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What's the best type of hard drive for audio use?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by karambos, Jul 31, 2004.

  1. karambos

    karambos Guest

    What kind of hard drive is quickest (best) for audio?

    • Ultra-wide-SCSI
    • Firewire
    • USB 2.0
    • other
  2. Ben Godin

    Ben Godin Active Member

    scsi, (the 15,000 one) the transfer rate on a scsi is much faster than any of the other choices.
  3. BladeSG

    BladeSG Guest

    Depending on the motherboard you have, I'd definetely look at the Western Digital 'Raptor" SATA HDD's. These HDD's are 10K RPM and are the fastest non-SCSI drives around. They come in 36 and 74 Gig models.

    If you don't have a SATA controller on your motherboard, PCI SATA controller cards are available.

    Lots cheaper than SCSI option, for similar performance. 8)
  4. Randyman...

    Randyman... Well-Known Member

    I have Raptor 36Gig OS drive, and it is nice. I can still get all of my "semi-pro" audio bandwidth off of a standard 7200RPM SATA drive, though.

    How many tracks do you NEED at once? I believe today's ATA100 7200RPM drives will handle around 40-50 tracks of 44.1/24 Waves if I am not mistaken.

    FYI - My Raptor benches at a sustained AVERAGE bandwidth of about 52MB/s, and the WD 200GIG 7200 SATA drive is RIGHT on its coat-tails at 49MB/s. Access time is obviously going to the Raptor (~9ms opposed to the 7200RPM's 12.5ms or so)...

    Unless you NEED 50 tracks at once, a standard 7200 RPM HD should do IMO. FYI - The 76Gig raptor IS faster than the 36Gig, as well. Check OverCLockers Forum for fantastic computer info (HD's to Overclocking to RAID to Phase Change cooling - its all there)...

    You can use something like a RAID0 array for increased bandwith, but RAID0 increases the chance of data loss. Something like RAID5 will have superior bandwidth of multtiple drives AND redundancy built in (a bit extreme for ANY audio application IMO - but we use RAID5 for on-air Pinnacle video servers here at Fox Sports Net)

    Later :cool:
  5. johnthemiracle

    johnthemiracle Active Member

    i just heard that firewire is better suited for digital audio than usb 2.0. there is some issue with how the interfaces actually communicate that doesn't allow the usb 2.0 to live up to it's 480 kbps suggested maximum throughput...
  6. Randyman...

    Randyman... Well-Known Member

    Any kind of format translation will hinder performance, be it IDE-to-USB, or IDE-to-1394. If using IDE drives, your best possible bandwidth will come from a dedicated northbridge IDE controller (like an Intel ICH5R or ICH6 on a "good" MotherBoard). Same for SATA. The MoBo's Northbridge controller also bypasses the PCI bus traffic, and has un-hindered access to the proccessor and RAM bandwidth.

    If using a hardware RAID controller interfaced via Firewire, this is not hindered as much as a single IDE drive would be, so multi-drive array performance gains are still realized upto FW's max bandwidth.

    FW is preferred over USB, as FW has lower processor utilization & memory useage than USB - but you are still diminishing bandwidth if converting from IDE to one of these formats.

    SCSI will put them all to shame, but I don't really see the need for a expensive 15,000RPM drive unless you need like 50 Tracks or so (or 16 or so tracks of the HIGHLY debated 192KHz format). The same performance could be had with 2 cheaper SATA drives in a RAID0 hardware controller.

    Rock on :cool:
  7. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    What do you guys do for noise controll?
    Is the computer placed in another room?
  8. Ben Godin

    Ben Godin Active Member

    Henrik, there are very low noise fans on the market, i can't remember the specific names, i use an ISOBOX, but those are expensive and often cause heat problems, i would do a good search on low sound fans, there are ones out there that are so low that they are 20-25db below most standard fans, making them virtually unheard.
  9. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hijack, but I just have to say that the Nexus power supplies are outstanding. My NX-3500 is inaudible in my system, and apparently, they now make one that's even quieter. After I bought one for my DAW, I bought another for my home computer. Check them out.
  10. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    I use a hush.com system myself witch has no fans and no rotating parts at all!
    The whole system is inaudible except for a very low noise comming from the sealed samsung HD.

