… for Codecs & Media
Tip #088: Where Should You Store Media
Internal or external storage. Which is best?
When it comes to storage and media, there are two essential questions: How much capacity and how much speed do you need?
Most current computers – and all Macs – use high-speed SSDs for their internal boot drives. These provide blazing speed but very limited storage.
So, as you are thinking about where to store media, consider this:
- If you have a small project, using the internal SSD is fine.
- If you have a large project, or need to move it between computers or editors, external storage is better.
- For best results, store cache files (and Libraries in FCP X) on the internal boot drive or your fastest external storage.
- SSDs are about four times faster than spinning media (traditional hard disks), but spinning media holds more and is much cheaper.
- A single spinning hard disk is fine for HD, but not fast enough for 4K or HDR
- RAIDs are preferred for massive projects, like one-hour shows or features, large frame sizes, HDR, or faster frame rates. They hold more and transfer data faster than a single drive.
- Don’t store media on any gear connected via USB 1, 2, or 3 Gen 1. It won’t be fast enough. Howver, you can use these devices for backups and longer-term storage.
- Servers are fine for storing and accessing media, but they won’t be as fast as locally-attached storage.
- In general, if you are getting dropped frame errors, it means your storage is too slow to support the media you are editing. Invest in faster storage.