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Hellbent

best external drive for video editing

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I need a very reliable drive for video editing--hours and hours of tape. What's recommended? I think I'll need 500 gigs(?). Do I need to get a very fast drive? Thanks. Any advice or experience with this is appreciated.

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Probably you want to get two separate drives rather than one. Practically all modern HDs can keep up even with uncompressed video streams, and you need sustained data output and large capacities rather than crazy seek times, so stay away from 10000/15000 rpm HDs or SSD, that's one field they don't excel at.

When using two separate drives you can do smooth copies or processing: reads from one, processes and dubs to the other with minimal head/mechanics wear, and without splitting each disk's bandwidth between read and write: one does only reads, the other only writes (and you can change lanes if you need multiple passes).

If one of the two editing hard disks will be your internal one, then NP: you can just get one. I've personally had no problems dubbing whole DVDs from a generic USB 2.0 HD enclosure with an old 160 GB IDE disk inside, and the target was an internal 80 GB IDE disk, all on a Celeron 1200. The CPU was slow of course, but the disks worked smoothly and continuously without trashing or grinding.

As for what interfaces to use, anything from USB 2.0/3.0, eSata or Firewire will do. Prefer a solution that will allow you to use separate controllers (e.g. Firewire/USB 2.0 + internal SATA or eSata+ IDE, but preferably not eSata + internal SATA).

As for the size, depends what you will be grabbing/recording. If you do grabs in real-time DivX, then you probably won't need much time (around 1 GB per hour tops). However HD video, MiniDV dumps, Digital TV rips etc. eat up space much faster than that (DTV easily averages 2 GB/hour, standard quality MiniDV cranks up to 10 GB/hour etc.)

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