    Now if i put a SCSI or just another brand of PATA/SATA HD in the system it would make a lot more noise, but still a lot less than standart systems.

    What I'm trying to say here is that SCSI and SATA drives and other brands of PATA drives gives a lot more noise than the samsungs, even the Seagate's witch 1 year ago was the lowest in noise performence.

    Ofcourse if you are track hungry you might need a few SCSI drives and a noise chamber or a dobbel noise chamber... he he

    Best Regards,
  11. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    The fans you are talking about must be Papst.
    Those are very good fans, but still too noisy for me.

    The hush system uses heatpipes to get rid of the heat, much like a laptop system only bigger and more powerfull... and totally passive.
  12. BladeSG

    BladeSG Guest

    For PC silencing look here:

  13. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    Be carefull!!

    I've tried those... they will turn your computer into a heat owen!!
    The only way it will work is if you have a big fan inside blowing the heated air out... witch still makes it noisy.
    You can also place the PSU in another cabinet than the rest of the PC i you like... not very practical or great looking.
  14. Randyman...

    Randyman... Well-Known Member

    The best way to quiet a noisy PC is to do the unthinkable - ADD more fans! More fans can spin MUCH slower for the equivalent airflow of fewer fans at full speed. Larger fans will also help keep the blade "tip speed" well below noisy turbulence with superior airflow. My PC has 7 fans - all run at like 1/2 speed.

    Dynamat or other adhesive-backed asphalt mats will also help lower mechanically transmitted noise on the PC's case walls, etc.

    PS - The PC's Power Supply fan completes the "airflow circuit" from front-panel "intake" fan, to rear panel "exhaust fan" in the power supply. Remove the PS exhaust fan, and where does the "intake" air go to? Nowhere! That equals no airflow - and a HOT PC.

    Heat is the enemy of any electronic circiut - including Processors, Video Cards, PCI Cards, and RAM. Do you want to shorten your PC's lifespan for a few less dBa's in the CR?

    Later :cool:
  15. BladeSG

    BladeSG Guest

    For any PC's I build I ALWAYS have the fan above the AGP card on the back of the PC extracting air. I found it's much more efficient for the front mounted fans to blow air, and the rear mounted and top fans extracting. So to have a fanless PSU would only make a difference to the hot air created by the CPU's HSF, and this would be neglible anyway with the use of aftermarket coolers from the likes of Zalman, Vantec and ThermalRight which use some copper in their designs.
  16. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    When you first hear or don't hear the hush system you will know what I'm talking about.
    Those names you refer to is to noisy to my taste, I've tried almost anything.

    The PC i have is profesionally designed to function safely with no fans.

    Best Regards,
  17. bhuvan

    bhuvan Active Member

    slightly off this topic, but the other day i was at a friend's home studio and his G5 was making a lot of noise.

    it was a serious whirrr!

    what's this? i thought that this G5 was really silent. he was also asking me if there was something wrong with his machine in particular, but i couldn't answer that since i haven't had much experience with these machines.
  18. Eric Seaberg

    Eric Seaberg Active Member

    We've got 10-G5s spread out over multiple controlrooms running PTHD and they're all quieter than the fans on the Iso-Box that houses our PT systems and SCSI drives. If it's that noisy, then he's got some other issues. I'd have him re-install the OS along with all updates and see what happens.
  19. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    You can always use a liquid cooling system. Overclockers use them all the time. They are nearly silent, cool far better than fans and your system will be more stable due to much lower temperatures. Check my post in vocal booth forum for more info.
  20. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    Well, if you want a cooling system that needs new water and maybe readjusting every 3 month or so... then go for a water cooler.
    My system don't need anything and is quieter than a water cooling system.

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