14 Replies Latest reply on Sep 10, 2015 12:57 PM by R Neil Haugen

    Best, Fastest External Drive with Certain Specs

    Mykill G Level 1

      Not sure what is the best forum to post in, but I assume Premiere users have a lot of assets and lots of need for storage, as well as the ability to read video files directly from the external drive.


      My iMac is filling up as is my PC. Now, I not looking for just STORAGE, but a fast drive I can store ALL assets on and that can read very quickly.

      My wish list:


      - a USB 2/3 connection (for cross platform access). I have USB 3 ports on my PC, but I always have issues with them, but not the USB 2 ports

      - a Thunderbolt connection (don't have one on the older iMac, but will upgrade soon)

      - an eSata connection for super fast PC copying/streaming

      - 2TB and up

      - HOPEFULLY, and I know this may be wishful thinking here, no "wall wart" power supply


      I am relatively new to video, but am a designer at a screen print shop with about 1.5 TB worth of design assets. I am learning Premiere to edit a music video already filmed, and will in the future learn After Effects for motion graphics.  So, I need a drive that can hold all (or at least MOST) my assets, that I can port back and forth between my Mac and PC with the ability to stream/read videos & Premiere/After Effects projects and very large PSD files directly from the drive. I know I should probably not read and write to the same disc, so possibly get another of the same drive to write to.


      My iMac is standard 27" from 2011 with upgraded ram, but again, will be upgrading soon. The PC is a BEAST; custom built for live audio recording and music production work and sound-to-picture work. 3.2 Ghz, 6 core AMD processor (though thinking about replacing it with a top-speed i7), and after I install the new ram, 16 gB of ram.


      I do have 3 internal drives on the PC, but since it is mainly the music production computer and the Premiere projects computer, the drives are almost full. Hence the need for a very versatile, fast, cross platform external solution.


      Any suggestions?

      Thanks in advance to anyone who takes the time to respond.

        • 1. Re: Best, Fastest External Drive with Certain Specs
          Kevin-Monahan Adobe Employee

          Moved to the Hardware forum.



          • 2. Re: Best, Fastest External Drive with Certain Specs
            R Neil Haugen Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            First, there's the other two resources for some of this hardware related issues, the Hardware forum ...




            and then the Tweaker's Page, where they go over everything about the hardware ...




            and under the Benchmark tab on that page, there's even a download available for PC's to use to check your machine's real-world performance and give you numbers to check against other real machines to see where your tool does best, and where maybe it could take some upgrade.


            Next, for external drives ... be wary of "standard" figures because there's theoretical ... there's with say "standard" data use ... and there's under video load from PrPro, and they can be VERY different numbers.


            Thunderbolt has a tested throughput for read/write that is vastly ahead of eSATA which in turn is WAY the heck ahead of USB3.x. So in general, Thunderbolt is the better choice if you've got it, or eSATA if you don't. USB3.x just doesn't have usable read/write performance capability ... EXCEPT ... if you have a fast tool on the USB3 line, such as say a particularly fast flash-memory/thumbdrive device (I've got a PNY 128GB thumb I use for some things) it can either read or write some things ok at times ... but how do you know?


            In order of speed needed ... the PrPro cache files & cache database are heavy and constant read AND write processes, so they need both fast disc in/out AND a fast disc ... internal SSD's are really a good option. As are preview files ... similar to cache.


            Next ... project files, still images/graphics, audio files. Not quite as heavy as the cache files, but still a bear ... better to have on a separate fast drive/connection from the cache files, but ok if it's a big 7200rpm/faster "standard" drive with internal, Thunderbolt, or eSATA II connection.


            Then two that are quite different ... media (your video 'footage' files) and exports (the video you render-out/export for final use). Each of these is more of a one-way read (media) or write (export) operation. You can't put them both on one drive as that would slow things up ... but ... at need, you could put either of these on that fast USB3 device. Say export out to a fast flash-drive on the USB3, you won't really notice a slowdown. Or at need, have your media on one.


            The other suggestion is say a 4-5 disc hardware striped (for speed) RAID array ... five 2Tb or better drives in a striped RAID can pretty much hold everything and still perform blazingly fast.



            • 3. Re: Best, Fastest External Drive with Certain Specs
              Mykill G Level 1

              Ok, thank you, I will check out the links. But, just off the top of your head, do you know if any available drives come with a USB, eSata AND Thunderbolt port on one unit, or am I just hoping for too much from one piece of hardware?

              • 4. Re: Best, Fastest External Drive with Certain Specs
                cc_merchant Level 4

                Check out the Samsung T1 USB3 SSD. Available in 1 TB capacity and currently the fastest single external drive solution in a very small and convenient package without breaking the bank.


                See Samsung Portable SSD T1 review - CNET


                Your 'BEAST' must be a huge SNAIL because it is simply very, very slow with an AMD CPU, which is unsuited for editing.

