I need a solution. I need to keep my fcp libraries and files somewhere else, out of room on Mac. Have a Seagate external drive but it is SLOW. What solution do you all recommend for storage that will allow me to use FCP and edit the files quickly and easily? I'm editing 4K hockey videos - very large files. Thx
I need to keep my fcp libraries and files somewhere else, out of room on Mac.
If you want the storage in another room (say for noise reasons) an SSD eliminates that, can remain in the same room, and is typically much smaller. One example is the SanDisk Extreme Portable ver. 2, which is available in various sizes and does nearly 1,000 megabytes/sec. I've tested several of these and they work well: www.amazon.com/dp/B08GTYFC37/
...Have a Seagate external drive but it is SLOW. What solution do you all recommend for storage that will allow me to use FCP and edit the files quickly and easily? I'm editing 4K hockey videos - very large files. Thx
Typical 4k H264 or HEVC video can be very sluggish to decode on many x86 Macs. It is normally not an I/O limit or a traditional GPU limit but related to the video acceleration hardware used for decoding the highly-compressed codec. Intel CPUs use various versions of Quick Sync, AMD GPUs have UVD/VCE "block" which is bundled on the GPU but has nothing to do with the GPU functions.
Regardless of the cause, in general an SSD is a good idea anyway. It will help various ways. However if you want rapid, fluid editing performance on 4k H264 or HEVC video, that may require either generating proxies or an Apple Silicon Mac.
That said, newer x86 Macs with newer versions of Quick Sync generally do better. I measured a 2x improvement on the same 4k H264 XAVC-S codec between a 2015 iMac 27 vs a 2017 iMac 27. This was due to the improved Quick Sync in Intel's "Kaby Lake" CPU used in the 2017 model.
If your Mac is older than roughly 2017 that is before Kaby Lake and it's expected that decoding some variants of 4k H264 may be quite slow. However each version of H264 can be internally different. Some are easier to decode than others. The slowest ones tend to be from action cams like GoPro and drones like DJI.
So, as a follow up, I may need a new iMac. IF I bought a top of the line imac pro would I need additional accessories? LIke an SSD or RAID? Do you video editors keep files on the hard drive or work from a RAID? or External drive? (thank you in advance)
Spinning disk RAIDs are still very valid, much more inexpensive then SSD when you need large amounts of storage, and are very fast. I edit 4K multicams off of one daily, no issues. I'd like to see the price of a 32TB SSD, especially when it dies and there's no buffered fail-safe. SSDs are still price prohibitive for sizable RAIDs.
… I may need a new iMac. IF I bought a top of the line imac pro would I need additional accessories? …
If you don't NEED a new iMacPro, I would wait for the coming new M1/M2 stuff, everyone is expecting 2022…
For sure you need additional accessories, keyword 'backups'/long term storage …
There's a wide range of best-practices, from 'LIb on super fast internal storage' (but for the price of high costs). over 'Raids', to established technologies as 'hard drives' (and super-pro stuff as data-tapes…).
A mix of technologies (Projects in process internally/SSDs or RAIDs, when done 2 copies on ext. HDD) is a real-life strategy .
depends very much on your workflows, needs and of course size of your wallet.
You can only find a used iMac Pro right now, they are no longer available for sale. Rumors put new-hotness M1 Max/Pro based iMac Pros to re-launch in March 2022. But that is only rumor. They could be as late as fall 2022.
Right now your best workstation would be a M1 Pro/M1 Max MacBook Pro. You won't have the big display, but they will edit almost all footage you can currently throw at it like butter, given speedy storage (ether internal or external)
If you buy large enough internal storage (2TB or greater) you can edit within the system drive, but that wouldn't be recommended for long term. Best practice is to utilize external storage. Especially if you use Time Machine, you may not want video files or projects taking up your Time Machine storage. (which should also be on a dedicated, external volume)
Start with a pair of dedicated external USB-C drives. Drive 1 (label everything) for the working drive, and Drive 2 for the cloned backup. You can use software such as Carbon Copy Cloner to synchronize Drive 1 to Drive 2 on a regular basis.
When the drives fill up, you can shelf the pair and buy a new set of twins.
... IF I bought a top of the line imac pro would I need additional accessories?...
Do NOT buy an iMac Pro. I have a 10-core Vega 64 version -- it has been a great machine but the new M1 Pro and M1 Max MacBook Pros are vastly better. I have an M1 Max MBP 16 and I've done many tests of that vs the iMac Pro. The M1 Max is significantly faster in most ways, and *especially* faster when handling difficult codecs such as 10-bit H264 and HEVC (aka H265). It is also super-fast at decoding and encoding ProRes.
I would have preferred an "Apple Silicon iMac Pro" but those will not be available until sometime next year, probably the 1st half but maybe the 1st quarter. I have a 27-inch LG 5k Thunderbolt monitor so I use that with the M1 Max MBP 16 when at home. When on the road I use the laptop by itself.
Mine has 4TB internal SSD so I can do a modest amount of work without an external drive. However an external drive is usually required for backup unless you keep the original camera cards untouched until the offloaded material can be redundantly backed up.
There are a few things the M1 Max is not faster at, but it's the fault of poorly-optimized software. E.g, Neat Video has an allegedly "optimized" native version of their plugin for Apple Silicon but it's slower on an M1 Max than the x86 version on an x86 iMac. That is because it does not allow use of the M1 Max GPU.
On an M1 Max the similar temporal/spatial video noise reduction in Resolve Studio 17.4.2 is *much* faster than Neat Video, and about 50% faster than Resolve noise reduction on an iMac Pro. That is because (unlike Neat Video) Resolve 17 is better optimized for Apple Silicon.
Ben B. can you tell me what your setup is? What type of RAID do you have? Anything else you would recommend? Sounds like I should hold off on new Mac purchase until 2022 but would love to speed up now. Do you keep your FCP libraries and 4k on the RAID? Sorry, I feel like you have to be a complete techy to understand this stuff!
I have a 30TB RAID, a Promise Pegasus3-R in a level 5 configuration. All my Libraries and everything except applications and documents are stored on it. FCP, Photos, iTunes, Native Instruments, Logic and Motion and Modo and Resolve projects, stock media, everything. I work with a maxed out iMac Pro. I'm very happy with it. Do I wish I had more speed on occasion? Sometimes, a tad, but I'm not really desperate for a faster system yet. I get my work done just fine. I also do a lot of 3D work, which the M1 chips are not all that great with, according to some reports I've read by folks I trust, including Iain Anderson's first hand testing. For straight editing, the M1 chips are great, for some other things, they're not there yet, for my personal needs. Maybe a future M1 generation on a desktop will do it.
I also have a backup SSD drive for my system drive, and a backup RAID for my Promise RAID. The backup RAID is a very old OWC enclosure with new, slow, cheap HHDs. Backup drives don't need to be fast. And if you make money with your work, have a backup drive!
It doesn't have to be overly technical. First think you have to figure out is, how much storage capacity do you think you realistically will need for the next 7 years? Then, what sort of performance? Then, what is your budget? Then go to OWC or Promise or whoever and buy it. Don't get bogged down in technical details.
Are SSD drives faster than HHD? Yes, but they're also more expensive. Yes, prices are coming down, but very slowly and they're still way more expensive. So for me needing my 28TB system, SSDs are out of the question.