Is this fast enough to edit HD video from the drive - not just as a storage device?

I am editing 1.5 TBs of HD footage on an iMac off of a G-RAID USB 2.0 external hard drive, but its just not fast enough to keep up while I edit in HD (continues to skip/freeze/pause, etc).

Will using a Thunderbolt drive like this help me to edit HD footage from a drive without these issues?

LaCie 4TB d2 USB 3.0 Thunderbolt Series Hard Drive

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  • Best Answer:

    Yes, and no. It mostly depends on your HD compression, or lack thereof. For example, in the high-end professional arena, uncompressed 1080i @ 29.97 fps (59.94 fields per second) video will never play consistently in real time from this drive, regardless of the fast connection. That's why most use multi-spindle raid drives configured so that the data from each video frame is divided up and recorded across several drives at once, increasing the bandwidth (your limitation was the 2.0 USB bandwidth). Conversely, in the less demanding home-based and pro-sumer arenas, various HD compressions (H264, Apple ProRes, DNxHD, etc.) could yield very satisfying results on this drive - based, however, on several factors: long GOP compression vs short, 8 bit vs 10 bit, video frame rates, data rates, etc.). Finally, another big factor is whether you are performing fades, video layering, or other transitional effects, from one video clip to another, obviously because this drive will have to buffer heavily and play two or more streams of HD video at once. Bottom line: choose the right HD compression and this drive will run steady. If you need more quality, you'll need more bandwidth (drives).

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  • Yes, this drive is fast enough when connected to a USB 3.0 or a Thunderbolt port on your Macintosh computer. Just be sure that your computer has a Thunderbolt or USB 3.0 port on your Mac.

    This drive is plenty fast; faster than any FireWire drive. I have used iMovie, Premier Elements, and Final Cut Pro to edit HD using this drive without any issues.

    You will be happy with both the speedy performance as well as the capacity of this drive, or its sibling 4TB drive.

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