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  #1  
Old 06-26-2012, 09:47 PM
dbcs dbcs is offline
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Default New Macbook Pro Hard Drive Questions

Hello,

I will be getting a new 15'' macbook pro 2.7 GHz, 8GB RAM. Of the hard drives available, which is best for PT? 750 or 1000 GB 5400 RPM, 750 GB 7200 RPM, or 128 GB solid state? (There are also more GB solid state, but in order to purchase, would need to downgrade the macbook in the first place, such as to a 2.6 GHz.) Are the 7200 RPM drives relatively loud compared with the 5400 or solid state?

Is the solid state 128 GB the best if I use it only for PT and recording-related programs?

What is now the best external hard drive to get for use exclusively as an audio drive? Is the Seagate 1TB GoFlex Portable for Mac Thunderbolt Hard Drive a good option for a PT dedicated audio drive?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 06-26-2012, 10:33 PM
nst7 nst7 is offline
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Default Re: New Macbook Pro Hard Drive Questions

For your external drive, Thunderbolt should work great, but since you're getting one of the new Macbook Pros, they have USB 3.0 ports, and you can get a USB 3.0 drive, and save a lot of money, as Thunderbolt stuff is still very expensive.

USB 3.0 is still way faster than firewire or even Esata, so it should be great for audio or sample drives.

For the internal one, preferably you want the SSD, or a 7500 RPM drive.

You could also consider OWC's modification kit that allows you to remove the optical drive and put an SSD in it's place, and then you can use the regular internal drive for audio or samples.

Info on that kit is here:

http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/DDAMBS0GB/

And their external USB 3.0 drives are here:

http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/firew...b/eliteclassic


NOTE: The data doubler kit should be compatible with these new 2012 Macbook Pros, but double check with the company.
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  #3  
Old 06-26-2012, 11:45 PM
Dism Dism is offline
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Default Re: New Macbook Pro Hard Drive Questions

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Originally Posted by nst7 View Post
For your external drive, Thunderbolt should work great, but since you're getting one of the new Macbook Pros, they have USB 3.0 ports, and you can get a USB 3.0 drive, and save a lot of money, as Thunderbolt stuff is still very expensive.

USB 3.0 is still way faster than firewire or even Esata, so it should be great for audio or sample drives.

For the internal one, preferably you want the SSD, or a 7500 RPM drive.

You could also consider OWC's modification kit that allows you to remove the optical drive and put an SSD in it's place, and then you can use the regular internal drive for audio or samples.

Info on that kit is here:

http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/DDAMBS0GB/

And their external USB 3.0 drives are here:

http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/firew...b/eliteclassic


NOTE: The data doubler kit should be compatible with these new 2012 Macbook Pros, but double check with the company.
Personally... I still wouldn't go with USB anything for recording. The reason why USB2.0 was never really recommended isn't because of speed specifically (technically, FW400 should be slower than USB2.0), but because it operates in random burst packets rather than steady streams of data. That's why FW has generally been the preferred choice.

I'd aim for TBolt over USB. Faster, more consistent and is set to be the replacement for FW. Just my opinion.

BTW... USB3 is NOT faster than eSATA. If you have a computer with eSATA, (or perhaps an Expresscard34 slot) ALWAYS use that, since it's the same as the connection your internal drives already use.
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  #4  
Old 06-27-2012, 07:33 AM
nst7 nst7 is offline
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Default Re: New Macbook Pro Hard Drive Questions

I was going by some other info than that article. Theoretically USB 3 is faster than Esata, in that it's 5Gbs vs. 3Gbs for Esata. It may be in the real world that it doesn't pan out, as in that article you linked to.

But either way, from what I've been told, USB 3 does not have the drawbacks that USB 2 did for streaming audio/video, maybe because it's so much faster than firewire to begin with.

In fact, OWC is offering an Esata to USB 3 adapter (to use existing drives that have Esata ports), which implies a certain level of confidence in the speed.


