• Register
  • Help
Results 1 to 3 of 3

Topic: Hard Drive Help!

  1. #1

    Arrow Hard Drive Help!

    I just bought a new power mac (dual 2.5GHZ G5, 2GB of Ram to start, one 250GB ATA Drive) and am now looking for the perfect Hard Disk combination for running samples, specifically VSL Opus 1 and EWQL Silver. I've read numerous posts on these boards from many educated posters, though I unfortunately still need a little more help. As suggested, I'm going to use the stock 250GB ATA for the system drive and possibly video data storage, and purchase another drive(s) dedicated to running samples. After TONS of research, here are some possible drives I have found (this list is by NO means complete and any suggestions would be appreciated)

    External Firewire 800 Drives:

    LaCie d2 Triple Interface Hard Drive is a drive I've seen all over the place. Mac themselves seem to really be pushing 'em. Whats cool about this drive is its ability to run on USB 2, FireWire 800 AND FireWire 400, which would allow for easy data transfer between my new G5 and my old G3 ibook (which does not have firewire 800 or USB 2 ports ) Average Price for 160GB: $210

    Interface : FireWire 800, FireWire 400 and Hi-Speed USB 2.0
    Rotational Speed (rpm) : 7200
    Interface Transfer Rate : FireWire 800: 800 Mbits/s; FireWire 400: 400 Mbits/s; USB 2.0: 480 Mbits/s
    Max sustained transfer rate : FireWire 800: up to 55MB/s; FireWire 400: up to 35 MB/s; USB 2.0: up to 34 MB/s**
    Average seek time (write) : 10 ms 1
    Buffer : 2 MB (8MB on the 250GB)


    Anyone heard about the "Pro Audio" line of drives by Ezquest? They also have a Firewire 800 drive, which are said to be "optimized for digital audio," though I for one have no clue what that means! Average price for 120 GB: $275

    Pro Audio drives: Hard Drives
    Part Number Capacity Formatted Capacity Buffer
    Data Transfer Rate: Now up to 50MB/sec read and 45MB/sec write*
    Power Supply: Universal, Auto-Switching
    Interface:Standard 9pin FireWire (2 Ports) , Mini USB 2.0 (1 Port)
    Access Time: 8.9ms
    Buffer: 8mg (all drives)
    Fan: Super quiet ball-bearing
    Chipset: Oxford 922
    RPM: 7200


    Internal SATA Drives:

    Hitachi Deskstar 7K250 (250 GB SATA) - 12.1 Is fastest 7200rpm drive on the market (according to numerous hard disk testers) It also has lower noise as well! Average price: around $240.

    Capacity 250 GB
    Model Number HDS722525VLSA80
    Data Transfer Rate up to 150 MBytes/sec
    Media Transfer Rate: 757 Mbits/s max
    Average Seek Time 8.5 ms
    Average Latency 4.17 ms
    Rotational Speed 7,200 RPM
    Interface Serial ATA
    Buffer 8 MB

    Western Digital Caviar WD2000JB is the past speed leader and ranks 2nd in speed on many sites (behind the Deskstar 7K250). The Average price: around $250

    Capacity 250 GB
    Model Number WD2500JD
    Formatted Capacity 250,059 MB
    Bytes Per Sector 512
    Data Transfer Rate -
    Buffer to Host 150 MB/s max
    Buffer to Disk 748 MBits/s max
    Average Read Seek 8.9 ms (average)
    Track-to-track Seek 2.0 ms (average)
    Full Stroke Read Seek 21 ms (average)
    Average Latency 4.2 ms
    Rotational Speed 7200 RPM
    Buffer 8 MB

    FINAL QUESTIONS: Specifically for running samples, which drive type is better: Internal ATA or External firewire 800? From what I've seen, internal drives generally have a faster seek time then the externals. Is this important? What exactly is important when choosing a drive for sample performance?

    Sorry for the long post! I'm really worried about not getting the most out of my system, and appreciate any and all advice you can offer.


  2. #2

    Re: Hard Drive Help!

    reread all posts from sbenno (me) in these threads


    I've found another site that benchmarked some firewire drives:

    indeed the number look good but as said if portability is not a must I'd stick with internal SATA drives which deliver the best performance (the SATA bus is about 50% faster than firewire 800 (150MB/sec = 1258Mbit/sec vs firewire's 800Mbit/sec) plus no conversion between protocols (ATA <--> firewire) needed.


  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Central Point, Oregon

    Re: Hard Drive Help!

    On paper at least, it's clear that the internal SATA bus is faster than the FireWire 800 bus. But the FireWire 800 bus is more than adequate for most audio situations. So, assuming one will have both types of drives, and assuming one plans to do heavy-duty sample streaming as well as playing audio files, will one of these processes benefit more than the other from the higher potential transfer speeds of the SATA bus?

Go Back to forum


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts