(April 2014 update) Now includes the latest information and recommendations for Thunderbolt, USB3 and SSDs!
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One of the most confusing things about digital video editing is the storage requirement. In this article the Videoguys Techs will help you better understand just what kind of storage you'll need for your video productions. Mac or PC based video editors face the same storage challenges and questions, and we've got the straight forward answers you need!
How should I configure the storage for my video editing workstation? (April 2014 Update)
So I just checked out the latest prices on Crucial M500 series SSD drives and I can't believe how far they had fallen this past winter. At these prices I don't see why anyone would build a new computer with anything but an SSD! I didn't think we would see a GB SSD for under $500 before summer, but as of today you can grab the 960GB model for $450!! And of course if the 960GB is $450, that means that smaller SSD drives are even cheaper. I've been concerned about running a fully loaded NLE machine with a small 240GB boot drive. It's not as big a problem as I had thought, and while it may get a little tight, for $125 it's a no brainer!
Here are the latest prices I found on line at Newegg:
- Crucial M500 120GB $75
- Crucial M500 240GB $125
- Crucial M500 480GB $275
- Crucial M500 960GB $450
What are the advantages of SSD vs 7200 RPM boot drives? First your system is going to boot up so fast you won't believe it! As you know, professional video editing programs are very big and they can take a while to load as well, with an SSD they open up instantly and you can immediately start editing! Same for the other content creation programs in your editing suite. As an example, having to stop what you are doing and waiting for Photoshop to open in the middle of your editing session is a drag. Leaving it open can waste RAM resources. With an SSD, open up what you need, when you need it, no waiting, it just pops open! All your programs will open faster and you will immediately feel the speed and increased performance of your computer.
This is why we are also going to recommend upgrading your existing machine to an SSD boot drive as a great way to extend the life of your old reliable Mac Pro or PC Workstation. It takes some effort to rebuild your computer and re-install all your programs, but as long as you make a back-up, you have nothing to worry about. You'll be back editing before you know it with a much improved machine. While you're at it, look at how far memory prices have fallen as well. You can probably double the amount of RAM in your computer for a couple hundred bucks!
We still recommend using a RAID0 or RAID5 of 7200RPM drives for your all your media and projects. Stripe a pair of 2TB drives together in RAID0 for 4TB of lightning fast storage, or if you want redundancy, stripe four 2TB drives in RAID5 for 6TB of media storage. How much video can you store on 4TB? How about 40 hours of ProRes 422HQ or Avid DNxHD 220; 68 hours of DVCProHD; 208 hours of XDCAM EX; or 300 hours of HDV 1080i or DV. Of course our top recommendation is G-Tech external storage like a G-RAID or G-Speed Q.
If you do a lot of encoding, and with today's tapeless workflows who doesn't, I suggest picking up a 64GB or 124GB SSD drive as your export drive. With an SSD Export drive this will give you lightening fast writes it gives you a great place to stash some of the media files that you go to for every project such as your favorite titles, graphics and background animations.
Videoguys April 2014 recommended SSD storage configuration:
C: Boot drive. 240GB or bigger SSD. Fusion drives are OK as well.
D: RAID0 or RAID5 for Video. At least 4TB of useable space.
E: Export drive. 64 to 128GB SSD drive. Your exports will go smoother and faster if you output the files to a dedicated physical drive, rather than the D: RAID. Another benefit of having a dedicated E: drive is that you can use it for digital photos, music, graphics, animated background and other media that you use again and again in your projects. Using an SSD drive for your exports will make them even faster!
Click here to read the complete guide at Videoguys.com