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  • Blackmagic multidock 10G for editing?

    Posted by Geoff Birmingham on December 31, 2022 at 4:06 pm

    I am using a MacBook Pro with OSX 12.2 to edit. Mostly doing HD stuff, but more folks are asking for 4K, so I got myself a LaCie 36TB 2big Dock 2-Bay Thunderbolt 3 RAID Array to accommodate the greater storage needs. I used the Thunderbolt connection with the array, of course. I left it as a RAID 0, thinking this would give me the most speed

    But I’ve been VERY disappointed.

    I’m using the laptop just for 4K, so I can’t evaluate performance with HD, but for my 4K work it feels like it’s constantly spinning down, even if I pause for just a minute, and then I have to wait and wait. I’m doing nothing at all complicated. Hardly any effects beyond cross dissolves and dips to black, but it regularly gets stuck.

    So, unless someone tells me to not give up using a HDD external drive (maybe I just have a bum drive?? or perhaps there’s something more robust and better??) I’m thinking about trying my luck with Blackmagic’s multidock and using SSD internal drives.

    Anyone doing this and editing in 4K? If so, recommendations for 2.5″ internal SSD cards to use?

    Joby Anthony jr replied 11 months, 3 weeks ago 7 Members · 25 Replies
  • 25 Replies
  • Glenn Sakatch

    December 31, 2022 at 4:46 pm

    I have no experience with the multidock, but i would be hesitant to think it would work in a typical edit suite scenario. I’m wondering if 4 ssds plugged into it come up on your computer as 4 individual drives? (Sounds like a silly question, but my initial reaction device when if first came out was for live to air playback, not random access through folders.

    Anyone with the device can certainly correct me.

    I would look into a proper raid with more than 2 drives. That is probably part of the limitations your current setup is giving you.

    I always use raids with at least 8 drives for my editing storage. (I’m a big fan of the Qnap ecosystem)

    There may also be some power setting somewhere in the software that stops the drives from ever spinning down.

    4k will also be affected by your codec of choice, so don’t assume red raw files are going to be as friendly to play with as sony mxf’s.

  • Geoff Birmingham

    December 31, 2022 at 4:56 pm

    Thanks for your thoughts, Glenn. Didn’t know about greater speed with extra drives. Something to consider, as well as Qnap. And yes, codecs matter. In this case, I actually am using sony mxfs!

  • Geoff Birmingham

    December 31, 2022 at 5:01 pm

    BTW, I latched onto the multidock idea because a review of the LaCie wasn’t crazy about it for editing and suggested the multidock. Not sure was a “SATA 3 SSD” is…

    If you want speed, the BlackMAgic Multidock2 with SSD drives is really fast. Format with Mac Raid settings and it will amaze.. I transferred a terabyte between the 12 TB 2 big and the Black Magic Multidock 2 in 30 minutes on Thunderbolt 2 using my MAC PRO that came out in January and two fast 6 mbps. SATA 3 SSD’s.

  • Geoff Birmingham

    January 3, 2023 at 4:46 pm

    Glenn: curious which QNAP model in the ecosystem you’re using. I don’t really need a NAS drive (though I imagine I could find ways to take advantage of that option), but the <b data-selenium=”productTitle” style=”font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit;”>QNAP TVS-872XT 8-Bay NAS Enclosure one gets plenty of positive reviews on B&H. AND it looks like it takes both SSD and HDD drives.

  • Glenn Sakatch

    January 3, 2023 at 5:17 pm

    My qnap is a bit older of an model. I’ve had it for about 4 or 5 years now.

    It is a TVS 1282T3 I have the base station plus 2 expansion modules plugged into it. It has been rock solid since i got it. (Just waiting for a third expansion to show up)

    I run 10 g from the base to my suite, which populates a 10g qnap switch, and feeds 3 computers. I have my drives set at raid 5, which steals a bit of speed, but i can’t afford to lose the whole system because of a bad drive. In the years i’ve had it, i’ve had two drives go down. 1 about a week into the build, so that was replaced by the manufacturer, another about 3 years later. I always buy an extra drive for each unit, so if an issue happens, the drive is sitting there waiting to go in.

