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Thread: Question about external hard drive

  1. #1

    Default Question about external hard drive

    I have a few basic questions about external hard drives. My teacher says that all students are required to buy an external hard drive with the following:
    - 7200rpm
    - Firewire 800
    - USB 2.0
    - 1TB
    - Have its own power supply
    We're doing some minor video editing, is this really needed? My laptop doesn't even have a firewire port, why doesn't regular USB work for video editing? And why must the drive have its own power supply? This is only for class as I'm not really a video/film person.
    Can someone explain please, kind of confused why we need all this just for a few classes of very basic video editing, and I probably can't even use this hard drive after buying it as my laptop has no firewire port.

  2. #2


    One important part of being able to edit easily is to have a smooth playback of the video preview. So having the fastest most powerful set up is best especially editing HD footage. one of the slowest parts of any system for moving data around is usually the hard disk. So fast internal hard drives are best. However if you do have to edit using external hard drives passing the data through Firewire is faster than USB 2.0. If you don't have a Firewire socket on your computer then it's pointless buying an external HD with one.

    Most external hard drives have there own power supply are 7200rpm and having 1TB size is not much more expensive than one with half TB. Hope that clears some of the point for you.

  3. #3


    Thank you. Yes I wasn't really concerned with the rpm and the 1TB size, just concerned with the firewire since I really don't want to spend $100-200 on something that I won't ever use outside of a class assignment. Our "assignment" is only gonna be like a 5min film we create, which translates to no more than maybe half an hour or footage when unedited. So even if we feed it directly from the camcorder, do you think firewire is needed for a video clip this short? Isn't it possible to just transfer the footage onto the computer with regular USB (1 hour footage isn't going to take that long to transfer via USB right?), then start editing once the video files are there? Or is it mandatory to feed the video directly from the camcorder while editing?
    Sorry I have a sort of related question: Complete computer newbie here, what exactly does the "expresscard" and "eSATA" slots do? My laptop (Sony VAIO) does have two ports labeled these, how fast are these compared to firewire?
    Last edited by Sonata; 01-10-2012 at 07:27 PM.

  4. #4


    It will take a whle to transfer an hours worth of HD footage but not an eternity. I don't see why what your proposing won't be ok but I'm not your teacher.

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