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185 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 228523 10-Jan-2018 11:08
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My working day usually consists of filming 4K video on location all day followed by an intensive media download each evening.

 

On a typical day I would have 2 x 256GB Cfast cards, 2 x 32 GB SD cards and 4 x 8 GB micro SD cards to transfer to 2 USB3 Backup drives (Seagate). I use a  software transfer tool called Hedge, which takes the hassle out of cueing up and verifying these transfers.

 

At the moment I'm using an Asus UX303L laptop with 3 x USB ports (i7 processor with 8GB RAM) on Windows 10. It seems to take at lest 25mins to transfer each 256GB card.

 

I'm wondering if I would achieve faster transfer speeds with another system, i.e. a Macbook Pro with a USB-C port and a dock to accept the media card reader and external BU drives?

 

Filming days are long and intensive enough in themselves and anything I can do to minimise transfer time at the end of the day would help.


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  Reply # 1935415 10-Jan-2018 11:26
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Are you copying from each 256GB Cfast card to both USB3 drives? - ie making two backups?

 

The read speed from a Cfast at max is 500MB/s so the full 256GB will take at least 12 mins at full speed,

 

USB3 is ~600MB/s so  a straight through copy should be able to be done to ONE drive in around the same time 

 

But I suspect if it is writing to both drives it is saturating the USB3 bus and likely doubling the time,

 

 

 

How fast does it copy from one Cfast card to one USB3 drive ?

 

Edit: also are the USB drives externally powered,

 

this article ( while for mac I suspect that same holds on PC) suggests that powered USB drives speed up Hedge transfers

 

https://medium.hedgeformac.com/speeding-up-your-on-set-backups-bcd861fed301




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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1935442 10-Jan-2018 11:53
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wellygary:

 

Are you copying from each 256GB Cfast card to both USB3 drives? - ie making two backups?

 

The read speed from a Cfast at max is 500MB/s so the full 256GB will take at least 12 mins at full speed,

 

USB3 is ~600MB/s so  a straight through copy should be able to be done to ONE drive in around the same time 

 

But I suspect if it is writing to both drives it is saturating the USB3 bus and likely doubling the time,

 

 

 

How fast does it copy from one Cfast card to one USB3 drive ?

 

Edit: also are the USB drives externally powered,

 

this article ( while for mac I suspect that same holds on PC) suggests that powered USB drives speed up Hedge transfers

 

https://medium.hedgeformac.com/speeding-up-your-on-set-backups-bcd861fed301

 

 

Yes I am making two backups of each card, but sequentially not at the same time.

 

It takes around 25 mins to copy one CF card to one USB3 drive.

 

The hard drives are not externally powered (they are client supplied).

 

The other cameraman who works on this show with the exact same setup but uses a Macbook pro instead of Windows reports much quicker transfer speeds. I don't know if he is exaggerating or not though?


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1935471 10-Jan-2018 12:02
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Does your asus have an SSD?, you may also be light on RAM with only 8GB




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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1935637 10-Jan-2018 15:16
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wellygary:

 

Does your asus have an SSD?, you may also be light on RAM with only 8GB

 

 

Yes it does have an SSD, maybe an upgrade to 16GB RAM, although I would also like the option of using Final Cut Pro X which is a Mac only thing.

 

 


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  Reply # 1935664 10-Jan-2018 15:24
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I doubt RAM will help with data transfer speed, maybe a tiny bit with buffering is all. I would try a different card reader and look at drivers. USB has always been a bit fiddly to get working at full speed.





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  Reply # 1935673 10-Jan-2018 15:30
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And CF cards can be marketed on write vs read and opposite too. Do a couple of benchmark tools on them for a rough idea on the rate to expect.

 

Good branded Sandisk Ultra IV, Lexar or similar?

 

I have a couple of Adatas, and as expected they are optimised for burst/video write speed but don't read off as fast. Whereas the smaller capacity Sandisks do both


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1935706 10-Jan-2018 16:06
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Do you need to do it on a laptop, or could you build a small desktop to do it?

