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Old 02-22-2003, 02:24 PM
Don Geppert Don Geppert is offline
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Default Re: Firewire Drives...Fans or No Fans?

In my large main studio I have a TDM Mix system (core + 3 farms in a Magma 13 slot chassis) running on the first generation of Mac G4/500's (with DVD-Ram drives) running under OS 9.2.2 plus ProControl in an educational environment.

We run 24/7 day in and day out (and I mean back to back 3 hour sessions every day plus classes). This is multiuser stress to the extreme!

I have both SkyData and LaCie 60 Gig Ultra Wide SCSI drives (Cheetah's inside I think 10,000 rpm) both with fans, one on each port of a dual Atto card with Granite Digital SCSI cables. The entire system is isolated from the students and no one touches it except me. Stability has been phenominal, it amazes me at times that this system has been so rugged with so much use.

A significant number of my students have puchased firewire drives but only for backup. Sessions are always xferred to the SCSI wide drives for use in the studio, which in my opinion is as it should be.

I have just finished a 75 track TDM session with 2000 audio files and 2000 edits in the fade files folder all streaming off of one SCSI drive. It has worked without a hitch so far. This I find hard to believe at times.

We are planning on going to PT's 6.0 this summer which quite frankly scares the poop out of me!

One wise ProTool user once said (on this forum I think), "when my rig is working perfectly .... I don't even blow the dust off the computer". I now understand what this means.

..... DG
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Old 02-22-2003, 09:48 PM
shanew shanew is offline
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Default Re: Firewire Drives...Fans or No Fans?

I've been using the OWC Mercury Elite drives for over a year and have had zero problems. I'm generally mixing at least five days a week and the drives have performed very well. More than once I've had projects with 70 tracks and the drives didn't even hiccup. Routine drive maintenance (erase disk) is all I ever need to do.
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Old 02-23-2003, 12:31 AM
tomhartman tomhartman is offline
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Default Firewire Drives...Fans or No Fans?

Recent drives like the HUSH and a few others that are qualified for audio feature a wall wart power supply in return for no noise. I know some, like Lee Baske, have stated that they don't trust these drives for day in, day out use.

I wonder. I have had quality SCSI drives from Glyph...Cheetahs and Quantums over the years, and have actually found that I have no great success in long term drive stability. Fans go out, power supplies go out, etc. And I think Glyph is frighteningly overpriced and always has been.

I'm wondering if anyone has had good luck using these fanless drives on a tough, day to day basis. I for one could use the lack of noise, even though my stuff is in a machine room.

Thanks for any input.
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Old 02-23-2003, 06:39 AM
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Drew Mazurek Drew Mazurek is offline
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Default Re: Firewire Drives...Fans or No Fans?

I've also had good luck with the Mercury Elites. 80gigs, $199, quiet.
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Old 02-23-2003, 07:57 AM
dave-G dave-G is offline
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Default Re: Firewire Drives...Fans or No Fans?

What Shane said. [img]images/icons/cool.gif[/img] Same here.

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Old 02-23-2003, 04:02 PM
Muzza Muzza is offline
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Default Re: Firewire Drives...Fans or No Fans?

My tip would be - keep drives as cool as you can, and keep the temp stable. Don't plunge them in and out of temperature variants. If you have portable firewire drives don't bring them out of the snow straight into the warm studio and put them to work straight away.
All drives will fail. Regular maintenance is the key
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Old 02-23-2003, 04:42 PM
tomhartman tomhartman is offline
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Default Re: Firewire Drives...Fans or No Fans?

Quote:
Originally posted by Muzza:
My tip would be - keep drives as cool as you can, and keep the temp stable. Don't plunge them in and out of temperature variants. If you have portable firewire drives don't bring them out of the snow straight into the warm studio and put them to work straight away.
All drives will fail. Regular maintenance is the key
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">I will be going with either the HUSH or the OWC. HUSH plans to adjust their prices by midweek to be closer to OWC's, and are considering some other cool features like advance replacement (ala Digi). By removing the main heat source (power supply) it allows the drives to be dead quiet. And the power supplies seem to be fine, from the wealth of users having success with them. Checking out the prices for SCSI and comparing is a joke....it will be FIrewire for me. BTW, a client left his Mercury Elite here with me all week, and it's been super.

