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25 Jan 2021
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External drives are they a bottle neck ? 18 Oct 2021 20:56 #116771

Iv'e just pulled the trigger on the new M1X Macbook pro and I'm looking forward to a faster editing experience of my 6k R3D files.
Should I be trying to edit with my files on the internal ssd drives as much as possible to optimize speed and would editing on slower external drives be a bottleneck ?
I understand that I will be filling up my internal disk space super fast if I import to the fcp libary on my internal drive and for this reason I want to work on external drives but will I be compromising anything other than drive space ? Thanks in advance.

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External drives are they a bottle neck ? 19 Oct 2021 05:50 #116778

  • Ben Balser
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Wait to see real-world benchmarks over the next couple of months before buying something sight-unseen, unproven.

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External drives are they a bottle neck ? 19 Oct 2021 09:23 #116783

You've obviously not seen my 2012 macbook pro held together by a prayer and duct tape. Its not a case of i can't wait to get a new laptop its a case of I literally can't wait to get a new laptop. Ive got work to do and bills to pay ! So back to the original hard drive question.......

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External drives are they a bottle neck ? 19 Oct 2021 13:02 #116787

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... new M1X Macbook pro...6k R3D files. Should I be trying to edit with my files on the internal ssd drives as much as possible to optimize speed and would editing on slower external drives be a bottleneck ?...

Whether external drives are a bottleneck depends almost entirely on the codec computational overhead, data rate, plus whether single cam or multi-cam. For R3D there are various compression levels and data rates.

Using RED's calculator, 6k/24 R3D from a Dragon-X 6k is 59 megabytes/sec at 12:1, 118 megabytes/sec at 6:1 and 177 megabytes/sec at 4:1. If your media was on even a fairly low end dedicated USB-C SSD with about 900 MB/sec bandwidth, it seems unlikely you'd have an I/O bottleneck for many scenarios. How well the new M1 Max machines handle the computational load of decoding 6k R3D, I don't know. I don't know if any of the new accelerators can assist R3D. I'm sure this will be tested by 3rd party reviewers fairly soon.

RED web calculator for recording time and data rate: www.red.com/recording-time

SSD storage cost per MB vs performance is a tradeoff based on your projected needs. One of the less-expensive ways to obtain a lot of "pretty fast" storage is using multiple SATA III SSDs in RAID-0. 4 x 4TB Samsung EVO 870s in an OWC Thunderbay 4 Mini will do about 1250 megabytes/sec write, 1400 megabytes/sec read. The total cost if using 4 x WD Blue 3D NAND SSDs in that chassis would be about $1,740:
www.amazon.com/dp/B07QV3XGCP
eshop.macsales.com/shop/thunderbay-4-mini/thunderbolt-3

There are much higher speed external SSDs available -- at a cost. But a chain is only as strong as the weakest link, so the question is do you need that I/O performance, or would the bottleneck be R3D decoding. Is additional storage space more important than higher (maybe unneeded) I/O performance? Or at the same storage space is the higher performance SSD affordable?

E.g, the 16TB OWC Thunderblade also uses Thunderbolt 3 but internal NVME drives so can do 2,800 megabytes/sec but it costs $4,000: eshop.macsales.com/shop/owc-thunderblade

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