Is 7200 rpm FW drive overkill if sharing one firewire port?

in Genius Bar edited January 2014
So I'm looking to do some DV capture with my pBook G4, but I need more storage. Faster drives are supposed to mean less dropped frames, but since my pBook only has one firewireport and I need both my camcorder and the external FW hard drive to share it I wonder if I will only get about half the bandwith anyway in which case a 5400 rpm drive would seem to be more than enough.

Actually, I have been quite surprised at how well my 4200 rpm internal pbook drive does at not dropping frames. It might be that iMovie is savy about buffering into ram (I've got half a gig of it).


  • Reply 1 of 10
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    My old DeskStar 40GV 5400P RPM sometimes had trouble importing DV from the camera. The drive was installed in my computer, not in a FireWire enclosure. I suggest getting a 7200 RPM HDD.
  • Reply 2 of 10
    overhopeoverhope Posts: 1,123member
    I'ver had good results with 5400rpm drives over Firewire, even if Apple say "no, don't do it, baaaad". That said, they are dedicated drives with nothing else on them, and I clear everything bar the camera and drive from the Firewire bus.

    That said, they're in separate ports, and I don't know how the controller would get on with having to squirt it all back and forth through the one port...
  • Reply 3 of 10
    I have a 120GB 7200RPM Firewire drive. Perfect for anything you need it for. A 5400RPM Drive just isn't fast enough for video.
  • Reply 4 of 10
    [quote]Originally posted by Altivec_2.0:

    <strong>A 5400RPM Drive just isn't fast enough for video.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    Could you please elaborate ?

    I think every "not-too-old" 5400rpm drive can handle 4Mo/s sustained, no ?

    A DV-stream should be 3.6Mo/s.
  • Reply 5 of 10
    giantgiant Posts: 6,041member
    well, you are going to buy owc anyway, right? considering how they have the fastest transfer rate and all, you would be silly not to.

    oh, hey, it looks like they made the decision for you: <a href=""; target="_blank">see here</a>
  • Reply 6 of 10
    overhopeoverhope Posts: 1,123member
    Hehe, that's precisely the box I have sitting right here and it honestly captures quite happily with a 5400rpm drive stuck in it. Added bonus: undo about 8 screws, and you can pop a different drive in inside of 5 minutes: I have a stack of drives here that are rotated for backup purposes.

    However, I have to reiterate, I've never tried plugging the camera into the back of it and shunting all the DV through one Firewire port on my Mac.
  • Reply 7 of 10
    giantgiant Posts: 6,041member
    yeah, except that to buy the case and a 5400 rpm drive seperately will cost the same or around the same as to buy the case with the 7200 rpm drive already in it. seems like a no-brainer to me. Even if the difference was $40 I would get the 7200 because you will be happy for longer. I've swapperd drives in and out of my owc case, also, but I like the fact that I got a discount on the 80 gig caviar that was in there in the first place.
  • Reply 8 of 10
    giantgiant Posts: 6,041member
    But overhope is 150% correct when he tells you that there is nothing wrong with using a 5400 rpm drive for video. Hell, you can use a 4200 laptop drive with no problem when it comes down to it. but the reduction in speed will be noticable...
  • Reply 9 of 10
    overhopeoverhope Posts: 1,123member
    You're not wrong, giant, I bought the case with a 40GB 7200rpm drive in it, swapped it with the 20GB 5400rpm drive in my Mac, booted from CD, dragged the contents across (this was before I had X, BTW) and rebooted from the internal drive. Definitely the cheapest way to buy extra capacity and keep old drives usable. I might get a bigger one the same way and start playing with software RAID.
  • Reply 10 of 10
    giantgiant Posts: 6,041member
    yeah, that is a real smart way to go. those owc cases are great, aren't they?

    I like those guys there, too. They will chat for an hour if you let them while you are ordering. They must treat their employees great for them to always be so happy.
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