multiple external hard drives at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Cross-Platform Post Production Solutions > High Definition Video Editing Solutions

High Definition Video Editing Solutions
For all HD formats including HDV, HDCAM, DVCPRO HD and others.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old November 29th, 2008, 08:18 AM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Bay City, Michigan
Posts: 585
multiple external hard drives

I'm adding 3 more external hard drives to my editing work station. I've read that with firewire, you can connect them in "series" off of one firewire port on the computer.

My question: is this the best/fastest connection? better than connecting each to it's own computer firewire port?

and problems with multiple HDs in series for video editing?

also, any advantage to having all the same brand/model of HDs?

thanks!
Robert Bobson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 29th, 2008, 01:33 PM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Fairfield, Dunedin, New Zealand
Posts: 3,634
Images: 18
Hi Robert...........

Guess it depends...........

Great answer huh?

If the drives have daisy chain capability (like my Maxtor) and you're not hammering more than one at a time, everything should be cool.

If they don't have daisy chain capability then it ain't going to work, nach.

If you try hammering more than one in the string at a time, things could slow to a crawl.

If you think you may need to access files on two of these drives at the same time, they would be better on their own port.

As for the same flavour of drive, guess it wouldn't really matter, tho' think with some judicious shopping around, 3 of a kind should get you a better deal.


CS

Last edited by Chris Soucy; November 29th, 2008 at 10:09 PM.
Chris Soucy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 29th, 2008, 05:56 PM   #3
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: North Conway, NH
Posts: 1,745
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Bobson View Post
is this the best/fastest connection? better than connecting each to it's own computer firewire port?
Yes. The limit of the current 1394 spec is a max of 480Mbps. This is slower than the combined data rate of more than one contemporary hard drive. Like Chris said, one should work fine on a single port. More than that and your system will fall to its knees.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Bobson View Post
and problems with multiple HDs in series for video editing?
On top of the previous issue, if you're using Premier, Adobe specifically state that they do not support 1394 except for footage transfer from a camera.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Bobson View Post
also, any advantage to having all the same brand/model of HDs?
Aside from they'll all look better sitting on a shelf, no. Faster and bigger are generally better and drives have been getting bigger and faster.

I have 3TB of WD MyBook storage (USB) spread across 6 drives connected to my edit station, mostly used for near-line storage plus two more drives used for archiving. I have used them for DV editing without problems. HDV from those drives gets a bit dodgy. Not enough throughput.
Tripp Woelfel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 29th, 2008, 06:43 PM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Bay City, Michigan
Posts: 585
thanks for the responses.

tripp - I currently edit DV on premiere pro with firewire drives, and they work fine. I think it has more to do with the speed of the computer than the firewire architecture.

HD video might be too large...

I just found this info online:

HD video converted into the cineform intermediate streams at aprox 20 MB/s, and firewire 400 transfers at 49MB/s, so it sounds like firewire Hard drives will work okay.

question:

If I'm reading files from one FW drive and I'm sending temp storage files to another FW drive, does it matter if they're daisy chained? or can info move both ways at the same time on FW cable?

Last edited by Robert Bobson; November 29th, 2008 at 07:38 PM.
Robert Bobson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 29th, 2008, 07:27 PM   #5
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Makati, Metro Manila
Posts: 2,706
Images: 32
I've found it's easier to use a single swappable enclosure. It cuts down on all the extra cables & power supplies. Makes life simpler for me. These are the ones I use:
WiebeTech Micro Storage Solutions - RTX 100 Series - External FireWire and USB SATA hard drive Enclosure

and a set of hard drive cases to store extra drives:
WiebeTech Micro Storage Solutions - Protective Hard Drive Cases
__________________
"Ultimately, the most extraordinary thing, in a frame, is a human being." - Martin Scorsese
Michael Wisniewski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 29th, 2008, 07:39 PM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Bay City, Michigan
Posts: 585
So Michael, how many drives do you have in your enclosure? they all are accessed via one firewire cable? does that slow things down? what format are you editing?

thanks!
Robert Bobson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 29th, 2008, 09:32 PM   #7
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Makati, Metro Manila
Posts: 2,706
Images: 32
I only need one single-drive enclosure. Every project gets it's own hard drive, and I swap them out of the enclosure as needed. Over eSata and Firewire 800 I get good performance editing HDV, DVCProHD, Cineform, & ProRes. I wouldn't recommend it for ProResHQ.

Generally for multiple drive enclosures, you will need a separate cable connection for each drive in the enclosure. There are some eSata enclosures that let the drives run over one wire.
__________________
"Ultimately, the most extraordinary thing, in a frame, is a human being." - Martin Scorsese
Michael Wisniewski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 30th, 2008, 01:11 AM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Redding, CA
Posts: 260
Have you thought about RAID? I don't mean a real one with special controller cards and a separate enclosure with 8TB... I have two WD 500gb fw400 drives. One is connected to the computer, the other to the first drive. They're set up as a striped array (RAID0), so they share data between them. RAID0 generally speeds up drive performance, and I've not had a problem yet.
__________________
Reel Impressions Media - Make it more than a memory
GY-HD100- 7D- PSC Promix 3- Lectro/Sennheiser- Zoom H4- MPB- CS6/CC
Christopher Glavan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 30th, 2008, 02:30 PM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 384
Robert - I strongly recommend USB 2.0 over Firewire. USB is, in my experience, just as fast, and sometimes faster than FW 400. Firewire is very sensitive to static electricity, and in New Mexico this is a frequent problem. USB is relatively immune to small static charges. My computer friends tell me that in theory, a single USB port will handle over 100 divisions to additional USB ports without problems. I'm not smart enough on this topic to be able to confirm or deny the last statement, but feeding six USB ports into one should be no problem. Finally, the very near future (a year or so), USB 3.0 will very likely make Firewire a thing of the past.
Mark Donnell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 30th, 2008, 07:28 PM   #10
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: North Conway, NH
Posts: 1,745
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Bobson View Post
If I'm reading files from one FW drive and I'm sending temp storage files to another FW drive, does it matter if they're daisy chained? or can info move both ways at the same time on FW cable?
Probably not and no. Each drive will create it's own path to the computer. I seem to remember that each 1394 device will maintain maximum data rate. It's an old memory so it may be untrue. Sounds like blue smoke and black magic to me.

