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  #1  
Old 01-12-2016, 02:17 AM
White Fire Sky White Fire Sky is offline
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Default Which External Hard Drive?

I am just in the process of upgrading my Mac and am looking for a new external hard drive to save ProTools files to. My new computer is an iMac 3.4ghz quad core, 1tb hard drive, two thurnderbolt ports, SDXC card slot, four USB 3 ports. I run ProTools 10.

I previously used a firewire compatible external drive, but don't know what to go for or if firewire is still relevant for this computer.

I have seen the AVID post on recommended hard drives, but I am still not 100% sure as I'm not at all computer literate when it comes to hardware.

If you can make a recommendation, I would be very grateful.

Thanks!

Victoria
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  #2  
Old 01-12-2016, 11:12 AM
VRW VRW is offline
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Default Re: Which External Hard Drive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by White Fire Sky View Post
I am just in the process of upgrading my Mac and am looking for a new external hard drive to save ProTools files to. My new computer is an iMac 3.4ghz quad core, 1tb hard drive, two thurnderbolt ports, SDXC card slot, four USB 3 ports. I run ProTools 10.

I previously used a firewire compatible external drive, but don't know what to go for or if firewire is still relevant for this computer.

I have seen the AVID post on recommended hard drives, but I am still not 100% sure as I'm not at all computer literate when it comes to hardware.

If you can make a recommendation, I would be very grateful.

Thanks!

Victoria
There will be several options.

1) If your old external Firewire drive still is ok and you are on a budget, you can just get an Apple Thunderbolt-to-Firewire-Adapter
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Apple-Thunde...to+thunderbolt,
connect it to one of your Thunderbolt ports, connect the other end of the adapter to your Firewire cable which finally connects
your old Firewire drive to the system.

2) If you cannot afford a lot but there still is one USB 3 port of your iMac free, you may get a good quality 7200rpm HDD
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Western-Digi...ck+2.5+7200rpm
and put it into such a one
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Inateck-Exte...SB+3+enclosure

3) If you can afford a bit more, you may get one of those good quality SSDs
500GB:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Samsung-2-5-...+850+evo+500gb
1TB
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Samsung-2-5-...amsung+850+Evo
2TB
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Samsung-Inte...ng+850+Evo+2TB

and put it into such an external USB 3 enclosure again
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Inateck-Exte...SB+3+enclosure

This will be the most affordable yet super fast, modern solution you can get. It will provide speed rates about 400-500mb/s Read+Write.
The classical external Firewire 800/7200rpm HDDs ran at 65-75mb/s, just to show you the difference.

4) If you can afford more or if all of your USB ports are busy already, you may look into external Thunderbolt drives instead.
Again, if you are on a budget yet need a Thunderbolt drive you may get an external HDD with 7200rpm at least and a Thunderbolt
connection like such a one for example.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/LaCie-900049...ie+thunderbolt

5) Again, if you can afford more and do not need a lot of storage space, this one will be a very good quality, reliable, very fast, proven
external SSD drive for the use with Pro Tools.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/LaCie-900049...ed+thunderbolt

6) Finally if money will be no problem at all, this will be the fastest and coolest external drive for the use with Pro Tools (a pretty expensive
one though ;-).
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lacie-900047...ie+thunderbolt

Today external SSDs are the best solution for Pro Tools work however 7200rpm HDD can be used as well. Important-if still using HDDs you
must not use any HDDs slower than 7200rpm!

With the latest generations of Macs, you only have 3 options which are
1) older external Firewire drives via the Apple Thunderbolt-to-Firewire-Adapter on the Macs Thunderbolt port
2) an external Thunderbolt drive
3) an external USB 3 drive

There are no Firewire ports on current Macs anymore but you probably know it anyway.


Wishing you the best of success whichever drive you will get finally!


Cheers.
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  #3  
Old 01-13-2016, 07:57 AM
White Fire Sky White Fire Sky is offline
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Default Re: Which External Hard Drive?

Wow. That was comprehensive.

