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Final Cut Suite
Discussing the editing of all formats with FCS, FCP, FCE

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Old November 14th, 2009, 10:16 AM   #1
Regular Crew
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Dromara, Northern Ireland
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External Hard Drives

Hi. Any recommendations on the best external drives to go with? I've a Mac Pro running FC Studio. There are so many different ones, I'm not sure which is the best. Thinking of 500GB minimum. Many thanks.
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Old November 14th, 2009, 11:58 AM   #2
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Location: Berlin
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I have just ordered this: QwickSwap SATA II to eSATA and Firewire and USB 2.0 Aluminum Case
It's just an enclusure so you have to buy the hard drive separately, but any sata drive will do. It has all the connectors you might need, plus you can quickly replace the hard drive itself. Perfect if you have many older drives around which you can use as backups!
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Old November 14th, 2009, 12:52 PM   #3
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Depending on what you are editing, I would look at John Flowers' 4TB super fast RAID LifeZero - Life Zero - Super Fast 4TB RAID for Under $1,500 (was$2k) It gives great throughput speeds for a low price, and you could even scale it down to 4 drives instead of 8 if you don't need all that space.
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Old November 15th, 2009, 09:23 AM   #4
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Location: Nashville, TN
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I am not sure what type of footage you typically edit with but here is what I look for in an external hard drive:

7200 RPM (at least)
16mb buffer (at least)
firewire 400 port (sd) or firewire 800 (hd)

You may already have insight into this but I thought I would start with specs. With that said, I use these and have been really happy with them.

OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro FireWire 800/400, eSATA + USB2 external Solutions up to 2.0TB - Plug & Play Quad Interface

Voyager by NewerTech- Hard Drive Dock for 3.5" and 2.5" SATA Devices provides high-performance and flexibility
Jon Bufkin
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Old November 15th, 2009, 02:36 PM   #5
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Location: Honolulu, HI
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For the past few years I've been using Firmtek RAIDs.

FirmTek SeriTek Series

They just released a four-channel SATA host adapter that works on Intel Mac Pros.

FirmTek SeriTek/2ME4-E

These are hot-swappable and can be configured as striped or mirrored RAIDs.

They've proven to be cost-effective, fast enough and very reliable. The hard drives themselves are IBM/Hitachi SATA drives. There are about two dozen of them on my shelf, and none have ever failed. To expand the system requires buying a bare drive (as low as $90/terabyte) and $22 for each sled to mount the drive in the enclosure.

When working on any project I'll back up the entire project (sometimes more than 200 gigabytes) at the end of the day. That provides me with a backup of all the project files as well as the media. Should the striped RAID crash, that gives me two complete working backup on a mirrored RAID.

I purchased the adapters, drives and sleds from Other World Computing. Great service. Performance Upgrades; FireWire USB SATA Storage; Memory, more at OWC
Dean Sensui
Exec Producer, Hawaii Goes Fishing
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