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External HDD speed question.....

Tags:
  • Hard Drives
  • SSD
  • External Drive
  • External Hard Drive
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
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January 1, 2013 10:50:25 PM

I want to upgrade to an SSD in my laptop (Lenovo X230T) so I will have a spare drive (the current installed 320GB 7200RPM) drive that I'd like to use as an external drive in a case with USB 2.0 interface. I'd like to export video to the external drive as I am rendering the HD (AVCHD) video. I am wondering if the USB 2.0 interface will slow the rendering down due to speed limitations over USB 2.0? Or will it actually speed up since I will be using 2 drives, the SSD for applications and OS and the external drive for projects? I was thinking using 2 drives allows faster workflow in stead of reading and writing at the same time, to the same drive.

My laptop does have an mSATA SATA II 3.0/GB slot under the keyboard but I really don't want to deal with tearing it apart to install an mSATA SSD. Plus I hear conflicting results of reliability issues with mSATA drives at this point and that they run slower than regular SSDs although not really a whole lot.

Thanks for the input.

More about : external hdd speed question

a c 331 G Storage
January 1, 2013 11:11:07 PM

USB 2.0 will be a bottleneck for rendering video unless it is just storage for completed projects.
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January 1, 2013 11:17:15 PM

Ok, my plan was to put the source video on the SSD, then have it render to the external drive. The external drive will only be hooked up when it is being used as the destination drive during rendering. I didn't explain that very well in my original post. Does that still cause an issue for bottlenecking? Could I expect 25-30 MB/s write speed on the external drive at USB 2.0 speeds? Is that cutting it close to what AVCHD files require for write speeds?
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a c 331 G Storage
January 2, 2013 1:04:59 PM

Your USB 2.0 speed will only be about 30MB/s tops and could be less, that is pretty slow for writing video files unless they are already rendered and you are just transferring the completed work to a storage space. Does your external drive have eSATA, that would be much faster and could be used for such transfers. If you have a free card slot you can pick up a USB 3 or eSATA connector for your laptop depending on what your external enclosure has available.

How big of a SSD are you getting and which brand? If the drive is large enough, the fastest solution is to just read and write from the SSD -- access times are close to zero (a huge advantage over HDDs), then move the project to the external drive when done.

Although thinking about it, since you are using a laptop and SSD, your video file sizes are probably not terribly large so the extra time may not be that big of a deal.
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January 3, 2013 10:46:20 PM

Thank you for the detailed answer I appreciate it. I edit 10-20GB video files from my dSLR camera so they are fairly large but I have decided to throw in an SSD into the laptop and just let that handle the work. The rendering itself is pretty fast with the Sandy Bridge i5, it's the audio extraction process that takes a the longest trying to read the data form the drive. I tried an external USB 2.0 hard drive and confirmed it's slower as was expected so I imagine the SSD will fly through the audio extraction process.

Thanks again.
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January 3, 2013 10:46:49 PM

Best answer selected by BubbaRob.
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a c 331 G Storage
January 4, 2013 12:35:14 AM

bubbarob said:
Thank you for the detailed answer I appreciate it. I edit 10-20GB video files from my dSLR camera so they are fairly large but I have decided to throw in an SSD into the laptop and just let that handle the work. The rendering itself is pretty fast with the Sandy Bridge i5, it's the audio extraction process that takes a the longest trying to read the data form the drive. I tried an external USB 2.0 hard drive and confirmed it's slower as was expected so I imagine the SSD will fly through the audio extraction process.

Thanks again.
The SSD will be awesome. I use one for my OS and one for a Adobe scratch drive for Photoshop and Premier and they fly on an SSD.
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January 4, 2013 1:03:07 AM

I ended up getting the Intel 520 180GB from BB for $130. I know it's not a Samsung 840 Pro but it will be fine for my needs and is $120 cheaper. I may attempt to install an mSATA SSD as well for just the OS and apps. After looking at the service manual it may not be as difficult as I had originally thought.

Rob
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a c 331 G Storage
January 4, 2013 1:11:48 PM

I have an Intel 520 480gb on my main machine -- works great.
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January 4, 2013 7:58:08 PM

480GB? Nice...wish my budget would allow me that size. :o 

I got my 180Gb 520 and a firmware update is available, should I update it or leave it alone if it's running ok? I read that sometimes the firmware updates can cause more harm than good on some Intel SSD's.
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a c 331 G Storage
January 4, 2013 9:01:49 PM

I update the firmware after its been out a month or two and have not had any issues. I got my 480 on sale for $340 in November so I couldn't pass it up.
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January 4, 2013 9:54:31 PM

Ok, the firmware was released at the end of November. Thanks again. Nice deal on that drive!
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