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Old February 13th, 2012, 09:18 AM   #1
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FCP and external firewire hard drive

Since I'm relatively new to video I decide to place here my doubt so the pros could help out.
I have several external hard drives, but all connecting by USB, and they have been enough, since they are only used for backup.
Now I need to buy a new one and my question is: Can FCP import directly into an external hard drive using firewire? If so, can the edit be done directly using the files in the hard drive or they need to be copied to the computer hard drive? Is there any lag in the edit or capture when using firewirwe?
Is it possible to use connect the two devices (hard drive and computer) with two different firewire ports? I've got a mac pro with a 400 port and a macbook pro with a 800 port. Lets say that the external hard drive has only one of those firewire ports. Can I connect the two devices with a proper cable (400 in one side and 800 on the other)?

Another thing.
I've been reading and it seems that eSATA is the fastest connection between a hard drive and a computer. I have found a lot of external hard drives with eSATA connection. Is there any way to connect that, externally, to the computer, like using an adapter for fiwewire or something else.

Thank in advance.

Sorry for my english but I'm portuguese :-)
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Old February 13th, 2012, 10:18 AM   #2
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Re: FCP and external firewire hard drive

All of my media goes to external drives via fw 400 or 800. I've used both laptops and mac pro w/FCP. I'm currently on v. 6. You'll be fine.
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Old February 13th, 2012, 10:21 AM   #3
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Re: FCP and external firewire hard drive

Thanks Jim.
I will have no problem editing directly from the external drive, then?
Ohh, I'm on V.6 too
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Old February 13th, 2012, 10:56 AM   #4
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Re: FCP and external firewire hard drive

Works fine for me. All media on external drive, scratch on external, only project file on internal drive.
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Old February 13th, 2012, 12:23 PM   #5
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Re: FCP and external firewire hard drive

Are these any good? Both haver USB, eSATA and firewire 400 and 800 ports.

LaCie - LaCie Hard Disk MAX Quadra
LaCie - LaCie d2 Quadra Hard Disk

I'm looking for 2TB drives.
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Old February 13th, 2012, 12:41 PM   #6
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Re: FCP and external firewire hard drive

I only use G-Tech drives. They come formatted for Mac so plug & play. Go read reviews of external drives on Apple store website.
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Old February 13th, 2012, 01:37 PM   #7
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Re: FCP and external firewire hard drive

I've never had a LaCie DRIVE fail in 10 years, but I have had two LaCie power supplies crap out. $50 each to replace... NOT under warranty for some reason...

Also lost a WD MyBook external completely.

Also like the G-Techs. I just don't own any right now.
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Old February 13th, 2012, 09:27 PM   #8
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Re: FCP and external firewire hard drive

Speed matters. You will feel the difference between a slow drive and a fast one. Don't cheap out on a 5400RPM drive in a Firewire or eSata enclosure. For those, get a 7200rpm drive. External FW800 drives are not as fast as internals but noticably faster than FW400 and forget about USB. eSata external drives are noticably faster than FW800. YMMV

I use only gdrives for firewire and Caldigit for eSata.
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Old February 14th, 2012, 06:27 AM   #9
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Re: FCP and external firewire hard drive

Not sure about the LaCie Hard Disk MAX Quadra, but definitely looking for 7200 rpm drive, and the LaCie d2 Quadra Hard Disk can deliver that.
Thank you all for your suggestions but I live in Portugal and G-Techs or Caldigit drives aren't easy to find around here.

Les, do you work with mac or pc? How do you connect an external hard drive to the computer using eSATA?
Never mind. Just found out. Need an eSATA card for the computer.
What do you guys recommend. Firewire connection or eSata, bearing in mind that the objective is to import footage directly to the external drive and do the edit through there, with FCP.
Or is USB3.0 the best option?

Thanks
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Old February 14th, 2012, 06:45 AM   #10
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Re: FCP and external firewire hard drive

Like you, I use FCP. I have used Firewire and eSata both to do what you describe. I have no experience with USB for hard drives and editing. Wouldn't touch it if I had the choice. YMMV
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Old February 14th, 2012, 09:50 AM   #11
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Re: FCP and external firewire hard drive

Tanks Les. Since you used both firewire and eSATA, have you ever noticed any difference in speed or any lag while transferring files or during the edit.
I mean, eSATA has the highest transfer rate, right?
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Old February 14th, 2012, 04:37 PM   #12
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Re: FCP and external firewire hard drive

eSata is faster than Firewire, yes. It will be noticably faster than Firewire. Are you trying to capture from a Firewire camcorder to a firewire disk? If so, your capture will have to handle the ingest of data from your camcorder and output to hard disk simultaneously. There could be a performance problem depending on the model of your MacPro. I recommend searching here on DVInfo for "Mac Pro Firewire Capture external drive"
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Old February 15th, 2012, 05:18 AM   #13
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Re: FCP and external firewire hard drive

Thanks again Les. Did a search as you recommended but found nothing to clear my doubts.
The cameras have firewire ports (400) and I want to capture directly to a firewire drive (400 or 800). the mac pro is from middle 2008 (can put the specs her later).
But if you think is worth it, and will increase speed considerably, I can install a eSATA card on the mac pro and connect the computer and the hard drive via eSATA.
Something like this: http://www.lacie.com/us/products/product.htm?id=10331
What do you think? Does it worth it, or firewire is enough?

Many thanks for your support
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Old February 16th, 2012, 02:55 AM   #14
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Re: FCP and external firewire hard drive

for what it is worth, i've had a 1T Lacie big disk extreme fail. replaced the power and still dead. not funny.
but, as i work in Africa and power cuts are a problem, i have used the Lacie rugged FW 400/800 drives (250, 320, 500, 1T x2) with a Macbook pro and they are still going strong under hot and harsh conditions after some years.
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Old February 16th, 2012, 06:22 AM   #15
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Re: FCP and external firewire hard drive

Now I'm getting worried Brian. A have been reading a lot of problems with Lacie drives, and it hasn't been easy to find other brands here (Portugal) with firewire (400 or 800) ports. A can find a lot with eSATA but firewire has been a problem.
Now I'm having second thoughts about the Lacie drives.
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