Thanks and much appreciated. I bravely clicked on the final 'money is no problem' option and nearly fell off my seat. Wow. Didn't know they could be that expensive! Anyway, lots of information there to think about.

Again, thank you so much!

Victoria
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  #4  
Old 04-16-2016, 03:28 AM
budubum92 budubum92 is offline
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Default Re: Which External Hard Drive?

Got a question.
How does fusion drive with 8gb of flash and the rest is 5200 rpm hdd, work out with audio recording?
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  #5  
Old 04-16-2016, 04:43 AM
VRW VRW is offline
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Default Re: Which External Hard Drive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by budubum92 View Post
Got a question.
How does fusion drive with 8gb of flash and the rest is 5200 rpm hdd, work out with audio recording?
Unfortunately the answer is...not well.

Pro Tools does not work properly with the system of a Fusion drive (you may search the DUC and the web for it).
Now what you can do is to split up the Fusion drive into it´s two parts but again unfortunately 8GB will definitely
be not enough storage space for the system and apps and a 5200/5400rpm hard drive will be too slow a Pro Tools
audio recording system either.

If you want a useable system you really need to get rid of this Fusion drive (both drives/parts) and get one 7200rpm
HDD for the OS+apps and another separate one with 7200rpm for all your Pro Tools sessions incl. audio files at the minimum.
Even better would be 2 SSDs or if being too expensive, one SSD (not smaller than 250GB) for the OS+apps and one
larger 7200rpm HDD for your Pro Tools sessions incl. audio files should do the job.

For the fastest high quality yet affordable SSDs you may search for -Samsung 850 EVO- but not smaller than 250GB.
For the best working yet most affordable 7200rpm HDDs you may search for -Western Digital Black 7200rpm- either 2.5"
(for Laptops or smaller Macs) or 3.5" for PCs and other desktop computers.

As mentioned before theoretically you can split a Fusion drive into it´s two parts but in your particular case neither parts are
useable unfortunately. The Flash is too small for the system+apps, the 5200/5400rpm too slow for Pro Tools audio recording.

Btw on Amazon you will find the best prices for the Samsung SSDs as well as for the Western Digital Black 7200rpm HDDs.

The best of success to you,

cheers, VRW
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  #6  
Old 04-21-2016, 05:08 PM
JuanPC JuanPC is offline
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Default Re: Which External Hard Drive?

Another option is to upgrade to PT>12.2,

And have a large RAM Disk Cache, PT will load your session into RAM and RAM usually goes over 1000MB/s~1500MB/s, no SSD can match, unless RAID0 or 10.

Any 5200rpm drive for storage, works ok with large RAM disk cache.
I have a toshiba usb3 1Tb, speed empty is 60MB/s and drops drastically as it gets full.

Problem is when you need to search a file in a slow 2TB drive, takes years.

http://www.avidblogs.com/pro-tools-1...and-new-price/
http://akmedia.digidesign.com/suppor..._New_86769.pdf

For Windows there is a cheaper alternative...
AMD/Dataram Ramdisk Ramdrive software...
http://www.radeonramdisk.com/software_4.0.php

Basically ProTools RAM Disk Cache works the same but automatically, and only for ProTools sessions.
It was an HD Only feature.


I think Avid is giving AAX Tel-Ray for free, any upgrades, for a limited time
+ the usual plugins.

Problem is PT12 is very picky about OSX version, and configuration.
But comes with 10/11&12

