October 14, 2021 at 1:19 pm
Hello… professional video editor here. Handle hundreds of projects every year, the vast majority in 1080p (weddings, events, etc.). I’ve utilized WD 8TB MyBook’s for the last few years. They have about 250mbps data transfer speeds up and down. They’ve been incredibly reliable and can pretty much hold an entire year’s worth of projects between four of them.
My workload has expanded and the MyBook’s are getting a little long in the tooth (been using them for at least the last 8 years), so I need to expand and/or upgrade.
I’m torn between HDD and SSD options. After a lot of research, and some trial and error with a few different drive options, I’ve found the best HDD performer to be the LaCie 16TB 1big Dock. After some trial and error with other drives (G-Drive, Oyen MiniPro), the LaCie simply outclasses them in speed and performance in Final Cut Pro X. There’s no lag, no spinning beach balls… no waiting for the drive to spin up. The only downside is it’s a bit loud… if I straight up play video from FCPX, you can hear the drive working/clicking a bit (albeit in total silent conditions). It is much louder than my old MyBook’s.
I’m not too worried about the sound… I can put it under my desk or whatever. I’m more worried about it’s reliability. Should I be concerned about the hard drive noise? Are these drives a reliable option for intense video editing in 1080p?
I ask because it’s incredibly priced for what it can do for my needs… but I’m also intrigued with SSD options. Albeit much more expensive… more than twice the cost for half the amount of storage, the OWC 8TB Envoy Pro EX flat out looks amazing. It’s way smaller, can be powered by my computers/macbooks, I’m sure quiet, and four times as fast.
But, I would need maybe 6 of them for my workflow… to the tune of $9000.
With the LaCie, I could get three of them for $1950 to handle my workload.
I can deal with the noise the LaCie makes if it can be a reliable workhorse for me for a few years before m.2 SSDs come down in price.
Would you all trust the LaCie? Other thoughts or insights? Other drives you would trust (I prefer Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C with at least 250mbps up and down speeds)?
I appreciate any feedback any of you could provide!
October 15, 2021 at 2:48 am
The Lacie 1Big dock is a neat unit. I’ve used the 2-bay version of it. As per LaCie web site, the drives inside are from the Ironwolf Pro family. These newer drives beyond 8TB, are noisy. The clicking and grinding, and vibration is all normal, as long as you’re able to mount, read and write, ignore the noise. Or move the drive away.
16TB of spinning noisy drive vs 8TB of silent SSD, of course the SSD looks attractive. But the price difference is substantial.
I’ve also used and own many G-Drives, and even one Seagate Exos inside an single bay Oyen enclosure and a bunch of drives inside a 2-bay Oyen that are placed in and out like cassettes as per project. All of these also work equally well for me.
The way I’ve divided my drive needs is like this. For speed and high capacity, I have a 4-bay TB3 RAID. That gives me over 500 MB/sec and holds 48TB. For portability and reasonable speed but high capacity, I have many 12-16TB drives, some G-Drives, some ent drives inside enclosures. These provide 170-250 MB/sec.
Where I need speed and not much capacity, I have a fleet of 2.5″ SSDs and some M.2 SATA and NVMe SSDs some 1 TB some 2 TB. These work as temp holding drives that let me process raw footage much faster. They provide 500-700 MB/sec.
October 15, 2021 at 2:10 pm
Thank you so much for the reply! You know, I’ve been in the business for 20 years and I honestly never did research on hard drives until now. Maybe because SSD’s weren’t a thing a little as 10 years ago and I just bought the best hard drives for editing at the time (Thunderbolt) and the WD MyBook Duo’s. I guess I got lucky back then!
I’m doing my homework this time around, learning about the pros and cons of all the different options out there.
Now the market is blowing up with SSD’s and the speed is so attractive. But the price, not so much. Doing more research the past day or so, I’ve even become more enamored by OWC’s ThunderBlade drives (https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/owc-thunderblade). They simply look like the best of the best available… and for a 32TB drive, it can be had for $6500. All my eggs would be in one basket though with something like that… not very keen on it in that regard. Two 16TB units would be better… but then we’re talking 8k… ugh.
Just so much money! At the same time, probably a good investment considering my scratch drives are at the heart of my business.
Not sure I’m ready to pull the trigger on them yet though… I’d image in a couple years they’ll be half the price (or even better options available).
Your sentiments about the LaCie is reassuring. I guess if the noise was an issue, I could opt for four 8GB drives instead of two 16’s. But the cost of the 16 is just too good to be true , $650 vs. $450 for the 8TB model. You get twice the storage for just a couple hundred more.
I think I can live with the noise of the 16, for sure.
Worse case, I stick with these 16TB Lacie’s for a couple years, then, hopefully, something like the ThunderlBlade comes down in price to where it makes sense to finally jump into large capacity SSD externals. I could then use the Lacie’s as archives and not scratch disks.
In my line of work, portability is everything. We film over 100 wedding and events each year, with many of the events taking me all over the country. I’m at a conference right now, cameras rolling, while I sit here and edit some weddings from the Lacie 16GB. Very impressed with it’s performance. No lag, at all… very smooth editing. The plug and powerbrick is a bit awkward and cumbersome, but I can also deal with that given how well this drive performs.
Thank you, again, for your insight. I certainly appreciate it! Your comments reassure I’ve likely made the right choice in new HDD drives.
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