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Topic: Whats the real scoop on hard drives

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  1. #1

    Whats the real scoop on hard drives

    Many say you don't need sata or a raid config.
    Some say get at least 10,000rpm regular drives.

    I'm building a new system and the latest mobo tend to cater to sata connections.

    For large streaming sample libraries and gigastudio, what would you consider to be a good setup. I realize of course seperate drives is primary.

  2. #2

    Re: Whats the real scoop on hard drives

    Whoever said you don't need SATA is an idiot.

    Not only do you need SATA, but you need SATA II. It's the fastest spec out there right now.

    It's just a connection type. Like USB or Firewire or, in elder hard disks, Ultra-ATA. And right now SATA II is cream of the crop. Make sure you look for a 16MB cache, minimum (as far as I know, only the Hitachi 1TB Deskstar's have 32MB caches).

    As for RAID... I like RAID. Not much data security in RAID 0, and there's no credible or significant evidence I've seen that RAID 0 increases sample streaming speeds... it should, in theory, but not from the limited tests I've run. 5TB RAIDs are fun, though. I certainly have never had a disk streaming bottleneck of any kind.

    I have a 320GB system drive for Windows and applications, a 5TB RAID 0 for samples, a 1TB eSATA drive for audio recordings, and a 500GB Firewire 800 drive for project files. It all works fine. My bottleneck's in memory, like most everybody else.

    10,000 rpm is a waste, unless you're rich and feel like spending. 10k drive sizes are small, they run real hot and they're damn noisy. Raptors ain't worth it. Spend the money on oodles of drive space; you're not gonna have a problem with 7200 rpm hard disks.

    That's my experience/opinion.

    -Tom

  3. #3

    Re: Whats the real scoop on hard drives

    You do need SATA, but not necessarily SATA 2. What you need is Raptor drives, which are SATA drives, because they have the unrivalled lowest seek time among consumer drives. Seek time should be your no. 1 priority for DFD streaming of large amounts of samples.

    My two cents

  4. #4
    Senior Member Steve_Karl's Avatar
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    Re: Whats the real scoop on hard drives

    I'm still running IDE and streaming full orchestra and having absolutely no problems.
    Disk in / out will never be the bottle neck in my opinion.

  5. #5

    Re: Whats the real scoop on hard drives

    Better to choose a common IDE or SATA drive(no problem using external USB HDD for my VSTi and internal IDE drive for my Gigastudio) so if you've a problem, you can change it in one day. Yes, 10k RPM are noisy, useful if you're a video editor ...

  6. #6

    Re: Whats the real scoop on hard drives

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomdini
    Whoever said you don't need SATA is an idiot.
    Right, so those 7-8 years or so after Gigastudio first coming out, when SATA hadn't been invented yet and everyone was streaming whole orchestras from PATA drives (as many of us STILL ARE every day), with no glitching whatsoever (because RAM limitations upon the number of instruments kick in well before any CPU or drive considerations), were just an illusion, and never really happened...

    Not only do you need SATA, but you need SATA II. It's the fastest spec out there right now.
    The first part of your statement does not follow from the second. It's perfectly possible to make plenty of music on a technically smooth and well running system without "the fastest spec out there right now". How do you think anybody did it last year?

    Whether somebody NEEDS a particular type or speed of component is a different issue, to do with what's actually necessary to get the job done without the technology getting in the way. Computers have been well past that point in most respects for several years now.

    There is also the "speed of the weakest link in the chain" factor. If there are certain limitations elsewhere in your system that mean the speed difference between a component running at speed X and at speed 2X will NEVER ACTUALLY BE USED, then the fact that it's twice as fast doesn't mean jack sh1t.

    Drive speed being a prime example. It's simply not an issue in most DAWs and sampling machines - any decent brand PATA OR SATA drive, installed in an intelligent 2 or 3-drive configuration for optimal sample streaming (and even many single drive systems installed any old how) is capable of streaming all the samples you want smoothly up to the point where you can't load any more because of current RAM limits. When we're all running 64bit system with a terabyte of RAM and having trouble getting 173 pianos to play together with the pedal down without dropped notes, then I'll think again.

    Of course SATA is so ubiquitous now, and no more expensive than PATA anyway, so it's a moot point. One would inevitably end up buying SATA drives for a new system now. However anyone with PATA drives in a current system has no reason to upgrade them, if the system is doing the job (and if it isn't, I'll wager in 99% of cases it's not due to the drive interface).