                • 5. Re: Best, Fastest External Drive with Certain Specs
                  Mykill G Level 1

                  What would you suggest? i7?

                  It was built for audio, not video editing. I am not trying to name drop here, and not many people would know him anyway, but Steve Lamm, a Grammy award winning audio engineer built this for me. I had the choice of the AMD or an i7, and I saved a little with the AMD, but he assured me it was perfectly suitable for running hundreds of tracks and dozens of virtual instruments. This was also built in 2011. I just got into video in the last year and am just learning about the requirements for video processing/rendering.

                  • 6. Re: Best, Fastest External Drive with Certain Specs
                    Mykill G Level 1

                    Here are my specs. As I'm new to video, you see places I need improvement? Again, this was not originally intended for video.



                    CGR2v4 AMD (CUSTOM)


                    Operating System:

                    Windows 7 Pro 64bit



                    AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition Thuban 3.2Ghz Socket AM3 Six Core Processor


                    Video Card:

                    NVIDIA GeForce 9500 GT 1GB Dual Head (2 DVI)



                    8GB DDR3 1600 (2 x 4GB sticks) (purchased, but have not installed, Patriot Viper 2x4GB, DDR3, PC3-12800, 1600MHz sticks to add for a total of 16GB.

                    Just copying off the front of the package, not even sure some of those numbers are relevant)


                    Optical Drive:

                    SATA DVD Burner with Lightscribe SATA


                    OS Hard Drive:

                    150GB SATA 3.0GB/s 7200rpm 16mb Cache (purchased, but have not installed, a Samsung 840 EVO SSD, 250GB)


                    Hard Drive 2(SAMPLES):

                    1TB SATA 6.0GB/s 7200rpm 64mb cache


                    Hard Drive 3(AUDIO):

                    1TB SATA 6.0GB/s 7200rpm 64mb cache

                    • 7. Re: Best, Fastest External Drive with Certain Specs
                      Mykill G Level 1

                      Also, I have 2 more slots for internal hard drives

                      • 9. Re: Best, Fastest External Drive with Certain Specs
                        Qengineering Level 3

                        You can find mechanical (i.e. slower than SSD) drives with multiple interfaces, check out LaCie, G-Technology, Other World Computing for example.


                        You could even consider a drive enclosure and build with SSDs

                        Mercury Elite Pro Dual USB 3.0 & Thunderbolt RAID Storage Enclosure

                        • 10. Re: Best, Fastest External Drive with Certain Specs
                          R Neil Haugen Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          My computer builder is a gamer also, LOVES the AMD side of things for the speed at low cost thing ... is totally irritated that AMD and the Adobe DVA's aren't on the best of terms, but ... had to suck it up & build me a video editing machine FOR the Adobe DVA's. Would be nice if these apps and the AMD chipped CPU's and GPU's played as nicely together as nVidia. Ah well, not yet. Better ... but not really there yet.



                          • 11. Re: Best, Fastest External Drive with Certain Specs
                            Mykill G Level 1

                            This will probably sound like a dumb question, but remember, I'm still new to video.

                            What is Adobe DVA?

                            I Googled it and found "DVA Support", "DVA profiles", but I couldn't find any mention of what DVA actually means.

                            • 12. Re: Best, Fastest External Drive with Certain Specs
                              R Neil Haugen Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                              Don't fret ... I didn't know either, and now I use it without thinking about the "audience" at times. Sigh. Yea, gotta love the acronym-creep ...


                              Digital Video Applications ... easiest/quickest way to refer to say Premiere Pro, SpeedGrade, AfterEffects, Adobe Media Encoder, and maybe Prelude as a group.



                              • 13. Re: Best, Fastest External Drive with Certain Specs
                                Mykill G Level 1

                                haha ok, thanks. Yeah, I finally got a handle on the audio and "still" design acronyms, now I have a whole new set to learn

                                • 14. Re: Best, Fastest External Drive with Certain Specs
                                  R Neil Haugen Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                  For the first 36 years of my professional imaging career, I worked very hard to stay out of the complicated software (Photoshop) and used Lightroom ... that's after leaving having all the lab gear behind. We'd had our own pro portrait lab in-house doing our own studio and others as we're picky snots and most pro portrait labs kept suggesting we might be better using someone else ... ANYONE else ...


                                  So ... after deciding that we needed a bit more "motion" to our imagery options, and finding Animoto so limiting, I delved into the Great Quagmire ... DVA's. Each program seems rather a bit more complicated than "mere" Photoshop, and ... in my little shop ... I sorta need them all on occasion. So after 20 years of avoiding P-shop wherever possible, I'm now daily involved in multiple programs vastly more complex.


                                  My wife (also a pro photog with all the PPA initials past her name) thinks it's deserved retribution.


                                  Women can be vindictive at times, at least with spouses ... or at least, with spouses who've always dumped their own p-shop work onto the other spouse ...  sigh.