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Quick Hard drive advice

Discussion in 'Recording' started by yodermr1, Sep 16, 2006.

  1. yodermr1

    yodermr1 Guest

    I tried combing through a bunch of posts but doesn't really get me the easy answer.

    I have a P4C800-E ASUS Motherboard, OS drive, Sound drive and backup drive. Running Sonar and a Motu24i/o. On boot up I'm getting a S.M.A.R.T Status Bad for my sound drive. Me thinks its time for a new one. The MOTO can do SATA although I've never ventured into that world.

    SO the quick question. SATA or ATA, Brand? I'm really looking for come quick consensus from the experts. I don't have the energy to read a million posts and come to my own conclusion. Recording.org has done great things for me over the years. I trust the folks on here (except for the occasional loon w/ really really, self imposed, complicated guitar setups :wink: )

  2. cfaalm

    cfaalm Active Member

    I have 3 SATA drives in my DAWPC. Only the DVDRW is on the PATA port. The PATA HDDs even cost a buck or two more than their SATA counterparts. For recording, there's nothing wrong with SATA. The SATA cabling gives better airflow than the flat IDE cables. A good PATA will perform about the same as a comparable SATA HDD. So it's not like your trackcount will leap forward.

    Now if you're looking for a buyers guide on silent drives, that's a different story. I have a Western Digital WD2500KS as my systemdrive and I think it's quieter than my two Maxtors 6V300F0. Some swear by certain Samsung or Hitachi models even if the buffer is "just" 8MB, because they're so quiet. So far my HDDs are drown out by the stock CPU-fan. Gotta swap that bastard :wink: . The WD will do you the favour of accepting a normal 4-pin molex as well as a SATA powerconnector. The brands I use are not uncommon in DAWPCs.

    Any others here who can comment on the other brands like Seagate or point out which Samsungs and Hitachis are the right ones?
  3. DIGIT

    DIGIT Guest

    SATA and ATA are NOT "brands", they are data transfer protocols.

    SMART is a ck utility that tells you how the drive's health is. You can turn that feature ON/OFF. Not all drives support it. It's not a necessary thing to have.

    If you are using 7200 ATA drives you are fine. Try to use those with a minimum of 8mb of buffer.

    If your MOBO supports SATA you can mix the drives as you wish. Depending on your BIOS you may tol have to adjust settings in order to have support for BOTH drive types.
  4. yodermr1

    yodermr1 Guest

    Thanks for the input. I understand that SATA and ATA are not brands. Bad sentence structure. SHould I get ATA or SATA and what would be a good brand (If it matters)

    cfaalm gave me the impression that the performance between the two is the same. I wasn't sure why one would use ATA or SATA.

  5. DIGIT

    DIGIT Guest

    >>I wasn't sure why one would use ATA or SATA. <<

    Well SATA has a faster data transmission (GBs) and it's also a much easier connection within your PC: the connectors are smaller and the cable is thinner, all which amounts to more space on your MOBO and more air flow in you machine. Sure, you can use round IDE cables but still, SATA is a real performance improvement over ATA.

    That being said, I have system with ONLY SATA, another with ONLY IDE, and one that is mixed. So far, I haven't noticed any differences in preformance, whether I am mixing a 48+ track project, using heavy orchestartions with many plugins reading samples off the drives, etc... I have never reached a bottleneck with my IDE drives that would make me changeover totally to SATA.

    My GIGA machine is totally ATA, for example and I can run 64 midi parts, with heavy orchestration, without issues.

    Clearly, the next system I build will probably be totally SATA because it's a better (cleaner) connection to make inside the MOBO and of course, it's a faster protocol.
  6. cfaalm

    cfaalm Active Member

    Sustained read/write datarates for 7200rpm SATA and PATA HDDs are 60 - 70MB/s. 1 track 48KHz/24bits is close to 140KB/s. So recording 24 tracks like this is well within PATA specs.

    Considering that even the PATA 133 (i.e. 133MB/s) interface hasn't been maxed out, the 3GBs SATA II ports or even the 1.5 GBs SATA I ports are not going to be maxed out until drives get much faster than they are today.

    With SATA drives being a little cheaper than PATA and the nicer cabling, you do have enough reasons to go SATA, even if it doesn't really outperform the PATA by large margins now.[/url]
  7. yodermr1

    yodermr1 Guest

    Thanks, that makes it much clearer. SATA I/O is faster but the SATA drives havn't outpaced the PATA drives - yet.

  8. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    My workstations that I have built up over the years have almost all been with ASUS motherboards. When the SMART disc health sensing presents you with a warning, BEWARE! It is a good indicator that you may be having a problem with one of your hard drives be it new or old? You can turn that feature off if you should so desire by entering the bios on boot up?

    NEVER, NEVER, NEVER EVER BUY A SAMSUNG hard disk drive!! They are the world's worst most failure prone product I have ever unfortunately purchased. I'm not talking one or two here but 10!!! All died within the first 200 hours of operation. All were replaced under warranty and the new ones are starting to fail the same way, regardless of cooling. I haven't had as bad results from their CD/DVD drives, either way, I shall avoid Samsung products as much as possible from now on!

    Disgruntled customer
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  9. cfaalm

    cfaalm Active Member

    Wow, did you know that a good number of PC enthousiasts say the same about Maxtor? Yet, with 4 Maxtors now spinning at home I only had failures of a Seagate and a WD. Anyways, with that failure rate I can understand your advice.
  10. yodermr1

    yodermr1 Guest

    Yep, All of a sudden that drive does'nt appear in explorer. Ordered a new one last night. Already ghosted it so I believe I'm good. Crossing my fingers!

  11. Vince Jaeger

    Vince Jaeger Guest

    I second the Samsung notion. Stay away from SS and Maxtor!

    Might want to go with Seagate.
  12. yodermr1

    yodermr1 Guest

    Well, this is what I went with, hope it works well.

    Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD2500KS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

    Thxs again for the insight
  13. yodermr1

    yodermr1 Guest

    Installed the SATA but...

    Bit puzzled here, hoping I could get a little more guidance. I got the drive installed. I can see it in the BIOS setup and in Windows Device Manager but it won't show up in Windows Explorer. I believe I go the driver installed. Read somewhere that might need to enable the MOBO Raid for IDE - That didn't help either.

    MOBO - ASUS P4C800-E
    OS - WinXP SP1

  14. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    In Windows, you must go to Control Panels and select "Administrative Tools" by double-clicking on it. In that window, you will see a computer monitor icon entitled "Computer Management". Double-click Computer Management.

    This will bring you up to a third window. Look down the left side of the window and single-click on " Disk Management". It is here that you will see your new disk drive. To initialize it, you need to create a basic partition and then format with NTFS. Do not bother to partition the drive as you will need is full as of the formal contract audio and video production. Generally, you'll place your cursor in the long rectangular box and then right-click inside the rectangle. It is their you'll get the opportunity to create an active partition and to format your new drive. Use FAT 32, only if you are running Windows 98. For all others select NTFS.

    Once the drive has been given an active partition and formatted, it should magically appear in "my computer". Something I do on a daily basis.

    Always screwing around with hard drives, yes, size does matter
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  15. yodermr1

    yodermr1 Guest

    Thanks Remy!
    Its tough when you rarely do it :wink:


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