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Old March 1st, 2013, 03:12 AM   #1
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Ext HDD - LaCie 4tb D2 Quadra - ??

Hi all,

I'm thinking about getting a LaCie 4TB D2 Quadra, as I've heard good things, but thought I should get a second - or third, fourth,... - opinion before I went through with anything.

I'm shooting full 1080i50i HDV footage, and I'm not looking to do anything fancy in my edit but simply rearrange what I've shot through cuts, with little - most likely no - special effects, etc. All I want to be able to do is edit quickly, without long rendering times, or having my editing suite lag while I wait for playback of what I've just cut to begin.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MY GEAR

Computer:
MacBook Pro
500GH HDD
2.66 GHz | Intel iCore i7
8GB RAM

Camera:
Sony HDV Z1P

Editing software:
Final Cut Express

I'll be keeping all footage on the external HDD I purchase, and all my software on my MacBook Pro's HDD.

If you need any more specs. let me know and I'll get them for you.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The LaCie 4TB D2 Quadra runs at 7200 rpm, and my main concern is if - using thunderbolt - the drive will get up to the speed I need, as the rpms wouldn't be quick enough...

The specific unit I was looking at can be found here:
eBay Australia: Buy new & used fashion, electronics & home d?r

Any input is appreciated :)

Thanks for reading,

Jamie
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Old March 1st, 2013, 10:15 AM   #2
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Re: Ext HDD - LaCie 4tb D2 Quadra - ??

You'll be good to go. Even if you convert the native HDV to something more uncompressed, you should be fine with 3-4 streams of video at the same time. The hard drive us the bottleneck, not the thunderbolt connection. I would assume the 7200rpm drive should at least hit 100-110 mbps.

The only other thing to think about is data redundancy. I've purchased single drives before (from several brands) that died two days after opening the box. What I'm saying here is you definitely want to back up your work, and at least the raw footage in case anything happens. There will be many tears.

There are a few options you might consider, the simplest probably being the biggest/cheapest USB drive you can find to routinely back up your work to. It doesn't need to be fast like your edit drive. The other option is a RAID setup of some sort, that automatically adds redundancy to your drive array. RAID1 is simple, but a little more expensive than just the one drive.

The other thing I would say is check out refurbished Lacie drives. There are some places on the web where you can get a great deal. If not Lacie, I really like the hardware from OWC Macsales. I own 3 of their Qx2 RAID5 boxes at 12TB a piece... :)
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Old March 1st, 2013, 05:03 PM   #3
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Re: Ext HDD - LaCie 4tb D2 Quadra - ??

Thanks for the reply Nate.

I've done some searching based on what you've suggested, so tell me what you think of this:

If for now I got a LaCie 4TB 2big drive, like this one - eBay Australia: Buy new & used fashion, electronics & home d?r - as that would mean I could backup onto the same hard drive using RAID 1 as the 2Big has 2 drives, and then if I need to utilise the 2big's full 4TB later on, I could switch it to RAID 0 and then buy another cheap/slow drive like you suggested, for backing up on to.

Do you think that's a good idea?

That hyperlinked 2big drive isn't the one I'd buy by the way. I found one for $499 refurbished like you said

Thanks, mate :)
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Old March 1st, 2013, 05:39 PM   #4
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Re: Ext HDD - LaCie 4tb D2 Quadra - ??

Yes, your plan sounds a bit more future proof and secure than just the single drive. A friend has the Lacie you linked to and I think it works quite well for him.
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Old March 2nd, 2013, 02:03 AM   #5
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Re: Ext HDD - LaCie 4tb D2 Quadra - ??

Thanks Nate, you've been really helpful, much appreciated :)

BTW - I checked out your website in your signature, FCM, and well done, mate! Your videos are fantastic! Particularly The Nelson Centre opening, and depth of Transformations of Darkness and Light. *Double thumbs*
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Old March 2nd, 2013, 04:41 PM   #6
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Re: Ext HDD - LaCie 4tb D2 Quadra - ??

Jamie, may I suggest another option?

For a more versatile solution to your needs, have you given any thought to something like this?

Welland Industrial Co., Ltd. ???????? - External HDD Enclosure Supplier

I realize this one is a USB 3 interface, however, there are Thunderbolt versions out there by other manufacturers.