You might want to look up 1394 in wikipedia, or if you're a real glutton for punishment, read the IEEE spec. I think that some technical research on your part will give you some lasting understanding of the environment. This will be helpful in the long run if you stay with this architecture.

Also, Mark's comment may be accurate from his observations but others have said to stay away from USB 2.0 drives for editing, particularly HDV files. Truth is, if you have a machine that supports SATA internally, you'd be better off adding additional drives inside the box as you will double your throughput to disk over USB. You will also get good performance editing HDV without the cost, complexity and more importantly the vulnerability to data loss of an external RAID 0.
Tripp Woelfel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 30th, 2008, 09:06 PM   #11
Trustee
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands
Posts: 1,832
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Donnell View Post
Robert - I strongly recommend USB 2.0 over Firewire. USB is, in my experience, just as fast, and sometimes faster than FW 400. Firewire is very sensitive to static electricity, and in New Mexico this is a frequent problem. USB is relatively immune to small static charges. My computer friends tell me that in theory, a single USB port will handle over 100 divisions to additional USB ports without problems. I'm not smart enough on this topic to be able to confirm or deny the last statement, but feeding six USB ports into one should be no problem. Finally, the very near future (a year or so), USB 3.0 will very likely make Firewire a thing of the past.
I disagree with this statement. Depending on the number of USB devices connected, but using a general number (mouse, keyboard, printer, 1 or 2 other devices and a USB drive), you can use the following rule-of-thumb figures for sustained transfer rates:

1. USB2.0 ~ 20 MBps
2. Firewire 400 (1394A) ~ 30 MBps
3. Firewire 800 (1394B) ~ 50 MBps
4. SATA or eSATA ~ 80 MBps

USB is the slowest connection you have and it is very susceptible to the number of devices attached, since the total bandwidth must be shared. It is OK for backups, but for editing it is not suitable. In some cases you may be able to edit DV with it if you have a limited number of tracks in use, but for HDV or multiple tracks it is severely lacking.
Harm Millaard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 1st, 2008, 06:55 AM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Bay City, Michigan
Posts: 585
thanks for the responses. I'll read up on Firewire to see if extra peripherals bog the total speed down.

Do you know, is it possible to attach multiple additional hard drives via SATA?
Robert Bobson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 1st, 2008, 07:14 AM   #13
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: North Conway, NH
Posts: 1,745
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Bobson View Post
Do you know, is it possible to attach multiple additional hard drives via SATA?
Sure. You can run the SATA cable out from your motherboard to the external enclosure or you can get an SATA card. I've seen them in both PCI and PCI express for the PC. For instance, here's one option. Iogear | 2-Port RAID eSATA 3Gbps PCI Express Host | GICE702S3R5

There are also cardbus and PC card adapters for laptops.

I would expect to see SATA becoming much more prevalent as a means to attach external hard drives and even optical drives in the future for high throughput applications. It's a specialized interface for storage and therefor optimized for it. It also mitigates the limitations in USB and 1394.
Tripp Woelfel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 1st, 2008, 07:31 PM   #14
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Richmond, Canada
Posts: 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Wisniewski View Post
I've found it's easier to use a single swappable enclosure. It cuts down on all the extra cables & power supplies. Makes life simpler for me. These are the ones I use:
WiebeTech Micro Storage Solutions - RTX 100 Series - External FireWire and USB SATA hard drive Enclosure

and a set of hard drive cases to store extra drives:
WiebeTech Micro Storage Solutions - Protective Hard Drive Cases
Hey Michael, your hard drive setup seems interesting and I just might copy you! I was originally going to just use a few internal hard drives but this seems more practical in the long run especially if I don't want to delete any footage.

I have a couple of questions for you. Do you use FW800 or eSATA out of the external enclosure? Your next post then suggests you use both.

Is your enclosure quiet? I got a Mercuty Elite-AL Pro from OWC which I'm pretty happy with. It came with it's own hard drive so I'm going to take it apart tonight and see if I can put other hard drives in there too.
Chris Estrella is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 1st, 2008, 09:12 PM   #15
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia (formerly Winnipeg, Manitoba) Canada
Posts: 4,087
Keep in mind that a Firewire bus will slow down to the slowest device on that controller. For example, if you daisy chain 2 FW800 drives and then tag a FireWire equipped camera to the end of the chain, your drives are going to behave like FW400 drives.

As well, find out if there are multiple controllers for multiple busses on your computer: even if you have FW800 and FW400 on your case you MAY be slowing down your FW800 buss IF there is only one controller for both busses and you plug in a FW400 device. I'm not sure if this is an issue anymore or not...
__________________
Shaun C. Roemich Road Dog Media - Vancouver, BC - Videographer - Webcaster
www.roaddogmedia.ca Blog: http://roaddogmedia.wordpress.com/
Shaun Roemich is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Cross-Platform Post Production Solutions > High Definition Video Editing Solutions

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:01 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network