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Scorching Thunderbolt 3 SSD Speeds Unleash RAW, 4K, 8K And VR Workflows

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As the Geneva Motor Show has shifted from combustion engines to next generation EVs, NAB 2018 transitions innovation in storage from Hard Drive to next generation SSD based solutions.

While the hard drive will continue to dominate the mainstream requirement for high capacity, the move to SSD unlocks the potential of working seamlessly with high resolution footage in a smaller, quieter, lighter and more robust package.

Combined with Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, SSD media has the throughput to saturate the available bandwidth for data and maximise the potential of external storage. In plain terms, more streams at higher resolutions with no lag gets the job done faster!

Apple's launch of ProRes RAW with immediate implementation in Final Cut Pro X launched a myriad of ecosystem upgrades to support the format, with Atomos' Sumo and Shogun Inferno leading the pack with Canon, Sony and Panasonic all announcing support for several models with ProRes RAW output over SDI.

RED also followed the recent launch of the Monstro 8K with the launch of the new dual sensitivity Gemini 5K (developed for low-light conditions in outer space!) both with the benefit of REDCODE RAW output, putting you in full control of your footage.

The continued push forward in resolution and data rates for total immersion in VR, future-proofing and enhanced flexibility for editing puts increased pressure on storage systems, both from a capacity and a speed of workflow point of view, further highlighting the benefits of professional SSD solutions.

If a project requires high speed storage, current considerations for achieving speeds of up to 2000 MB/s might include the G-SPEED SHUTTLE XL, an 8 bay HDD RAID system in RAID 0.

While this provides an excellent field unit with built in redundancy, the potential of working with a single desktop drive that can fit in your bag and outperform this by 40% with lower latency for greater responsiveness when editing is a game-changer for the working professional.

Under the hood, the generational move from SATA drives to PCIe NVMe delivers solutions that are up to 5 times faster.

PCI Express replaces SATA as the interface and "data bus" and Non Volatile Memory Express is the "protocol" or language which was developed specifically for flash storage, replacing the older ATA protocol which inefficiently talked to flash as if it were a hard drive.

The net result is that while last year's must have travel storage, the excellent G-Drive Mobile SSD R-Series, delivers a very respectable 560 MB/s, the move to Thunderbolt 3 boosts it to an incredible 2800 MB/s that’s capable of transferring 1TB in seven minutes, saving precious time in your workflow.

NAB 2018 saw the launch of a trio of solutions, all capable of reads of up to 2800 MB/s with 5 year warranties, but each with a unique twist, making them ideal for all stages of the workflow in differing production environments.
G-DRIVE MOBILE PRO SSD – This is a portable powerhouse for editing on the go, rugged, drop-proof and crush proof, the aluminium enclosure provides protection and heat dissipation for consistent writes.  At 2800 MB/s reads and 2200 MB/s writes, in 500GB and 1TB, it’s currently one of the fastest portable storage available on the market.
G-DRIVE PRO SSD – Based on the classic G-DRIVE design, this workhorse is designed for intensive daily use and features an enterprise class PCIe NVMe SSD inside with an endurance rating of 1 Drive Write per Day (1 DW/D) which means it’s built to be hammered on day in day out with high res content being read and written so it’s ideal for RAW, 4K, 8K and VR projects.  2 Thunderbolt 3 ports allow daisy chaining to integrate it with additional storage media or peripherals on your desktop. It's compact enough that you could drop it in your bag and move from location to location.
G-SPEED SHUTTLE SSD – The ultimate powerhouse for high speed, high res editing features 8 SSDs in a portable RAID unit. Consistent 2800 MB/s Reads and Writes make it a bulletproof edit station to go. No need for proxies, edit multi stream RAW footage directly from the drive. For the bleeding edge 8K and VR jobs, it’s the ideal tool. An evolution series Bay adapter is also available if you want to swap out a drive bay and use ev Readers and media for high speed field ingest and offload. For ultimate protection, a Pelican case makes it road ready.

This article is also available in the June edition of Broadcast Film & Video.

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