Creative Communities of the World Forums

The peer to peer support community for media production professionals.

Forums Apple Final Cut Pro Legacy USB vs Plug In Hard Drive Performance

  • USB vs Plug In Hard Drive Performance

  • Enrico Lappano

    August 6, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    Is there a difference between external hard drives that are powered by USB as opposed to ones which are plugged in, regarding speed while editing or downloading HDV footage…? I just purchased a Seagate GoFlex 1 TB drive and it’s the first USB powered drive I’m trying. Downloading footage, I was surprised to find that it was between 20-30% behind the playback on the camera. I am used to about 1% lag from all my other drives that are plugged in. I also got a Firewire 800 converter for it since it uses USB 2.0, and initially, there doesn’t seem to be any improvement on the download performance speed.

    I was told at the Best Buy that there was no difference between the USB and plug in. Not sure why there’s a difference, and if it also will affect the speed of editing? Any feedback on this is most appreciated as presently I have time to exchange it if that’s the case.

  • Steve Connor

    August 6, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    USB 2.0 drives do not have the performance necessary for video editing

    Steve Connor
    Adrenalin Television

    Have you tried “Search Posts”? Enlightenment may be there.

  • Jeff Meyer

    August 6, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    Often bus-powered drives are 2.5 inch drives and drives that require power are 3.5 inch drives. 3.5 inch drives tend to be faster and have much greater capacity. This is a sweeping generalization of hundreds of drives, so don’t take it as the authoritative word on the state of the market.

    By nature of it falling behind RT when capturing HDV you know it’s a slower drive. Play around with it, if it meets your needs when editing then expect import and export to take a bit longer, but it works otherwise. If it doesn’t cut the mustard for editing or you don’t want to wait at the end of an HDV capture go exchange the drive.

  • Andrew Rendell

    August 6, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    I’ve got a couple that I use for backing up and walking files between computers – apart from having to use a cable that has 2 A-type USB connectors on one end, so it’s plugged into 2 USB ports on a MBP in order to get enough power (which is a bit of an issue, having only 3 USB ports on the MBP), there doesn’t seem to be much difference between them and a separately powered drive.

    On the other hand USB isn’t great for editing, you can manage simple cutting for standard def in DV codec if the drive itself is fast enough but anything more than that and USB struggles.

    [Enrico Lappano] “I also got a Firewire 800 converter for it since it uses USB 2.0, and initially, there doesn’t seem to be any improvement on the download performance speed.”

    It’s a bit more complicated than just the data rate of the connection (USB, Firewire, eSata, etc), there are a bunch of things that also affect the performance – the rpm of the drive unit, cache size, etc., so it might be that you can only get the full speed of whatever connection standard you’re using in bursts rather than continuously (TBH without knowing the specs for the Goflex range, which I don’t, that’s really just guessing though).

  • David Roth Weiss

    August 6, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    [Enrico Lappano] “I also got a Firewire 800 converter for it since it uses USB 2.0, and initially, there doesn’t seem to be any improvement on the download performance speed.”

    A true FW-800 hard drive would be substantially faster, but a USB drive connected via FW-800 is going to drop down to lowest common denominator, which is the speed of the USB port on the enclosure.

    And, USB 2 does not have the sustained throughput necessary for video editing. At top speed it does, but the speed of USB drives is inconstant, unlike FW and eSATA which were built to deliver flatter and more consistent throughput.

    See the AJA tests below and notice both the speed difference and the flat throughput between the same hard drive connected via USB in example #1, and then via FW-800 in example #2.

    David Roth Weiss
    Director/Editor/Colorist
    David Weiss Productions, Inc.
    Los Angeles
    https://www.drwfilms.com

    Don’t miss my new tutorial: Prepare for a seamless transition to FCP X and OS X Lion
    https://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/FCP-10-MAC-Lion/1

    POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™

    Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.

  • Enrico Lappano

    August 6, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    Wow. The difference between the two is dramatic. And I do notice those inconsistencies while editing with it. When it slows, the only thing that helps is restarting FCP. Think I’m going back to FW Lacies and exchanging the USB drive.

    Thanks very much for your replies, analysis and helping to settle this so clearly.

  • Mark Suszko

    August 8, 2011 at 3:00 am

    “I was told at the Best Buy that there was no difference between the USB and plug in.”

    This is where it all started going wrong. You can’t trust the smurfs to know anything about serious video tech.

Viewing 1 - 7 of 7 posts

Log in to reply.

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