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Old 01-16-2023, 11:30 PM
alberto64 alberto64 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Italy
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Default APFS drive for media MacStudio Ultra Ventura

Hi there,

Is anyone working with an external NVME M2 drive formatted APFS for media with Protools?
I’ve just received a MacStudio Ultra OS Ventura and I’m asking myself what the best setup.

Thank you for your feeds
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Old 01-16-2023, 11:55 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
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Location: USA
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Default Re: APFS drive for media MacStudio Ultra Ventura

Yes. 14 TB+ of M.2 external drives all formatted APFS, much less data on them than that. APFS is one of the most proven trusted/widely used file systems in the world. The only reason to not use APFS is on transfer drives if you need to move stuff to very old systems. But then I'd move stuff on USB thumb drives formatted HFS+ or exFAT.

The M.2 drives I prefer are WD Black SN850 and Samsung 980 Pro. They are fast with PCIe 4 support they will suffer some performance hit from being installed over a slower Thunderbolt 3/4/PCIe3 connection (and affected by sharing if on a single Thunderbolt link). But in the big picture still fast, but not as fast as the internal Mac Studio SSDs.

What are you installing the M.2 drives in?

I have them installed in Sonnet Echo Express SEIIIe Thunderbolt 3 chassis and single PCIe slot to M.2 adapter cards (so that all switch/bifurcation support is provided by the Sonnet chassis PCIe switch and you can use any cheap/dumb PCIe3 to M.2 adapter card. It's chunky/large but nice for my needs. If you want the fastest possible aggregate IO you'll spread out M.2 drives in smaller Thunderbolt mounting packaging. Stay away from some low-cost cheaply designed M.2 enclosures that say only pass say a single or double PCIe lane to each M.2 card. Like the OWC Express 4M2.

A lot of thermal needs depends on use but I would use these drives with the factory heatsink option if there is space/internal blown air cooling (like that Sonnet chassis' great quiet but effective fan). Be careful of any case/packaging that does not have good passive conductive cooling with good thermal bonding from the M.2 to the case or a fan and vents.

And as always the first thing you do with any SSD drive is check its firmware is up to date.
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Old 01-17-2023, 02:01 AM
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JFreak JFreak is offline
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Tampere, Finland
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Default Re: APFS drive for media MacStudio Ultra Ventura

^ Great advise for high performance.

Another point of view is for example this OWC Envoy Express enclosure that I use for (relatively small) file transfers. While it is TB3 it is still only about 1500MBps, which isn't actually slow but doesn't require top dollar spent on top speed m.2 SSD blade.

Still... if it is not spinning, you should use APFS file system.
What we do in life, echoes in eternity.
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Old 01-17-2023, 02:17 AM
alberto64 alberto64 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Italy
Posts: 7
Default Re: APFS drive for media MacStudio Ultra Ventura

Thank you guys, great infos!

I've bought the OWC Envoy Express with a 1Tb Sabrent Rocket SSD NVMe PCIe M.2 to use for my projects, the MacSudio Ultra is with an 8 Tb internal disk, I'll add a volume which will be named Sounds for my libraries and I hope to work without issues.
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