Plus the fact that Thunderbolt drives right now are very expensive, I thought for someone with a laptop situation, it might be a good all around solution.
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  #5  
Old 07-22-2012, 09:25 AM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nst7 View Post
I was going by some other info than that article. Theoretically USB 3 is faster than Esata, in that it's 5Gbs vs. 3Gbs for Esata. It may be in the real world that it doesn't pan out, as in that article you linked to.

But either way, from what I've been told, USB 3 does not have the drawbacks that USB 2 did for streaming audio/video, maybe because it's so much faster than firewire to begin with.

In fact, OWC is offering an Esata to USB 3 adapter (to use existing drives that have Esata ports), which implies a certain level of confidence in the speed.


Plus the fact that Thunderbolt drives right now are very expensive, I thought for someone with a laptop situation, it might be a good all around solution.
We need to be careful with SATA and eSASA versions here and their speeds.

eSATA II is 3Gbit/s, eSATA III is 6 Gbit/s. USB 3 drives may be using SATA II 3Gbit/s drives internally (In general I hope not) or might be using SATA III 6Gbit/s drives. So the USB III to SATA conversion may be a bottleneck. And none of this will make a difference if the drive physics/controller and access pattern will not support those transfer rates. This all likely becomes more significant when using the latest SATA III SSD drives.

The OWC adapter is USB 3 to eSATA II 3Gbit/s. It seems positioned as a convenience device, not so much for high performance. Will it work well for Pro Tools? A lot depends on drivers and firmware in the adapter. As with any storage for Pro Tools, I would want to hear detailed reports of it being used.

SATA is a more disk oriented protocol and natively supported by the disk controllers so its going to be more efficient than USB when comparing interface marketing speed claims.

The proof of the pudding will be detailed reports of exactly what people have tested and are running (including details of their computer and OS since so much of this is software driver related). Some good sounding early reports are coming in for USB3.

Thunderbolt ultimately gets more interesting with Flash storage, with the ability to connect extremely high performance PCIe controller based flash storage, completely bypassing SATA connections and SATA controller bottlenecks.

it's going to be interesting in the portable/external storage space, I expect a lot of mass market, USB3 drives that will be important to see how they work with Pro Tools (esp. on Mac, if you are using USB 2 now in Windows then should be smoother sailing), continued availability of eSATA (hopefully becoming all eSATA III) drives but with limited computer (laptop) support for eSATA. And at the high end hopefully some stunning high-performance Thunderbolt storage. With USB 3 in the market it is now a watch to see how long external drive vendors will stick with supporting FireWire. I hope Avid is all over testing some of the leading/early USB 3 drives.

Darryl
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  #6  
Old 07-22-2012, 09:36 AM
nst7 nst7 is offline
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Default Re: New Macbook Pro Hard Drive Questions

If they come out with a 004, I'm thinking it should be USB 3, rather than firewire. That way it should be faster speed, yet backward compatible with USB 2.0.
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  #7  
Old 07-22-2012, 09:53 AM
Dism Dism is offline
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Default Re: New Macbook Pro Hard Drive Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl Ramm View Post
We need to be careful with SATA and eSASA versions here and their speeds.

eSATA II is 3Gbit/s, eSATA III is 6 Gbit/s. USB 3 drives may be using SATA II 3Gbit/s drives internally (In general I hope not) or might be using SATA III 6Gbit/s drives. So the USB III to SATA conversion may be a bottleneck. And none of this will make a difference if the drive physics/controller and access pattern will not support those transfer rates. This all likely becomes more significant when using the latest SATA III SSD drives.

The OWC adapter is USB 3 to eSATA II 3Gbit/s. It seems positioned as a convenience device, not so much for high performance. Will it work well for Pro Tools? A lot depends on drivers and firmware in the adapter. As with any storage for Pro Tools, I would want to hear detailed reports of it being used.

SATA is a more disk oriented protocol and natively supported by the disk controllers so its going to be more efficient than USB when comparing interface marketing speed claims.

The proof of the pudding will be detailed reports of exactly what people have tested and are running (including details of their computer and OS since so much of this is software driver related). Some good sounding early reports are coming in for USB3.

