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Topic: Can a sample drive be too big?

  1. #1

    Can a sample drive be too big?

    I've currently got all of my Giga sounds and what not on an internal 250GB drive. I see they have some 500GB out there but is that too big to keep and access streaming samples from?
    Westgate Studios
    Sound Libraries for Gigastudio and Kontakt

  2. #2

    Re: Can a sample drive be too big?

    I doubt that it could be too big.

    But I have read that data is accessed faster or slower based on where on the drive it is physically located (towards the center or towards the outside of the spinny-thingy). On a larger drive filled with data then it would probably make a bit more of a difference.

    But I'm sure this difference is minimal, unless you are really pushing the drive to its limits. As long as you keep your data defragmented I can't imagine it would be much of a problem.

    But I'm not an expert on the inner workings of hard drives, so I could be way off base. Any computer gurus want to chime in?


  3. #3

    Re: Can a sample drive be too big?

    I have been using 5 300GB firewire drives for all of my sample libs and have not had any problems! They seem to be fast enough. I used Seagate internal drives insalled into RhinoJr firewire drive cases. It did the trick.



  4. #4

    Re: Can a sample drive be too big?

    Anyone using one big drive like a 500GB?
    Westgate Studios
    Sound Libraries for Gigastudio and Kontakt

  5. #5

    Re: Can a sample drive be too big?

    Even if someone says "yes I use a 500Gb drive for samples, and it works great" your not going to know if there is a drop in performance unless they upgraded from a smaller drive. Anyone like that out there?

    Worst case scenario you buy a 500GB drive, find out it hurts your performance, and now have a nice sized drive for backups.

    Let us know if you arrive at a solid answer. As my library grows with your products, I'm going to eventually need a larger drive!

  6. #6
    Moderator/Developer Brian2112's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Out of my Mind

    Re: Can a sample drive be too big?

    My Main DAW has 4 500gig internal SATA drives (1Terrabyte). Plenty fast for sample streaming. I think the only performance hit that I am taking is in my DAW app (Sonar 6). I have no problem stacking up midi files playing back tons of samples with many instances of Kontakt 2. Once I render though, I notice my track count is reduced as compared to what I used to get with smaller drives.
    Just my experience...

    "So what if some parts of life are a crap shoot? Get out there and shoot the crap." -- Neil Peart
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  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2003

    Re: Can a sample drive be too big?

    I have used 500 gig drives more my sample libraries for 3 years now. My latest one is an external 500 gig SATA drive.

    I've never had any issues either... it's always worked. But I too, have heard the theory that the bigger the drive, the farther the "laser" has to travel to find stuff. It never seemed to hurt the performance I get though.

    I do try and keep my sample drive de-fragmented though, for that very reason.

  8. #8

    Re: Can a sample drive be too big?

    If the HDD manufacturer makes a big drive by adding more platters, the performance of the larger HDD is similar to the smaller one. If, however, the density goes up, performance goes up. It's almost like running the drive at a higher speed. (More bits per rotation.)

    Hitachi's 1TB drive kicks bottom:

    The Hitachi uses 200GB per platter. The upcoming Seagate 1TB HDD will use 250GB platters, and has the opportunity be even faster.

    The only advantage to a smaller drive is that if you are pulling strings from one drive, woodwinds from another and brass from a third, this would give more poly than pulling everything from one big drive. (At least when playing the three sections at the same time.) But you could just as easily pull samples from three big drives as three small ones. It just costs more...

    Bottom line: Big drives = good.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    venice, ca|paris, france

    Re: Can a sample drive be too big?

    i bought 2 seagate 750s last week and have yet to test them. they will be replacing 2 seagate 400s

    they are SATA 2
    7200 rpm
    16 mb buffer

  10. #10

    Re: Can a sample drive be too big?

    I upgraded from smaller 80 Gbs SATA1 to two 250s a couple of months ago. I used 80gb discs because I suspected data to be found faster when stored on a smaller disc, and the support for that idea was very diverse. The specs of the new 250s are exactly the same as for the 80gb discs.

    I suspect my large scale use of samples should put a very high - not to say the highest - of test for a single system. I have not tested the performance with any kind of benchmark or diagnostic tool, but outside of that I have not experienced any dip on performance at all.

    I would however recommend upgrading from Pata to Sata, to get the NCQ technology that SATA drives uses. It has the possibility of reducing the searchtime quite a bit.
    Kid: When I become an adult I wanna be a musician.
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