Creative Communities of the World Forums

The peer to peer support community for media production professionals.

Forums Apple Final Cut Pro X To eSata or not to eSata… (there is a question in there somewhere)

  • To eSata or not to eSata… (there is a question in there somewhere)

  • Dave Gage

    October 28, 2012 at 5:00 am

    Here’s some general stats and test findings comparing eSata with FW800 on my OWC Elite-AL Pro (two 7200rpm Drives, 1TB each) RAID 1 enclosure using the QuickBench “Large file Test” from SpeedTools:

    eSATA: Write- 98 MB/s, Read- 121 MB/s.
    FW800: Write- 69 MB/s, Read- 78 MB/s.

    [With the “Allow Cache Effects” checked]
    eSATA: Write- 97 MB/s, Read- 145 MB/s.
    FW800: Write- 69 MB/s, Read- 76 MB/s

    * Clearly the eSata is faster.

    My camera: Canon HFS100. The AVCHD file Bitrate is 24Mbps: KB= kilo byte, and kb= kilo bit. 8 kb= 1KB. 24 Mbps= 3 MBps.

    So then, with regular ProRes 422 (147 Mb/s divided by 8= 18.4 MB/s), I should be able to read 7 simultaneous streams with the eSata connection. This in theory should be plenty for my AVCHD/Pro Res 422 video. I should even be able to get 3-4 streams with FW800.

    FCP X has hosed my external drive’s directory structure (which is only used for video) a couple of times now. I avoided it for years, but broke down and bought “Disk Warrior” which brought the enclosure back to life. (Sorry I waited so long, but I learned my lesson and run Disk Warrior on this capture drive after every few sessions now. By the way, OWC tech support is usually pretty good, but their recommendation was to replace the enclosure as it appeared to have stopped working.)

    So…

    I’ve notice most pro users here never mention using an eSata connection, just FW800 or now ThunderBolt. According to the Disk Warrior engineers, eSata is NOT hot-swappable as promoted by Apple and MacSales. They put it in the category of SCSI meaning you should re-boot before with the eSata drive plugged in and then re-boot when finished with the drive. This makes sense to me. Did I mention when I was using the enclosure connected by eSata previously (before Disk Warrior), I would get hard kernel panic crashes. Now that I reboot after using eSata, it’s all been fine.

    Question:

    Why do I appear to be the only one using eSata for my RAID 1 enclosure? Based on the pain in the booty it’s been, should I just go back to FW800 since the extent of my media is AVCHD and Pro Res 422.

    Now that I know I need to reboot after using eSata, it’s not a big deal using it, just part of the routine. But, could you help me with the math? The eSata is faster, but am I gaining enough from the speed increase to even bother with it.

    One more monkey wrench: Aside from the renders (which I try not to do and just have the files render on final export), I use ClipWrap on the AVCHD files, so really the file size is even smaller then if I was optimizing all the files on import to PR422.

    By the way, most of what I do is instructional video for the web and I take the 1080p footage and put it in a 720p Project so I can keyframe pan and zooms… nothing too heavy duty going on and usually no more then 3 or 4 layers at best including titles, lower 3rds, etc.

    Thanks,
    Dave
    MBP Early 2011 i7, 8 GB ram

    (Sorry if this post is mess, but hopefully it makes sense.)

  • Bret Williams

    October 29, 2012 at 3:34 am

    ESata is great. But obviously you just don’t hear as much about it since its been a couple years since Apple made a computer capable of adding eSata capabilities. And FCP X seems to run better in many aspects on recent iMacs and MacBook Pros so in this forum I think those devices seem to be the norm.

    With a more advanced eSata card you could double your raid speeds, into the 200s. And thunderbolt fairly easily doubles that.

    Apple has finally ditched FW800 on the latest iMacs too.

  • Dave Gage

    October 31, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    Bret,

    Thanks for the reply.

    [Bret Williams] “With a more advanced eSata card you could double your raid speeds, into the 200s.”
    I was a bit gun shy in the beginning to go with RAID 0 and went with RAID 1. But, I always back up immediately after working, so RAID 0 would probably be the way to go. I don’t have the stats as to how much faster 0 is over 1, but I know it is. (Maybe into the 200s?)

    [Bret Williams] “And thunderbolt fairly easily doubles that.”
    I’ve got a 2011 MBP i7 with Thunderbolt, but my understanding is that it’s my two RAID 1 7200 drives at this point that keep the speed lower vs. the eSata connection. It seems ThunderBolt would be overkill. If I’m incorrect about this please let me know.

