheaper. Throw a couple $65 500GB Hitachi's in one of these enclosures and you have a 1TB RAID for just over $200.

David Saraceno
12-02-2008, 09:49 AM
That enclosure is limited to ATA drives and won't accept SATA bare drives.

But I'm with you on preconfigured drives that are sold at Costco, Office Depot, Staples and other places.

Your media is the most valuable thing you have.

Shop around and get quality drives and quality cases to preserve it.

thrillcat editorial
12-02-2008, 09:50 AM
The second link is for the SATA drive version.

David Saraceno
12-02-2008, 09:53 AM
Thanks. Missed the second link. Why the premium for SATA? Doesn't make sense.

Now I wish one was available for 2.5-inch drives as well.

thrillcat editorial
12-02-2008, 09:55 AM
Well, I paid more than $119 when I bought my first one for ATA drives. But, I had two identical drives that I'd pulled a year or two earlier. Why not get some use, right? Now I have a nice portable 500GB RAID 0 that I can take anywhere.

12-02-2008, 11:25 AM
I use the Seagate FreeAgent Pro external eSATA drives which I can usually get clients to buy for me from the local Best Buy... :thumbup:

1 Tb FreeAgent Pro (http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8987448&st=seagate+freeagent&lp=11&type=product&cp=1&id=1218006356493)

The eSATA interface is key, I'd never try to use them through USB 2.

12-02-2008, 06:33 PM
eSata on an external hard drive is key, especially for individuals interested in video editing. You can't beat the transfer rate and that is what you're looking for with editing of video like HD. Look for a drive with a built in RAID configuration like a Lacie, or a G-Tech. Those drives will outperform other similar drives without the RAID configuration. Believe it or not, Iomega and Cavalry have the fastest drives out there, whereas Seagate and Western Digital have the slowest.

There was a good review done on the aformentioned drive manufacturers that shows the performance differences: http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,2845,2173840,00.asp. The review was done a year ago and with 500 GB drives, but it will still give you a good idea as to the difference in each drives performance. Hope this helps!

12-04-2008, 12:40 AM
Anyone had any success using eSATA with a PPC Powermac G5? I bought it in July or August of 2004 - still works great (though of course not for transcoding HMC150 footage in FCP) and so I want to try to figure out if I can install a PCI-X card or whatever it would take to be able to use the drive with it.

Or, if not that, anyone using eSATA external drives with any of the new iMacs? Looking to purchase one to edit my HMC150 footage.


12-10-2008, 04:17 AM
I use in my imac 24" a Western Digital MyBook Studio Edition 1TB Firewire 800, and a Western Western Digital MyBook Studio Edition II Raid 2TB.

Great Disks, and good price point...

Richard J. Johnson
12-10-2008, 04:37 AM
I have been Using Lacie for many years but the new design seems to be giving me some problems from time to time. I wish they would have left them alone. The smooth case versions are the best and I have some of those that have been running strong for years.

12-10-2008, 06:12 AM
can any of you MAC users suggest a good express 34 esata card? i've heard some models won't work well with FCP, like the griffin one for example.

edit: seems like most go with the addonics adapter

Joseph Stunzi
12-10-2008, 06:58 AM
CalDigit all the way!
They make their own drives, cards, and enclosures. There stuff is fast, beautiful, and they have superior customer service!

12-10-2008, 08:05 AM
I went with this two port Apiotek from OWC and it works fine. I do like the ability to use two drives without any extra multipliers. OWC always carries quality Mac-specific peripherals.

Apiotek Express34 eSATA adapter (http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Apiotek/EC0003D/)

12-11-2008, 07:59 AM
thanks darren, just ordered it, along with a new express card SDHC reader, my griffin express card reader doesn't do the SDHC cards.