19 Replies Latest reply on May 6, 2016 9:07 AM by Bill Gehrke

    USB 3.0 for Editing

    Adamousman

      Hi All,

       

      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!

        • 1. Re: USB 3.0 for Editing
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          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.

          • 2. Re: USB 3.0 for Editing
            Frédéric Segard Level 2

            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:

            • USB3 #1: Media and project
            • USB3 #1: Cache and previews
            • USB2: export drive
            • 3. Re: USB 3.0 for Editing
              Adamousman Level 1

              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.

              • 4. Re: USB 3.0 for Editing
                Frédéric Segard Level 2

                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.

                • 5. Re: USB 3.0 for Editing
                  ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                  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.

                   

                  Eric

                  ADK

                  • 6. Re: USB 3.0 for Editing
                    recola4

                    hey Eric,

                     

                    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.

                    • 7. Re: USB 3.0 for Editing
                      ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                      Yes USB3 will give you the same speed as E-Sata for a single drive and will work fine for DSLR.

                       

                      Eric

                      ADK

                      • 8. Re: USB 3.0 for Editing
                        Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                        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).

                        USB3 External.jpg

                        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.  

                        • 9. Re: USB 3.0 for Editing
                          RjL190365 Level 4

                          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).

                          • 10. Re: USB 3.0 for Editing
                            michaelfasani Level 1

                            I am looking for similar.

                             

                            I want to be able to crete a single project with videos of around 30-40GBS. I want to edit and work on a USB flash drive so I can quickly switch between my MacBook Pro and Desktop PC.

                             

                            I have CC Cloud running on both and I have around 50 minutes per day when I am sat on a train and this time could be used for editing video and photoshop files.

                             

                            Savage USB 3.1 Flash Drives / HyperX

                             

                            This looks like it night be the answer. I will buy it and see what happens.

                            • 11. Re: USB 3.0 for Editing
                              chrisw44157881 Level 4

                              im surprised no one brought up the Samsung T1, T3 external 850. they are fast enough for cache drives using uasp USB 3.1.

                               

                              I've never tried editing with a flash drive but keep your recept because there's a reason they're so cheap. the random access read write may not be suitable for your needs. That's what kills you, not the sequential. They say "64GB model delivers 350MB/s read and 180MB/s write" but with smaller file sizes < 2MB @ 10MB/sec, the speed widely varies and you may end up with something slower than a goflex or mydrive.

                               

                              "The HyperX 3.0 had an average latency of 51ms for 4k" so it may be also unsuitable for caching. You get what you pay for.

                              • 12. Re: USB 3.0 for Editing
                                Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                The Samsung T1 and now the newest model T3 work beautifully with my laptop with its USB 3.0 ports.  This is with all the project files, media, previews on the T1. 

                                Here is the Crystal Disk Mark:

                                And here is a project folder from one of my T1's,  Notice Media files from my FDR-AX100 which are 4K 100 Mbits/second XAVC S Christmas-File-List.png

                                • 13. Re: USB 3.0 for Editing
                                  JFPhoton Level 3

                                  Bill is correct, I also use a Samsung T1 with similar results on my laptop

                                  However, editing on a laptop that is not plugged in to an AC outlet WILL "throttle" significantly and not allow usual performance. I believe that Bill will tell you this also. This is true, unless I am totally unaware of newer hardware which is different.

                                   

                                  So, instead of editing on the train, you may wind up playing SOLITAIRE !

                                  • 14. Re: USB 3.0 for Editing
                                    Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                    Absolutely!  AC power is essential to successful use for editing.

                                    • 15. Re: USB 3.0 for Editing
                                      michaelfasani Level 1

                                      With spotlight on some people moan about slower speeds on write access.

                                       

                                      I have not tried editing yet, but this is the initial test and seems promising. This is using the HyperX Savage USB 3.1 GEN 1 formatted with exFat, I will let you know how it is. Can some one post tests from the Samsung T1??

                                       

                                      Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 1.05.13 PM.png

                                      • 16. Re: USB 3.0 for Editing
                                        michaelfasani Level 1

                                        Also this is not a cheap pen drive it is in fact the same price as the T1 for the same size GB's.

                                        • 17. Re: USB 3.0 for Editing
                                          Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                          michaelfasani wrote:

                                           

                                          With spotlight on some people moan about slower speeds on write access.

                                           

                                          I have not tried editing yet, but this is the initial test and seems promising. This is using the HyperX Savage USB 3.1 GEN 1 formatted with exFat, I will let you know how it is. Can some one post tests from the Samsung T1??

                                           

                                           

                                          If you just look up at response 12 above you will see that Crystal Disk Mark Sequential tests the T1 is much, much faster than your HyperX. 

                                          • 18. Re: USB 3.0 for Editing
                                            michaelfasani Level 1

                                            I have already returned the HyperX in favor of a T3 which is the new T1.

                                            • 19. Re: USB 3.0 for Editing
                                              Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                              Good move!