    As soon as get the money and time, I’ll double my ram from 8GB to 16GB, upgrade to 10.0.6 (still on 10.0.4) and move from Snow Leopard to Mountain Lion. My understanding is that each one of these should give me a nice speed boost. And, re-format to RAID 0.

    I’ll keep using the eSATA vs. FW800 connection as long as I can remember to re-boot when finished. I forgot a couple of days ago and the next day I had a major crash (for some reason, it always seems to be the next day). Evidently, eSATA cards in Mac Pros don’t have this problem, but if you are using it via an ExpressCard slot like I am, you MUST reboot when done.

    Thanks,
    Dave

  • Jeremy Garchow

    October 31, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    I have an eSata raid.

    The pros I know still use eSata. Even with Thunderbolt, you can still use eSata, at least I am planning to until everything is repurchased as Thunderbolt over time. If I did have Thunderbolt, I couldn’t connect it to my desktop systems, which is one of the reasons I have been holding off as long as possible.

    I don’t have to reboot using eSata. What card do you have?

    A disk speed test doesn’t necessarily equate to a stream count as it doesn’t take in to account any processing the NLE has to do when playing back.

    Jeremy

  • Dave Gage

    October 31, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    [Jeremy Garchow] “I don’t have to reboot using eSata. What card do you have?”

    I’ve got the OWC Slim eSATA ExpressCard/34 Adapter. Keep in mind this is a MBP. I don’t think the Mac Pro eSATA cards have the same issue.

    As I mentioned in the original post, FCP X continually hoses the directory structure of the RAID (until the drive is un-readable by the OS), so I was forced to buy Disk Warrior and now run it regularly. The Disk Warrior senior engineers stated that eSATA is not hot-swappable and that certainly has been my experience. I asked specifically about the kind or quality of eSATA ExpressCards and they didn’t think it mattered, you should still re-boot when finished (and boot up from a cold boot with the drive on and connected).

    Thanks,
    Dave

  • Jeremy Garchow

    October 31, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    [Dave Gage] “I’ve got the OWC Slim eSATA ExpressCard/34 Adapter. Keep in mind this is a MBP. I don’t think the Mac Pro eSATA cards have the same issue.”

    When I work eSata it’s with an MBP. I have other storage methods for my desktops.

    Stop what you’re doing any buy the Sonnet PRO express/34.

    6Gb version: https://sonnettech.com/product/temposatapro6gbexpresscard34.html

    They also have a 3Gb/sec version, but why bother.

    [Dave Gage] “As I mentioned in the original post, FCP X continually hoses the directory structure of the RAID (until the drive is un-readable by the OS),”

    I don’t understand. What do you mean by this? How exactly does it get hosed and why is FCPX the culprit?

    [Dave Gage] “so I was forced to buy Disk Warrior and now run it regularly. The Disk Warrior senior engineers stated that eSATA is not hot-swappable and that certainly has been my experience. I asked specifically about the kind or quality of eSATA ExpressCards and they didn’t think it mattered, you should still re-boot when finished (and boot up from a cold boot with the drive on and connected).”

    I almost never do that, nothing is ever hosed.

  • Dave Gage

    October 31, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    [Jeremy Garchow] “Stop what you’re doing any buy the Sonnet PRO express/34.

    6Gb version: https://sonnettech.com/product/temposatapro6gbexpresscard34.html
    I only need one port and prior research told me that the speed limitation would be the drives and not the connection. My OWC 2-drive enclosure maxes out at 3Gb. But, I have heard excellent things about the Sonnet cards. It seems like at this point, when I’m ready to upgrade, I should just go directly to TB.

    [Jeremy Garchow]
    I don’t understand. What do you mean by this?”

    The RAID becomes unreadable by the OS and Disk Utility and asks to reformat it when connected. I and MacSales.com thought it was a bad enclosure (although I’m beginning to trust their support less and less). The second time the disk became unreadable, I bought Disk Warrior and gave it a shot. (The first time I took the drives out, reformatted, and copied from a backup). Disk Warrior saw the drive, fixed the directory structure and all data was intact.

