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Thread: External Hard Drives

  1. #1

    Default External Hard Drives

    I'm going to buy an external Hard Drive. Should I buy a SATA or ATA drive?

    Some are connected by USB. I gather I should buy one that connects to firewire to minimise loss of quality?

  2. #2


    Does one know how to type an answer, I wonder?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    Will you be usiing the drive to edit or store video? If purely as a means of storage, the speed of the disk access and transfer rate won't be an issue. I assume you mean SATA or PATA? The technical answer would no doubt be that a SATA interface will give you an increased transfer rate, but that speed will of course be throttled by your CPU and read/write speed. In the real world, it's unlikely that day to day editing will be severely affected by this until you start applying and rendering a huge amount of effects.

    USB 2.0 or Firewire - both are more than sufficient for transfering video data at sustainable rates for editing. Loss of quality won't be an issue as you'll be working in a digital format. The only loss may come from dropped frames at realtime capture from streaming video. Don't be confused between 'capture' and 'editing'. Firewire will give a lossless transfer from miniDV camcorder, but that's not to say that a firewire connection to an external disc will give 'better' quality than a USB one. They both merely transport data.

    So the answer? Yes, you probably should by an SATA drive, and the ideal connection would be via an SATA interface to your motherboard. Failing that, yes, either a USB 2.0 or firewire drive connect to a PATA or SATA drive in an enclosure would also be fine.

  4. #4


    Thank you for your reply Marc, thanks for that information.

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