Different Drive RPMs and Optibay

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Piplodocus, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. Piplodocus macrumors regular

    Apr 2, 2008
    Hello. Just about to get a 17" i7 for music production at home/live stuff/mobile recording, plus being my main computer for my main daily life! I'm gonna get an MCE optibay for 2 HDDs as 500gb is too small! So, I have a few options...

    For the multitrack audio and samples I'll use a 7200rpm 500gb. Then should I use another 500gb 7200rpm for system/apps/mp3s/photos/etc, or get a bigger 750gb 5400rpm for the extra space? How much of a general performance hit would I take? Can I fit a 12.5mm 1tb 5400rpm in the 17" (if it's not stupidly expensive) instead too for system/etc?

    I'm used to using a desktop with 7200rpms, so I don't want an expensive but sluggish £2k computer, but I'm also used to being able to stuff multiple big cheap drives in it too!
  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Why would anyone today buy a 500GB disk drive? The best price sweet spot today is 1TB.

    I don't know anything about the drive enclosure you plan on getting but whatever you get be sure it uses Firewire 800. Just get one single tarrabyte size disk connected with FW800 and put your stuff on that. Put all the applications on the internal disk drive.

    A good use for those lower priced 5400 RPM drives is backup. By several of the largest drives you can afford. Today that would be 1.5TB. Use one for Time machine. Then after a week or so remove it store it some safe place far away from the computer and connect theother 1.5TB drive for use by Time machine. Periodically swap the two TM drives.
  3. Piplodocus thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 2, 2008
    I'm afraid you missed my point. They're both internal drives (hence the MCE optibay). I have enough crap to set up and/or go wrong/forget adapters or cables for on stage, without using external drives. The biggest 7200rpm drive is still 500gb. I'll use external drives for backup, but want all my samples/songs/mp3s internal so I don't need external drives except rare occasions, and can perform, dj, and write with the laptop alone, wherever I am. Hence the speed vs size question when using 2 internal drives...
  4. jufros macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2009
    Put Logic and your components on the fastest drive that you can afford, and use the other slot for the fastest storage solution that will be realistic for your needs on-the-go. Using an SSD with Logic or Ableton will literally save you days worth of time over the course of a month. Every single bounce I do is 3-5 times faster, Logic and plugins load 5-6 times faster and much more reliably. Even Ableton, which is really buggy in v8 runs smoother with on a solid state drive.

    What software do you use? You could probably get away with a 5400 RPM drive if you're composing tracks with software instruments, but if you want to stream audio samples or loops on stage, don't use a 5400 RPM drive. If you do crash at a gig, it'll take you a lot longer to boot back up too. You can totally use two 500GB 7200RPM drives and that would definitely be the most affordable way to get the most speed and storage dollar per dollar downpayment. With a machine that yours though, you're not going to see radically better audio performance than you would have over a Core 2 Duo on OSX if you're doing a lot in real time (which it sounds like you are) because hyperthreading hasn't really been optimized for audio and most DAW's only support it minimally. But you can radically increase your performance by upgrading your RAM and storage.

    My MBP is my mobile studio, keyboard rig, bass effects processor, vocal processor, DJ workstation, etc. and I won't go to back to HDD's. I just put a Samsung 256GB SSD in my Optibay for samples and data to accompany the 160GB Intel X-25M G2 that I was using for OSX, Applications, Omnisphere, and Kontakt. I've been able to boot and have Logic, Onstage, Omnishere, and Kontakt up in under a minute with ms preset loading time for both hosts. I never watch plugin GUI's load. Everything happens either instantly or with an eye-blink delay. In time spent waiting for things to load and repairing / trouble shooting my old HDD's, the Intel has more than paid for itself. I ran some tests on it today and it's still literally running at top speed after months of installing and uninstalling plugins, writing tiny fxp, fxb, xml, markers, software updates like crazy, you name it.

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