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SSD as main HD make differerence in DAW>?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by hollo321, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. hollo321

    hollo321 Active Member

    Hi im using cubase and velociraptor as current main HD, and want to know if worth the upgrade. im most concerned about loading times of projects, since im constantly switching between projects and have to wait couple minutes for them to load due to massive amounts of vst instruments n effects i use. Will an ssd make a difference in project loading times? thnks
  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Do you have more than one drive? You should have a minimum of two hard drives. SDD is quite quick for a main drive but has some issues for audio work in the sustained write category. If your projects are separate from the main OS drive they will load much faster. Additional speed can be had by moving the temp folder and page file to their own drive as well.
  3. hollo321

    hollo321 Active Member

    yes i have 3 hds, i keep my cubase projects and sample libraries on other hds. So i guess ill b looking now for a ssd. Sorry a little confused on ur suggestion, After i insert new drive, install windows... how exactly do i move the temp folder and page file to their own drive. where are the temp folder and page file located and where exactly do i move them to?

    using windows 7 64bit
  4. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    If your audio projects are on the Velociraptor, then you will see no benefit to swapping the main drive unless your main drive is a parallel drive (ribbon cable). Then you would see quite a bit of improvement. If you do choose to go ahead with an SSD then I would advise cloning rather than trying to install directly to the SSD. I have had better luck that way.

    The temp folder of which I speak is the folder for your DAW. Every DAW I have used has an option somewhere to specify the location of the temp folder and sometimes two temp folders. You will see improvements in performance if the temp folder is not located on the main OS drive. Specify it on your sample drive as long as it has lots of room. If not then go ahead and place the temp folder on the audio drive.
  5. hollo321

    hollo321 Active Member

    cubase projects were not in velociraptor but on a 7200rpm hd. velociraptor just used as main boot/applications hd. Now with new SSD as main boot/applications drive, and a 150gb velociraptor to spare, would it b better to use the velociraptor to hold my cubase projects( so transfer the projects folder to the velociraptor), or just use velociraptor to hold some sample libraries and leave projects folder on 7200rpm drive?
  6. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    If it were me I would always have had the audio projects on the Velociraptor. The OS drive isn't usually the bottleneck in a multi drive computer presuming a minimum hdd speed of 7200rpms.
  7. HaHallur

    HaHallur Active Member

    JackAttack, could you explain what this means a bit more if you are able?
  8. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    Not meaning to step on John's toes... and John, feel free to boot my butt from the discussion if I'm out of line!

    One thing I see a lot of folks do is to confuse a lot of things with drives.

    Regardless of platform (Mac/PC or Linux), most personal computers only have two channels/paths for fixed (HDD's) to transfer data. They have a maximum amount of bandwidth that is available. This is inherent to the motherboard and its chipset.

    Each of these two channels has the ability to recognize/address two devices on each of these two channels... for a maximum of 4 devices.

    The OS typically must sit on the first, or primary, channel... and must be the 1st device that is connected. Typically, one would place a secondary drive as the first device on the second channel... this is where you should put the data/audio files. Things such as plugs and virtual instruments should be on a 3rd drive... the 2nd device on the second channel.

    That allocates as much bandwidth as possible for the OS, and for your audio and VI's.

    After that, you should have drives that have as low latency, or low seek/write times, as possible. This is typically done with higher spindle speeds - e.g. 10,000 rmp to 15,000 rpm drives.

    SSD's are an odd duck... they are extremely fast to read data, but they have problems writing massive amounts of data for sustained periods of time. Additionally, they have a peculiar nature about them, in that they really don't last that long... e.g. they eventually can no longer write new data, and essentially become a solid state CD, and just like a CD, can only be read. The amount of writing that causes this to happen is still a bit of an unknown, and doesn't seem to be entirely understood, but it is a known issue that the manufacturers are frantically trying to resolve. My current understanding is that it appears to be linked to the amount of data written.

    So, if you are only writing a few tracks at a time, you probably won't see the issue. However, if you were going to consistently write 16 channels at a time, copy it off and write a lot of NEW data over the old data, and really stress the drive... I wouldn't risk the issue, when there are decent SATA drives out there for not much money... or you can switch your data/audio to a firewire drive and just remember to remember the golden rule of data...

    If it doesn't physically reside in 3 places... data doesn't really exist.

    Back up plans are essential if you wish to preserve anything of value.
  9. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Sorry, it has been a busy week. Opera rehearsals and performances (Tosca) and also tuning pianos for the State Solo/Ensemble Festival. I have now set a personal record of 15 pianos in one day. Can you say a very sore back, tired swollen ears, and a hot shower + tall glass of Scotch when I got home?!?!

    Max has the gist of the issue though the drive channels he references have more to do with IDE drives than SATA or SSD (SATA bridgeboard). He is absolutely correct that you want one hard drive per motherboard header or PCIe card header. Don't daisy chain the drives.

    SSD's do not hold up to sustained write speeds of significant amounts of data though this is changing somewhat with the very latest generation of SSD's-meaning brand new firmware's and designs in the past three months. These are also super exorbitantly expensive and still do not outperform a SATA3 or SATA6 drive for sustained write speeds. Max is also correct in that computers at this time can't stream the data fast enough to utilize even full SATA3 bandwidth let alone SATA6. Long story short, Velociraptor and Cheetah are still King and Queen.

    To throw out another tidbit, drives designed and certified for server class usage are the best HDD out there but they are also pricier than their consumer brethren.

    Personally, I use SSD drives for operating system only and all audio destination drives are SATA3 changing out to SATA6 on the scheduled replacement cycle. This includes the Glyph enclosures. I suspect that by Jan 2012 there may be an SSD that is worthy of trying out should I be willing to part with the cash.

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