Logic / DAW users' advice re: SSD upgrade & streaming performance

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by patent10021, Dec 2, 2013.

  1. patent10021 macrumors 68020

    patent10021

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2004
    #1
    2011 i7 Mac Mini server upgrade to two 500GB SSDs or one SSD + HDD combo.

    My Native Instruments libraries are currently in the secondary HDD. OS is in the primary HDD of course.

    If I upgrade the primary drive to SSD I'm still going to be streaming samples from the 'slow' 7200 HDD.

    SSDs will mostly increase what? App opening time? Everything? It's not like the CPU that affects all areas so I'm wondering if I should either upgrade both HDDs to SSD or keep everything the way it is stock?
     
  2. bennibeef macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 22, 2013
    #2
    loading plugins/libraries from the hdd wont be faster, but your overall experience with the os will (and if the ram gets low, the cache onto to the system ssd will be much faster)
     
  3. patent10021 thread starter macrumors 68020

    patent10021

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2004
    #3
    What this means then is that upgrading the secondary HDD to SDD will have zero effect right? Only upgrading the primary OS HDD to SDD where Logic resides will provide any benefit? If the 16GB RAM I have is currently sufficient for my light sessions (meaning I currently have no RAM issues), is there any point in upgrading the primary HDD to SSD if my reason for upgrading is to make Logic perform better? Would upgrading to SSD for the OS/Logic improve performance as it relates to Logic's buffer size/latency? What about upgrading to SSD for plugin performance benefits?
     
  4. Phazer macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2010
    Location:
    London, UK
    #4
    You'll get more benefits by upgrading the secondary HDD, where you keep your NI libraries.
    By upgrading the primary Logic will open faster, and you'll probably be able to record at a slightly lower buffer size, but as soon as you start loading libraries from the slower HDD that will become your bottleneck.
    You might want to consider an external ssd drive just for NI, use the secondary hard drive for recording, and primary for logic and os. Recording on a different HDD than the primary is quite beneficial
     
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #5
    Look at it this way. How many samples to you stream? You count 120 beats per second and play a few 1/16th notes. That is 32 notes per second. If those a chords then 256 samples. This is a pathological worst case. The normal case is just a few notes per second, 16 or 32 maybe. This is a VERY LOW data rate for even a slower notebook size HDD. The SSD is wasted if only used of this.

    What to do? First replace the system drive with the LARGEST SSD you can afford. There is a good chance everything fits in the one SSD. If not put the stuff you use least on the HDD. If that fills up buy a RAID system.
     
  6. patent10021 thread starter macrumors 68020

    patent10021

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2004
    #6
    What? you guys are saying opposite things :)

    Ok, I thought that DAWs perform best when not having to stream from external solutions. It's another item in the chain etc.

    Upgrading my primary HDD to SSD would be beneficial and ultimately upgrading the secondary HDD to SSD as well would be the ultimate scenario. But if I wanted to purchase only one SSD it would be best served as the primary OS disk no? Is this correct? Phazer doesn't seem to think so. Traditionally people had samples on external HDDs because disks weren't that big. But now with 1TB SSDs or 2TB 7200 HDDs it's no problem to put OSX/Logic and samples on primary disk no?

    My NI stuff is under 500GB. My OS and Logic files are under 500GB as well. So wouldn't a 1TB SSD primary + 1TB 7200 secondary suffice?

    If I need to I can upgrade to ThunderBolt external storage when they come down in price or buy a 2TB SSD when it comes out right?
     
  7. Phazer macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2010
    Location:
    London, UK
    #7
    An external thunderbold ssd is going to be a lot quicker than an internal regular hard drive, you'd still see the benefits. But if your library is only 500mb then the best thing to do is probably upgrade the primary with a big ssd,put everything on there, and use the secondary for recording. Of even better an external ssd, and use the secondary for other media.
     
  8. trancinchino macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    #8
    I've read a little about this recently on Gearslutz.com and there are more people suggesting that separating the DAW on one HD, Samples on a 2nd, and recording on a 3rd, was a function of older technology. With new SSD speeds and reliability, it seems perfectly fine to have simple one SSD for your OS/DAW and a second larger SSD for your samples & recording.

    That is currently how I run my mobile setup and I have no problems with latency, lag, buffer, etc. However, I'm an amateur music producer, so I can't really speak for others who are on a more professional level with more complex and computer intensive projects.
     
  9. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #9
    This is exactly like watching a Hollywood move. If the movie takes 180 minutes to play, moving it to an SSD will not allow you to see the film in 30 minutes.

    Not joking. When you play a note the samples stream out at some rate. Do you really want them to stream out faster?

    Ok if not faster maybe you want to be able to stream out more of them at the same time. Possible you have some "tall" 7 note chords and you play in stereo so that is 14 notes streaming at once and then you have layered two virtual instruments an it makes 28. Then you might have other MIDI tracks for drum, bass or whatever. The SSD will allow MORE tracks but if you are currently not hitting the limit the SSD will not help.

    SSDs are us full as system drives because everything will pad faster and the system will boat faster. But for data if you are currently not reading the data off the drive very fast it will not read any faster off an SSD. Only upgrade from HDD to SSD if the HDD is a bottleneck.
     

Share This Page