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TOPIC: Portable Drive Recommendations

Portable Drive Recommendations 31 May 2019 12:56 #100068

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I'm working at home more now, and need access to several FCPX libraries at home and at the TV studios. XML isn't an option, tried that, just fills libraries up with needless events and projects very quickly. I work many clients in a row every day with lots of updates and changes to projects. Broadcast, fast turnaround, intense workflow.

So I've decided a portable drive would be best. No updating, copying, etc. Just one drive, lives in my travel bag, back and forth between the studio and home.

Looking for fast (USB 3 or Tbolt) portable drive I can edit 4K and heavy motion graphics with (mO2, etc) with.
Need: 4TB capacity, bus power, 4TB capacity, very fast read/write for FCPX and Motion work.

Lots of stuff on the market, all make huge claims. Would rather get something recommended by other editors who've used it and like it.

Suggestions?
Last Edit: 31 May 2019 12:56 by FCPX.guru.
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Portable Drive Recommendations 04 Jun 2019 05:01 #100100

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How many layers of 4K are you trying to playback and what codec are they? If you watch the video at 26 seconds in you will see external enclosures that take generic internal hard drives and even DVD and Blu-ray drives. They work great with my Mac Mini. You should be able to edit singe layers of R3D or even Pro Res. You can obviously get SSD for Thunderbolt and USB 3 drives but they might be pricey compared to an internal hard drive.

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Portable Drive Recommendations 04 Jun 2019 11:21 #100103

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FCPX.guru wrote:
...Looking for fast (USB 3 or Tbolt) portable drive I can edit 4K and heavy motion graphics with (mO2, etc) with. Need: 4TB capacity, bus power, 4TB capacity, very fast read/write for FCPX and Motion work....

My doc team has about 15 of these Lacie 4TB Thunderbolt Rugged RAID drives. They are bus powered and internally RAID-0 so pretty fast for that class of drive, about 220 MB/sec: www.amazon.com/dp/B01IF66S4C

There are several similar-looking Lacie drives. The newer ones are USB-C not Thunderbolt, and internally a single drive, so about 1/2 the transfer performance of the Rugged RAID.

Due to 4k ProRes acquisition, we have moved to portable SSD storage for offloading in the field, usually the 2TB Samsung T5. However 2TB is pretty small, so it takes a lot of them. We have about 15 of those and they work well, about 500 MB/sec. They are "only" $327 on Amazon: www.amazon.com/dp/B073H4GPLQ/

4TB portable SSDs are a lot more expensive. The Glyph is $879; I have no experience with those: www.amazon.com/dp/B07BN6HTR8/

The cheapest way for field portable SSD is using a bare 2.5" SATA SSD is $599 on Amazon, e.g, Samsung EVO 860: www.amazon.com/dp/B07864XY8B

A SATA-to-USB-C adapter is inexpensive: www.amazon.com/dp/B0133F30R8.

A bare 2.5" SATA SSD isn't really designed for portable use but people do it all the time.

You could put the 2.5" SATA SSD in a little housing like this one: www.amazon.com/dp/B07D2BHVBD

The frustrating thing is in theory Thunderbolt allows pulling plenty of power for a rotating 3.5" drive. You should be able to have a high-performance rotating bus-powered drive, but this isn't supported. Supposedly USB 4.0 will support this in the future.
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Portable Drive Recommendations 04 Jun 2019 12:26 #100107

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I'd like bus power, but I know I may not get it, and that's OK.
I mostly edit 4K from Osmo, GH4, iPhone, BMD 4K Production cameras. Multicams get up to 4 or 5 angles at most, but usually 2-3.

For the record, I have a T'bolt (1st gen) SSD external drive (500GB) that I've had for a long time. With the BMD disk speed test app, it is MUCH slower than my 4 bay OWC RAID 0 with 7200rpm HDDs in it. So a dual HDD RAID 0 that is plenty fast would be good for me, too. I'm not married to SSDs, and I am not sold everything SSD is fast enough to edit with.

Joema; I like the Lacie 4TB but I see a few folks complain about the heat build up. Have you ever had heat problems with this? One buy was doing a defrag, which makes me question his judgment, as defrag is such an outdated operation, who does that any more?

Yes, looked at the Glyph, love it, want it, not sure my boss will cough up that much money. If the Lacie won't give me overheating headaches, I may go that route. What do you think about the heat issue, Joema?
Last Edit: 04 Jun 2019 12:41 by FCPX.guru.
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Portable Drive Recommendations 04 Jun 2019 13:26 #100108

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FCPX.guru wrote:
...Joema; I like the Lacie 4TB but I see a few folks complain about the heat build up. Have you ever had heat problems with this? One buy was doing a defrag, which makes me question his judgment, as defrag is such an outdated operation, who does that any more?...

I don't recall seeing this on any of our 15 Lacie 4TB units, however it gets pretty hot with sustained use.

There is just no perfect option in this area. SSD is expensive and small, single-platter rotating portable drives are slow, and almost nobody makes portable RAID drives with bus power.

We formerly used the 4TB Seagate Backup Plus Fast USB 3.0, which was also internally two drives in RAID-0, but they are out of production.

I have three OWC Thunderbay 4 units; they are great and super-fast in RAID-0, but too large/heavy for field use.

