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TOPIC: Editing of external SSD?

Editing of external SSD? 13 Mar 2019 10:36 #99266

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Would editing off an external SSD (Samsung 860 eve or similar) speed up my workflow)?

Currently I edit on a late 2012 iMac I7 24gb ram connected to a 6tb Raid drive and I also use an early 2018 MacBook Pro i7 linked to a lace Rugged 2tb usb-c?

*Update: Raid 0
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Last edit: by gaddster.

Editing of external SSD? 13 Mar 2019 10:59 #99267

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Depends on your RAID.

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Editing of external SSD? 13 Mar 2019 11:01 #99268

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Its a Lacie 2big thunderbolt raid, about 3 years old now
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Editing of external SSD? 13 Mar 2019 11:43 #99270

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gaddster wrote: Would editing off an external SSD (Samsung 860 eve or similar) speed up my workflow)?

Currently I edit on a late 2012 iMac I7 24gb ram connected to a 6tb Raid drive and I also use an early 2018 MacBook Pro i7 linked to a lace Rugged 2tb usb-c?


This depends on several things: RAID config of your current Lacie 2big (RAID-0 or RAID-1), what part of your workflow is slow, your timeline characteristics and what codec you're using.

If you are editing H264 or proxies, the I/O load is quite limited. Your 2012 iMac is fairly old so it's more likely you're facing a CPU or GPU limitation not I/O.

However there are a few cases where FCPX is doing lots of small random I/Os totally separate from the large sequential I/Os for media. E.g, after importing new content when thumbnail and waveform generation are happening. An SSD might be faster for that phase vs a single drive (and a two-drive RAID-1 array has the performance of a single drive).

I have several 32TB 4-drive OWC Thunderbolt arrays with 4 7200 rpm drives in RAID-0, and have often compared them to my 8TB 4-drive OWC Thunderbay Mini with 4 SSDs in RAID-0. The SSD array benchmarks faster and is quieter but in practical terms it's usually not that much faster.

However SATA SSDs are relatively inexpensive so you could try it. At a minimum, you only need a SATA-to-USB cable, about $3: www.amazon.com/dp/B075WY6ZPM/
And a 1TB Samsung EVO 860 is about $150: www.amazon.com/dp/B0781Z7Y3S/

If you are editing ProRes that has much higher I/O bandwidth so a faster drive is more likely to help.

But in general getting a newer iMac would make the biggest difference. If you could find a pre-owned or refurbished 2017 27" model that would be vastly faster.

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Editing of external SSD? 13 Mar 2019 12:11 #99273

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Thanks Joema

I was editing in pro res but started using proxy. Editing on the timeline was slow so I turned off background rendering too. When I add effects or cinema grade it was slowing down and footage would play back jumpy. Exporting can take a while too (only ever export to 1080, but edit 4k on a 1080 timeline

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Last edit: by gaddster.

Editing of external SSD? 13 Mar 2019 13:35 #99277

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If it's slow using ProRes proxy and when adding effects, that is unlikely an I/O bottleneck if the media is on a two-drive RAID-0 array.

The I/O rate for a single stream of 1080p ProRes 422 (IOW proxy of 4k) will only be about 7 MB/sec, which is even less than 4k H264. It's just not very high. 4k ProRes 422 is pretty high so you can hit an I/O bottleneck sooner, but your two-drive RAID-0 array should handle a single stream of that no problem.

Using proxies and a 1080p timeline helps other aspects of editing performance, but that only goes so far.

Unfortunately I think your issue is a CPU or GPU limitation.

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Last edit: by joema.

Editing of external SSD? 13 Mar 2019 13:38 #99278

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yeah I was thinking the same. Would an external GPU help rather than buying a new machine?

I was looking at a iMac Pro 10 core, 64gb ram but its over £6k
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Editing of external SSD? 14 Mar 2019 12:04 #99295

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A pre-owned or refurbished 2017 iMac 27 with Radeon Pro 580 and SSD boot drive would be much faster than your 2012, and it's much cheaper than an iMac Pro. For H264 it's smoother than an iMac Pro since Quick Sync is faster than AMD's UVD/VCE transcoding logic. However if you edit ProRes this doesn't matter. For either one you'd need several Apple Thunderbolt 3-to-2 converters.

An external GPU won't help on a 2012 iMac since you really need Thunderbolt 3 to fully exploit that.

We are probably pretty close to the release of a new iMac so you could wait and evaluate that.

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Editing of external SSD? 14 Mar 2019 13:43 #99301

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I didn't think of the 2017 iMac.. I'm assuming you mean i7 then upgrade the RAM from external supplier.

I worry that the new release of iMac will also mean apple no longer allows us to upgrade the ram memory just like the iMac pro
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