5D Thunderbolt speed for working from everyday / video / boot drive

I wanted to gauge the speed of a 5D running via Thunderbolt for the upcoming mac pro using it every day. My general question is does it stack up against using an internal HD or better?

[]How is the speed?
]Could you edit video from it?
[]Has anyone used the 5D as a boot drive?
]Is there any lag/speedup/slowdown?
[*]Does it compare to having an internal HD?

thanks all 5Der’s!

You can’t boot from the 5D via Thunderbolt!!! Only via USB.

Agreed - will not boot via TB. Frankly, if you’re spending the cash on the undisclosed price of the new mac pro, you might as well spend another couple of dollars and toss a SSD in there and just keep the 5D as an attached storage device via TB. My opinion anyways.

To answer your questions Musio:

The benchmark tests we run during our live demos via Thunderbolt average around 200 MB/s write and 300 MB/s read. This is faster than the connection to your internal hard drive, so editing video directly from it is very fast. Adding an mSATA card will accelerate small and random reads. We don’t currently support booting from any Drobo model, but we are working on it.

Our professional live demo runs Monday - Friday at 11a central time, if you wanted to see it in action. Here is the direct registration link:

Thanks all.
Sky, so if it’s faster than internal HD that good enough for me! Roll on Thunderbolt 2 which is out on the Mac Pro this year…(time for an upgrade DR! :wink: )

There is not one Drobo unit that would benefit from Thunderbolt 2. The hardware is not even a fraction of the thru put of Thunderbolt 1. I would not hold my breath for anything special. Except improving their current models internally to take advantage of the current possibilities from thunderbolt 1.

Thanks for posting the numbers - this is fast. One gentleman reported even higher numbers - 300MB/s - via TB on Windows!

I have a few questions that I asked in a separate thread, would love to hear the answers.


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I have a drobo 5d with 3 WD Red 3TB drives but without a SSD drive.
I thought it would be plenty fast for video editing but when time came the experience I had was exactly the opposite.
Had to wait several times for the data to get accessed and the whole experience was very infuriating.
I don’t know what the problematic combination is. Drobo + iMac, Drobo + FCPX?
Anyway just to let you know that you might want to have a hands on experience first before buying.

This is very misleading. I would say those numbers are accurate for a newly formatted 5D. However, the speed quickly decreases as you fill the 5D with data. My 5D is 65% full and i get about 130MB write (due to mSATA SSD) and between 40-80MB Read. I tried to use FCPX to edit directly from the 5D and it is a terrible experience. I have to use Proxy media to make it bearable.

Benchmarks in general are very specific to the use case. Reading multiple streams/files simultaneously will definitely impact the transfer rate, as will the same of the files being read (larger files tend to perform better).

It should also be noted that all of the new Mac SSD’s (Air, iMac, and forthcoming Pro models) use PCI-E SSD’s, wo no SATA or other bus involved, and they’re already benchmarked at near 1GBps - and that’s from an entry-level 11-inch Air. In short, you don’t want to boot off of anything else. :slight_smile:

That’s what I found quite fast which was dissapointing especially for the insane amount of money drobo costs. It should also be communcated by Drobo that this is no way useable for video production. The video they have with concurrent streaming is very misleading.

We use a DroboPro on iSCSI for some video production here - it all depends on what kind of production you’re doing.
Multiple concurrent streams of high-bitrate stuff generally won’t do well on Drobo.

hi, one thing ive noticed, is that if you use source files that are on the drobo (for your video work), save the output somewhere else…

… or if you’re using source files on your computer, you can save the output to drobo.

ive had slowdown when using (smaller) but multiple source files that were on the drobo, as well as outputting to the drobo (i might have even had the application’s temp location there as well at some point) :slight_smile: but it was still ok in the end.[hr]
you can always copy your output file to the drobo again (or somewhere else too) once rendering is all complete

Read/write to the same device will always slow things down. It makes a pretty big difference especially with video.

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