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OS-drive question?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Tore Nylund, Sep 8, 2003.

  1. Tore Nylund

    Tore Nylund Guest

    I have this question about the OS-drive:
    A friend of mine wanted me to upgrade his computer so that he can record audio .
    I told him that he should by a new sound card and
    a second drive for audio.
    But when I checked out his system I found out that his HD is a Maxtor 40 Gb 5200 rpm.
    Can he still use that "slow" drive for OS and programs? In what way would it be to slow for a DAW? Would the performance suffer very much?
    I guess that he also would like to run a few VSTi's too....
    Would it be better to partion the new and fast HD into OS and Audio partitions?
    Buying two new drives is not an option.
    I'd be very happy if someone could answer this for me.
     
  2. drbam

    drbam Guest

    A 5400 drive certainly has its limits in terms of performance and in my view it would be better in this case to go the partitioning route. You said that buying 2 drives is not an option? You could get a nice 7200 20 gig drive for under $50. Good hard drives are incredibly cheap now. :c:

    drbam
     
  3. Digipenguin

    Digipenguin Guest

    I can't see any problems with this if this is his first audio box. It will serve for him to cut his teeth on. I would be more worried about processor speed and most importantly RAM. Just buy a smaller secondary drive to run audio that is 7200RPM and stick it on the secondary IDE bus. This will be worlds faster than partitioning a single drive and having the read head bounce back and forth between partitions. J
     
  4. Tore Nylund

    Tore Nylund Guest

    Thank you for the input.
    I will go for a second HD just for audio (WD 80 Gb 8 Mb cache)
    I also told him to get at another 512Mb RAM.( having just 128 Mb today)
    His CPU is Intel P4 1.4 GHz... and I think that it's good enough for him. OS-XP home.
    Finally buy a budget mixer 4-8 ch ( Behringer, Phonic... an old Teac/Tascam?)
    I don't know what software he should start with...
    probably Cubasis VST.... or Magix Music Maker.
    Any ideas?
     
  5. Prof.Sound

    Prof.Sound Guest

    Strangley enough, you will likely find the computer works much better if you remove the older RAM and only use 1 bank of 512 - its a CAS latency thing and compatibility issue. 128 simply will not work well under XP for DAW use.
     
  6. Tore Nylund

    Tore Nylund Guest

    Yes that was my intention, to replace his 128 Mb with a new 512 stick.
    Anyway, as I understand.. The number of audio tracks that he can run depends mainly on the new audio-HD, but what would be the arguments to convince him to buy a second HD to replace his OS-drive? Less CPU-load ? I'd be glad if someone could sort this out...
     
  7. jscott

    jscott Guest

    Its seems to me you are premature in deciding to change the OS drive? You don't even know if you have a problem yet?

    I really don't see much of a reason to replace the OS drive at this time. I think the more limiting factor is the system board, bus speed, CPU combo. Maybe just change the CPU?

    But...all this is a guess because you haven't disclosed what the system board has for a chipset, model number, etc.

    Sure the system may boot a bit snappier and some editing functions may be a bit snappier, but these others things will limit track count more than any change in the OS drive.

    Track count depends a bunch on bit depth, sample rate, how many FX, how many tracks recording at the same time, do the tracks have overlapping regions, latency of the sound card/interface, etc. So I doubt anyone could give you definative answer on how changing the OS drive will translate into a reduction in CPU load (if any) or a track count gain.

    If you have another $100 to burn, my advice would be to hold on to it until you get enough to change out the board and CPU, which also might mean, don't change memory right now because it will likely not be the best solution in the new board.

    If I just wanted to change the OS drive, my argument would be, if I'm going to go through all these steps to reformat the drive, install the OS, apps, tweak out the OS, install soundcard drivers, etc., lets just do that on a new drive so you can just pop it in a new system and not have to fool with it again later on. That way we're ready to go with something as we upgrade more later on.
     
  8. teej813

    teej813 Guest

    Tore,
    You didn't give specifics on his motherboard (which chipset?), but I'll assume since it's a P4, bus speed isn't gonna be an issue. So, I think you're on the right track; a disk/RAM upgrade is prob your best bet. The 5400x system disk with a new 7200x data disk should be faster than a new disk partitioned.

    Think Crucial for RAM. RAM is one thing you don't wanna risk buying noname stuff.

    As for recording software, check out N-Track. It's a great program for little money.


    hope this helps some.


    tj
     
  9. Tore Nylund

    Tore Nylund Guest

    Thanks alot for the input!
    Well, I don't know what motherboard he's got... yet. But it's a Intel P4 1.4 GHz CPU.
    About chipset is there some chipset that will cause trouble? I remember something about VIA chipset, but I thought they were only for AMD processors.
    N-track sounds nice... less money than Cubasis.
    I've got to look into Magix Music Maker too.
    As I understand he will use it manly to record himself and his wife, some guitar, violin, mandolin.... singer/songwriter stuff.... but also add some keybard and perc./drums... no big productions.
    I think that a M-Audio Audiophile 24/96 will be a good pick for a soundcard.
    By the way... since it is his home PC... is there any way that he can still run Win-Office on the same computer without making a dual boot system?
    I mean... is Office really that bad for the performance of the DAW?
    Yes I know that you should keep it clean... but let's face it, there are people that really can't afford having a computer for just music.
     

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