6 Replies Latest reply on Jul 27, 2017 4:13 PM by Bill Gehrke

    External Hard Drive: Is this fast enough?

    expee Level 1

      Hi,

       

      My new 2017 5K iMac is arriving in a few days and I need help figuring out what external hard drive setup I am going to use. Being fairly new to video, I need help.

       

      I will keep my current projects footage on an external drive that connects through iMac's T3 port. I would need something that can handle 4K.

       

      Things I am considering but don't know if they're fast enough to handle most 4K projects:

       

      OWC Dual RAID enclosure (T2 / 474MB/s)

       

      G-Tech RAID (T3 / 500MB/s)

       

      G-Tech single drive (T3 226MB/s / single 7200 hard drive)

       

      LaCie d2 (T3 240MB/s / single 7200 hard drive)

       

       

      The price is important, so if I can get away without a RAID system, I'd like to do that. If not, then I'd like to know if G-tech RAID is sufficiently fast.

       

      Thanks you!

        • 1. Re: External Hard Drive: Is this fast enough?
          chrisw44157881 Level 4

          get us the total video+audio bitrate from mediainfo software. some h.264 stuff is really small but kills the cpu. some stuff is easy on the cpu but kills the slow hard drives.

          • 2. Re: External Hard Drive: Is this fast enough?
            expee Level 1

            I understand that there are many variables here and giving a definitive answer is often impossible.

             

            But, let me know if the following statement is generally true:

             

            using a RAID configuration with 2 enterprise level 7200 drives connected to an iMac with Thunderbolt 2

             

            is faster than

             

            a single enterprise level 7200 drive connected via Thunderbolt 3.

             

            Thanks!

            • 3. Re: External Hard Drive: Is this fast enough?
              Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              How would you like this sequential read,write rate for only $99 for 256 GB (500 GB , 1 TB and 2TB models available):

              T3-USB-3-Notebook.png

              This is the Samsung T3 portable USB 3.1 SSD, I use these connected to my PC laptop and put all my Project Files and Media on these an can move almost instantly from my laptop to my desktop and back.  No real performance difference with Thunderbolt and typically at less cost. I now have three of these devices and while your iMac does not have USB 3.1 if you did have you could even expect slightly better.

              • 4. Re: External Hard Drive: Is this fast enough?
                RjL190365 Level 4

                Those external hard drives are all desktop-sized, which are usually faster in sequential speeds than laptop-sized hard drives. Unfortunately, even the fastest 2-disk RAID 0 hard drive configuration cannot take anywhere close to full advantage of even Thunderbolt 1, let alone Thunderbolt 2 or 3. And that is due to the physical limitations of all spinning hard disks.

                 

                That is why Bill gave a good suggestion for a USB 3.x external SSD instead. But if your video files require multiple terabytes of storage, then you're kinda stuck between a rock and a hard place, especially since SSD prices have recently crept upward.

                • 5. Re: External Hard Drive: Is this fast enough?
                  expee Level 1

                  Based on what I heard here and elsewhere, I just ordered the G-Tech single drive listed above. This will be fine for my current needs I am sure, and if there is need for something faster and better, well, that job will or should have money in it to pay for an upgrade ;-).

                  Thanks to everyone.

                  • 6. Re: External Hard Drive: Is this fast enough?
                    Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    It is interesting that Thunderbolt 3 specs (40 Gbits/s) are much better than USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10 Gbits/sec) but none of the storage peripherals that I have found are any faster that the USB 3.1 devices.  Anyone have any explanations?

                     

                    Why don't we have a Thunderbolt 3 m.2 SSD adapter that can do the 3000+ MB/second read rates?  Have I missed somthiong?