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Old October 29th, 2008, 09:47 AM   #1
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Help me solve my Hard Drive Issue

I am Using a Mac book with 4gb of memory for my editing computer i know its not the best platform but it is what i have.

My question is that i need 2TB for this years film i also want RAID so this is backed up. So this is 4TB of storage. My only option for connection is Firewire 400 which will be my weak point. But there is no other option. My question is what is the most cost effective way to get that much storage space without losing speed?
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Old October 29th, 2008, 10:50 AM   #2
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First off, RAID is not the same as a backup. It is fault-tolerance; protecting you from some equipment failures. Backup is alternate (storage) media preferably with some retention as to (previous) versions.

FW400 is certainly not the fastest interface (anymore) and as your only interface your options are limited.

I'd get a FW400 connected RAID0 box with two 1TB drives and daisy chain them. That will give you 2x 2TB. Partition one of them to keep your project, media and scratch files separate.

Use Time Machine with the second drive for backups of your project and media files. Make sure you store temporary stuff/renders on the scratch partition and do not enable TM for those.

As to the drives, consider the LaCie 2big Triple or 4big Quadra or Wiebetech SilverSATA II FH you can also use a FW800 to FW400 cable to use enclosures without FW400 interface.

Other options are using NAS/SAN-like solutions via wired GigE, maybe in combination with an FW enclosure. Or maybe getting a (refurbished?) iMac or even a Mac Pro.

George/

P.S. Just to point out the obvious: You're posting this in the High Definition Video Editing Solutions forum, but this will setup will never be an optimal system for HD. The best speed you can hope to achieve is less than adequate for that (max ~30MB/s).
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Old October 30th, 2008, 08:43 AM   #3
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I film with an XH-A1. I just dont have 3-4 grand to drop on a mac pro tower im sure you all know how difficult it is to start off doing film production.
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Old October 30th, 2008, 09:30 AM   #4
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Does your laptop have an express port slot?
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Old October 30th, 2008, 10:58 AM   #5
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No thats one of my main issues
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Old October 30th, 2008, 11:41 AM   #6
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You don't need fast storage for the HX-A1. Virtually any 7200rpm drive via the firewire bus will be plenty fast enough. I agree that a RAID 1 (mirrored) is not a back up solution and a RAID 0 (striped) is neither needed or recommended. After saying all that, I use the Mac Gurus Burly Bays and I love them. Reasonably priced and easy to change/add storage.

Mike

MacGurus:Burly MultiDrive Firewire Hotswap Enclosures
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Old October 30th, 2008, 11:56 AM   #7
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Thats good to know i hope i can get all of this working well
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Old October 30th, 2008, 01:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Bisom View Post
You don't need fast storage for the HX-A1. Virtually any 7200rpm drive via the firewire bus will be plenty fast enough. I agree that a RAID 1 (mirrored) is not a back up solution and a RAID 0 (striped) is neither needed or recommended. After saying all that, I use the Mac Gurus Burly Bays and I love them. Reasonably priced and easy to change/add storage.
I would beg to differ. Anything slower than a 7200 RPM SATA drive will give you fits. I know this from experience. If you're not using native HDV compression (such as Cineform or Apple's high quality codec), things will get worse as you're dragging more data from the drive for each frame. It'll be slower. Potentially much more so.

BTW... Don't know what NLE you have but if it's Premier, Adobe say that they don't support FireWire drives. Doesn't mean they don't work. It just means they don't support it. FWIW
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Old October 30th, 2008, 03:33 PM   #9
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Raid 0 and 1 in OSX works fine. For your project you will just need a drive box that has a firewire 800 interface. 4 1 gig drives are about $110 each. Perhaps a pair in raid 0. I suggest you look at newegg for raid 800 options that are specifically mac compatible but not mac specific. Mac specific storage solutions are still sold at a premium even though the parts are not mac specific.

Now, if money is really tight use a free old computer case with a power supply in which you can mount 4 drives. Power the drives from that power supply. Get a firewire hub (research for speed) and connect each drive. You can stay under $500 for 4 gig.

I'm not sure about you mac book. But if the firewire connections are not shared you would want to use every connection.
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Old October 31st, 2008, 11:27 AM   #10
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I don't know much about the PC side of things, but I know on all the Macs that all Firewire ports share the same bus on both laptops and towers. The only way to add another bus is via an expansion slot which the Macbook doesn't have.

I would be wary of a software RAID 0. From what I have read, you don't start realizing any real world benefit until you get to at least three and preferably four drives. And that just increases your chance for drive failure and when I drive goes all your info is gone. You don't realize any benefit because of the software overhead. As opposed to a hardware RAID system which is much better, but also more expensive. There is nothing terribly difficult about editing HDV now-a-days. And I rather doubt it is being brought in as anything other than HDV or possibly AIC on a Macbook.

I have found that the best thing you can do is keep you assets on different drives. Now that will make a HUGE difference. As example, if I am dealing with let's say 3 layers of video and 8 layers of audio (not uncommon), if I keep my audio on a different drive than my video, I get much better throughput. For what it's worth, I have 3, 7200 RPM drives in a software RAID 0 (for some legacy projects that I haven't gotten around to offloading to eliminate the RAID). I will get better real world transfers by having my video and audio separate as outlined using two drives, than I will having them all on my 3-drive RAID 0.

Just my experience,
Mike
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Old March 23rd, 2009, 02:26 PM   #11
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I've heard disasters with RAID 0; a lot of editors seem to be using RAID 5, which is what I'm setting out 4Big Quadra to.

For HDV and even XDCAM HD/EX footage, we've been using just standard FireWire 400/800 drives from Fantom, LaCie and G-Tech. No problems with features, either. I have two Fantom 1TB drives and I have footage on both, and use one for editing, renders, etc.

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Old March 23rd, 2009, 06:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heath McKnight View Post
I've heard disasters with RAID 0; a lot of editors seem to be using RAID 5, which is what I'm setting out 4Big Quadra to.

For HDV and even XDCAM HD/EX footage, we've been using just standard FireWire 400/800 drives from Fantom, LaCie and G-Tech. No problems with features, either. I have two Fantom 1TB drives and I have footage on both, and use one for editing, renders, etc.

Heath
Heath, are you working in native xdcam files or transcoding to prores422?
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Old March 23rd, 2009, 10:43 PM   #13
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You can't work in native files (all the data)--you transcode everything from either the discs (XDCAM HD) or the SxS cards (EX) and it creates QT versions. I usually edit on a ProRes 422 timeline.

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Old March 24th, 2009, 03:37 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Heath McKnight View Post
You can't work in native files (all the data)--you transcode everything from either the discs (XDCAM HD) or the SxS cards (EX) and it creates QT versions. I usually edit on a ProRes 422 timeline.

heath
Well I'm confused then, my understanding has been that pulling files from SxS to a timeline merely re wraps the files to mov and that you're working with a GOP. I never thought of rewrapping as transcoding because the file structure is unchanged, you're merely putting it in a new container. The alternative to the GOP on the timeline is a full transcode to something like ProRes422.
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Old March 24th, 2009, 09:12 AM   #15
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We're WAY off topic here, so why don't you start a new topic in the Final Cut Pro/Mac Editing forum:

Non-Linear Editing on the Mac - The Digital Video Information Network

Once you do, PM me the link and I'll join in on the conversation.

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