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Old June 14th, 2012, 08:15 PM   #1
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Editing 1080p ProRes LT off Portable USB3.0 Drive?

Hello, all. I do quite a bit of editing on my 17" Macbook Pro 2.4Ghz i7, though I move around a lot (office to home to meetings to on-location shoots, etc.), so I find the new Retina MBP very appealing for it's much lighter weight, great resolution, and increased speed.

I'm wondering what experiences people have had editing 1080p footage from a 5400rpm or 7200rpm USB 3.0 portable drive? I would ideally have one that's powered by the USB port, so it's truly portable - no need for external power.

What would you think the bottleneck would be? Is the 5400rpm drive a bottleneck to USB3.0? Would 7200rpm make a difference?

I've been editing off a powered desktop FW800 drive, which is technically slower from a bandwidth perspective, but I know the technical specs don't always tell the whole story. Just hoping I could glean from the wisdom and experience of those that went before me!

Thank you all!


PS: Any cost-effective portable USB3 drives you all use & would recommend? Also, would there be a more space-conservative but still easy to use codec than ProRes LT?
Evan Heckert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 2nd, 2012, 09:44 AM   #2
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Re: Editing 1080p ProRes LT off Portable USB3.0 Drive?

In terms of bottlenecking; I'm reading that 1080p ProRes LT is roughly 150Mbps, which equals 18.75MBps and USB3 is (according to wikipedia) 400 MBps.

So you're not going to bottleneck anywhere near. You could edit in ProRes4444 and not bottleneck.

With the harddrives, 7200rpm vs 5200rpm:
USB 3.0 Speed & Drive Benchmark
Scroll down to the 2.5" Portable Hard Drives if you want USB powered harddrives.
This site shows you differences in portable harddrive speeds.

Cost-effective USB3 powered HD:
Hitachi Touro Mobile MX3 1TB - USB 3.0 - 2.5" HTOLMX3AA10001ABB - Centre Com

More space-conservative but still easy to use codec than ProRes LT:
None, ProRes LT is the best for space-conservation.

The new MacBook Pro with Retina display looks very nice, good luck with it.
Edwin Street is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 3rd, 2012, 01:55 AM   #3
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Re: Editing 1080p ProRes LT off Portable USB3.0 Drive?

I do mobile editing on a 17" macbook pro which is around six years old, its a dual 2.16ghz with 2gb ram.

I have found that a firewire drive is better for streaming video than USB 2 as it sends data in a stream rather than cache type packets on USB, I use a g-tech raid 0 drive which has twin 7,200 rpm drives and 1tb storage space and find it is OK for most jobs on pro res LT using firewire 800 to interface.

I appreciate the new macbooks may not have firewire 800 but it is all about speed and I find that I am pulling enough speed for most basic edit jobs, I also use a lacie 5,400 drive via firewire 400 and that is OK for news etc.
Over 15 minutes in Broadcast Film and TV production: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1044352/
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