The beat . A blog by premiumbeat

July 13, 2012
Video Editing

Best External Hard Drives for Video Editing

With the various external hard drive connections and speeds you may be wondering, “Which hard drive is best for video editing?”

There are more external hard drive options than ever before, and while more options are great, all these choices can but can be overwhelming.  By knowing the differences in external hard drives and their specifications you can better ascertain which is right for your video editing work.

In the following video, Den Lennie of shares his knowledge and explains which hard drives are best for video ediiting – and why.  You’ll get tips and answers to common hard drive questions…

  • Prevent external hard drive errors and increase the longevity by knowing tips for safe handling of drives (even ‘rugged’ drives should be handled with care).
  • Learn what the difference is between RAID 1 and RAID 0 formatted hard drives and why these distinctions make a difference in video editing work.
  • Which external hard drive is best for transferring video while you’re ‘out in the field’?
  • What connection is best for video editing: Thunderbolt, Firewire 800 or eSATA?
  • Know the difference between the speed of the connection and the speed of the drive, and minimums for working with video.

If you’re thinking about buying an external hard drive for video editing now or sometime in the future, this is important info to know!

From FStopAcademy’s How to Choose Hard Drives for Video

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  • Joel Morales

    Great video!  Can’t wait for the video discussing workflow!  It’s good to know what processes other professionals are using and more importantly why.

    • Danny Greer

      Thanks for the feedback, Joel!

  • Mitchell Rose

    Thanks for the video.  Very useful. I always suggest to my students to get the LaCie Rugged FW 800, 7200rpm, 500gb drives.  They comes with 2 FW 800 ports and a USB 3 port. I wanted to ask you about that because you didn’t mention USB 3.  It seems that Apple is dropping FireWire. For students who can’t afford a Thunderbolt drive, do you think the above LaCie is fast enough when using USB 3?  Or other USB 3 drives?  Thanks very much.

    • Mk Word

      Amazed no one replied to your question this long. It is odd there was no mention of USB 3 in the video. As far as I understand, Firewire 800 transfer speed is 800Mbps and USB 3.0 is 5 gigabits per second … so USB 3 is significantly faster. Thunderbolt supposedly can transfer up to 10Gbps … so twice as fast as USB 3. Given that many people use FW800 for editing, USB 3 is going to be as fast as almost anyone is going to need. I use USB 3 with a 7200rpm drive and have never had any hiccups.

  • Gil Cohen

    SSD for source Disk.
    I used 7200 RPM, black label 500GB compare to SSD intel 160GB for holding the source files only. the SSD is much more smooth compare to a disk HD, when jumping from file to file.
    Install it yesturday, and it work so smooth.
    Word of advice, dont use it as a write device, as the SSD writing life time is much shorter. But as a source editing drive it is great.

    • Danny Greer

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Gil!

    • Rasmus

      Gil ? I have a normal 7200 rpm disk with my editing programs on. Can I benefit from buying a ssd external to put my source files on ? and editing the film from the external while my 7200 rpm disk runs the editing program ?

  • Kevin Walker

    Great video I learnt a lot from it!

  • Chris

    really great video. thanks!

  • UnitedByPhotography™

    FYI Lacie and Gtech make the housing and interface for the drives, not the actual hard drives themselves Gtech is owned by Hitachi so the drives should be Hitachi.

  • UnitedByPhotography™

    If your planning on using raid setups or NAS it maybe better to opt for enterprise or server class drives as they have higher fault tolerance to do data loss and are built for long continuous use.

  • JamieB

    Does anyone know the rpm of the 4tb WD My Studio Book II. I can’t find it anywhere…

  • kenyongerbrandt

    I’m no expert and I know that the gentleman who made this review put his heart into it. However, I checked several retail sites and read reviews for both the GDrive and Lacie drives…not very good. Both sets of drives seem very prone to failure. Just a word of caution.

    • mooiemooie

      You’re always gonna find tons more negative reviews for hard drives than positive, because people whose hard drives fail go on to review something more than the people that continue to edit happily.

      LaCie Ruggeds are the bomb diggity bomb.

  • Jason Brown

    2 quick questions: I use a MacBook Pro with a 2.53 GHz Intel 2 Duo processor. Will the changes you mentioned help the speed on my computer any or should I just upgrade my system? Also raid 1, does that basically automatically back up your files? Thank you for your time.

  • Paul Hardt

    The last 3 LaCie 7200 drives I have purchased shut down as I am trying to import or edit using them. In other words the little blue light goes off and import ceases. I am using firewire 800.

    Any thoughts? Solutions?

  • Freeway Trell

    Thanks so much this video really helped me out a lot.

  • Ashley

    Thanks for the help!! Really appreciate it, been looking to purchase another external, especially for video editing. Job well done!!

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