So much information, I'm a newbie to video editing, and it gets overwhelming.
I would like to store projects on external hard drive, keeping my internal ssd drive just for programs, OS and working on projects.
Discussions I've researched relate to:
HDD vs SSD, the first being much less expensive than the second;
how many TB to start out with;
USB 3.0 VS Thunderbolt 3 - which is fastest (TB3) but is it worth the extra $$? Is USB3 adequate?
RAID vs single drive (which I do not yet grasp)
I'm just starting out, no deadlines, just want a safe place to store projects and all the related ephemera for future use. Would like to stick to drives which work best with the new iMac (2019). I'm not really looking for something decorative (i.e. "looks good next to the iMac" <- yes, I've seen that as a selling point for a drive...), just very functional and reliable.
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If you're just using them for archiving videos, I would NOT use SSD because their long-term archival ability has not yet been proven. Also, you have no need for their faster read speed (their write speed is generally not much better than hard drives). SSDs also do not degrade slowly, whereas most HD failures are gradual and you often can get most of your stuff off before the drive fails. I just was given a 2001 drive that had been sitting in filth for the last decade and wouldn't work. I opened it up (no clean room), got the head unstuck, and then recovered all the data.
I know nothing about what connectivity iMacs provide for external storage. If it were a Windows machine, I'd recommend to just get USB 3.0. Again, if you are not editing on these, speed is not essential, and USB 3.0 will be just fine.
I buy a lot of drives, and while you'll get all sorts of advice such as "don't buy Seagate because ..." it really doesn't matter much for a low duty-cycle external drive. Just get something that is 2TB or more, and go for whatever is on sale.
Last edited by johnmeyer; 20th May 2019 at 20:39. Reason: added last sentence
Thanks for your informative reply!
My iMac has Thunderbolt 3 (USB C) and USB 3 ports.
Based on your insights, I've viewed:
Western Digital 4TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive (I don't necessarily need portable, but this looked quite inexpensive at $99)
Toshiba Canvio Advance 4TB Portable External Hard Drive USB 3.0 ($104)
Seagate Portable 4TB External Hard Drive HDD – USB 3.0 for PC Laptop and Mac ($94.99)
LaCie Rugged Mini 4TB External Hard Drive Portable HDD – USB 3.0 USB 2.0 compatible, for Mac and PC Computer Desktop Workstation PC Laptop ($119)
G-Technology 4TB G-DRIVE USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drive, Silver - Compact, High-Performance Storage ($129.95)
What are your opinions about these offerings on Amazon? Any ideas will be welcomed.
I've been impressed with the WD 3.5" external HDDs with power supplies.
I have about five of them from 2TB to 4TB and no problems with any of them.
I don't like Seagate HDDs, but that stems from past experiences. They may be better now.
Toshiba drives have been good, have a few of the 2.5" portables.
LaCie's are good, but may be a bit high priced for just USB 3 type drives.
LaCie is an enclosure. More important is the quality of the drive inside.
Another option might be an external USB 3 case and add your own drive(s).
Better if you have a quality case that can accept two or more drives with a good power supply,
otherwise the WD externals may be more economical.
I'd agree, no SSD externals as the externals interface would likely be more of a speed limitation than the SSD drive intself.
And really not great for archiving.
Not very familiar with Thunderbolt 3 interface. I'll let others answer that.
The price point vs capacity for HDDs is probably best for 4TB HDDs at present. JMO.
RAID, waste of money most of the time. Again, JMO.
And welcome to our forums.
If we are talking new Macs, I would strongly recommend Tb3/USB-C. Worth it. Just get one that is Apple-certified.
Afa media: look at your bitrate requirements, then double (or maybe triple/quadruple) them. Let that be your breakpoint. If Hdd speeds will meet those needs, go with hdd, otherwise go with ssd.
For archiving, nothing is perfect and I would use a multi-modal approach to diversify options and reduce risk. But ssd is a lot better now than it was years ago.
I don't recommend raid unless you are doing serious, semi-pro or pro media work, and then, I always recommend Raid10.
Much thanks for your comments and insights. It's feeling a bit more comfortable now, instead of downright confusing. LOL!
Scott: Hmmm...after a few minutes of searching, I'm not able to pin down an "Apple certified" thunderbolt 3 (or USB C) external hard drive. I see "for use with Windows and Mac" - is that the same thing? Which externals in your experience are "Apple certified"? When I go to the Apple site, there are only a few externals, not nearly as good in price as on Amazon!
Redwudz: I'm not quite ready for buying an enclosure and adding drives to it, although it may be something to consider down the road.
Last edited by r3drokz; 21st May 2019 at 10:00. Reason: additional questions based on research results
Ah, this is getting confusing all over again.
While searching for affordable external drives using either Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C, I'm finding many with USB 3.0, or which are advertised as USB-C but in reality are only USB 3 inside the case.
Are there any external drives, certified by Apple, which are true USB-C or true Thunderbolt 3, not SSD, for storage?
Am I getting too complicated?
Any help will be appreciated.
USB-C is USB 3.2x+, so it is always USB 3.0 compatible. USB 3.0 is decent enough bitrate (for HDD, if not always for SSD), so everything above it is gravy, though it is best to have better than the minimum, particularly looking forward.
Tb3 is always USB-C compatible, but not all USB-C is Tb3 compatible. Tb3 supports more capabilities (incl. poss. HDMI, DP feeds, etc)
If it doesn't say Apple-certified somewhere, it ISN'T. Then if you get one and ever get caught with your pants down and go complaining to Apple for OS support/help, they'll laugh at you and will do nothing. Aka, use at your own risk.
Yes, Apple's ones are ALWAYS more expensive. (That's an axiom, isn't it?).