As drives come into the edit suite I've been noting their read/write speeds for no other reason than because I can

By Scott Simmons | August 28, 2014

As a freelance editor I get a lot of hard drives sent to me with footage to edit. Usually all of that media is transferred off of those hard drives and onto a RAID for editing. Occasionally I might have a quick turnaround or just fixes on a project and I’ll cut right off the hard drive sent to me. The faster the drive the better for both of these tasks. I’ve been keeping a running log of hard drive speeds for the last few months and with the help of Blackmagic’s Disk Speed test I offer up this cornucopia of various drive speed tests and their connections. Little commentary is provided here but if you have a production asking why you’re questioning their use of a cheap little black Seagate drive from Target then send them to this blog post to see exactly what slow speeds that cheap drive will mean and how that will add time to editorial because of file transfers alone.

Why write this post? I often get sent a USB3 drive with the thought from production that it’s a fast drive because it’s USB3. Usually it’s not because it’s a tiny portable drive with a slow mechanism inside. A drive is only going to be as fast as the bottleneck in the drive chain. If you plug one of those cheap USB3 drives from Walgreens into your new Mac Pro expecting lightning fast transfer to your Thunderbolt RAID you’ll be disappointed.

To illustrate these drive speeds I went with Blackmagic Disk Speed Test. While there are some alternativeswhen it comes to testing disk read/write speed the big Blackmagic Disk Speed Test speedometers are easy to read. I have cropped off the Will it Work? and How Fast? portion of each image as that made for a lot of extra clutter and a really long post...

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