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Posted on Thu, Apr 18 2013 15:00
by zenith
Joined on Tue, Feb 26 2013, Posts 19

Context: I am about to invest in my first VSL library; either SE1plus or a Cube licence transfer if I can find a seller, along with Pro Player II. I'm questionning how I can best optimise my new MBP. Having read of the supposed advantage of separate drives I intended to use the existing 750gb HD for project storage and writing audio, replace the optical drive with a 128gb SSD for System, Apps and possibly current projects, and buy an external 256gb SSD for VSL and other libraries. 

But Sound-On-Sound tech editor Hugh Robjohns claims SSD's negate the advantage of separate drives - see quote below. If this is true I would prefer not to carry an external drive around. I would appreciate opinions and advice, thanks!





(Quoted from http://www.soundonsound....acMus&Number=1037827)

"The old-school advice about using a separate audio drive from the system drive is based on the fact that using a single drive for both audio and program data is inherently slow. The reason is that audio data is likely to be in a physically separate part of the drive from the program data, and so the heads will have constantly to move between the two areas on the disk platters as the program seeks instruction data and the audio is being written and replayed. Moving heads across the platters is a relatively slow thing to do. 

Consequently, there was often a speed advantage if the bulky audio data could be written/read from a separate drive in contiguous blocks which is quick to do, while the OS drive is left free to read the program data (and access the virtual scratch memory if necessary) separately where it will also be in contiguous blocks and thus quick and easy to access. The scheme thereby avoids lots of massive head shuffling, and is therefore quicker. 

However, in your case, SSD drives don't have heads or platters to move about. There is no mechanical shuffling, just virtual memory addresses which are vastly faster to access than the equivalent hard drive locations. 

Therefore I would not anticipate any performance difference between using one drive for both audio and OS, or using two separate drives." 




Posted on Fri, Apr 19 2013 15:23
by mpower88
Joined on Thu, Aug 12 2004, Posts 727

Makes sense. In my case what I have is 128Gb for the system, 128Gb for Audio, which I use just for projects currently in use, then an set of 480Gb ones for my libraries, which are not raided, just simply load them up. I use the angelbirds, they're extremely well made and very very fast, so I don't even worry about what library goes where mainly, except for my own organisation purposes. If you're on a laptop and not very heavy track count I think you could get away with one ssd for system and audio, providing it had enough space. Edit: You might find that buying 2X128 drives, one for system, one for audio is not that much difference in price as 1X256... maybe get one of the Angelbird external SSD's for audio, I don't have one but they look pretty nice! and an internal one for the system. You  might fine the price difference justifies having everything seperate. Then also you don't have as many write cycles on your internal drive so it would presumably last longer.

XI Machines 2687W, 64Gb Ram, Win 7 SP1.
Angelbird SSD's. VIPro, VEPro/MIR,
Full Vienna Collection.
Steinberg UR22mkII USB
Posted on Sat, Apr 20 2013 04:47
by Cyril Blanc
Joined on Thu, Dec 19 2002, Paris France, Posts 2664
zenith wrote:

Context: I am about to invest in my first VSL library; either SE1plus or a Cube licence transfer if I can find a seller, along with Pro Player II. I'm questionning how I can best optimise my new MBP. Having read of the supposed advantage of separate drives I intended to use the existing 750gb HD for project storage and writing audio, replace the optical drive with a 128gb SSD for System, Apps and possibly current projects, and buy an external 256gb SSD for VSL and other libraries. 

How are you going to connect your SSD for VSL ?

128gb SSD for System, you do not gain much just loading your DAW much quicker

MacPro 2010 12 core 2.93 ghz 64 GB Mac OS X 10.11 2722 Rocket Raid Sata III card with 8 x ssd
VSL lib on a Raid 0 of 4 x 256 GB ssd Sata III - Raid 0 of 4 x 64 GB for other libs
System on a 1 TB ssd
Audio Motu PCI system 84 ins / 64 outs
Kbd : P80 Yamaha, S88 and S25 Komplete Kontrol, DX7
I-Controls Pro, 2xMidi expression pedals
Synth : many....
---
Macbook pro Retina 2.7 ghz 16 GB
---
Mac Mini server 10.10 (server, Itunes, WEB, and Backup )
--
Logic X , Dorico, Band In A Box, ORB Composer
VSL : MIR PRO, Appassionata Strings I, Solo strings , Wind and Brass Complete, Dimension Brass, Big Band Orchestra series
Kontakt, Omnisphere, QLSO, QLSC, CS 80, Arturia V5, Maximo, Realivox Blue. CS 80 V3, The Orchestra 2, Art Conductor 5, Genesis Children Choir, Lunaris, Lacrimosa

Final Cut pro
Camera full HD
Posted on Sun, Apr 21 2013 09:31
by zenith
Joined on Tue, Feb 26 2013, Posts 19

I'll just replace the optical drive with one SSD for sample libraries and current projects unless someone makes a good argument for three drives.

