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  #1  
Old 12-05-2013, 08:04 PM
IVcrane IVcrane is offline
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Default External HD/USB3 Hub for new Macbook Pro

I needed a laptop for school and bit the bullet on a higher end Macbook Pro to also replace my 2008 3,1 Mac Pro 3GHz 8-core tower.

New Macbook Pro is a 15" i7 2.3GHz quad core w/ 16GB 1600MHz DDR3 memory and 512GB Flash Storage.

Computer has 2 USB3, 2 Thunderbolt, HDMI, and a SDXC which says it specs at 5GB/s.

Because of limited ports I was considering getting Apple's bluetooth Magic Mouse.

The iLok is going to take up a USB port and my Apogee Duet 2 takes up the other meaning I am going to have to get a USB hub.

Ideally I would like to have at least 3 hard drives.
1) system drive
2) audio recording drive
3) separate drive for sample libraries and general file storage.

The laptop was a stretch so affording a thunderbolt drive is out of my range currently.

What USB3 Hub would be recommended to add additional USB inputs?
What USB3 Hard Drive would be recommended (preferably under $200)?

What would be the best way to attach two external drives. I would assume plugging them into a shared hub would obviously degrade read/write speed.

Also I'm a little confused on this SDXC card slot.
About this mac shows a speed of 5GB/s however the actual cards I find available online are showing an average of 10MB/s. Are there SDXC cards available that can take advantage of the 5GB/s speeds the slot can handle and would this be a good option for an audio or sample drive?

Any help would be appreciated. This is my first laptop ever and I'm interested in what my best setup would be without breaking the bank.
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  #2  
Old 12-05-2013, 08:25 PM
albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: External HD/USB3 Hub for new Macbook Pro

Can't comment on hubs, but I would get thunderbolt hard drives for external. Not sure WTH Apple is thinking as they drop ports willy nilly
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  #3  
Old 12-05-2013, 08:57 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: External HD/USB3 Hub for new Macbook Pro

You can get just about anything to work, kind of, maybe some times. No I would not use SDXC cards for audio.

And no consumer type SSD drive comes close to 5GB/sec (five Gigabytes per second). Although that is the territory of multi $k to multi $10k server/enterprise class PCIe SSD drives (the FusionIO Octal PCIe Flash card can do over 6 GB/sec... list price last time I looked was around $100k per card. I assume its fallen a lot since then, still....). And anyhow Apple specs the port at 5 Gb/sec (five Gigabits per second). Still this is not technology designed to replace otherwise super reliable/robust/durable/high performance SATA III SSDs.

Get a Thunderbolt or USB3 drive. Make that an SSD if you want maximum performance and reliability/robustness. Lacie make some nice external Thunderbolt/SSD drives. Or get a Samsung 840 Evo or Pro if you want to roll your own SATA SSD into an external carrier/box.
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  #4  
Old 12-05-2013, 10:06 PM
IVcrane IVcrane is offline
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Default Re: External HD/USB3 Hub for new Macbook Pro

I did some searches on the forum regarding drives.

Would the LaCie 6TB 2big Thunderbolt Series External Hard Drive be a good option? I read that these drives can be formatted to run as 2 separate drives, albeit HDD @7200rpm.

From what I read in posts, it seems that it is most beneficial to run sample libraries from a ssd drive. Due to costs, would the best scenario for now be to load a 128GB SSD Samsung 840 into one side of the Lacie 2Big thunderbolt and then record audio to the 7200rpm drive on the other half?

As for USB ports, where the ports are USB3, would a single USB3 hub adequately accommodate the Apogee Duet 2 recording interface, iLok, and mouse?

Since the SDXC slot wouldn't be good for recording audio, would it be a feasible and reliable option to install a 128GB PNY StorEDGE card for holding files? My only concern is that in time I may come near capacity of the 512GB flash storage of my Macbook Pro. For example my Mac Pro I am replacing with this currently has a 2TB backup drive and 3x 500GB drives and They are all close to full. I also have several Glyph and Lacie firewire drives that are useless unless I go the route of a firewire/thunderbolt adapter.

With that said. Would I be able to use the firewire/thunderbolt adapter to utilize my firewire drives attaching them after the Lacie 2Big thunderbolt drive? Also would I be able to daisy chain my 002 with the adapter off of the Lacie 2big for those times I need to records drums and what not that goes beyond the Apogee's 2 inputs?

Sorry, a lot of questions, but I've been out of the technology loop for a while. Until a week ago I had never heard of SSD replacement Sata drives or even thunderbolt connections.
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  #5  
Old 12-05-2013, 11:02 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: External HD/USB3 Hub for new Macbook Pro

[QUOTE=IVcrane;2108715]I did some searches on the forum regarding drives.

