Hard Drive(s) setup, please help...

Discussion in 'Computing' started by Tano, Mar 7, 2006.

  1. Tano

    Tano Active Member

    Mar 7, 2006
    Hi everyone!

    I reed somewhere, that to have the best performance on Nuendo or any other DAW's is important to have at least three HD setup:
    1 to run the OS and DAW programs
    1 to run VST
    1 to record and save projets, and store wav files

    Is that true? Is that the way to go?

    Here is my setup:

    Nuendo 3, 2 firepods, Pendium D 3.0 , 3GB RAM, 1 hard drive 250 GB SATA....

    Right now I'm doing everything with one hard drive I'm thinking to add 2 more HD (1 for Recording, and 1 to run VST plug-ins), but I need you help, what do you guys think?

    I'll appreciate a lot any help!

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Randyman...

    Randyman... Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2003
    Houston, TX
    VST Plug-ins really don't need a seperate HD - they are very CPU/RAM dependant - but your 3Gigs of RAM and DualCore CPU should eat that for breakfast! Samples could be a candidate for a seperate HD.

    For now, just add another SATA HD off the Southbrigde port on your MoBo. Record your Audio Wave Files to that HD (and save the projects there, too). If you do any heavy sampling, then consider a 3rd HD for samples - but I have never had the need (I don't do much with samples)

  3. saemskin

    saemskin Active Member

    Nov 6, 2005
    Dont forget you dont need additional 'physical' drives. You can partition 1 drive 3 times or more.
  4. Zoro

    Zoro Guest

    I think is a good idea to add a second HD to save all of you're projects and not to partitian the exisitng one because if it fails to keep working it will be a shame to loose everything you have saved, unless you also back up on CD's.

  5. Tano

    Tano Active Member

    Mar 7, 2006
    Thank you gays a lot for your help and fast answers.....

    Randyman, I'll definately will add another SATA HD only for recording the wav files...

    Thanks again!
  6. Randyman...

    Randyman... Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2003
    Houston, TX
    Our Pleasure, Tano! Any SATA HD should do fine - but with HD's so cheap - I wouldn't go less than 200Gigs - 8MB Cache is plenty, but the 16MB Cache drives are also pretty cheap IMO. If your MoBo suports SATA-II, consider an SATA-II drive - but don't buy a SATA-II HD for a non-SATA-II compliant MoBo. SATA-II really is not much of an improvement over SATA-150 anyway.

    I would also heavily recommend getting into a back-up routine - as once a HD crashes, it is nearly impossible to retrieve the data off of it (unless you want to drop some big bucks on data recovery - or feel incredibly lucky :) ). I back-up to removeable HD's in pull-out caddies, but a Firewire Drive or DVD-Media is another B/U option... Make backing up a DAILY part of your recording process. You won't regret it...

    Enjoy, and welcome to Recording.org!!! :cool:
  7. Tano

    Tano Active Member

    Mar 7, 2006
    Thanks again Randyman, this is the right place for good answers!
    I already have an external USB hard drive that I'm going to use only for back up my projects in case of crashes. At first I bought this exsternal HD for recording, but it has a USB connection (no firewire) and I already found out that having an internal SATA HD will be better for recording then an external USB HD, is that Right? So I'll use my external HD only for back ups. I don't think that my MOBO will support SATA II HD, but I'm
    sure it support SATA......

    Do you have any in particular that you raccommend, brand, etc.?..
  8. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2002
    Most definitely.

    If you mean SATA drives, I personaly favor the Seagate Barracuda line because they are quiet, and I've never had a problem with any of the five I own.
  9. Tano

    Tano Active Member

    Mar 7, 2006
    Hi David,
    thanks a lot for your help... I'll take at look at the Seagate Barracuda, because I definately want a quiet Hard Drive...
  10. cfaalm

    cfaalm Active Member

    Feb 21, 2005
    Home Page:
    I have three drives

    One WD 250 SATA II 16MB has the two boot partitions and the end result of my recordings
    One Maxtor 300 SATA II 16MB has the live recordings and the backup of samples and other data as well as an image of the C:\DAW boot
    One Maxtor 300 SATA II 16MB has the backup recordings and the live samples and other data as well as an image of the D:\FUN boot with internet and stuff

    I'd like to emphasize that if you work with samples, for best performance it should be on a different drive from your recordings. A friend of mine uses a WD Raptor for samples exclusively. I use a portion of a SATAII Maxtor with 16MB. The other data on that drive isn't active when I work with the samples. It's all backup stuff.

    As for brands, I like the Maxtors because of their performance, but they are not the quitest you can buy. My WD is quiet as a mouse.
  11. Tano

    Tano Active Member

    Mar 7, 2006
    Thanks for the info cfaalm...
  12. Norville

    Norville Guest

    There is no perfomance gain if they are only partitions. There is still only one set of HD heads to seek across the two (or more) partitions. The point is that 2 physical drives will out-perform a single partitioned drive.
  13. mwd

    mwd Guest

    Multiple drives are one of the most cost effective ways to increase performance outside of bumping memory. As mentioned multiple drives give multiple read/write heads.

    I went from 1-2mbCache-5400rpm-80gb to 2-8mbCache-7200rpm-120gb drives and got a huge performance increase. Then when WD came out with their Raptor 10Krpm drives I got 3 of them. 1 for O/S 1 for Applications 1 for data only.

    Another huge improvement. Also makes a backup scheme easy since nothing but data I create is on the E: Drive.

