External HD for video

in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014

What specs (rpm, capacity, cache, interface, brand, etc.) for an external hard drive do I to store/retrieve video? I have a 1.2GHz iBook. I would like to do video editing and the iBook doesn't have enough storage. Thanks for your help.


  • Reply 1 of 7
    Lacie Big Disk. Look into them. Excellent for just what you are doing.
  • Reply 2 of 7
    at least 7200rpm. firewire (400 or 800)
  • Reply 3 of 7
    If you're planning to use that hard drive for editing video, make sure you get FW 800. It will be way faster... unles you're doing 1 to 2 minute clips.

    I have a PowerBook and an external HD with FW 400 with 120GB, and I had to back all my stuff up to it, and work off my 80GB internal one, 'cause it was faster that way. That would be your best bet if your iBook doesn't come with FW 800. My PB does but I'd rather spend my money on upgrading to 2GB of RAM, than buying a FW 800 external HD.
  • Reply 4 of 7
    Thanks to everyone. Does the cache size matter for video?
  • Reply 5 of 7
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,663member
    Let's not go overboard with this.

    First; what are you editing? If it's Dv then you don't need such a large disk, or such great speeds. Though I do reccomend 7200 RPM even though I've not found it to be required to render, just to playback a virtual cut without stuttering.

    Remember that Dv runs at less than 4MB/sec. As long as your editing program is not on the same disk (which it really shouldn't be), you can edit very well with a disk running at 10MB/sec. I did that for some time, years ago, before even raids were much faster than that (4 2GB drive raids).

    400Mb/sec Firewire is fine. multiply the time by 4MB/sec (240MB/min) to come up with a size for your library files, i.e. the original unedited files going on your HD. Do the same for the length of the completed production. Add the two together, and then add another 20-30% for safety. This is the size of disk you need.

    If you intend to add stills or graphic elements, and will store them on the drive as well, then add more space.

    Have 1GB of RAM for rendering room, and don't run any other programs at the same time. It's also best to disconnect from any network that's connected to the internet through broadband so that something doesn't decide to call home in the middle of a render (like Software Update).

    Obviously, if what you're doing is higher bandwidth than Dv, you need to compute for that.
  • Reply 6 of 7
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    iBooks don't have FW 800.
  • Reply 7 of 7
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,663member

    Originally posted by JarinS1

    Thanks to everyone. Does the cache size matter for video?

    Video files just like Photoshop files are "cache busters". That is, they don't fit within a disks cache and lead to a cache dump when working with them. This leads to slower working. So no, cache size doesn't help at all. Large disk caches may, if anything, be worse.
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