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CalDigit PCIe 2-Port USB3 Card for Mac Pro
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CalDigit USB 3. Error in Finder. Measuring Apple's success. Airplay to Mac with BananaTunes. But sometimes that's not enough to satisfy the professional or consumer or pro-sumer. Let me tell you about three new, innovative, external storage solutions for the Mac Pro. For months, Mac users have had to sit on the sidelines while Windows users have enjoyed drives with USB 3.
USB 3 has been on the horizon for a couple of years, and now some USB 3-enabled hard drives are finally shipping. CalDigit's AV Drive is one of these rare breeds, but it stands out even more because it's the only drive I know of -- shipping today -- that works on the Mac as well as Windows.
Most Mac users will have an external hard drive. We all use them. They have become an integral part of our workflow. They offer a quick, simple way of increasing computer storage space without breaking into your precious MacBook to upgrade components. These gadgets tend to look quite tacky. Mac users are very demanding. We want performance, looks and quality. Step in the AV Drive by CalDigit, a beautifully designed hard drive that offers good power efficiency, great looks and speed? Let's face it, we all spend more time at our computers than we want to these days. With digital camera manufacturers pushing megapixel and file sizes higher and higher, and HD video becoming the norm, we are constantly in need of more hard drives.
On top of a need for reliable storage space I'm always looking for a way to speed up my workflow and hence spend less time in front of the monitor. A couple of months ago storage solution specialists CalDigit announced a new addition to their external drive lineup, the USB 3. Buckle your seat belts. Today's storage needs are increasing at exponential rates.
And this trend has led me to a five-plus year search for the ideal storage solution. I've bought a few off-the-shelf, rolled a few of my own and demo'd more than my share. All that experience has brought me to this point, and this review: So whether it's thumbs up, double guns, lots of stars or diamonds these days in order to recommend something, all I can say is that the VR mini is gear I would use--especially for editing out in the field.
And, I would definitely use the RAID 1 feature when shooting with a file-based format like P2 because I'd automatically be creating two copies when I transfer media off the cards. It's all fine and well to have an extremely well designed product available, and it's another thing to back it up with support, and from my experience with CalDigit, you needn't worry about either situation. They have responsive customer service and they have a product here that's second to no one's. First in it's class for sure, and let's face it: It's just plain chic. I like this unit a lot and will give it the coveted 5 cows in a heartbeat!
The CalDigit VR is solid, quiet, versatile and is backed by a company with a reputation for knowledge in the video world and which delivers the kind of support that professionals require. Read More It offers ease of use with both its hardware and software interfaces and I really like how the front panel displays the unit's current state and status.
The price point of the VR is also quite compelling considering it has a hardware RAID controller and ships with two drives price varies with capacity configuration. The HDElement is expandable. The 4-drive box I believe is sold preconfigured in a RAID 5 configuration, which, by spreading and replicating data across three or more drives safeguards the loss of data against the failure of any one drive, but this can be changed accordingly to the demands of the user. You can monitor your system, do performance checks, check hard drives, fan, temperature, power supply, configure RAID array, etc.
Take it from me, you really can't go wrong with an HDOne -- if you're looking for peace of mind in a box, CalDigit has just the ticket for you.
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I particularly like what CalDigit offers because it's so obvious they've taken the time to think everything through, down to the tiniest details. Everything CalDigit does has a fit and polish that exudes confidence. Their packaging, their marketing materials, their website, their competent and willing support, the striking exterior finish and the modular inner-workings of their equipment, are all beautifully designed with a single purpose; to take all of the headaches out of video storage.
Their RAID storage systems promise ease of use and substantial levels of security, without sacrificing too much storage space, too much speed, or too much hard earned cash. We've used this unit for about six weeks of daily onlining.
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We've beaten up this unit in a pretty rigorous real world project and I've encountered no issues with the HDOne. If your post situation requires uncompressed HD onlines, then the HDOne should definitely be on your short list of Raids to consider. I've read good reviews about CalDigit's previous products, but having first hand experience with this HDOne has spoiled me for any future raid boxes from other manufacturers Crazy fast performance with massive amounts of storage, it was love at first sight.
Then reality set it, there had to be a catch. What did this thing cost? Well, it turns out the cost was not the catch. The HDPro is relatively cheap especially compared to what I paid to the… Just like any project, I had to start by getting video onto they system.
I captured 20 minutes of i 10 Bit uncompressed high definition video. Basically it means that the data rate is sustained consistently for optimal transfer rates. So if the RAID sees a big group of large files coming it readies itself ensuing a fast and reliable transfer… considering the cost and the performance, the HDPro is a clear winner for any present or future edit suite… Read More….
I used the HDPro for a week for various projects I was working on, and never once did I have an issue with frames dropping. I mostly work in i 8-bit Uncompressed which, when the HDPro was empty, gave me about 4. This unit slid into my production work flow seamlessly, and if you didn't tell me that I was using a PCI-e connection instead of fibre, I would never have known it.
How It Performed: He has been in the television industry for 12 years, and spends his days on lining on a Final Cut Pro HD. I have been editing for over 30 years, and wanted to avoid the Sony-Grass Valley-Ampex-CMX finger pointing that marked tech support for the first half of my career. I have always used Raid Zero - and have always had a sophisticated reliable backup system in place for redundancy. In time I went thru 2 Raid cards on the original Mac Pro but the second one killed the machine all together.
Applecare came thru with a brand new 2. But the song remains the same!
What have Bob and I been telling you better? RAID 0 is not redundant. RAID 1 and some other types are. RAID 0 is data split in parallels. RAID 1 is data duplicated in parallels. If you have a backup system and are diligent about backing up all the time,.. Its faster then Raid 5. If the raid fails, you have your backup. If one or more drives fail then you're down a "whooping" dollars.
Simple, cheap. If its not broken don't fix it. I still think they are overpriced. They surely wont make your work any better,.. Peter writes - I have been editing for over 30 years, and wanted to avoid the Sony-Grass Valley-Ampex-CMX finger pointing that marked tech support for the first half of my career. Both you and I will DIE from heart attacks working on some insane nightmare problem, while the client is screaming at us.
Isn't that why we got into show business in the first place. There will always be problems. There was grief then, there is grief now, and there will be grief tomorrow. From the Mel Brooks movie "Spaceballs" - "even in the future, nothing works!