I'm surprised not to get more response as I often hear the separate drives theory - maybe I'll try TGP! 

Posted on Tue, Apr 23 2013 11:18
by Joh
Joined on Wed, Jul 18 2012, Posts 19

The sound-on-sound tech editor has a point, but there are other things to consider as well.

1) Maximum throughput of the interface between the processor and the "disc" : with multiple discs, potentially using different types of interfaces, the maximum throughput can be a lot higher then a single disc.

( there's currently no single SSD capable of using the full bandwith of thunderbolt / PCI or similar, let alone the full bandwith provided by the I/O chips on the motherboard)

2) SSD's that are re-written a lot, add internal copy/write overhead ( the so called write multiplication factor)

So basically, if you want to keep your library-discs as fast as possible, don't use them to write things on on a regular base ...

Also : don't put the VSL time stretch Cache on your library discs !

What is important is having a fast disc for (system) caches and stuff like that (R/W), for audio (R/W) , and for sample libraries (Read only).

I don't mind waiting a bit for an application or the OS to start, so if it would be just for that, I wouldn't need an SSD (that's a personal thing though, some people want a PC to start up as fast as possible).

However, for pragmatic reasons OS / applications / caches normally reside on the same disc, so if you can afford it, you'll still want this disc to be an SSD too.

Audio : If on the same disc as the OS/app/caches an SSD is must. If not : depends on number of tracks / sample rate. 

Sample Libraries : definitely SSD ! Don't put it on the same disc as the audio : the two BIG data streams (audio / samples) will go to the same disc , on top of that the "write multiplication factor" start playing a role if you write a lot of audio

Conclusion

If you can afford a fast external "disc" , do so.

Prefarably Thunderbolt (fastest AND more stable - less hickups - then USB 3.0) or SAS ($$), or USB 3.0 / dual eSATA.

You can choose to put audio or samples on the external disc, depends on your particular workflow / mobility demands.

- If you have really big / multiple sample libraries, it makes sense to take an enclosure that supports multiple SSD's in a RAID configuration.

(I assume we want to stick  with the "reasonably priced" stuff, muldi-disc multi(parallel)interface enclosure are out of scope)

- If you want to be able to do audio work on the road without an extra additional enclosure, it makes sense to put the audio disc internally

- If you want to "share" (physically de/reconnect) the project/audio disc with others / or with other systems , it makes sense to put the audio disc in the external enclosure.

Looking forward to hear about your future "acquisitions" !

PS : I don't know what kind of MBpro you have, but make sure the throughput in the optical bay slot is high enough ( I believe the current models have equal characteristics for main bay / optical bay).

Posted on Tue, Apr 23 2013 14:09
by Cyril Blanc
Joined on Thu, Dec 19 2002, Paris France, Posts 2664

it is not a good idea to put your audio and the samples lib on the same disk.

You always have to have in mind : SHARE THE LOADS, accross busses, accross disk ........

MacPro 2010 12 core 2.93 ghz 64 GB Mac OS X 10.11 2722 Rocket Raid Sata III card with 8 x ssd
VSL lib on a Raid 0 of 4 x 256 GB ssd Sata III - Raid 0 of 4 x 64 GB for other libs
System on a 1 TB ssd
Audio Motu PCI system 84 ins / 64 outs
Kbd : P80 Yamaha, S88 and S25 Komplete Kontrol, DX7
I-Controls Pro, 2xMidi expression pedals
Synth : many....
---
Macbook pro Retina 2.7 ghz 16 GB
---
Mac Mini server 10.10 (server, Itunes, WEB, and Backup )
--
Logic X , Dorico, Band In A Box, ORB Composer
VSL : MIR PRO, Appassionata Strings I, Solo strings , Wind and Brass Complete, Dimension Brass, Big Band Orchestra series
Kontakt, Omnisphere, QLSO, QLSC, CS 80, Arturia V5, Maximo, Realivox Blue. CS 80 V3, The Orchestra 2, Art Conductor 5, Genesis Children Choir, Lunaris, Lacrimosa

Final Cut pro
Camera full HD
Posted on Sat, Apr 27 2013 18:08
by zenith
Joined on Tue, Feb 26 2013, Posts 19

Most instructive, thanks!

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