 

Thinking then you could load it up with a bunch of PCIe or USB 3/3.1 card readers so at least you might not have to swap the cards out as often?

 

Alternatively I'm guessing upgrading to a device with USB 3.1 gen 2 may well improve your speeds as USB 3.1 gen 2 can support 700-800 MB/s - vs gen 1 which really is 300-400 MB/s


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  Reply # 1935723 10-Jan-2018 17:01
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ports have max speed overall in theory but each port will have a much lower speed in real life depending on quality and design. sure you can try usb-c and what not on another computer, but caveat emptor: try before you buy, otherwise you will be very upset at your fancy new laptop not going as fast as you thought it would.

 

also your card reader may be the limiting factor. or may not.


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  Reply # 1935726 10-Jan-2018 17:02
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jnimmo:

 

Do you need to do it on a laptop, or could you build a small desktop to do it?

 

Thinking then you could load it up with a bunch of PCIe or USB 3/3.1 card readers so at least you might not have to swap the cards out as often?

 

Alternatively I'm guessing upgrading to a device with USB 3.1 gen 2 may well improve your speeds as USB 3.1 gen 2 can support 700-800 MB/s - vs gen 1 which really is 300-400 MB/s

 

 

"can support" and "will perform at" are completely different. see previous post.




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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1935737 10-Jan-2018 17:18
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Its a fancy pants USB card reader called a CODEX which is designed to use with the Arri camera which I am shooting with. 

 

The cards are Lexar professional 256GB cards 540MB/s 3600x, and I use around 12 of them (client owned) at USD$700 each thats a big investment.

 

No a computer is not a viable option as the shoot involves a lot of travel where every part of the kit needs to be as light in weight as possible.

 

The maths of this equation does my head in a bit here, and I know through experience with high end cameras that its not only the pixel count and resolution that matters.

 

Cameras are portable computers these days and performance is about the whole package.


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  Reply # 1935809 10-Jan-2018 19:28
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Well the cards get sustained 300-500MB reads in most the tests (bit lower end for 4K video) so that's likely them narrowed out

 

Leaving you with the chipset USB->Disk write offload, or the reader.

 

Lots of mention of the CFasts needing to be equivalent of TRIM'd to keep performace too. But can't get to the Lexar version it most suggest anymore




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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1936186 11-Jan-2018 12:50
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Oblivian:

 

 

 

Lots of mention of the CFasts needing to be equivalent of TRIM'd to keep performace too. 

 

 

I'm not sure what this means "TRIM'D"?


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  Reply # 1936219 11-Jan-2018 13:35
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bluedisk:

 

The other cameraman who works on this show with the exact same setup but uses a Macbook pro instead of Windows reports much quicker transfer speeds. I don't know if he is exaggerating or not though?

 

 

Unless I've made a mistake with my numbers, 256 GB in 25 minutes is about 170MB/s, which is pretty good for a USB drive, exceptionally so if the USB disk is a 2.5" HDD (not SSD)

 

 








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  Reply # 1937276 11-Jan-2018 15:48
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Is the external HDD a conventional HDD or SSD, If its not a SSD drive I would consider replacing them with SSD based drives. 

 

 

 

Could you use a NAS with 1 Gigabit LAN instead? People using portable HDD's for video footage and photography scares me.




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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1937277 11-Jan-2018 15:50
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gbwelly:

 

 

 

Unless I've made a mistake with my numbers, 256 GB in 25 minutes is about 170MB/s, which is pretty good for a USB drive, exceptionally so if the USB disk is a 2.5" HDD (not SSD)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes the USB ext drive is 2.5"HDD not SSD. These are 4 TB drives and SSD not feasible for what we do. Thanks for your opinion on this being a good transfer speed, thats all I really need to know. I'll stop looking for a better alternative.


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