    [Jeremy Garchow] “How exactly does it get hosed and why is FCPX the culprit?”
    I think it may come from a combination of moving events and projects from within FCP X and also using the Finder to move events and projects manually (always on the same drive though as from “Final Cut Events” to “Final Cut Events NOT-USING”. The last time it happened I had recently used the Move and Consolidate functions from within the program which crashed the FCP X and forced me to re-boot FCP X and the computer before it would work again.

    I assume FCP X is the culprit because the only time this drive is used or connected is when I’m using FCP X. There is nothing else on there but events, projects, and media. A couple of years ago it was the FCP 7 Capture drive, but I never had any problems with it.

    Dave

  • Jeremy Garchow

    October 31, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    [Dave Gage] “I only need one port and prior research told me that the speed limitation would be the drives and not the connection.”

    It’s not just the speed limitation, it’s everything that comes with it. Relibaility being one of them.

    [Dave Gage] “The RAID becomes unreadable by the OS and Disk Utility and asks to reformat it when connected. I and MacSales.com thought it was a bad enclosure (although I’m beginning to trust their support less and less). The second time the disk became unreadable, I bought Disk Warrior and gave it a shot. (The first time I took the drives out, reformatted, and copied from a backup). Disk Warrior saw the drive, fixed the directory structure and all data was intact.”

    This is insane.

    [Dave Gage] “I think it may come from a combination of moving events and projects from within FCP X and also using the Finder to move events and projects manually (always on the same drive though as from “Final Cut Events” to “Final Cut Events NOT-USING”. The last time it happened I had recently used the Move and Consolidate functions from within the program which crashed the FCP X and forced me to re-boot FCP X and the computer before it would work again.

    I assume FCP X is the culprit because the only time this drive is used or connected is when I’m using FCP X. There is nothing else on there but events, projects, and media. A couple of years ago it was the FCP 7 Capture drive, but I never had any problems with it.”

    This is insane x2.

    FCPX would not causes any of this. My feeling is you have a bad enclosure, or simply failing hard drives.

    The first (and cheapest) step is to buy the Sonnet card. You can always get the THunderbolt dongle for it if you’d like (Also from Sonnet) https://sonnettech.com/product/echoexpresscard34thunderbolt.html

    It’s not for drive speed, it’s so that your drives don’t crap out, which has nothing to do with FCPX.

    How are you setting up Raid 1?

    Jeremy

  • Dave Gage

    October 31, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    [Dave Gage] “also using the Finder to move events and projects manually (always on the same drive though as from “Final Cut Events” to “Final Cut Events NOT-USING”.”

    I just re-read and wanted to be clear that I always move events and projects manually without FCP X open. I could use Event Manager, but since I don’t have a ton of stuff, I’m fine with simple dragging and dropping.

    dg

  • Dave Gage

    October 31, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    [Jeremy Garchow] ” Relibaility being one of them.”

    I agree. I saved some money, but should have gone the quality route instead.

    [Jeremy Garchow] “This is insane.”

    Could be, but I haven’t had this problem since I began using Disk Warrior.

    [Jeremy Garchow] “My feeling is you have a bad enclosure, or simply failing hard drives.”

    Maybe yes on the enclosure, but after the first bad experience, I took the drives out and used them separately, one for capture and the other for backup, and never had any issues with the drives used by themselves for about 6 months. I also ran every test I could on the drives and they came up fine.

    [Jeremy Garchow] “How are you setting up Raid 1?”

    It’s a small app from OWC called “Oxsemi Configurator”. I believe it gives me the choice of RAID 1 or 0. I’ve been with Macs since the Mac Plus and worked for a while in IT, but this is my first personal experience with RAID. Have you heard anything good or bad about the enclosure itself, OWC Elite-AL Pro? I remember seeing this enclosure recommended back in the FCP 7 days.

    The reason I came up with the corrupted directory structure as the possible cause of my problems and why I went to Disk Warrior was reading different posts over at FCP.co. BenB especially recommends running DW frequently as regular maintenance, but I’ve seen many others there also say the same thing. I haven’t seen DW recommended as much here at the Cow, but I assumed others here likely used it also.

    I must say that since I broke down and ponied up the $100 for Disk Warrior, I went ahead ran it on all my computers and drives. This MBP i7 was taking about 90-120 seconds to reboot. Since running DW, it’s back to about 30 seconds. Disk Utility did basically nothing, but I’m now a believer in DW.

Viewing 1 - 10 of 25 posts

Log in to reply.

We use anonymous cookies to give you the best experience we can.
Our Privacy policy | GDPR Policy