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Old October 31st, 2010, 06:58 AM   #1
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Portable hard drives & ExpressCard/34 slot info for a Macbook Pro 17"

Hi,

I am seriously considering buying a Macbook Pro 17" i7 4GB 2.66GHz in order to run Final Cut Studio 3 (got no budget for the Mac Pro and need the mobility).

1. I need recommendations on a portable at least 1TB external drive with Firewire 800, which are the better and most reliable brands? Everybody tells me to stay away from Western Digital...

2. I need recommendations for a Firewire ExpressCard, which are the better and most reliable cards?

3. With an ExpressCard/34 slot how do I capture HDV footage to the MBP? Connect the camera to the Firewire 800 of the MBP (via i.Link - Sony HDV Z5) and the external drive to the ExpressCard/34 slot, right?

Thanks for you advice!!!
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Old October 31st, 2010, 09:06 AM   #2
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I have a 17" 2.16gb macbook pro that I have used for four years with FCP and currently with studio 3.

I use a 1tb G-tech raid 0 drive that connects via firewire 800.

My P2 camera's connect via USB but you can daisy chain the firewire 800 to the camera or I would use the firewire 400 connector on mine.

I have found the express card slot to be unreliable as it seems to crash and freeze a lot but you could always buy a express to esata adaptor and hook up g-tech esata quad drives to get faster disk speed.

One better option which I did on my Z7 and S270 is to get the CF card recorder and load the HDV to the hard drive via a firewire 800 CF reader, this can also be daisy chained to the firewire 800 drive if you are just using firewire or you could also as an option get a express to CF adaptor for the cards.
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Old October 31st, 2010, 11:34 AM   #3
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Thanks!!

Any disadvantages daisy chaining the camera to the external drive? Like for example loosing image quality?

The express card slot will be more reliable with an esata express rather that firewire?
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Old November 1st, 2010, 09:30 AM   #4
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Lots of disadvantages with daisy chaining devices, you'll drop both devices down to the speed of the lowest connection, in this case the 400mb/s of the F400 connection of the camera, and both will be sharing the same bus when editing so you'll have half the bandwidth for each. HDV is low bandwidth in the scheme of things so you can get away with it in this case, but you'd be taxing your system more than necessary, and if you want to ingest in hdv but transcode to prores you'll miss the speed of thee extra drive.

An e-sata connection out the express card slot is going to be faster and you, I wouldn't necessarily say more reliable as when changing out drives I have always found esata a bit of hit and mission terms of whether the drive is detected without a reboot of the computer. This will be down to compatibility between the drive enclosure and the esata/express card. But the speed boost over FireWire 800 is often worth it.

By the way, daisy chaining devices won't reduce quality, this is not possible as it's a digital to digital transfer. But it might increase chances of data corruption / dropped frames due to bandwidth being low when ingesting which means reinvesting that portion from the tape. I.e it's a solution that will often work, but is the least robust so can cause headaches.
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Old November 1st, 2010, 12:38 PM   #5
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FireWire800 is more sensitive to daisy chaining than FireWire400 despite the specifications. Don't plan to put more than 3 devices on a chain.
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