    Having said all that, i would think most mxf media, even at 4k, should work fairly well even on a two drive setup like the Lacie. I would install and run the blackmagic disk speed test and see what you are getting. Perhaps your system is just bogged down somewhere. I would assume the Lacie comes with high quality/7200 rpm drives?

  • Geoff Birmingham

    January 3, 2023 at 5:39 pm

    Helpful again.

    Following up on your note from your first response, in which you suggested that the drive might need a settings adjustment to avoid going to sleep, I did a little sleuthing. Sure enough, others were having the same issue, and one recommendation was to send a command through Apple’s Terminal app to instruct the drive to remain spinning.

    Having done that, first indications are that this may have solved the problem…definitely not an obvious solution, but seems that you might have pointed me in the right direction, which I greatly appreciate!

  • Alan Dutkiewicz

    January 6, 2023 at 12:41 pm

    Anything other than SDD is too slow. The Sandisk G Drive Pro SSD is the one you need for 4 K. Expensive but works.

  • Geoff Birmingham

    January 6, 2023 at 2:03 pm

    Not a bad idea, Alan. Right now I’m using SanDisk Extreme Portable, but that’s actually the reason why I started to investigate other options. It seems both this drive and the G Drive max out at 2TB. I need something that has greater capacity. So that’s why the dock seemed appealing – buy the “bare” SDD drives at lower cost (and larger than 2TB), then swap them in and out as needed.

  • Neil Sadwelkar

    February 2, 2023 at 3:50 am

    I don’t have direct experience with the BM Multi-dock, but I have a large collection of USB-C Thunderbolt 3 SSD enclosures and even multi-bay SSD enclosures, so I’m reasonably certain it will work just as well as any other enclosure. Its rack mount and has a built-in power supply so it seems to be made for pro use.

    It’s not clear from your mail if you’re using an intel Mac or a M1 Mac. The reason for knowing that is that, M1 MacBooks have some issues with external USB-C SSDs. They seem slower than Intel MacBooks. Even with RAIDs, M1 MacBooks and Mac Minis have mixed reviews.

    So, if are using an M1 MBP, then if possible check your LaCie 2Big dock with an Intel Mac, just to be sure.

    The sleep issue you’re seeing is unusual. We have used LaCie 2Big docks in the field to offload camera cards and they’ve run for hours without any slowdowns.

    As for editing and working 4k (vs HD) it also matters what codec you’re working with. Many compressed codecs like XAVC-S, XF-AVC and others, don’t have huge data rates so, a 2-drive RAID 0 should really suffice for those codecs. Unless your input media is Red Raw, or Sony Raw, or Alexa Raw in which case, a 2-drive RAID 0 may be insufficient.

  • Geoff Birmingham

    February 2, 2023 at 8:02 pm

    Thank you for the response, Neil. As a courtesy to those who might come across this post and wonder what happened, I share an update. And I’m a bit embarrassed to admit it.

    Long and short, the LaCie <b style=”font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit;”>does work just fine with my footage. I’m not going to call it crazy fast, but good enough for my fairly straightforward needs. Where I went wrong? I plugged my thunderbolt cable into the wrong port of the darn drive. I saw three ports, didn’t look carefully, they all appeared to be the same, and so I used the one that was most convenient.

    <b style=”font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit;”>Turns out that was the USB 3.1 port. The other two are TB. (Separate question: what’s the point of having the USB 3.1 if it’s slower??) Anyway, once I switched to using one of the two TB ports, my performance went up ten-fold. BTW, I’m using regular old MXF files, so nothing to demanding.

    <b style=”font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit;”>Thanks all for sharing your thoughts. And I still like the idea, someday, of getting something like the Blackmagic dock.

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