Hello to everybody and a Happy New Year!
I have the following dilemma:
I have a maxed out MacBook Pro mid 2015, with two Thunderbolt 2 ports available. Even though the laptop has 1 TB of storage, I prefer to edit videos (1080 or 4K) on an external drive, to keep these video projects "isolated". I am not sure what interface to choose (USB-C, Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 with appropriate adapter etc) on the connection between MBP and the SSD, in order to take advantage of the maximum data transfer speed I can have with this machine, resulting on my timeline and on editing process in Final Cut Pro.
Also, regarding the type of the SSD, would an NVMe make any difference compared to a "conventional" SSD?
I consider buying something a bit "future proof", in case I change my laptop, so as to continue taking advantage of the new ports that this next machine might provide to me.
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Last edited by JimTheGreek; 7th Jan 2022 at 14:05.
Thunderbolt is the fastest. But the hardware is VERY expensive.
I use USB-C nvme drives and write speed is just under 1GB/s which is good enough for me. Works fine @1080p.
I just picked up a 2TB Kingston m.2 SSD for $200. My Unitek nvme enclosure was about $30.
I'm not sure what you mean by "conventional" SSD.
Nothing is very future proof these days, especially when it comes to Apple who changes ports every generation. But USB-C should be a safe bet at least for a while.
Is NVMe M.2 the fastest type of SSD?The speed you mention is twice the speed of a Sandisk Extreme Portable, for instance, which is remarkable!
Given the maximum speed of data transfer via the TB2 port that I have on my laptop (20Gb/s), doesn't a USB-C interface (of maximum data transfer speed at 10Gb/s) throttle the maximum speed of that available port? Wouldn't be ideal to have an enclosure with TB interface instead? By the way, I googled it and I couldn't find any in local market.
I am asking because in the search for the best set up, I am a bit confused about the best possible one, not only for 1080p video editing, but for 4K also.
There are many reviews, many videos on YouTube, that claim that a Samsung T5 or T7 makes FCP run buttery smooth...But still, if moneywise the difference when buying something else would be 100 bucks more for example, I wouldn't think its a forbidden budget...
So, your reply makes me think that an NVMe M.2, in an enclosure with an interface at 20Gb/s (if there is any), followed by an adapter and a cable ending on TB2 to get plugged in MBP, would be ideal. Isn't that the case?
Here is the breakdown of speeds:
(From highest to lowest) - internal interface
- external transfer method
Thunderbolt4 (check carefully, uses usb-c connector)
Thunderbolt3 (check carefully, uses usb-c connector)
Thunderbolt2 (check carefully uses miniDP connector)
(Skipping some other Rare or Outdated methods such as firewire).
The bottleneck is very likely your existing Tb2 interface, so it will be hard to do physical tests to compare, however if you intend to futureproof and expect to get at some point a replacement to your macbookpro, a new one would likely have Tb3 or Tb4. So my recommendation is to get something that works fast with that, and then get a tb4/3 --> tb2 adapter (if such a thing can be had that works in both directions).
However, you can get set up with a USB 1TB drive + enclosure for around $102 USD. That is around 10 cents per GB. It might be good enough for you.
And if some day you want to upgrade, you can still use it for a backup drive.
Dear Cornucopia and exekutive, thank you both for your posts!!!
Cornucopia, regarding the speed breakdown you kindly posted, I thought TB2 is double the speed of USB-C. Am I wrong?
Exactly because SSDs are capable of very high rates, and because I would like to find "my sweet spot" when it comes to price per GB, I am thinking of looking at a set up including:
A. An NVMe M.2 SSD
B. An enclosure with Thunderbolt 3 interface
C. Two more components that make the budget exceed the usual cost for such a usage, including a TB3 to TB2 interface adapter & a TB2 male to male cable, to get the set up plugged into the laptop.
From the above setup, enclosure, adapter and cable would need to get upgraded in the future, in case of a new laptop, like Cornucopia said. NVMe itself is future proof enough I think.
By the way, what do you both consider to be the minimum accepted transfer rate, delivered to the laptop's port, for video editing in 4K really? Asking because if I do not go for the "pricy" solution mentioned above, I could possibly go for an external SSD like Sandisk Extreme Portable v2, with USB-C interface, which hopefully would be an okish solution for now, holding up the pricey solution for later on, after some years, when I get another laptop, and adapters and extra cables won't be needed. I think thats what exekutive suggests in his last post But in such case, probably I have to get the adapter and the cable again, to get the available data rates...
Last edited by JimTheGreek; 9th Jan 2022 at 11:46.
Well you can calculate this for yourself.
How large is your video?
Let's take a Panasonic GH4 4K camera for example. 10 minutes of footage = approx 7GB.
@1GB/s transfer speed, it would take 7 seconds to copy. An hour of video would take 42 seconds.
That seems fairly "comfortable" don't you think?
FCP performance depends on many things such as the hardware you are working with (CPU, memory, video card etc.), cache size and location, source video encoding, resolution, bitrate, etc.
I cannot predict your software performance. But for a 2015 laptop, external storage will NOT be the limiting factor. I suspect your machine will struggle with 4K. If your internal drive is SSD, then I recommend using that for cache.
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