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-   -   External FW drive for DV capture: which one should I buy (aka is FW800 all that)? (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/final-cut-suite/10320-external-fw-drive-dv-capture-one-should-i-buy-aka-fw800-all.html)

Ben Nicholson May 31st, 2003 08:31 AM

External FW drive for DV capture: which one should I buy (aka is FW800 all that)?
I'm looking for an external FireWire/IEEE1394 drive, for use as a capture/storage drive for DV work.

I currently have a dedicated capture drive in my desktop; but I'm planning to go mobile this summer, and am consequently selling my desktop.

My ideal specs would be:

8MB cache

My budget is about 400.

I'd like to get FW800 because the laptop I plan to get will have 1 x FW800 and 1 x FW400; I'd like the extra speed, as well as being able to connect my camera & capture disk on separate buses. 8MB cache would also be nice.

My dilemma is this: At the moment, if I want FW800, my only choice is one of LaCie's new d2 drives. In my budget range, this will only have a 2MB cache; also, I'm moving to Japan later this year, so I'm not sure if the warranty (if bought in the UK) will be valid in Japan too (and is this drive flexible in terms of voltage - UK = 220V, Japan = 120V?).

Here is what the LaCie looks like in terms of appearance & specs:


FireWire 800 and USB 2.0
Rotational Speed (rpm)_:_7200
Interface Transfer Rate_:_FireWire 800: 800 Mbits/s (100MB/s)
Max sustained transfer rate_:_FireWire 800: up to 55MB/s
Average seek time (write)_:_10 ms
Buffer_:_2 MB

The best UK price I've found is 375 (inc. tax). If I spend 492, I can get 250GB and an 8MB cache.

The alternative is getting a stock IDE hard drive, and putting it into a FW enclosure; I'm thinking of the following:

WD Caviar Special Edition 7200rpm 8MB cache 200GB

Best UK price (AFAIK): 175 (inc. tax)

ADS Pyro 1394 Kit

Best UK price (AFAIK): 100 (inc. tax)

So for 245, I could get a nice 200GB drive with 8MB cache, which would be flexible/extendable for upgrades & hardware failure. On the other hand, no FW800.......

I think my choice boils down to:

FW800+2MB cache+pretty case+more expensive vs. FW400+8MB cache+OK-looking case+cheaper.

Opinions please!

Boyd Ostroff May 31st, 2003 08:50 AM

I will be interested to hear peoples' experience with FireWire 800 since I'll be upgrading my CPU one of these days, maybe when the next models come out this summer. On my current desktop machine (G4/733) I have no problems capturing or editing using regular inexpensive 7200 RPM external firewire drives, including a Western Digital 100MB and Maxtor 120MB, daisy chained.

I'm sure the extra throughput would be nice when copying big projects between drives, but question whether it's needed for editing or capturing, and whether the added expense is justified.

Ben Nicholson May 31st, 2003 12:08 PM

Just found this:

IceCube800 FireWire/USB2 3.5



Oxford 922 chip
1 x FW400
2 x FW800
1 x USB2
Convection-cooled, so no fan!

This looks very attractive; has anyone here tried an enclosure from these guys?

Ben Nicholson May 31st, 2003 04:36 PM


Just bought one of these:

OWC Mercury Elite Pro FireWire 800/400 + USB 2.0/1.1 Combo Case Kit

and one of these:

WD Caviar Special Edition 200 GB EIDE hard drive

Looks pretty sweet to me; I'll post more on my experiences with these & DV when I get them. :-)

Rob Lohman June 2nd, 2003 11:18 AM

I just bought me a Maxtor DV5000 160 GB/7200 rpm/8 MB drive
and am pretty pleased with it. However:

- it doesn't appear to be that fast (I have yet to run throughput
tests) -> might be because my bus in the pc is at top bandwidth though
- it always requires an external power supply (even with 6-pin connection)
- it needs drivers installed on any windows os to be used (500 kb or something)

Don Berube June 2nd, 2003 06:48 PM

I would highly recommend the LaCie D2 drives. I own a few of them and they work flawlessly. They are also very quiet, due to the metal casing.

- don

Rob Lohman June 4th, 2003 01:14 PM

The maxtor is whisper quiet as well. However I don't put it with
its feet on my table because I feel a little bit vibration. It is resting
on something soft to dampen that. Gets quite hot though (due
to 7200 rpm no doubt).

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