Quote:
Would the LaCie 6TB 2big Thunderbolt Series External Hard Drive be a good option? I read that these drives can be formatted to run as 2 separate drives, albeit HDD @7200rpm.
Yes all the Lacie "RAID" drives (and many other brands) just use the system software RAID and can be configured a JBOD (just a bunch of disk) easy to do, and what you should do.

Would this be a good option? It would not be a bad option, but it would not be my first choice. But I don't know your budget, how portable a system you need, how much space you need for sessions or samples or how much things like improved robustness of an SSD drive, or having to deal with cooling fan noise is or is not an issue to you.

And see comments below on just starting by reusing you existing drives.

I use a lot of Samsung SATA III SSD drives but I do not use any Thunderbolt storage myself, but some options for Thunderbolt storage I think are interesting is...

http://www.lacie.com/products/product.htm?id=10599
Low end single drive, only one thunderbolt port so no daisy chaining, no cooling fan so quiet

http://www.lacie.com/products/product.htm?id=10549
Little bit disk, has two Thunderbolt ports so you can daisy chain, no USB3, does have a cooling fan that bugs some people. Get a model with two SATA III SSDs or get the cheapest disk model and toss out the disks and install two Samusng 840 Pro or 840 Evo SATA III SSDs in their place.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ure_Empty.html
Or for higher end use get a Pegasus J4 enclosure and install up to four of those Samsung SSDs. The issue with the J4 is it did not intitially support EFI compatible bootable firmware and so could not be used as a boot drive. Promise has said they are fixing that, and may have already, I'm trying to find out.

Quote:
From what I read in posts, it seems that it is most beneficial to run sample libraries from a ssd drive. Due to costs, would the best scenario for now be to load a 128GB SSD Samsung 840 into one side of the Lacie 2Big thunderbolt and then record audio to the 7200rpm drive on the other half?
We'll I woudl recommend the system/boot as the first SSD (which you have) and then it depends on what you need. If lots of track count then an SSD session drive may become more important than an SSD sample drive. Perosnally I won't use HDD for anything except for archive/backup. Think carefully how much space you need. Some folks can get away with small session drives, others not, some need multiple large sample drives (and one or more HDD may be much cheaper for them).

Quote:
As for USB ports, where the ports are USB3, would a single USB3 hub adequately accommodate the Apogee Duet 2 recording interface, iLok, and mouse?
Don't know. With USB 3 it seems to be hope and see. Most audio interfaces have the general guidance that you don't want to run them through hubs. OTOH *some* USB 2/USB 1.1 interfaces *sometimes* seem to have problems on a USB 3 port and will run OK the other side of a USB 2 hub connected to the computer's USB 3 port. You will need to experiment and see what works

Quote:
Since the SDXC slot wouldn't be good for recording audio, would it be a feasible and reliable option to install a 128GB PNY StorEDGE card for holding files? My only concern is that in time I may come near capacity of the 512GB flash storage of my Macbook Pro. For example my Mac Pro I am replacing with this currently has a 2TB backup drive and 3x 500GB drives and They are all close to full. I also have several Glyph and Lacie firewire drives that are useless unless I go the route of a firewire/thunderbolt adapter.
No. StorEDGE I would not touch it. Just more of simmilar technology. Not in the same league as a good SSD you cannot possibly jam the controller processing power needed to power these complex SSD drives into the space of these SDXC cards). You should have purchased a 1TB internal SSD from Apple. I expect OWC will come out with 1TB internal drive upgrades for these Retina MBPs, they currently sell ~500Gb replacement dives. Just go on a software diet until OWC have that 1Tb replacement drive available.

Hey if it was me I would exactly start with that $29 per FW800 adapter. Sold. Get those drives that you already know and have been using and hook 'em up and just start using your computer and then see what needs tweeting/improving and spend your money on that. e.g. I'd not go and say buy Thunderbolt drives with 7,200 rpm HDDs in them if I had other Firewire 800 drives with 7,200 rpm drives in them just layign around, I'd save my money and probalby buy Thunderbolt SSDs later on.

Quote:
With that said. Would I be able to use the Firewire/thunderbolt adapter to utilize my Firewire drives attaching them after the Lacie 2Big thunderbolt drive? Also would I be able to daisy chain my 002 with the adapter off of the Lacie 2big for those times I need to records drums and what not that goes beyond the Apogee's 2 inputs?
Yes and yes, buy the Apple adapter. Get two, so your disks and you 002 can be on entirely different Firewire buses. Oh 002, not sure what the status is the of 002 drives support with Pro Tools 11 on Mavericks really is, it's currently showing as not officially supported/untested by Avid. You should search DUC and post that question separately if needed. Again I'd start with just using the dries you have now, get it all workign before goign and buying anything extra.

