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Old June 7th, 2012, 11:47 AM   #1
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FCPX Hard Drive Setup

Switching to FCPX and restructuring my workflow:

Bay 1: Lion OS
Bay 2: Raid 1a - For Project Files
Bay 3: Raid 1b - dup of Raid 1a
Bay 4: Render files

Airport USB External: RAID 1 for all ISO files, and raw files (all SD cards copied here for network purposes), family photos/videos, iTunes
FW800 External: dup of Airport RAID 1
SATA Toaster for three more drives to store overflow render files.

For my second RAID I want to use externals so that I can utilize the Airport for our second computer to be able to work on the same FCPX projects. Is that possible? It doesn't need to be as fast for ISOs and all the family stuff, but if it slows editing I would need to instead store my raw SD card copies in the Bay 2 RAID. Thoughts?
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Old September 26th, 2013, 03:51 PM   #2
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Re: FCPX Hard Drive Setup

Dana,
How did that work out for you? Have you stuck with it or altered this scheme?
I'm thinking about switching from FCP7 after dipping my toe in PProCC and having a bad taste in my mouth.

Any advice for a switcher?
Do you work with the native files or transcode?

Any input is appreciated.
Thanks,
Mark
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Old September 28th, 2013, 04:37 AM   #3
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Re: FCPX Hard Drive Setup

Mark,

I'm currently running three different configurations.

1) MacPro early 2009 8 core 2.8Ghz with:
• 128GB SSD Booth Drive
• 1x2TB scratch drive (mostly used for data - not video
• 3x2TB RAID 0
• ATI 5770
• 16GB RAM

This configuration works well, although the 5770 is the week link and overall the system is slower than my 2012 MBP ! (see below)

2) MacBook Pro 17" 2.5Ghz i7
• 750GB internal drive
• Lacie 1TB external thunderbolt drive (optional)
• 16GB RAM

Using even the internal 750GB drive I can edit native footage quite happily from 5D3, Canon MXF and Canon AVCHD. If I'm using multicam (which is quite often) then I'll let it create proxy files for the multicam and then it edits like butter. In fact, once I have the multicam as proxy it still edits perfectly well (typically 3 or 4 cameras + 2 external audio) off an external USB2 drive!

This MBP is the fastest of all the machines for final rendering.

3) Mac Mini 2.3Ghz i7
• Internal 1TB HDD
• External 4TB RAID 0 via a dual USB3 dock (startech.com)
• 16GB RAM

This machine works perfectly well for regular editing. It needs proxy for multi cam and is definitely the slowest machine when rendering by a long way. Something the MBP can render in a minute will take the MacMini 2-3 minutes.

FYI, I was using Premiere Pro and Colorista II for a couple of year while Apple got FCPX sorted (I knew they would eventually), and FCPX is head and shoulders above PP+Colorista II in terms of playback and rendering. We did some long form movies where Premiere Pro was taking 6+ hours to render the final film whereas FCPX (with better and more color grading) was faster than real time, i.e. 90 mins was exporting to a ProRes 422 in around 35 mins (PP was 6+ hours!). FCPX has definitely saved us many hours and even days/weeks of render time.

Hope this helps.
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Old October 2nd, 2013, 08:24 PM   #4
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Re: FCPX Hard Drive Setup

Dave, thanks for the response . . . i had written a long message a couple days ago but when i went to post it, something went wrong and the site acted like i wasn't logged in and i lost all the typing . . i couldn't do it again.

Anyway . . . i'm shocked that the MBP beats the MacPro. I guess, i don't understand the generation gaps in processors.

I don't see the option to designate a certain drive for renders in FCPX. Am i missing something or is it gone?
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Old October 3rd, 2013, 06:13 PM   #5
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Re: FCPX Hard Drive Setup

Your renders will always end up in the Project (not Event), so where ever you put your project files is where the renders go.
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Old October 3rd, 2013, 10:26 PM   #6
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Re: FCPX Hard Drive Setup

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Ahrens View Post
Dave, thanks for the response . . . i had written a long message a couple days ago but when i went to post it, something went wrong and the site acted like i wasn't logged in and i lost all the typing . . i couldn't do it again.

Anyway . . . i'm shocked that the MBP beats the MacPro. I guess, i don't understand the generation gaps in processors.

