Benefits of External HD??



I was just wondering why everyone seems to use an external HD. Isn't the performance much better using an internal?



Well-Known Member
Jul 21, 2002
Externals have so many advantages its hard to know where to start...

- Portability: entire projects can be easily moved from one location to the other without complex FTP/networking issues...
- Cost: these days FW/USB2 drives are why not use them?
- Ease: You can change hard drives without having to open the CPU...instant backups as well.
- Reliable: External drives from better makers (Maxtor, et al) are just as reliable, if not more so, than cheaper internal drives...

(My only gripe is I wish they would decide on a standardized power supply, and stick to it...)

FWIW: My main PC has 2 internal drives, one dedicated to just audio...I use it as the primary drive for big projects. I also have several USB2/FW drives I use for smaller projects (<40 tracks) and (IMPORTANT!!!) for backup.


Well-Known Member
Jun 1, 2003
Houston, TX
I, too, default to my dedicated Internal SATA drive for ALL projects, as internal with a direct Southbrigde connection will ALWAYS be faster and more efficient than a Firewire drive. Also - the Southbridge SATA connection bypasses the PCI bus, where as Firewire will tie up a certain amount of PCI bandwidth. This is important if you rely heavily on massive low-latency I/O counts.

I use my external FW drives (home built w/911 chipsets - MUCH cheaper than buying a pre-assembled ones) for backups, and transportability between my tracking PC and my mixing PC. It is a bit loud to keep on while tracking OR mixing (I want reliability over quietness here) - but since I only copy to/from it, this is NO issue...

If you get an external HD with a crappy Power Supply, I'd highly recommend upgrading it. I picked up a 5Amp 12v switching PS (a mid-cord "brick" - not a "wall wart") for like $20. Very reliable so far, and it works with multiple enclosures, too!