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Discussing the editing of all formats with FCS, FCP, FCE

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Old February 19th, 2010, 07:20 AM   #16
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So you've hijacked the thread away from the original posters needs and questions, who currently *doesn't* have or use any eSATA externals, only FW. So in fact your situation is totally different and you're getting different performance as a result.

It's appropriate to have your capture disk be the eSATA external but if you're also putting the render/cache/temp files there too then again you're not maximizing the minimal bandwidth available on a laptop. Plus, render/cache files are responsible for 80% of fragmentation on an editing machine so you wouldn't want to purposely fragment your original media files more.

An optimal setup for your specific config would be to have all your original media and capture scratch on the large eSATA external as you already do; the temp/cache/render files go to the secondary internal and the OS/apps live on the main internal.

Bottom line, if you're happy with your setup then leave it! It all too easy to spend countless hours tweaking setups to get that last bit of performance, I'm guilty of uber-tweaking myself at times, but in reality there's very little performance difference between your current setup and my recommended version.

The are two main differences between your setup and mine, one being protection. If, for example, your secondary drive were to fail then you'd only be losing your temp/cache/render files, not the OS/apps. Whereas in your setup you're risking everything.

The second is allowing Grand Central Dispatch (Snow Leopard) to allocate resources separately to each individual drive, allowing the OS to determine which drive is working harder and needs more resources, allowing the less-used drive to keep from stealing unneeded resources during any operation. Example, during a render the OS only needs to be accessed just briefly to grab the commands; then the application get hit hard for the code and then the I/O starts going crazy. If you have the OS and render drives separated then all the code-wrangling can be handled independently allowing the OS to "drive" the operation more efficiently. But if you limit all that code to just one drive - even a virtual drive (RAID) then GCD thinks it's only dealing with a single pipeline and never kicks in it's boosting powers.

Again, all this stuff may or may not be noticeable to you and probably not worth spending the hours testing, but it's the stuff I do a lot for my readers and it's what I've learned.
Robert Lane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 23rd, 2010, 08:41 PM   #17
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LOL If there isn't some good debate on the board, I figure I don't have a good question. Robert is right though. I know I could be better off with an external drive but I am specifically curious how best to set up with two internal drives on my MBP. I'm going to be traveling on a motorcycle while on I am doing my pieces so space is tight and I would rather not carry an external drive with power supply. If I wasn't hoping to do some editing on the road that would be another matter. I'm big about backup and protection too so I would be nervous about the performance gain over safety ratio. I will talk to OWC about a good firewire solution as Robert suggested for when I work at home but that is step 2.

Anyway, I don't know if any of you heard the scream last night but that was my credit card yelling after I plunked down $819 for Final Cut Studio from BH Photo (I currently only have Final Cut Express)

I do want to have this right when I install Final Cut Pro and from what I gather, I install FCP program files on my main drive and put everything else including broll, project folders, cache ect on the second drive and make it my scratch drive? Will partitioning the second drive in two so to have a completely empty scratch drive help anything? I'm thinking that won't matter.

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