External hard drive for video editing?

by Willy M.

Hello. First of all, you must be aware that I am French. So, into this request, there could be mistakes in my grammar. I will try to be the most clear as possible to allow you to answer me.

It is a very interesting website that you have got here, with many helpful informations and other articles. I will continue my visit in the future.

So, I am a 18-year-old man who produces movies (for fun, but "professionally"). I take all my time to make my movies and I'm always looking for the best things I could use with a strict budget.

But I have a question, not directly related to the creation of documentaries, but it is about the stuff that I would like to use for making films (the external hard drive).

I have got a laptop (HP ProBook with Windows 8, 64bits, about 750 GB of memories, 8 Go RAM), and I only use it for making films. I use Sony Vegas Pro 13 and After Effects.

Do I have to use an external hard drive (in which there are my videos) to make the job easier and, above all, FASTER than working totally on my computers, without external hard drive ? Is that interesting in therms of rapidity of treatment?

I project to buy an external hard drive (1 TB or more, USB.3 or Firewire) to enjoy my works. Is that very interesting to work with this? (I already saw the article about external hard drive).

So, I hope you will answer my question. Thank you!

Desktop Documentaries | Answer

Hello Willy from France,

Thanks for your question. If I'm understanding you correctly, you're asking if adding an external hard drive to your laptop will make your video editing process go faster. I've shared your question with freelance video producer Chris Mattle who is an editing wiz. Check out some of his work here: www.chrismattle.com

Chris' answer is posted below.

Comments for External hard drive for video editing?

Click here to add your own comments

Sep 08, 2014
Cheaper hard drives NEW
by: Anonymous

Hard drives in casings are more expensive than buying industry-standard 3.5″ internal SATA hard drive then sticking them in a dock.

Jun 12, 2014
External Hard Drive... NEW
by: James, from Alaska

Hello Willy from France,

Thank you for your question. Regarding an External Hard Drive. They are very useful for video editing and production projects for many reasons. In the older days when Video Edit programs were very large, they often required external hard drives for editing because of the size of videos. With newer programs and larger computers, External Hard Drives are not as important as they once were.

However, they are still very useful and add flexibility and more space if you do a lot of video film production and editing. The videos and audio recordings are very large and require a large amount of storage space. The newer video editing suites as you have, do not require an external, or extra hard drives, but that does not mean you don't need them. By all means, buy and use as many external hard drives as you need. Your video projects will use up all of your hard drive space in your computer very quickly. External hard drives will minimize and even prevent that. I have about 5.5 TB of external and internal hard drives on my computer, with 4 built in, and 3 external hard drives. My videos use so much space and I am grateful for all those hard drives. My computer is a desktop computer and has 4 internal hard drives installed. It has 6GB of Ram and is a duel quadcore computer with 8 processors and 2.8 processor speed. It is an older machine, but still does good for editing audio, photos and videos. Good luck Willie, keep filming, it's fun!

Jun 12, 2014
Thank you NEW
by: Willy M.

Thank you for your answer !

So, if I understand, you agree to say that one (or two!) external hard drive(s) can be a good option in terms of editing performance ?

But in any case, I think I am going to get one for my works !

Jun 12, 2014
my editing set-up NEW
by: Chris Mattle

Hi Willy,

I typically use a set up where my system drive (where your programs are stored) is separate from both my source media, and my render files.
While this is NOT necessary, it does make for a faster and more stable editing experience. I currently store my project files on my system drive, and utilize one external drive for my media, and an additional drive for my render files. I hope this helps!


Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Ask a Question.

Ready To Make Your Dream Documentary?

Sign up for our exclusive 7-day crash course and learn step-by-step how to make a documentary from idea to completed movie! 

Return Home