4 Replies Latest reply on Sep 17, 2013 1:54 PM by ECBowen

    External Hard Drive VS Internal RAID?

    lou4uandme Level 1

      Hi all,

      I am building another computer and I have a dilemma.

      Currently, I am using a Mac, editing with an external 8 TB hard drive. (via thunderbolt  port)

      The  new computer is a PC and only has 3.0 USB (1/2 the speed of thunderbolt)


      Which would give me tha fastest bandwidth:

      (2) 4 TB internal drives(4TB + 4TB= 8TB RAID 0)


      The 3.0 USB port to the External 8TB drive?


      Also compare this:

      Mac's Thunderbolt port to  an external drive


      PC internal Raid setup




        • 1. Re: External Hard Drive VS Internal RAID?
          SAFEHARBOR11 Most Valuable Participant

          Hi Lou,


          Just because Thunderbolt might be able to theoretically move 10Gbps or whatever the spec is, doesn't mean it can or will - that will depend on the hard drives. One or two drives are not going to have the same throughput as a 24 drive RAID array. Meaning Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 will likely both have the same throughput in your situation, being limited by what the drives can do. Both connections may well exceed the capacity of the drives.


          And what kind of footage are you editing? Uncompressed HD? ProRes 422? AVCHD or DSLR footage? Lots of variables to consider.


          Does the external 8TB have 2 drives or 4 drives in it? If it's a 4-drive, then it ought to be faster than 2-drive internal RAID.




          Jeff Pulera

          Safe Harbor Computers

          • 3. Re: External Hard Drive VS Internal RAID?
            lou4uandme Level 1

            Thanks for the quick reply,

            The footage is from the Canon 300 (MXF) 4K


            I was "hoping" that the two cables will give the same performance, but what workflow would be better?

            Meaning, the SATA connection to a internal Drive or Thunderbolt to an external? (assuming both drives perform the same)


            I keep thinking about the specs.


            SATA              =6G /sec

            Thunderbolt =10 G/ sec

            • 4. Re: External Hard Drive VS Internal RAID?
              ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

              The 6Gbs for Sata is per channel which would be each port. Thunderbolt is 10Gbs per channel or 20Gbs for TB2 but your only dealing with 1 port for the entire drive set. Internal Sata is also lower latency so the internal Sata raid would be faster and better. Keep in mind until you exceed the bandwidth availalble for Thunderbolt the only real difference will be latency unless the storage controller in the TB unit is poor. That is another factor though that could reduce the Thunderbolt drive performance.