Thunderbolt ultimately gets more interesting with Flash storage, with the ability to connect extremely high performance PCIe controller based flash storage, completely bypassing SATA connections and SATA controller bottlenecks.

it's going to be interesting in the portable/external storage space, I expect a lot of mass market, USB3 drives that will be important to see how they work with Pro Tools (esp. on Mac, if you are using USB 2 now in Windows then should be smoother sailing), continued availability of eSATA (hopefully becoming all eSATA III) drives but with limited computer (laptop) support for eSATA. And at the high end hopefully some stunning high-performance Thunderbolt storage. With USB 3 in the market it is now a watch to see how long external drive vendors will stick with supporting FireWire. I hope Avid is all over testing some of the leading/early USB 3 drives.

Darryl
Despite all of this very useful information...

We should also remember that most spinning platter drives can't even saturate the bandwidth of SATAII.
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  #8  
Old 07-22-2012, 10:14 AM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Despite all of this very useful information...

We should also remember that most spinning platter drives can't even saturate the bandwidth of SATAII.
Yes, Flash/SSD is the interesting media to consider with all these new interfaces, The days of spinning disks are numbered, for performance, performance/cost, size/convinience, reliability and physical robustness reasons.

Disk is the new tape, and will be around for a while as a backup medium...(so likely increasing focus on fewer platters/heads/higher surface density to lower costs, and sequential over random I/O performance).

Darryl
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  #9  
Old 07-22-2012, 12:00 PM
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John_Toolbox John_Toolbox is offline
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Default Re: New Macbook Pro Hard Drive Questions

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Originally Posted by Dism View Post
Despite all of this very useful information...

We should also remember that most spinning platter drives can't even saturate the bandwidth of SATAII.
I'm not aware of any that even come close to that, unless you put them in a RAID setup.
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  #10  
Old 07-22-2012, 01:26 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: New Macbook Pro Hard Drive Questions

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Originally Posted by John_Toolbox View Post
I'm not aware of any that even come close to that, unless you put them in a RAID setup.
No disagreement from me, but while discussing speeds and feeds... the actual peak raw interface speed of "3 Gbit/sec" SATA II is 8/10 * 3 /8 = 0.3 GByte/sec = 300 MB/sec. Simialrly for 6 Gbit/sec SATA III it is 600MB/sec. That's just from factoring in the 10/8 data encoding of SATA (8 data bits put into a 10 bit encoded serial bus). And actual peak throughput from storage devices will be significantly lower, e.g. the fastest sequential I/O bandwidths for any 3 Gbit/sec SATA II drives I've seen are in the 200-250MB/sec range (yes actually mostly obtained with SSD drives).

There might be spinning HDD that may just touch SATA II/3 Gbit/sec bottlenecks. But that will typically be buried in the noise, or only obvious if the performance test goes looking for them. Things like the very outer tracks on 10k rpm drives (?), burst read speeds from drives with very large RAM caches, or hybrid drives with large FLASH caches (yes an unfair comparison). And many of those fancier drives already have 6 Gbit/s SATA III interfaces so these bottlenecks have a chance of happening only happening only when using with older generation 3 Gbit/s SATA II computer interfaces. A limit with 3 gbit/sec SATA II that might barely be possible for the very fastest rotating drives only in some circumstances becomes a real issue with SSD, where the fastest SSD drives today can absolutely be limited by 3 Gbit/s SATA II, e.g. 2.5" single SSD drives with > 500MB/s sequential I/O. (which is one of the horrors of the current Mac Pro only having on-board 3 Gbit/s SATA II).

Maybe with SATA III / 6 Gbit we'll see a few more 10k rpm drives, more hybrid HDD/SSD drives and even some 15k rpm hard drives? All as a last gasp for mainstream high performance rotating storage. But, again, spinning HDDs are really dead, time to move on...

I'd love to see more reports on actual SSD drive storage here, both for system, sample and audio drives. And I'd like Avid to start qualifying (or disqualifying/highlighting problems) with SSD/Flash drives, especially for me - Apple, OWC and other leading reseller SSD drives, on Macs. SSD drive vendors who want to makers to this space, hopefully you know where you need to put pressure/provide products and technical help...

Darryl
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