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  #1  
Old 01-11-2011, 04:19 AM
gclef101 gclef101 is offline
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Question Hard Drive Help (Cache or RPMs)

I am looking to get a good hard drive as my system drive. I was looking at WD Caviar green drive with 64mb of cache or a WD VelociRaptor with 16mb of cache. Which is better as a system drive? Is it higher cache or rpm?

I am also now wondering if any should be my recording drive? I will be putting them in a Mac Pro 2.26 as well as a PC. Any insight will be helpful.

My setup on the Mac will be three drives; one system drive, one recording drive and one to keep my plug-ins, virtual instruments and samples library on.
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Old 01-11-2011, 05:00 AM
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Default Re: Hard Drive Help (Cache or RPMs)

These help in two different ways.

RPM's can boost record/playback track count that you can have on a drive. This is because the faster the platters spin the faster you can access whatever you want. And faster access means more access before the system hiccups. And this is not the whole story, you also need to think about take areal density (bigger drives are generally denser than smaller drives), number of drive platters and number of read/write heads for example. But you can never beat the laws of physics as long as there are moving parts involved.

Cache helps you copying large files over to somewhere else. In other words, it is there for making it possible to optimize reading from the disk, therefore bursting the data to the SATA buss more efficiently. (originally its function was speeding up the actual PATA buss, because it was slower than fastest of hard drives, therefore very much needed. now that we have SATA, the buss itself is lots faster than any hard drive out there...)

So...

If you have to choose between a 600GB 10krpm VelociRaptor and a 600GB 7.2krpm anyotherdrive, then a faster drive of similar capacity is most likely faster. It is not that clear between a 36GB 10krpm drive and a 2TB 7.2krpm drive.

But relax. As long as you don't have a monster session of +100 tracks of 96kHz audio, any single empty SATA hard drive should be enough for it. Don't spend a fortune here -- buy one and test if it's enough (make a big enough session and record silence for X amount of time), and if it does not perform well enough, buy another drive. Two cheaper normal drives might be a better solution anyway, compared to one superdupermegahypergreat overly hyped drive.
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Old 01-11-2011, 05:35 AM
gclef101 gclef101 is offline
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Default Re: Hard Drive Help (Cache or RPMs)

Thanks for the insight. I didn't want to put money in to something that will not be a benefit to my system.

I am thinking to put a lager cache as my system drive and the faster RPMs as the record drive and library drive?
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Old 01-11-2011, 06:07 AM
Bill Denton Bill Denton is offline
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Default Re: Hard Drive Help (Cache or RPMs)

Good info in here, but the conversation could have ended at I was looking at WD Caviar green drive...

You basically don't want to use a "green" anything in an audio recording system. Saving power typically means turning stuff off, which can cause problems.

I have read a couple of reports of problems in audio recording systems with Caviar Green, so I would avoid them like the plague...
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Old 01-11-2011, 07:04 AM
gclef101 gclef101 is offline
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Default Re: Hard Drive Help (Cache or RPMs)

Thanks man because I was thinking about getting the green drive and that would have defiantly caused problems for me. I appreciate the helpful information you have provided me to make a sound decision.
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Old 01-11-2011, 07:33 AM
albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: Hard Drive Help (Cache or RPMs)

+1 for avoiding any "green" drive. WD Caviar BLACK are the best choice here. 10K drives cost more, make more noise and heat and don't offer any serious performance gain. Now an SSD for system would make boot times much faster, so that might be important to you(at over $200 for a 120gb, its NOT important to me)
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:00 AM
CME CME is offline
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Default Re: Hard Drive Help (Cache or RPMs)

And just to add. You'll want to keep your plug-ins them selves on the system drive also. Your sample libraries will be best served on their own drive, as you mentioned, but keep the actual plug-ins in the default location. IMO anyways.

And just to add to the conversation, for audio drives, I'd stick with 7200 rpm drives unless you're doing huge sessions. Then I might opt for the 10k drives. But for most people 7200rpm will be fine. SSD's are not ready for the write wear and tear an audio drive requires. However for system drives and sample library drives, were there is much less writing done and much more reading/loading, I've heard they are killer.
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Old 01-11-2011, 12:28 PM
gclef101 gclef101 is offline
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Question Re: Hard Drive Help (Cache or RPMs)

Good point CME, I will put my plug-ins on my system drive.
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Old 01-11-2011, 01:37 PM
Craig F Craig F is offline
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Default Re: Hard Drive Help (Cache or RPMs)

I have heard that Green drives use aggressive head parking creates excessive load cycles
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Old 01-11-2011, 07:08 PM
Tragic Dog Tragic Dog is offline
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Default Re: Hard Drive Help (Cache or RPMs)

-1 for the GREEN drives
+1 for the BLACK drives

you can pick up a 2tb drive for about 180bucks right now. I have 4 of them in my Mac Pro and they have yet to let me down. Use them for both HD (red footage), and audio (96k).
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