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  #1  
Old 08-19-2020, 07:59 AM
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lesbrunn lesbrunn is offline
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Default Are Multiple Audio Drives Still Necessary with SSDs?

Hey guys,

Lately, I've been having issues with 2020.5... apparently CPU related. I've checked the usual suspects; it's not plugins. I've trashed prefs. I've done clean re-installs. All recommended optimizations are in place together with lesser known Windows optimizations that I've used for years. I have yet to ascertain if this is only 2020.5 related, because I'd noticed earlier that 2020.3 seemed to use CPU more efficiently than my previous versions. However, track presets together with fader tracks have become very important in my current workflow, so I'd rather not have to go back to 2020.3. That said, I'm investigating other areas that could enhance performance.

As a long-time PT user I'm familiar with the idea of spreading audio onto multiple drives for better performance. I've never actually had to do this though because the SSD's I use seem to provide all the needed speed for high performance.

My question is this: Will multiple SSD's provide even better performance on large sessions? My head tells me no, but I do not know for certain. Would our DUC gurus please provide more insight?

BTW, does assignment of tracks to different drives work for playback of previously recorded audio or is it only meant for recording? I messed with it for a while without any success.
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  #2  
Old 08-19-2020, 10:07 AM
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JoelG JoelG is offline
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Default Re: Are Multiple Audio Drives Still Necessary with SSDs?

It would probably depend on the speed of your SSD's. A NVMe drive, probably not going to hit the limits of its throughput.

I like to keep my projects off my OS drive, in case I need to do a fresh install - I don't have to worry about copying back and forth.

Personally, here's how I'm doing it:
C: - OS/Pro Tools on NVMe drive
D: - Pro Tools sessions on SATA SSD drive
E: - Samples, backups and other data on 2TB HDD

EDIT - and an external 2TB eSATA HDD for proper backup..

Joel
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  #3  
Old 08-19-2020, 10:22 AM
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lesbrunn lesbrunn is offline
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Default Re: Are Multiple Audio Drives Still Necessary with SSDs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoelG View Post
It would probably depend on the speed of your SSD's. A NVMe drive, probably not going to hit the limits of its throughput.

I like to keep my projects off my OS drive, in case I need to do a fresh install - I don't have to worry about copying back and forth.

Personally, here's how I'm doing it:
C: - OS/Pro Tools on NVMe drive
D: - Pro Tools sessions on SATA SSD drive
E: - Samples, backups and other data on 2TB HDD

EDIT - and an external 2TB eSATA HDD for proper backup..

Joel
Thanks Joel. I do something similar. OS is on an NVMe. No samples or sessions on that. Sessions are on another 1TB NVMe with some samples (partitioned for organizational purposes) Some people may argue about this, but it's worked flawlessly for years. Other samples are on other SSDs. Backups are on HDDs.
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  #4  
Old 08-19-2020, 10:26 AM
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lesbrunn lesbrunn is offline
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Default Re: Are Multiple Audio Drives Still Necessary with SSDs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoelG View Post
It would probably depend on the speed of your SSD's. A NVMe drive, probably not going to hit the limits of its throughput.

I like to keep my projects off my OS drive, in case I need to do a fresh install - I don't have to worry about copying back and forth.

Personally, here's how I'm doing it:
C: - OS/Pro Tools on NVMe drive
D: - Pro Tools sessions on SATA SSD drive
E: - Samples, backups and other data on 2TB HDD

EDIT - and an external 2TB eSATA HDD for proper backup..

Joel
Joel, this is OT, but I noticed you use a Ryzen. How well does it work with PT compared with the i7 /i5's? Do you run large sessions with it?
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  #5  
Old 08-19-2020, 11:40 AM
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JoelG JoelG is offline
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Default Re: Are Multiple Audio Drives Still Necessary with SSDs?

I'm quite happy with the Ryzen - no issues with Pro Tools. I'm not much of a VI user, pretty much all acoustic intstruments. Usually 20-30 tracks with minimal plugins for recording (amp sims, reverb etc.), 4-5 plugins per track during mixing.

I'm not an AMD fanboy or anything, but I do appreciate some decisions that AMD has made since even before Ryzen. It's impressive how many CPU genereations can run in the AM4 socket.

Joel
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  #6  
Old 08-19-2020, 01:36 PM
DontLetMeDrown DontLetMeDrown is offline
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Default Re: Are Multiple Audio Drives Still Necessary with SSDs?

Use the system usage meter in Pro Tools and look at the disk meter. If it's maxing out, then another hard drive will help, but if it's low then you're fine.
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Old 08-19-2020, 02:25 PM
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Default Re: Are Multiple Audio Drives Still Necessary with SSDs?

I've been fine with a single PCIe SSD since 2013, but am not doing heavy sample based VI's. Anyway, when your transfer rates are in the gigabyte range you don't usually need to worry about it.
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Old 08-19-2020, 03:24 PM
metalmixer metalmixer is offline
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Default Re: Are Multiple Audio Drives Still Necessary with SSDs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lesbrunn View Post
My question is this: Will multiple SSD's provide even better performance on large sessions? My head tells me no, but I do not know for certain. Would our DUC gurus please provide more insight?
Set up RAM Cache in your playback engine properly - I ran 300+ tracks off a slow USB 3 drive (non SSD) with zero issues. I usually set the Ram Cache around 20GB depending of machine's RAM size of course and session size.
FWIW even a slow SSD with a 600 MB/sec transfer speed sound have a enough bandwidth to do 500 tracks or more @ 96K/24 Bit
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Old 08-19-2020, 03:35 PM
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Default Re: Are Multiple Audio Drives Still Necessary with SSDs?

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Originally Posted by metalmixer View Post
FWIW even a slow SSD with a 600 MB/sec transfer speed sound have a enough bandwidth to do 500 tracks or more @ 96K/24 Bit
Maybe so. The problem with spinners is and has always been latency, which is greatly reduced with SSD without moving parts. Throughput is not so much of an issue. There are however other variables within every system, so I would first do a dummy stress test (record X tracks of silent audio for Y minutes using Z sampling rate) to determine if it is suitable in itself for what you want to do with it.
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Old 08-19-2020, 06:55 PM
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Default Re: Are Multiple Audio Drives Still Necessary with SSDs?

Thanks for the input, guys. It looks like the problem isn't from the disk. Has anyone noticed CPU issues with 2020.5?
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