Quote:
Sorry, a lot of questions, but I've been out of the technology loop for a while. Until a week ago I had never heard of SSD replacement Sata drives or even thunderbolt connections.
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  #6  
Old 12-06-2013, 05:10 AM
musicman691 musicman691 is offline
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Default Re: External HD/USB3 Hub for new Macbook Pro

Quote:
Originally Posted by IVcrane View Post
I did some searches on the forum regarding drives.

Would the LaCie 6TB 2big Thunderbolt Series External Hard Drive be a good option? I read that these drives can be formatted to run as 2 separate drives, albeit HDD @7200rpm.
I use that drive in a 4 terabyte version and it's dead quiet - can't hear the fan at all. Used OSX disk utility to dump the RAID business. And it is faster than my Glyphs with 7200 rpm drives via FW800 loading and saving though not as fast as an ssd. I have yet to find it a bottleneck not using an ssd for sessions that have 32 Play 4 EWQLSO vi tracks.
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  #7  
Old 12-06-2013, 08:48 AM
huzzam huzzam is offline
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Default Re: External HD/USB3 Hub for new Macbook Pro

Just curious: you have that nice 512gb ssd internal, why do you want another system drive?

And: in my experience, SSDs (especially the screaming internal PCI-connected ones in new Macbooks) rewrite the rules about not sharing system boot drive with e.g. sample libraries. The issue for spinning disks is seek time, and the risk that some OS disk access will move the read head away from the sample you're trying to read. This is not an issue for SSDs at all, as there's no head.

In your position I'd run:
* USB 1 ilok
* USB 2 Duet
* thunderbolt ~ single drive (ssd preferred, but 7200rpm would be ok) for sessions.

you could also get the thunderbolt -> firewire adapter and use firewire 800 drives for sessions, which have a proven record of reliability & are cheaper than TB, and which can daisy chain very well in case you need to expand.

the lacie dual enclosure looks reasonable if you really feel the need to have the samples off the boot drive.

enjoy!
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  #8  
Old 12-06-2013, 02:14 PM
musicman691 musicman691 is offline
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Default Re: External HD/USB3 Hub for new Macbook Pro

Quote:
Originally Posted by huzzam View Post
Just curious: you have that nice 512gb ssd internal, why do you want another system drive?

And: in my experience, SSDs (especially the screaming internal PCI-connected ones in new Macbooks) rewrite the rules about not sharing system boot drive with e.g. sample libraries. The issue for spinning disks is seek time, and the risk that some OS disk access will move the read head away from the sample you're trying to read. This is not an issue for SSDs at all, as there's no head.

In your position I'd run:
* USB 1 ilok
* USB 2 Duet
* thunderbolt ~ single drive (ssd preferred, but 7200rpm would be ok) for sessions.

you could also get the thunderbolt -> firewire adapter and use firewire 800 drives for sessions, which have a proven record of reliability & are cheaper than TB, and which can daisy chain very well in case you need to expand.

the lacie dual enclosure looks reasonable if you really feel the need to have the samples off the boot drive.

enjoy!
~peter
It's not only seek time that is the issue; you still have only one in and out point for data that would have to be shared with the system and sample data. It's a fool's errand to run the system and samples and recording off one drive.
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  #9  
Old 12-06-2013, 09:09 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: External HD/USB3 Hub for new Macbook Pro

SSDs are fast, low latency, high bandwidth, have somewhat (but still good) asymmetrical read/write performance and can be sensitive to being correctly setup.

Can you run an SSD as shared system/sample and audio drives? Sure you can, but you can do that as well on a HDD if you are the right combination of careful, brave and crazy. It all depends on what exactly you are doing (number of tracks, sample rates, exact VIs/plugins being used etc.) and how much you are willing to dink around tuning things and how tolerant you are of possible downtime/hiccups (what is looking like an idiot to a client worth? because you saved $300 or $500 or whatever on a disk drive setup?).

So I'd usually start conservative when building a system. Assume the worst/be most conservative but if you are on the geekier side of things and want to experiment then go ahead and try.

For lightweight sessions, for editing MIDI stuff with a few SD drum VI tracks and a half dozen of so audio tracks (@44kHz), I can run off a single boot/sample/Audio Samsung 840 Evo SATA internal drive on my MBP. But I'm careful about setting this up as otherwise best I can, and the client is me, and I can easily deliberately make it fall over if I try.
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  #10  
Old 12-06-2013, 09:26 PM
nst7 nst7 is offline
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Default Re: External HD/USB3 Hub for new Macbook Pro

One of these might be helpful:

http://sonnettech.com/product/echo15...rboltdock.html
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