Two quick questions regarding USB 3.0.
1. Is an external USB 3.0 drive fast enough for any part of the editing process? (Media, Exports, Cache, etc?)
2. I recently did a speed test on a USB 3.0 Flash Drive. The speeds were almost identical to some of my SATA drives. Can these flash drives (when large enough in size) be used for editing as well?
Thanks a bunch!
Don't have hands-on experience, but from the initial results I have seen, it looks it could almost compete with internal SATA disks, 60 - 70 MB/s USB3 versus 100 - 120 MB/s SATA sustained transfer rate and way faster than USB2, FW400 and somewhat faster than FW800.
I assume you're asking this because you have a laptop? Or have a very small PC case with no room for more hard drives?
If you have an external RAID with USB3 connectivity, that would be an interesting approach. Mind you, I wouldn't push uncompressed video off USB3, but DVCProHD, XDCAMEX and DSLR footage are light enough for a couple of simultaneous streams on a single USB3 disk. But try to have as many disks as you can. Although most motherboards typically have two USB3 ports, you could use USB2 for less critical stuff.
Here's an example of a setup:
Well, I frequently edit on my work computer and would like to take my projects home.
So putting all of the media and project files onto a USB 3.0 drive and taking it home would be preferrable. I'd like to keep the media on it, and save my projects to a dropbox folder, or some variation of that.
Basically, with the cost of high capacity thumb drives coming down, I'd love to get a 64 or 128gb one that I can start to use for single projects. It seems like it may be the most expeditious way to transfer projects between workstations, as well as a vaid drive for one of the editing tasks whether it be media, cache, or some variation.
Ahhh, I see where your going with this.
I'd want to make sure this thumb drive is fast enough though. So check the read AND write speeds of the models your shopping around for. But keep in mind, most big capacity thumb drives are usually slower then a conventional HDD external drive. Also, unless you work with small footprint DSLR footage, you're always going to fight for space.
If you have the budget, my preference would be to go with an SSD drive in an external USB powered 2.5" enclosure (small, compact enough, and no need for a power brick). Get, as an example, a Corsair Force GT 120GB SSD. It has excellent read and write speeds, and will be a good match to USB3's fast interface.
USB3 with the right firmware and driver in gives you performance as good as Sata and you can definitely work off those. We have done testing with SSD drives and Sata drives in USB3 External swap bays and the performance was inline or actually better than Sata controller performance because the caching was more efficient. Last drive test I did a mechanical WD 64 meg cache drive averaged 140 to 150MB/s with burst speeds over 180+MB/s with the correct driver.
I'd like to get a bit more details from you about your response.
What I'd like to know is that will USB 3.0 external drive be capable of handling 1080P DSLR footage for editing? I wish to use a USB 3 external drive instead of esata, reason being, if I can get away with it, because usb 3 is far more popular nowadays. Along with an nVidia gpu pushing the mercury engine. Would like to edit content of short duration, nothing more than maybe 30 to 40 mins, would just like smooth scrolling on the timelines.
Thanks in advance.
I have three WD My Book USB3 externals. With my old Q9550 system I was happy to use one of them as the project drive sometimes because I had to render the timeline to view it anyway. But I love them because they work so well.
This is how Crystal Disk Mark rated a fairly full 1Tb USB3 external:
That's a good bit better than a single WD 1Tb Black I tested at the same time (about half full at the time of the test).
But when moving large data blocks between one of my 1Tb and a 2Tb USB3 external I have seen 140Mb/s in the little advice window that Windows opens when you move/copy data. I have three of them on the back of my desk behind the monitor, and they barely get warm, make hardly any noise, and they have their own power supplies.
I have a 2TB Seagate GoFlex Desk USB 3.0 hard drive. CrystalDiskMark rated that drive at about 147 MB/s read and just over 140 MB/s write (with the drive 38 percent full). I investigated further, and discovered that the hard drive that's actually in that enclosure is a Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB drive, which usually measures around those same sequential transfer rates even with a good internal SATA connection. However, the drive has a fairly slow random access speed that was measured around 19 ms under HD Tune 4.xx (versus 13.8 ms for the average 7200 RPM hard drive). The slower access speed combined with the relatively fast sequential speed make that Seagate GoFlex Desk better suited as a source media drive than as a scratch/render/pagefile drive.
The hard drives in Trevor's WD My Book external kits are also fairly impressive in sequential performance given their slower 5405 RPM spindle speed (the Barracuda XT spins at 7200 RPM).
Europe, Middle East and Africa