Last edited by JuanPC; 04-21-2016 at 05:51 PM.
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  #7  
Old 04-24-2016, 06:40 PM
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Eric Seaberg Eric Seaberg is offline
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Default Re: Which External Hard Drive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by White Fire Sky View Post
I am just in the process of upgrading my Mac and am looking for a new external hard drive to save ProTools files to. My new computer is an iMac 3.4ghz quad core, 1tb hard drive, two thurnderbolt ports, SDXC card slot, four USB 3 ports. I run ProTools 10.
To be honest with you, USB2 (or 3) would be fine! If you have an old FW drive, just get a Thunderbolt to FW convertor and a FW800 to FW400 cable (as previously mentioned and if needed) and you'll be good!! That's much cheaper than changing your drive interface, at least at this point, and you're good.
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  #8  
Old 04-25-2016, 06:43 AM
VRW VRW is offline
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Default Re: Which External Hard Drive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Seaberg View Post
To be honest with you, USB2 (or 3) would be fine! If you have an old FW drive, just get a Thunderbolt to FW convertor and a FW800 to FW400 cable (as previously mentioned and if needed) and you'll be good!! That's much cheaper than changing your drive interface, at least at this point, and you're good.
Agreed on USB 3.
Not at all on USB 2. No good advice. Neither reliable nor fast enough in the long run (used an external 7200rpm HDD USB 2 drive for a few weeks
back in the days with Pro Tools myself and got back to FW finally) and has never been qualified for PT by Digidesign/Avid for a good reason.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Seaberg View Post
just get a Thunderbolt to FW convertor and a FW800 to FW400 cable (as previously mentioned and if needed) and you'll be good!!
Agreed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Seaberg View Post
That's much cheaper than changing your drive interface, at least at this point, and you're good.
Sometimes it does make more sense to just combine the suiting gear than to fiddle around with legacy stuff but it´s all up to the people themselves finally.
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  #9  
Old 04-25-2016, 06:42 PM
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Eric Seaberg Eric Seaberg is offline
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Default Re: Which External Hard Drive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by VRW View Post
Agreed on USB 3.
Not at all on USB 2.
I've got 128-channels of JoeCo, 2x64-channels via MADI to 2 drives, as my backup system for 128-IO of ProTools HDX2. JoeCo has USB2 and that's all... we are using 7200RPM drives but USB2 is more than robust enough for 64-channels of 48k/24bit. Do a bandwidth calc and see what you come up with... I think you'd be surprised.

OK, I did a calc... USB2 is rated at 480Mb per second. 64-tracks of 48k/24bit uses less than 74Mb. Again, you'd still want a 7200RPM drive, but the interface doesn't need to be crazy.


Let me add one more thought, just because a Thunderbolt SSD would be better, you don't have to throw out older, slower technology that still works. As I mentioned before, you can run your old FW drive either with an existing FW800 connection on the new Mac, or Thunderbolt to FW adapter. Save some bucks now, do your work, and look for an upgrade path later that will perform as you need it to WITHOUT over-buying.

Good luck...
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Last edited by Eric Seaberg; 04-26-2016 at 08:17 AM.
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  #10  
Old 01-31-2017, 09:03 PM
richiejazz richiejazz is offline
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Default Re: Which External Hard Drive?

Sorry to jump your post - but I have a similar problem..

Re music production drives, Ive just had a 3TB Seagate fail and I'm a bit confused as to what replacements to get (I'm looking at getting a 2TB drive to run about 1.5TB of sample libraries then maybe a 1TB to run audio/sessions from on top of that)
Im looking at the Glyph Studio or G-Drive models at the mo.

The thing is I'm using a 2009 MacBook Pro - USB 2.0? and Firewire 800

The Seagate I was using was apparently 7200RPM and through USB it seemed to work fine for running samples.
Sessions in Logic and Pro Tools started getting slow and crashing with multiple tracks pulling out big guns like Trillian and Omnisphere - BUT I think this is mainly down to me still using my system SSD to store and load the sessions from.

What Im confused about is that many people are saying USB 2.0 is no good at all, even though I have been running pretty heavy stuff this way for some time. Is that success down to having a 7200BPM external HDD?

This brings me onto my second point that Seagate themselves told me that RPM speed on external hard drives is TOTALLY IRRELEVANT when using USB. This is after seeing lots of advice saying you MUST have at least 7200RPM and that 54000 is useless. Who is correct?

Which brings me onto Firewire - which I presume is the best option to go for given the spec of my ageing machine - however FW800 drives seem few and far between these days, the best looking one to me seems to be the Glyph studio at 2TB. Also does RPM have more/less/the same impact on using FW?

There seems to be a bunch of conflicting info.... any light on it would be much appreciated!
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