OWC quit making the smaller Thunderbay 4 Mini, but Akitio makes something similar. However it's AC powered: www.akitio.com/portable-storage/akitio-thunder3-quad-mini

If you need portable 4TB with better than single-drive performance, your options are the Lacie Rugged RAID, use 2 x 2TB Samsung T5s, the more expensive 4TB Glyph SSD, or a 4TB Samsung EVO 860 SATA SSD in a USB-C enclosure. I am facing these same issues myself.

The H264 stuff is easier to handle from an I/O standpoint. The problem is the low-compression codecs. For our BM Ursas in the field we record to SATA SSDs and offload to an 8-drive RAID-6 array.
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Portable Drive Recommendations 04 Jun 2019 21:59 #100110

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Again, AC power is not an issue, really. I need to move it from my home office to my tv station office. So that means yes, sustained use all day long.

I was just informed I have a $400 spending limit, gonna be tough to find quality performance, may have to compromise performance, one step forward, two steps back.
Last Edit: 07 Jun 2019 15:55 by FCPX.guru.
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Portable Drive Recommendations 04 Jun 2019 23:41 #100111

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FCPX.guru wrote:
Again, AC power is not an issue, really....I was just informed I have a $400 spending limit. ugh... management... shoot me...

I was going to say an 8TB G-RAID Thunderbolt 2 for $529, but under $400 maybe your best option is the 4TB Thunderbolt Lacie Rugged RAID.

www.g-technology.com/products/desktop/g-...hunderbolt-2#0G04085

www.amazon.com/dp/B01IF66S4C

OTOH theres the 8TB WD Mybook Duo USB 3.0 for $320. Not sure how Mac-friendly it is: www.amazon.com/dp/B074R2HJ6G
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Portable Drive Recommendations 05 Jun 2019 04:15 #100112

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Mybook is 5400rpm HDDs, not acceptable. The LaCie Rugrat, er, I mean, Rugged may be what I get stuck with. Seems a niche someone needs to fill. I may wait.
Last Edit: 07 Jun 2019 15:53 by FCPX.guru.
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Portable Drive Recommendations 05 Jun 2019 08:05 #100114

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Something like an external USB 3.1 or Thunderbolt RAID system might be the best bet. You can use four inexpensive 2 and 3 terabyte hard drives with them .

www.newegg.com/sans-digital-tr4m6gnc/p/N...8T93RU6068-_-Product
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Portable Drive Recommendations 05 Jun 2019 13:09 #100118

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The point is that I have to lug this back and forth from my home to the tv station a couple of times a week. That large, bulky form factor won't cut it. I have a 4 by RAID at the station already. Lugging it home is a royal PITA. It's not made for all that bumping and tossing around.
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Portable Drive Recommendations 05 Jun 2019 15:21 #100119

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The 4TB Lacie Rugged RAID is also 5400 rpm, but at least it's bus-powered. If you are editing 4k H264 multicam, the data rate isn't that high unless you're using optimized media. If using proxies, the size/bandwidth is only about 60% the original camera files. The Lacie isn't ideal but then nothing under $400 is.

For 4TB, the fastest bus-powered method is probably using a single SATA SSD in a single-card enclosure with USB-C cable. The Samsung 860 QVO is about $497: www.newegg.com/samsung-860-qvo-series-4t...20-147-740-_-Product

Since 2x 2TB SATA SSDs are cheaper, in theory you could combine two in a two-drive 2.5" USB-C enclosure:

www.amazon.com/dp/B072YLWP4Z/

2 x 2TB Samsung QVOs or Crucial SSDs are about $450, but I've been told when used in a RAID config, don't rely on anything but Samsung EVO 860 or above. Those are about $300 each, so no real savings.
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Portable Drive Recommendations 06 Jun 2019 01:55 #100121

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So, well, I guess the story is for under $400 we don't get anything. I need to edit 4K H.264 from a variety of sources in up to 4 angle multicams. So when time goes by, and the GM asks why I've not recommended anything, I'll simply say cause there isn't anything under $400. And we'll be with it. Thanks for all the great info and leads, Joema. You've once again been very helpful. Much appreciated.
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Portable Drive Recommendations 08 Jun 2019 12:29 #100158

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The budget just got increased to $500-$600. Yeah, ok... um...
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Portable Drive Recommendations 15 Jun 2019 15:11 #100237

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FYI; Ended up with the Sony PSZ-RA6T, 2-bay, RAID 0, 6TB. Very fast, very light, enjoying it a lot.
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Portable Drive Recommendations 17 Jun 2019 03:58 #100246

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So ... Maybe this is off topic, but I had considered that same drive. But the negative reviews on B&H (3.5 stars) scared me away. I never have the opportunity to actually visit a store like B&H or Adorama, etc. and all my gear is purchased based on reviews. How do you guys sift through the reviews to make a purchase decision? I tend to avoid anything with less than at least 4 stars. But then, I wonder how reliable the rating are. Maybe the majority of reviews are submitted by a minority of people who are pissed off? And maybe those who are satisfied don't tend to write reviews? So the reviews are weighted toward the negative. Maybe there's no good answer. But advice for us small market, long-distance purchasers is appreciated.(BTW, If a product gets good reviews on fcp.co I tend to trust those.)
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