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Topic: Firewire Drive Recommendation?

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  1. #1

    Firewire Drive Recommendation?

    I'm looking for a 1TB - 2TB solution for loading orchestral, drum kit, piano, spectrasonics and other large streaming things like that onto a firewire drive. I've been looking at the Iomega Hard Drives:

    http://store.apple.com/us/product/H0990VC/A
    http://store.apple.com/us/product/TV338VC/A

    Will these perform well? I'm obviously looking for something fast and quiet..

    Also will it be safe to daisychain like this?

    Firewire Soundcard -> HDD -> iMac
    (My fear is audio dropouts - I have them often with my MBP)

    Many thanks for any help out there!

  2. #2

    Re: Firewire Drive Recommendation?

    I am running the Seagate GoFlex FW800 drive and it is just fine. BUT I run USB audio interfaces so I don't have any conflicts with the FW. I would hope you could daisy chain but it just seems to me that it is likely a bad idea (if you are needing very low latencies for live playing- it might be completely fine for studio work). I assume you are going to attach to an iMac (judging by the size of the drives mentioned). Definately stick with 7200rpm at least. I can tell you that the performance of my FW800 is 2-3x's that of my internal MBP SATA drive.
    Good luck!

  3. #3

    Re: Firewire Drive Recommendation?

    Wow, FW800 can be faster than an internal SATA drive? even an imac's internal?

    I didn't know that.. I'm going to partition the first 2/3 of the internal 2TB for osx, and the remaining 1/3 for windows gaming and non critical things.

    The firewire drive will be used for orchestral samples.. I guess this is seeming more and more like the right thing to do.. The only fear I have is the daisychain.. Theres only one way to find out! Worst case, I can perhaps get a USB soundcard.. I always thought they were inferior in latency though, which is quite important to me!

  4. #4

    Re: Firewire Drive Recommendation?

    it blew me away to. I ran XBench on my 2009 MBP with my Seagate GoFlex Pro FW800 drive (7200rpm)- and the numbers came in 2-3x better than my internal MBP SATA drive (running 5400).
    I didn't believe it so I ran XBench on my 2009 iMac with my Seaget GoFlex desktop FW800 (not 7200rpm FYO). It had similar improvements. So for both my Macs, FW800 blew away the internal SATA drives.

    As for the USB interface- I heard that FW was a touchy one and was very dependent on the FW chipset used in the system (most PC's had an inferior brand I recall). It just seemed me that the USB ones were more prevalent (and I could get an X-station with a decent audio interface built in). Now I don't have any need for more than 4 in so my use is light and FW may be the best option for more I/O. As for latency, I am down to 64 samples reliably using my X-station running all my Spectrasonics and NI AU's.

  5. #5
    Senior Member playz123's Avatar
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    Re: Firewire Drive Recommendation?

    Cubase 7.0.3, Wavelab 7.1, Omnisphere, Trilian, Stylus RMX, Symphobia 1 & 2 , all Spitfire libraries, LASS 2, Requiem Pro, Voxos, Superior Drummer 2, Komplete 8, Cinematic Guitars, most EW libraries, Chris Hein Horns, Guitar & Bass, 2.8 GHz Mac Pro, 18 GB RAM, OS 10.6.8, RME Multiface II + HDSP PCIe

  6. #6

    Re: Firewire Drive Recommendation?

    playz123 - eSata isn't an option now as I don't have the money to modify my imac just yet.. Maybe later on

    Wow again javaj at the performance of your x-station! 64 samples? I cant even get that with the apogee duet (FW400) on my MBP!

    I'm going to open up my eyes to USB Soundcards because I also don't need more than 4-in right now.. Thanks very much for telling me your experience with USB!

    Would it be reasonable to load projects straight from my firewire drive since its faster? I feel scared using firewire for streaming because of the plug! I mean don't you guys ever have the issue of the plug accidentally coming out? Especially on the MBP, being a mobile device? I feel like I'm the only one who has that problem!

  7. #7
    Senior Member playz123's Avatar
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    Re: Firewire Drive Recommendation?