I don't see the option to designate a certain drive for renders in FCPX. Am i missing something or is it gone?
The MacPro is quite older than the current MBPs in terms of technology. It is faster in some operations due to having a more powerful video card (if one is installed) and having 8 or more cores but not always. Compressor set up with a QuickCluster in an 8 or 12 core MacPro blazes past the MBP but that's outside of FCPX. The new MacPro should be much faster than any MBP.
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Old October 4th, 2013, 02:49 AM   #7
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Re: FCPX Hard Drive Setup

Hi guys, I'd been watching this conversation unfold and certainly share some of the comments raised. I currently have a 2011 iMac with literally all the bells and whistles including internal 256SSD and the 2GB gfx card but sometimes it's woefully slow. I recently added 20GB of ram in the hope that it would help speed things up but the increase in speed has been marginal.

Is there any news yet on the potential expected costs of the new Mac Pro when it releases? I've been told by a dealer that it could be as much as 4,500 for the basic model, given that the components total about 3,000 before Apple have added on their margin.

Also has anyone here got an experience of running a Thunderbolt drive? Just wondered what the speeds were like. My scratch disc is currently a fast HD in a Firewire 800 caddy.
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Old October 4th, 2013, 04:39 AM   #8
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Re: FCPX Hard Drive Setup

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Edwards View Post
Is there any news yet on the potential expected costs of the new Mac Pro when it releases? I've been told by a dealer that it could be as much as 4,500 for the basic model, given that the components total about 3,000 before Apple have added on their margin.
It's all rumour until Apple release the final specs and prices. I'm watching it carefully too..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Edwards View Post
Also has anyone here got an experience of running a Thunderbolt drive? Just wondered what the speeds were like. My scratch disc is currently a fast HD in a Firewire 800 caddy.
I have a couple of TB drives. One of them is dual TB and USB3. On the same system that drives sustains around 95MB/s in USB3 mode and around 120MB/s in TB mode. I don't have a TB raid yet. All my raids are either internal sata or external USB3. If you have USB3 then a dual dock works nicely as a RAID0 giving me 240MB/s sustained on a MacMini.
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Old October 4th, 2013, 04:42 AM   #9
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Re: FCPX Hard Drive Setup

Cheers Dave, that's certainly worth baring in mind. My issue right now is do I wait and limp along with the firewire 800 or do i get a decent Raid Unit. I like the look and construction of the Lacie Big disks but they;re severely limited on Raid options. I don't think they have a fully redundant option though the construction of the thing is very nice.

Plus I'm also conscious that the new Mac Pro will ship with an even faster version of thunderbolt with double the speed.

As ever with Apple it's a waiting game, but I am seriously considering going down the Hackintosh route, since I own all of the software several times over.
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Old October 4th, 2013, 10:46 AM   #10
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Re: FCPX Hard Drive Setup

Yeah, i just looked at the MacPro coming slideshow, again . . . then looked at the store page for the current 12core MacPros thinking, well, they're not going to be cheaper than these!

I'm not that high end where i need it, but i can dream.

Dave, so . . . the Renders and Media are in the same location (the Events folder) so I can't benefit from having a separate Raid0 render drive.
Currently FCP is background rendering (not sure what, really, -wish the Background Tasks would give me more detail) working 50-90% of all 8 cores and Reading/Writing at 38MB/s to the Media drive where the Event folder is located. So, i guess i don't have a lot of bottleneck there. In the end i guess i'll rework the Raid for another duty.

So, i guess i should move my Project folders to a drive that's covered by Time Machine, huh?
Any experience with corrupted project files?
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Old October 5th, 2013, 12:21 AM   #11
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Re: FCPX Hard Drive Setup

I recently looked at some benchmarks (don't have them handy but i googled them, you can too). and my 2008 mac pro is six times slower than my new 15" MB pro w/i7 proc. in those benches.

Though in this bench it is three times slower.
http://browser.primatelabs.com/mac-benchmarks

I have a hard time believing that pr is that much slower than FCPX, as I just ran a 35 min render and it was about 35 minutes. I suspect something in your project was messed up. My project had MOV, MXF & AVCHD in the mix.

The Pr learning curve was no worse than FCP 7.

Dana you don't RAID 1 your photos and family pics? I assime you back them up?
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