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Topic: sample drive recommendations?

  1. #1

    sample drive recommendations?

    I run Logic on a G5. All my apps etc are on the system drive. I have an internal SATA drive which I've been using for audio files and samples but it is nearly full. (Also have a FW drive for Backup.)
    I want to move my samples over to a separate FW drive but a respected member of the Logic user's group says it is better to get a larger SATA drive and keep it all internal.
    Has anyone here experienced problems with external FW drives? Is this a good route for me to go? What about USB 2? Any other recommendations?
    Thanks, JP

  2. #2

    Re: sample drive recommendations?

    Having an external drive can have disadvantages. With USB 2.0 or
    FW 400 for example, the interface speed is not fast enough to
    fully use the performance of current harddrives. With FW 800 this
    is (currently) not a problem.

    In the Wintel-world you can now get computers which have
    SATA routed to an external plug and there are already some
    external harddrive-cases which support SATA.

    This would probably be the best solution. Next to the vastly
    increased bandwidth it is the native harddrive-interface and
    there is no additional protocol-conversion necessary as it is
    the case with USB or FW.

    I don't know if such an "external SATA-plug" is available on


  3. #3

    Re: sample drive recommendations?


    Western Digital has released its 150 GB Raptor. One version has a nifty little window, so you can see it operate. The version without the window costs $50 less. Both use a 3GB SATA interface.


  4. #4

    Re: sample drive recommendations?

    I do it the other way around.
    Samples on the internal sata and audio on external firewire.

    Our studio had three seperate control rooms. the only way to move sessions between them was on firewire drives.
    They proved way fast enough to handle all the audio that we could throw at them.

    I think high polyphony soft samplers need more bandwidth than say 48 tracks of 24 bit 44.1 audio.

    Samplers are pulling short burts of audio. Polyphony ranging into 150+ voices. That's 150 stereo voices. All short bursts of audio from all over the drive.
    Seems to follow that the samples need the internal sata buss more than the audio side would.

    Anyway - year after year the firewire drives just delivered. We made the move to firewire drives for audio the same week that the oxford 911 chips showed up. Made all the difference.

    Hopefully the new macs will have 4 drive bays like the older macs did.

    I once had 7 hard drives literally stuffed into a powermac 9600! That was fun. That computer with 7 drives was the core of our studio for a couple years. Drives were literally stuffed amongst the internal scsi cables - not screwed in - just a bit of duct tape.
    Love macs!

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2003

    Re: sample drive recommendations?

    I just purchased a G-Raid 500 gig external FW800 drive for my sample library. I had been using a LaCie 500 gig, but the power supply started to go bad (as have 2 other LaCie drives I own...)

    I also use a G5, and I stream samples a lot from this external drive. The FW 800 seems to make it possible, at least under the conditions I've thrown at it.

    The G-Raid is built like a tank as well. I highly recommend it.

  6. #6

    Smile Re: sample drive recommendations?

    i use 2nd internal sata drive (400 gig) for samples,and 2 external Firmtek box's(great enclosures)you can find @ OWC (2x 300 gig,each enclosure,raid)for audio,these are faster and more thruput than fw,i have 2 external fw (300 and 400 gig)on 2nd fw buss (pci card,for backups,photo's etc...)all drives besides boot drive are Seagate,which i like,mac G5 comes w/Maxtor which i don't like as much,i had issues w/ Lacie w/ my G4 so i will usually go w/ and recommend Seagate
    2.7 G5(PPC) 6.5 gig ram,10.48. DP5.12 ,
    FF800, NI,EW,IK VI's ,synths.. etc... Vdrums, Akai Z8 ,XP30 , Focal Twin 6 monitors
    UAD1w/Magma,TC PoCo/pci,
    Shunyata Powercords/Conditioners,Richard Gray....numerous harddrives Firmtek box(esata),& 2nd fw buss

  7. #7

    Re: sample drive recommendations?

    Thanks! This has been really helpful.
    Anyone familiar with OWC Mercury Elite FW 800 drives?

  8. #8

    Re: sample drive recommendations?

    Sure - I probably bought 20 of the owc mercury elites of time.
    exactly 1 bad one in the bunch and that could have just been a fluke.

    They are all I use.

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