In case it isn't immediately obvious, these docks will take any 2 1/2" or 3 1/2" SATA HDD bare bones drive, usually up to and including 4 TB. They'll even take the 10,000 rpm screamers AND SSD's.

The beauty of the system is that you can buy 6 X 1 TB drives for the same cost as the 1 X 4 TB drive you linked to, thus giving you 6 different drives to play with, making backing up individual projects a complete breeze.

This allows you to back up a complete project to it's very own drive, power it down, pull out the drive from the dock, and simply plug in one of your other drives to work on another project.

If you lose that 4TB monster, that's one heck of a hit, lose 1 X 1TB drive, sad but not a catastrophe.

Check 'em out and see if it could work for you.


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Old March 2nd, 2013, 06:20 PM   #7
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Re: Ext HDD - LaCie 4tb D2 Quadra - ??

Hi Chris,

Thanks for the input.

The original 4TB drive I posted, I am most likely not going to be buying now. I'm now looking at the second one I posted - the Lacie 4TB 2big - as that has two drives and supports RAID 1.

I checked out the your linked drive, and everything you said makes sense, except against the calculations I've done, which could be wrong. From what I've worked out, capturing my HDV footage comes in at:

1GB/min
therefore, 1TB/1000mins
therefore, /60 = 16.6 hours raw footage

I am shooting a feature film, hence needing a bit of memory, and I might be able to squeeze this current project into 16.6 hours of raw footage, but the project I plan to undertake AFTER this one, I'm sure that would be over 16.6 hours.

When you say backing up a project to a single drive, you mean creating two partitions on a single drive, right? It sounds like that would be a solution if I was to be working on multiple projects, with smaller sizers, but I'm actually working one very few projects - one at a time - with very big file sizes. Am I right in thinking that, or am I confused? :S

I'm also not really worried about losing any drives, as I won't be transporting them anywhere, they'll just be sitting on the top of my desk in their enclosure. I understand physical security is a risk - I had a cousin who backed up religiously, only to be burgled of his drives - but I think I'm safe from that.

What are your thoughts? I appreciate you thinking outside the 4TB box ;)

Thanks, Jamie
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Old March 2nd, 2013, 07:54 PM   #8
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Re: Ext HDD - LaCie 4tb D2 Quadra - ??

The only reason for picking 1 TB drives is that the "cost per Gig" of that size drive is the lowest at this point in time (here, anyway). Worth checking the situation in Oz.

I wouldn't bother putting two or more partitions on any external drive, simply wastes space.

When I do my rolling backups, I simply plug in one of my two 1 TB drives then "Copy" the entire directory & file structure of both my C and raided D drives to it.

Using "Copy" means that no compression software is required and the files can be "Copy - ed" to any Windows machine using a NTFS file structure straight, just in case my entire system drops on it's head.

Next backup I use the other drive and just keep rolling them over.

If I was to backup a specific project I'd only need to copy my Raid 1 D drive, as the Raid 0 C drives don't get used for project files, only program files.

Do take note of the use of the word "Raid" BTW, it can be a bit of a slippery fish.

Unless each individual drive is connected to a motherboard raid controller port for Raid 1, say, two such connected drives can't perform concurrent read/ writes OR rather they can perform them but have to access the single controller connection sequentially, not concurrently.

To put it another way, if you had two inbuilt 1 TB drives, both Sata 6, each on a separate raid 1 controller port, each can transfer data concurrently at Sata 6.

In the case of the indicated Lacie drive, they may have 2 Raid 1 drives, but have to share the bandwidth of that Thunderbolt link to the mobo, thus halving the effective transfer speed, so not quite as good as it may sound.

Quote:
"they'll just be sitting on the top of my desk in their enclosure."
which seems to be where most of those sorts of drives simply choose to drop dead, just like my previous fixed enclosure Seagate did, after less than a weeks backups!


CS
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Old March 3rd, 2013, 10:19 AM   #9
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Re: Ext HDD - LaCie 4tb D2 Quadra - ??

Good points Chris. However, wouldn't a thunderbolt enclosure solve the problem of dedicated bandwidth for SATA 6.0 drives? Especially if the disks in an enclosure aren't capable of surpassing 150mb/s anyways? From what I understand, thunderbolt runs at up to 10 Gbit/s.

You're certainly right about drives failing on the desk. I'm really bad at remembering to back up regularly, so I prefer a system that does it for me to a certain extent.

Also, Jamie, regarding file sizes, converted to ProRes your footage would be close to 1gb/min. However, raw captured HDV is 13GB/hour. So quite a big difference there! Depending on the seriousness of your project, and your edit system, you may not want to convert everything to ProRes if its not mission critical. Your laptop should handle the HDV just fine.

ONE more note, the Lacie 2 Big enclosure is a software RAID. I don't think there's any chip onboard to run it or rebuild a compromised RAID set. Perhaps not a big deal but something to think about.
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Old March 3rd, 2013, 04:57 PM   #10
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Re: Ext HDD - LaCie 4tb D2 Quadra - ??

Chris:
Thanks for the pointers, they're very helpful and good to know.

Nate:
I didn't realise I was capturing while converting to ProRes. Previously I've chosen "HDV-Apple Intermediate Codec 1080i50i" for my capturing, only because it worked for me - meaning I didn't get any errors. I'm not sure know how to capture footage in raw HDV, as I thought I was. :S

Also, so I understand fully, in your last point do you mean that it is unlikely that the LaCie 2big would be compromised due to the motherboard technicality?

Thanks guys!
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Old March 4th, 2013, 11:21 PM   #11
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Re: Ext HDD - LaCie 4tb D2 Quadra - ??

Just as a bit of added info:

I had my PC blip itself into oblivion this arvo for no reason whatsoever, something it hasn't done in the near 7 years I've had it (yes, really - 7! It was one heck of a specified machine at the time, damn near bankrupted me.)

As a precaution I'm currently backing up everything from everywhere, just in case this is the start of a death spiral, all to my bare bones 1 TB hard drive in it's docking base.

For the first time since I've used it, I reached over and wrapped my hand around the drive to feel how warm it was.

I can now tell you why so many of those enclosed systems fail - the bare hard drive, in free air, was so hot it was downright painful.

To try to get a handle on just how hot it was, I taped the thermocouple of my DMM (digital multi meter) to the metal side of it, it topped out at 56 degrees Celsius, that in free air, fercrisakes!

Bloody hell, what must the poor things in inadequately ventilated enclosures have to live (or die) through?

I can understand why they drop like flies.

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Old March 5th, 2013, 08:59 PM   #12
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Re: Ext HDD - LaCie 4tb D2 Quadra - ??

Jamie, I was mistaken. I now see that you are using final cut express. Unfortunately FCE does not support native HDV or ProRes, but instead transcodes your footage to Apple Intermediate Codec. Not necessarily a bad thing, but I'm sure it eats up space pretty quick. Your initial estimate of 16hours/TB doesn't seem that far off.

As far as the software raid goes, I'm not sure what kind of effect it would have. The common consensus is that a software raid uses a certain amount of computer resources to manage itself, but how much that matters with today's computers might be more minimal than it was a few years ago, especially with multi-core processors. I'm not the right person to ask how important hardware vs software raid is for your particular situation, but I can't imagine it mattering very much for your purposes.

Chris's point about the heat is a great reminder to any of us that edit on the road - make sure your portable drives have plenty of breathing room to dissipate the heat, and never block the fans by setting the enclosure on a non-hard surface like a pillow or couch.
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Old March 11th, 2013, 09:19 PM   #13
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Re: Ext HDD - LaCie 4tb D2 Quadra - ??

So sorry for the late reply, guys :S
Very hectic week!

I hope your system is okay, Chris. 56 degrees :O, that is unbelievable!

I've actually been looking at cooling pads for my laptop, but it's really difficult, as half the people say get one, and the other half say that because the Macbook Pro has a unibody aluminium (being a great conducter of heat) enclosure, the Mac is doing what it's supposed to - Drawing heat away from the CPU. Very confusing.

That's a bugger about my FCE, but better news in relation to RAID, Nate.

And you're right about sitting these devices on a pillow or couch. I used to do that in summer. Bad idea. My Macbook is sitting on top of two slim pool cue cases, with lots of ventilation.
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