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Old April 16th, 2005, 02:16 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Oregon
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LaCie External or build my own?

Hey now,

I want to capture to and edit directly off an external hard drive.

I use G5 FCP for editing but I'd like to be able to put files from my PC on there too.

I'm new at externals and dont' want to spend over $100.

Should I build my own?

or should I buy a LaCie?

Anyone out there who has been editing directly off USB2.0 externals, what buffer will I need?

THanks,
mike
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Old April 16th, 2005, 06:21 PM   #2
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Forget USB for editing. You can use it for storage but I would not even use it for that. Firewire is your best bet. I use a LaCie 7200RPM external as my scratch disc.
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Old April 16th, 2005, 11:33 PM   #3
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A cheap way to pickup an external drive is to wait for best buy or similar chains to have a loss leader deal on an external drive like the Maxtor OneTouch one (check that it has firewire, and whether it uses an Oxford chipset). Just be sure to make photocopies of everything and to mail in the rebate (if applicable).

If you want, you can build your own. Do some research and figure out which enclosures newegg.com uses an oxford chipset. Throw in any IDE/ATA hard drive. You will have to assemble things yourself, but it isn't hard if you can read a manual.

2- Some people experience problems with firewire on Macs, and I believe some people experience problems with USB2. Firewire is faster (and on older Macs, USB2 gets slower). Probably stick with firewire.

3- If you want your files to be accesible on both Mac and PC, you need to do one of the following:
A- Buy a program that lets you deal with the different file systems.
B- Transfer files over a network. Samba (in Mac OS X) handles the different file system formats for you.
C- Format the drive FAT32. Both Mac and PC can both read/write to FAT32. 4GB file size limit I believe. DV is 13GB/hour. Some programs cannot handle the 4GB file size limit.
D- Format the drive NTFS. The Mac can only read from the drive, unless you do A.

4- I recommend you expand your budget a little... because (A) it's hard to find an external drive on that budget and (B) the sweet spot for capacity/$ is around 200GB, which costs somewhere around $150USD (check newegg for prices).

5- If you don't need the portability, get an internal SATA drive for the G5 (cheaper, faster, more reliable). It takes 30 seconds to install from what I hear... you take longer reading the installation instructions. I believe Apple has really good instructions for hard drive installation.

6- Buffer size doesn't make a big difference for video.
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Old April 17th, 2005, 09:43 AM   #4
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Just to be clear, Firewire 800 is the protocol that can sometimes be problematic with newer Macs.
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