    Guess I should have provided a better explanation. I was directing you to information re SATA II or eSATA (it doesn't matter) vs. Firewire 800. Before you decide that Firewire 800 is your best option, it may be worthwhile checking out the cost of an eSATA drive if you want to use it externally or a SATA drive if you wish to install one internally. IMHO, in the long run it's a better option for what you wish to do. For more info on internal SATA II go here:
    http://macperformanceguide.com/Storage-Interface.html
    Cubase 7.0.3, Wavelab 7.1, Omnisphere, Trilian, Stylus RMX, Symphobia 1 & 2 , all Spitfire libraries, LASS 2, Requiem Pro, Voxos, Superior Drummer 2, Komplete 8, Cinematic Guitars, most EW libraries, Chris Hein Horns, Guitar & Bass, 2.8 GHz Mac Pro, 18 GB RAM, OS 10.6.8, RME Multiface II + HDSP PCIe

  8. #8

    Re: Firewire Drive Recommendation?

    Ahh thanks playz, I've looked into modding the imac with an esata port, its too expensive for me right now, and I believe the new imacs are all running with SATA II internally? If thats the case they are significantly faster than a FW drive and I should probably run applications + projects (Including audio files) on the internal drive, and samples on the external..

    Does that sound like a decent idea?

    Or perhaps projects on the external and Samples Internal on SATA II?

  9. #9
    Senior Member playz123's Avatar
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    Re: Firewire Drive Recommendation?

    Your main applications and projects should definitely go on your internal drive, and your samples on a second internal drive that is just as fast or, when that's not possible, on an external drive. If you use a Firewire 800 external drive for your samples though, that will be the weaker point in the chain, because the transfer rate is not as fast as SATA II. That's one disadvantage of using a laptop that has only one internal drive. To match that drive externally is more difficult. Many composers who are running some of the more powerful (and larger) software libraries are using up to three additional internal hard drives in their desktop computers, and some even have other computers as slaves.
    We all have budget limitations, and it's completely understandable if you don't have the funds for an e-SATA set-up externally. My point was simply to let you know about options and provide reasons as to why it's worthwhile to consider them before deciding. In the long run, SATA II is also the better investment when comparing it with Firewire.

    In brief, while Firewire 800 external drives may indeed work for some, they simply can't match (e)SATA II drive's transfer rate, and so will be slower when transferring samples. For some, this creates a bottleneck. For others, it's 'acceptable'. Hope that helps. Cheers............frank
    Cubase 7.0.3, Wavelab 7.1, Omnisphere, Trilian, Stylus RMX, Symphobia 1 & 2 , all Spitfire libraries, LASS 2, Requiem Pro, Voxos, Superior Drummer 2, Komplete 8, Cinematic Guitars, most EW libraries, Chris Hein Horns, Guitar & Bass, 2.8 GHz Mac Pro, 18 GB RAM, OS 10.6.8, RME Multiface II + HDSP PCIe

  10. #10

    Re: Firewire Drive Recommendation?

    Quote Originally Posted by playz123 View Post
    Your main applications and projects should definitely go on your internal drive, and your samples on a second internal drive that is just as fast or, when that's not possible, on an external drive. If you use a Firewire 800 external drive for your samples though, that will be the weaker point in the chain, because the transfer rate is not as fast as SATA II. That's one disadvantage of using a laptop that has only one internal drive. To match that drive externally is more difficult. Many composers who are running some of the more powerful (and larger) software libraries are using up to three additional internal hard drives in their desktop computers, and some even have other computers as slaves.
    We all have budget limitations, and it's completely understandable if you don't have the funds for an e-SATA set-up externally. My point was simply to let you know about options and provide reasons as to why it's worthwhile to consider them before deciding. In the long run, SATA II is also the better investment when comparing it with Firewire.

    In brief, while Firewire 800 external drives may indeed work for some, they simply can't match (e)SATA II drive's transfer rate, and so will be slower when transferring samples. For some, this creates a bottleneck. For others, it's 'acceptable'. Hope that helps. Cheers............frank
    It does help a lot actually, sets out my possibilities. I like to know what my limitations are so I can work on freeing them when the time is right. External eSata looks like a very important option for my iMac later down the track unless I'm upgrading to a mac pro with multiple drive bays..

    For now, this compromise is hopefully better than having applications, projects and samples all on the internal drive?

    I guess I'll find out!

    Also, when I arrive in the states (a few months from now) It will be much more practical to do an OWC upgrade, and the external I have right now has an esata port I'll definitely keep that on the list, thank you!

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