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Old 04-14-2010, 07:57 AM
daeron80 daeron80 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Orlando, Florida, USA
Posts: 3,624
Default When is an audio work disk full?

It used to be conventional wisdom that no hard disk should filled beyond 85%. This was back in the days when a huge disk was 20 GB, and many Pro Tools studios had maybe a half dozen discs of 6 to 20 GB each. And I did, in fact, occasionally run into trouble with slow performance and even crosslinked files when filling those discs beyond that point.

But I wonder if it still holds true with disk sizes of 160 GB to 1 TB? 15% of a 160 GB disk is 24 GB - far larger than any single session I've ever encountered, never mind single files. Does a drive really need 25 to 100 GB free in order to operate properly, just because it's correspondingly larger overall?

I've been trying to keep 50 GB free on my 500 GB, while my work partner fills his near up - frequently less than 10 GB free, and has not yet had any problems (over the course of 4 yrs). This has me wondering whether I'm being too conservative. Anybody have any tech knowledge to shed light on this, or any longterm, regular user experience with large disks being in the range of 95%+ full with no trouble?

My question is not about system discs - it does seem to be still conventional wisdom that they need at least 10% free, but that's for RAM swapping.
David J. Finnamore

Nyquist was right.

PT 2019.6 Ultimate | Omni | macOS Sierra
PT 2019.6 | Saffire Pro 40 | Win10
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Old 04-14-2010, 12:50 PM
mindnoise mindnoise is offline
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Germany and Tokyo
Posts: 3,094
Default Re: When is an audio work disk full?

filling disks is not so much trouble with data HD.
As you said itīs the breaking point of the The System HD. The more empty (towards 50%) the better.
Google for "Hotfile Adaptive Clustering". But this is only applied to the System HD.

Also itīs a hell of a differrence if you have a lot of traffic data on the audio HD.
the more you often you write different data the more fragmented it will become,
of course.
But this can be easily undone with back up and copying back.

For my two 250GB audio drives I get horrible read/write performance with less than 10-20GB free but thatīs it.
I think itīs not a matter of % but a matter of usual file size I use. I do a lot of movies so the files are bigger
and thus become more easily fragmented. So more free space to prevent fragmented writing proved to be working well.
And fragmentation is far more of speed/stability killer than a full HD.

Also added: 20GB free on 250GB drive is something different than 20GB on 1TB drive. Where with the 1TB the chance of
a continous free space that resembles the total of 20GB is far smaller.

so itīs basically a matter of how modern HD are managed by the controller/firmware.

just my empirical data.
maybe some info for you.

last: PT11.3.1
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