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7200 rpm vs. 5400 for pro audio?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by fustercluck, Oct 29, 2006.

  1. macrumors member

    I just ordered the 100GB 7200 rpm drive on the 17" C2D MBP, but am wondering if I could still get decent performance with the PMR 160 GB 5400 rpm drive.

    I would be using this with an m-audio fw device.

    Thanks for any suggestions.
  2. macrumors 6502a


    Yes the 7200rpm drive is best. Go with that. It makes a bigger difference in audio recording, if you are going to record multiple tracks at high bit and sample rates, for an extended period of time. I put a 7200rpm into an iBook I had to record some concerts (two channel) and it was a night and day difference with the faster drive. Esp when recording a 2-3 hour show. The computer could handle the large files very easy, as if they were nothing.

    (As well as OS X running better.)
  3. macrumors member

    Cool, thanks for the confirmation.
  4. macrumors 6502a


    you dont ever want to opt for the 5400 anymore
  5. macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

  6. macrumors member

    I read that review: I'm not sure I trust any reviewer who concludes that a 4200 rpm drive is in any way going to compete with a drive nearly twice as fast.

    Anyway, I'm asking specifically about recording audio, not copying files from one partition to another. Those are mundane tasks. Recording audio/video has different requirements altogether.
  7. macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

    Well, let me put it like this: That review compares sustained transfer rates which is valid when looking at hard drive-intensive tasks, such as recording video or audio at a high bitrate. Of course, if someone does have first-hand experience in the audio-recording field, that would be best.
  8. macrumors 601


    eh? suddenly the misread word of a nobody reviewer can be trumped? surely not!
  9. macrumors 6502a


    Yes, transfer rates of the 5400rpm drives are impressive vs. the 7200rpm drives, but the difference is how the 7200rpm drive handles reading/writing LARGE audio files. (Or large files in general).

    Large tasks such as: Filtering or normalizing 3 hours of audio, multiple tracks; recording multiple tracks at 24/96, etc. This is where a 7200rpm drive comes in handy.

    You'd have to search for real world audio test benchmarks, and not just PCMark-type stuff.

    I'll search google later and try to find some benchmarks.
  10. macrumors member


    I am thinking that since I use large samples (I compose 'classical' orchestral music) and lots of 'em, I might be better served by keeping those samples on an external FW HD, something that's at least 7200 rpm and perhaps even 10k.

    Does that sound like a good strategy? I would be using Logic or Digital Performer - not sure which. Speaking of which, any suggestion as to which? I've used both in the past, but haven't seen a recent version of either. The last Logic version I used was before eMagic was swallowed up by Apple. It had an awful PC interface - so clearly a port and a bad one at that. I always liked Digital Performer, but I'm concerned about longevity. I know that DP has been around for over a decade, but I think with Apple so heavily invested in Logic, that might prove a longer-term product.
  11. macrumors 601


    logic vs DP

    i wouldn't worry too much about MOTU. i first started using their stuff in '86, so they've been around longer than 10 years :)

    once you get to logic vs DP vs cubase vs PT, imo it becomes a question of workflow and which makes the most sense to you when at the controls.

    personally, i prefer PT, though i also own logic and DP. every time i try to do a project in something other than PT, i get frustrated because i'm too much in tune with PT. ah well.

    so i guess i'm saying don't overthink it. try 'em out and see which you like best.


    regarding external drives, i keep a 2nd drive for audio only. my session files and associated audio files live on it. the app runs off my main drive.
  12. macrumors 6502a


    Can't go wrong with either Logic or DP. Good luck! Try a demo of Logic Express. There's one on the apple website somewhere. That will show you what it's like, somewhat.
  13. macrumors regular

    If you are recording tons of audio tracks you should really try and invest some money into an external hard drive and use it as a scratch disk for those tracks.... it will help in playback and will not wear out you internal drive as fast.
  14. macrumors member


    You're right, I actually was a heavy user of Performer v1.0 and - was it Composer (?) - its concomitant engraving program that allowed you to notate a file and import it into Performer and vice versa. I should know how old it is - I just threw a number out there. :)

    My favorite app was Vision. I composed most of my music in that, and was really thrown for a loop when they went belly up.

    I've never used ProTools for anything other than sampling, and that was back in the late 80s.

    Believe it or not, my first Mac wasn't really a Mac - it was a Franklin Computer, which used the MacOS. This was back in the early 80s.
  15. macrumors 601


    yep! remember when each of those programs fit on a single-sided floppy disc? at the time, MOTU told me their goal was for that to stay the case. oops :)

    that was back before multi-finder, and i could run only one of those programs at a time. what a pain.
  16. macrumors member

    Yep, multifinder was like having a curtain lifted.

    My first 'real' Mac was the SE fishtank-looking thing. I kinda wish I had kept it.
  17. macrumors 601


    i've still got mine: a 512 ke. yeah, the kind that booted from floppies. last i checked, it still worked!

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