Thanks all.
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Old 02-23-2003, 07:01 PM
Lee Blaske Lee Blaske is offline
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Default Re: Firewire Drives...Fans or No Fans?

Quote:
And the power supplies seem to be fine, from the wealth of users having success with them.
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Are you sure about that? Check out the Firewire port zapping thread. Empirical evidence is that the non-grounded power supplies are more problematic.

Do some searching. I don't have links, but I've come across quite a number of people having problems with the fanless supplies on various lists. I'm not making this stuff up. Here are two I saved:

http://lists.macfilmmakers.com/piper...28/000156.html

http://lists.macfilmmakers.com/piper...28/000155.html

I've also come across reports on various lists (sorry, no links) regarding people using external fans directed at their collection of fanless drives.

Remember, there are are a number of factors -- age of the drive (and how long you plan to use it), the type of drive mechanism, ambient temperature of your environment (you could always put them in an ice box [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] ), how hard you're working the drives. Some people buy a continual supply of new drives and use them for long term back-up and/or use them as the media they deliver to their clients. If you were continually circulating a fresh supply of new drives through your facility, that would be another factor.

If you shop for your drive mechanisms from a discounter (like www.newegg.com) and buy your cases from a place like Granite Digital, the price is going to be in the same ballpark as the lighter duty fanless case. If you go with something like the Granite Digital case, though, you get a bigger, beefier power supply, a grounded EIJ power plug, a high quality Firewire cable thrown in, a case that will keep the drive running cooler (running cooler is always better), plus GD is a heavier duty, pro oriented company, and really keeps on top of having 911 firmware flashers up to date. No question, it's a heavier duty case.

The advantages to the fanless cases are quietness and compact portability.

If you haven't made provisions in your studio for a machine room, you might need a fanless case. If noise is not a factor, though, why wouldn't you go with the more robust, better supported product? I like a little overkill, especially when it isn't much more expensive to buy.

Lee Blaske
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Old 02-23-2003, 07:31 PM
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Default Re: Firewire Drives...Fans or No Fans?

While perfection is unattainable, I'll throw in my praise of the OWC Mercury Elite. At 80 gigs, 7200 rpm, separate power supply and $199, it's not only my main, but my ONLY audio drive and have had zero problems. This thing never skips a beat. I keep it out on my desk and it stays cool (and looks cool too!). When I put my hand on it, it's barely warm.

But the best thing about it? NO MORE SCSI!!

[img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]
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Old 02-23-2003, 08:10 PM
tomhartman tomhartman is offline
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Default Re: Firewire Drives...Fans or No Fans?

Quote:
Originally posted by alucard:
While perfection is unattainable, I'll throw in my praise of the OWC Mercury Elite. At 80 gigs, 7200 rpm, separate power supply and $199, it's not only my main, but my ONLY audio drive and have had zero problems. This thing never skips a beat. I keep it out on my desk and it stays cool (and looks cool too!). When I put my hand on it, it's barely warm.

But the best thing about it? NO MORE SCSI!!

[img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">See what I mean Lee?

Lee, you make good points. And I too had 3 different Firewire devices (2 drives and one CDRW) by Maxtor go bad. I was transferring files to the drives, and bringing them downstairs to another G4 that is connected to the internet. I'd plug it in, it would mount, and I'd upload stuff. This worked for each drive for about two months, then one day, it wouldn't mount. Maxtor sent a replacement, the replacement did the same thing after a couple of months. I sent both drives in to a disk recovery place, they wanted hundreds, I got the drives back, and one immediately worked again, and the other never did. I took it out of it's case and put it in the Mac and the Mac cannot mount it, but can see it connected. These all had fans in them.

The power supply is the main source of heat in the drive. So I don't think fans are really much of an issue in these new cheaper drives. I don't think heat is making them fail, I mean.

I do think the Granite Digital stuf looks great, but I need to check out the exact costs. I'm going to need two drives to get 64 tracks on the Mix Plus I suppose, so cost is important.

Thanks for the input as always.
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