General Question

futurelaker88's avatar

When working on Final Cut Pro, is it better to (when using an external HD) to keep everything on the HD?

Asked by futurelaker88 (1600points) February 27th, 2010

to be more precise, i have footage from a P2 card on my Hard drive that i brought home to edit, and would like to be able to bring back and forth from the studio to my house. should i just keep EVERYTHING on the external? i was thinking it would be better to drag the contents onto the internal for faster access, and then save the project files on the external, but im not sure if the capture changes the files so that if i go back to the studio it wont have the clips it needs.

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11 Answers

wenn's avatar

if you you have a firewire connection for your external you could just keep in there.

otherwise i would move it to the computer HD even though it will be annoying.

ParaParaYukiko's avatar

Always work from your main hard drive. Working from an external device will greatly slow up the application, especially if you’re working with a large project.

It may be a pain, but I’d say your best bet is to drag everything to your desktop, work on it, and when you finish working for that time period, drag it all back.

Or keep two copies, one on your HD and one on the external. It always helps to have a backup.

simpleD's avatar

If your external hard drive spins at 7200 RPM or better, and you connect with a FireWire interface, it should be okay to keep everything on your external.

The media clips stored in the Capture Scratch folder are not changed as you edit your projects. Audio and video render files may be generated and stored in their respective folders. If you leave those behind, it will take some time when they need to be rerendered.

DarkScribe's avatar

I will use an external drive only with e-SATA connections. Even Firewire 800 is too slow for real work. I also have a hot swappable e-SATA multiple dock that makes life a little simpler.

futurelaker88's avatar

@DarkScribe i know im taking the lazy way of finding this out, but since im here already…does the iMac have a e-SATA port? the newst iMac im referring to.

simpleD's avatar

No currently shipping Mac contains an external e-SATA port. You can add them via an internal patch (which I haven’t been abel to get to work) or an expansion card (Mac Pro), or an express card (MacBook Pro). None of which can be added easily to an iMac.

I’ve heard reports that eSATA is not much (if at all) faster than FireWire 800 unless you are connecting a RAID unit. Also, eSATA drives are not hot-swappable, so you have to reboot with every connect and disconnect.

DarkScribe's avatar

@futurelaker88 does the iMac have a e-SATA port? the newst iMac im referring to.

No, not without a quite simple modification. It does use a sata drive, but has no conventional eSata port. They are easy to add, but you have to modify the case. The Apple desktops don’t require a mod., they just require the port to be slotted into a vacant bay. And you can get hot swappable eSata caddies.

DarkScribe's avatar

@simpleD I’ve heard reports that eSATA is not much (if at all) faster than FireWire 800

Whoever told you that is dreaming. Google the specs. With our studio, nightly backups with workstations using a Firewire system and similar sized drives take nearly four times as long as those using eSata.

simpleD's avatar

I’ll defer to your experience, @DarkScribe. My info was based on a cursory read of non-professional users in several tech forums. Several folks commented that driver incompatibilities resulted in speeds slower than specified.

DarkScribe's avatar

@simpleD Several folks commented that driver incompatibilities resulted in speeds slower than specified.

Yes, that would cause problems. I am referring to professionally set up systems using series III eSata drives and a MB chipset/Bus/BIOS etc., that will fully utilise their speed. eSata is capable of up to 3GB/sec, and even poorly configure outdistances Firewire 800 by a huge margin. In a short time USBIII will become the defacto standard on new machines, and that is 5GB/sec but until that becomes well established, with older machines and peripherals, eSata will rule.

rovdog's avatar

Depends on the footage really- if your editing DV quality keeping everything on a firewire external is fine. I have downres-ed footage we’ve been editing for 6 months and it’s always been fast enough. But sounds like your editing HD. For HD workflows etc- seems like Esata would be more appropriate for an external- others here can speak to that better than I.

Just want to say having everything on an external is great from a convenience standpoint- you can easily clone the drive and store it as a backup of your media. (or it is possible to set up two workstations if you sync your project files and are careful), I’ve just been shocked how smoothly everything has gone with the external thing.

You should definitely keep you project file on your internal drive however even if your media is on your external. I believe this is kind of the the generally accepted way to do it- as I’ve been told this by different editors many times.

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