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  • Which HDD to compliment a new M1Pro or Max

  • Brian Thomas

    October 23, 2021 at 2:10 pm

    I’ve done masses of multicam projects over the last 5+ years using my MacBook Pros (mid 2015), my trusty Apple Thunderbolt Display and my G-Tech Thunderbolt 2 drives. Everything is working very well but I feel like a speed boost so sometime soon I’m going to buy either a Macbook pro 16″ M1 Pro or Max – not yet decided quite yet as I only buy machine(s) every five years or so!

    My question is: what sort of drive(s) should I now be looking to buy? I’m getting a secondhand dock and a Thunderbolt 2/3 adaptor so I can continue using the G-Tech Thunderbolt 2 drives but maybe I should get at least a new (4TB?) drive that compliments the new Macbook Pro?

    I’d really appreciate advice on this as I realise I’ve not been keeping up with the developments in the drive world.

  • John Fishback

    October 23, 2021 at 5:02 pm

    My suggestion is an SSD. I use two m2.NVMe SSDs with a M1 Mac Mini. I use HDDs for archiving. SSDs are much faster than HDDs. But, don’t be confused by the max data rates that are published for a SSD. The Thunderbolt 3/4 I/O is limited to around 1500MBps. My SSDs are rated at 3000MBps, but only when used with a fast PCI I/O, typically, where you can plug the SSD directly into a desktop or laptop computer.

  • Brian Thomas

    October 23, 2021 at 5:08 pm

    Thanks for that John. As mentioned, I’m not really up-to-date on the ‘drive’ world but I sort of got the impression that SSDs have a limited number of ‘writes’ – a lot less than the spinning variety? Am I completely wrong? Should I not worry…?

  • Oliver Peters

    October 24, 2021 at 2:35 pm

    In theory spinning drives have better longevity than SSDs. But it’s really just a theoretical issue and it’s unlikely you’ll encounter any issues. For now, your G-Tech TB2 drives should be just fine. For my home system, I’m using Samsung T7 2TB drives for active editing projects. These are fast and work well with 1080 and 4K media, When a project is done, I back it up to raw, enterprise-grade, spinning drives.

  • Brian Thomas

    October 24, 2021 at 5:01 pm

    Thanks for that Oliver. Lots to think about here with ideas coming in from all directions. To be sensible I think I’ll hold off getting a new drive until I get the new MacBook Pro (M1 Pro or Max?) but again, thanks both of you for your input.

  • Oliver Peters

    October 24, 2021 at 5:20 pm

    Good plan. You can always add external drives.

  • Mark Smith

    October 25, 2021 at 1:25 pm

    I got a M1 Mac mini , 16 GB and 1 TB ssd. I cut about 8 multi cam projects of varying length 4 K and 1080 ftg combined with this computer and my drive was a 2 TB samsung T7. I make ‘forked’ libraries with the library file residing on the computer’s ssd and the media residing on the T7. This combination has proved to be a very fluid editing experience, I’m using a track pad and can skate through the time lines and what seems like warp speed.

    I also have a some libraries on a OWC Thunderbay raid which has 4 spinning laptop drives, and is a bit long in the tooth, however once I got the updated M1 compatible softraid driver installed on my mini plus the chain of adapters to go from M1 TB to thunderbolt 1, even this drive seems quite a bit more responsive than it was with the previous iMac I used for editing.

    For projects with less media, I’m going to keep rolling with my T7 and for the bigger project I’ve got a Promise Raid on another system, though nothing prevents us, except for budget, from stocking a Thunderbay or similar chassis with some ssd’s and having at it.

  • Brian Thomas

    October 25, 2021 at 5:45 pm

    This is most interesting Mark. I must admit, I’ve never thought of splitting the footage from the associated library before. I’ve always had both on only one of my several G-Tech Thunderbolt 2 drives. In general, do you think it would be faster (or better in some way) to always have these two entities ‘forked’ across two reasonably fast external drives? I think I’m definitely going to try it for the next amateur-theatrical project coming up in a couple of weeks. I have the two Thunderbolt ports on my old machine – so why not.

  • Michael Hadley

    October 28, 2021 at 4:46 pm

    Yes, I would be interested in learning more about performance with the forked approach (it’s sounds forked up but who knows?). I’ve always put the library and media on my fastest external drives.

    Currently, that would be an 8TB NVME SSD Raid (OWC enclosure, Samsung sticks). That’s gets backed up daily to an 8TB G-drive clone with spinning disks.

    Given that the new Mac Pros can have up to 8tb of wicked fast storage, I wonder if it would make sense to keep everything on the internal drive (and then back up to clone drive).


  • Brian Thomas

    November 24, 2021 at 2:58 pm

    Hi all – me back again. If I have the media (I usually use proxies) and the library on different drives, which of the two would be better on the faster drive? Thanks!

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