Ext drive USB or Firewire

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Mad_mardy
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Joined: Oct 19 2000

Ok i have my own views on this could you please state your own and why
it will help me a great deal either convincing someone i'm right OR proving me wrong.
Either way

Whats is the best way to connect an external drive for Editing purposes
USB2 or Firewire?

System 1: AMD X6 2.8, M4A79 Deluxe, 4GB DDR2, ATI HD4870 1GB DDR 3, 2TB total drive space, Matrox RTX 2, Premiere Pro CS4

System 2: AMD X2 5600, M2NPV-VM, 2GB DDR2, Geforce 8600GT 256 DDR 3, 450GB Total drive space, RTX100 with Premiere Pro 2

Camera's: JVC HD200, JVC HD101, 2X Sony HC62

MAGLINK
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Joined: Mar 8 2007

Firewire as it gets data in a constant stream, USB transfers in packets so is not suitable for video or audio streaming. I use pro tools, final cut and avid and they all state that firewire drives must be used with pref 7,200 rpm disk speed.

Mark M
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Joined: Nov 17 1999

eSATA!

But of your choices, Firewire. FW400 has same ballpark speed as USB2 but better serial transfers in theory due to some reason like not having to poll drive or something. This is totally unhelpful reply. FW800 of course much better than USB2.
My real world experience says that Firewire is generally a more satisfying experience when playing back on timeline- speedier, less prone to having a break to draw breath - except when you are using an external box with a crap Prolific f/w chip rather than a quality TI or Oxford one.

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Mad_mardy
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Joined: Oct 19 2000

I must admit i was/am a bit concerned with the loading on the Firewire bus by having firewire drives attached along with a camera

System 1: AMD X6 2.8, M4A79 Deluxe, 4GB DDR2, ATI HD4870 1GB DDR 3, 2TB total drive space, Matrox RTX 2, Premiere Pro CS4

System 2: AMD X2 5600, M2NPV-VM, 2GB DDR2, Geforce 8600GT 256 DDR 3, 450GB Total drive space, RTX100 with Premiere Pro 2

Camera's: JVC HD200, JVC HD101, 2X Sony HC62

Alan Roberts
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Joined: May 3 1999

Gary's right.

USB is a bus system. The host (the computer) continually polls all the connected ports to see who wants to do what, so there's no guarantee of continuous access.

IEEE1394 is also a bus system but works peer-peer. So anything connecting shouts out what it is, and the other end shouts what it is as well. They converse and agree on one end (either can do this) becoming the host, and on the data rate. Then, the host demands a packet of data from the client, checks it, and demands the next. The data still comes in packets, but there's a difference. In the form that we use it, the packet rate is fixed, and the checking is disabled. That means the data is sent at a fixed rate, with no possibility of interruption, so it's suitable for video although it doesn't have proper error checking/correction like USB does.

From what I'm hearing of USB3 though, it could be so much faster than the versions of 1394 that we use for video that it could actually make more sense. Dunno.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

Alan Craven
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Joined: Jan 26 2001

I use all three for one thing or another and eSATA is definitely the fastest, so I am with MarkM there.

I would not consider USB for video work, other than file copying, For the reasons expressed above.

Alan Roberts
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Joined: May 3 1999

Even so, I've had a lot of success with USB2-connected external drives. BUT, I make certain that there's no other USB device connected (except a mouse). That works for me, but 1394 is safer.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

DAVE M
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Joined: May 17 1999

as for your concerns with connecting a camera(deck) and capture disc via firewire - I've done it with no problems. I suppose the safest thing would be to cpature to an internal and then transfer the file to the firewire drive but in reality I've not had a problem.

MAGLINK
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Joined: Mar 8 2007

Me too for multiple firewire connections, on my i-mac I have the following:

Firewire 800: G-Tech Raid 2 1tb video drive & 500g audio drive

Firewire 400: Pro Tools 002 console, M35 HDV deck & sandisk CF card reader

steve
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

The other issue is processor loading. Even with a fast processor, USB can load it to over 25%capacity, whereas Firewire loading is rarely over 5%. This could become an issue during rendering when the CPU is maxed out, particularly with HDV.

Steve

Paul Richmond
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Joined: Nov 9 2001

I had problems on my Avid Xpress Pro with both a DV deck (Sony J30SDI) and external firewire drives and was forced to switch to using an external USB2 drive as a temporary method of digitising.
To my surprise I experienced no capture/playback issues at all using DV material and I have now edited for many weeks (50 hours per week x 10 weeks) with USB2 drives with absolutely no problems.

mooblie
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Joined: Apr 27 2001

Another vote from me for eSATA!

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

PaulD
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Joined: Aug 31 2002
Paul Richmond wrote:
I had problems... with both a DV deck (Sony J30SDI) and external firewire drives...

Hi
I had that with my old G4 Mac, more than two FW drives would conflict with a J-30. As Mooblie has indicated, using eSATA drives solved the problem ;)

Gavin Gration
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Joined: Jul 29 1999
Paul Richmond wrote:
I had problems on my Avid Xpress Pro with both a DV deck (Sony J30SDI) and external firewire drives and was forced to switch to using an external USB2 drive as a temporary method of digitising.
To my surprise I experienced no capture/playback issues at all using DV material and I have now edited for many weeks (50 hours per week x 10 weeks) with USB2 drives with absolutely no problems.

If you have a Mojo then the firewire bus is used for uncompressed I/O - last time I looked Avid with a Mojo could NOT support firewire drives - I think there were a couple of Xeon boards that coud manage it but that was a few years ago.

PCIe may have changed this - but your findings don't suprise me.