    Bytecc makes drive enclosures that have no wall wart, do have a fan and are USB and Firewire on the same box. They are hot boot (don't have to be on when your computer boots). They are butt ugly and larger than some but they make a great spot for the drives you remove to use as backup.
  14. mobilelab

    mobilelab Active Member

    Apr 18, 2006
    this was an extremely informative post, especially for one new to recording.org and also building my own rack as we speak
    while we're one the subject of harddrives, i figured i would ask whether anyone had heard of specific varieties of harddrives misbehaving with sonar 5
  15. mwd

    mwd Guest

    I've never seen misbehaving be application specific. In other words if it works.... it works. If it messes up in Sonar it would also probably mess up with Cubase, Pro-Tools, Microsoft Word, or whatever application you threw at it.

    However any Video or Audio application will expose weaknesses in your hard drive like being too slow or too small. Anything to do with "rendering" will bring an inferior hard drive to it's knees.

    This is based on IDE and SATA drives. I don't know the bug factor related to RAID or SCSI setups.
  16. Brandon

    Brandon Guest

    I would like to mention the pagefile.

    Huge performance gains can be brought about by properly setting up your pagefile.

    We tend to think of the OS and the applications as running off the hard drive. This is actually completely false. Everything you are using is loaded into your RAM, and everything runs directly from there.

    Now the pagefile is the one and only exception to this. The pagefile is an extension of your RAM, except that is on your hard drive.

    Here I offer an excellent 2 drive setup:

    Your main drive has only 1 partition, it is formatted NTFS and it holds Windows and your applications.

    Your secondary drive has 2 partitions. The first partition is ONLY for the pagefile. The second partition is for data only.

    With the pagefile moved off of the system drive, you will see a big increase in system performance. The reason is that you now have 2 sets of read/write heads working for you.

    To determine the size of the pagefile partition, multiply the amount of physical memory (RAM) times 8 (or at least 6.)

    To determine the size of the pagefile itself, multiply the amount of physical memory (RAM) times 2 and 4 (the pagefile size is set by setting the minimum and maximum size.)

    Here is an example using 2 gig's (2048 MB) of RAM.
    - pagefile minimum setting would be 4096 and 8192 MB
    - pagefile partition size would be 16384 MB (or 16 gig's)

    The reason the pagefile partition is so large is that there need to be empty space on a drive (or partion) so that data can be moved around easily, and also in case your page file size ever increases.

    If you plan on adding more RAM in the future, create the pagefile partition large enough for the maximum. If you add more memory after Windows was installed, remember you will need to manually change your pagefile size.

    Remember that you cannot put your pagefile onto a secondary partition on the main drive, because it completely defeats the purpose of moving it to another drive, in fact it would probably make the drive work harder.

    You can work with your data on your main drive or your secondary drive. What i would recommend as a third drive is an external USB hard drive just for backup. This isolates the drive from disaster, especially when unplugged. This will also allow you to take it around with you. Consider formatting the drive in FAT32 if you can because FAT32 is much easier to recover lost data from than NTFS.

    And of course you should always keep AT LEAST one copy of important data burned to disc and safely put away.

    I hoped this has cleared up some confusion and not created more.

    I would be glad to help anyone on here (for free of course) as I have received tons of help from everyone on here for questions i have.

    You could email me from http://www.myspace.com/brandonpenzkover or just brandonpenzkover@hotmail.com

    good luck!
  17. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    Mar 18, 2001
    Sunny & warm NC
    Home Page:
    In addition to what Brandon advises, I'd like to stick small a caveat in here...

    With the performance of "newer" boxes being what it/they are, you should not indescriminately (sp?) just slap any ol' couple of drives in your box.

    You are going to best served by using drives with matching performance characteristics... not necessarlity the same size, but the same characteristics... e.g. Don't mix 5400's and 10k's. Try to match spindel speeds, transfer rates, etc.

    By using differing drives, your overall performance will dive to something just above the slowest drive... This is attributable to the fact that the maximum rate that data can move through the system, is as fast as the slowest drive.

    If you MUST use two dissimilar drives, use the slowest drive for the OS. This allows your application to load into RAM from the slow drive and the paging file residing on the faster drive. Usually applications put more calls into the paging file than to the OS. The faster page file drive will give the best increase in performance versus the faster drive being used for the OS.

  18. Brandon

    Brandon Guest

    i agree 100%, in fact best practice would be identical drives, i mean damn, they're cheap enough these days.

    hey max, ever play around with ram-drives? fun stuff, we watched win98 load in about 4 seconds lol
  19. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    Mar 18, 2001
    Sunny & warm NC
    Home Page:
    Your right, as cheap as drives are, why wouldn't ya' just use identical drives?

    Well, in some cases, I CAN see doing dis-similar drives...

    Like building a 2 drive SCSI RAID 0 w/ Hot Swap Spare for the OS, 10K Cheetah for the paging, and a SATA II RAID 5 for data... then again, I'd guess that's a bit more system than a LOT of folks are going to typically build.

    Add a dual processor - dual core mobo with 8 Gb of RAM, and you might just have a decent DAW... :twisted:

    RAM Drives...

    Naw, haven't played with em' since OS 8.5, and never had enough time and RAM do do one in Windoze that actually amounted to anything other than just play-time.

    The concepts' pretty cool... and as fast as RAM is vs HDD, they do definitely SMOKE a systems' normal performance.


Share This Page