    But someone who replaces intelligent examination of how a system actually works and what you ACTUALLY need to make it work, with "oh, of course you HAVE to buy the FASTEST of EVERYTHING, because it's impossible to run a DAW with anything less" - that's actually what an idiot is. Or somebody in the business of selling new computers perhaps

    10,000 rpm is a waste, unless you're rich and feel like spending. 10k drive sizes are small, they run real hot and they're damn noisy. Raptors ain't worth it. Spend the money on oodles of drive space; you're not gonna have a problem with 7200 rpm hard disks.
    Ah now there I'm more on your wavelength, though I'd go further and apply this to most of the improvements in drive architecture over the last few years. They're improvements in an area which by and large didn't actually need improving, and was never the limiting factor for most of us anyway. Different for pro video editing suites, perhaps.

  7. #7

    Re: Whats the real scoop on hard drives

    Appreciate everyone's input.
    Mighty nice of you all..........

    I'll just get 3 SATA drives for my sampling machine.

  8. #8

    Re: Whats the real scoop on hard drives

    Quote Originally Posted by Ouch that hurts
    Right, so those 7-8 years or so after Gigastudio first coming out, when SATA hadn't been invented yet and everyone was streaming whole orchestras from PATA drives (as many of us STILL ARE every day), with no glitching whatsoever (because RAM limitations upon the number of instruments kick in well before any CPU or drive considerations), were just an illusion, and never really happened...
    Yes. Helloooooo?? It's called the NSA's "Weaving-The-Tapestry-of-Reality" machine!!!!!! The guys in suits and shades tell me the only way to protect myself from it is to take the sugar cube once every day, when I wake up in the morning...

    Look, dude, I was in a foul mood and nobody had responded to the poor OP's message. I was only as aggressive as I was because, really, SATA II is so inexpensive you might as well (which you more or less said yourself). I just found a 320GB SATA II drive for 72 bucks without trying. The OP's building a new system, not upgrading. SATA is easy to find and wildly affordable. So I pushed for SATA II. That's all.

    Now for a little flame retardant. I agree with everything you said (especially "that mean the" - sheer poetic eloquence undeserving of a free public forum that will never fully appreciate its splendor and genius!). But never did I invalidate any older system currently running PATA drives or any older IDE drives, nor did I state such machines would be incapable of properly streaming sample libraries. I have a couple aging machine's in my farm with PATA's installed, too.

    I mean, everybody else gets to be so opinionated, I thought I'd give it a try! My word choice was brash and I reconsidered it once or twice, but like I said, end of a bad day and I just figured I should encourage the OP to not pursue older tech that can be had for the same money as newer tech. When OS's catch up, and we do get our terabytes of RAM, an array of SATA II drives will definitely come in handy and you might as well get 'em now because those glorious days are on the way.

    Now, admittedly, I'm currently knee-deep in debt due to a pyramid scheme involving the sale of Western Digital hard drives... but ya gotta believe me, man, it has no bearing on my advice!!!!!!!

    So while you're busy hurting my feelings, I'd be happy to wear the crown of King Idiot but Ashif already is.

    I'm sorry my narrow-mindedness made you waste all that time and energy typing.

    I hope the slight hint of sardonicism with a splash of hyperbole is well taken. I love you!!!!!!!!!!! Have a piece of cake.

    -Tom

    P.S. The devil's post count!!!!!!!!!! You were possessed, I knew it. Post 666 - always the one to bite my head off!

  9. #9

    Re: Whats the real scoop on hard drives

    I'll just get 3 SATA drives for my sampling machine.
    Personally I don’t use the last 30% of them. Performances decrease at the ‘end’ of them.
    http://www.hardware.fr/articles/624-...-s-250-go.html (graph number 2)
    http://www.tomshardware.fr/disques_d...t-1527-15.html

    I thought that SCSIs drives were more linear, but.... no.
    http://www.tomshardware.fr/le_stocka...t-1217-23.html
    Gabriel Plalame.

    (The French dyslexic who speaks badly English.)

  10. #10

    Re: Whats the real scoop on hard drives

    Yeah, if it's a drive for streaming I always stop at about 75% or so.

    If it's a drive for backup purposes, or simply storage for old project files or just casual computing (i.e., nothing requiring streaming), I'll go ahead and fill them to capacity.

    But yes, that's good advice!

    -Tom

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