New hard drives for iMac - did I make the right choice?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by discofuel, May 13, 2011.

  1. discofuel, May 13, 2011
    Last edited: May 13, 2011

    discofuel macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2010
    The 1TB internal drive on my Late-2009 2.8 i7 was completely full so I purchased a 2TB FW800 G-Drive to move all my data onto so my internal drive would only be used for system and therefore improve performance.

    However, I've just used the AJA system scanner to compare speeds and I get the following results:

    Read/write - both around 125 MB/s

    Read - 85 MB/s
    Write - 60 MB/s

    So now I'm concerned I'm actually decreasing performance considerably. The write speed of the external is less than half that of the internal and read speed 40 MB/s slower. Why is the write speed so low too? I thought they should be the same.

    I use my iMac mainly for music production and recording plus graphic and web design with adobe software etc.

    Wondering if I made the right choice... Am I going to find Logic/Pro Tools production and recording doesn't perform as well and using applications like Photoshop takes longer to open and save files?

    I guess I could have my current projects on the internal and then archive to the external when I've finished. I could then eventually replace the internal with an SSD :rolleyes:

    What do you think?
  2. discofuel thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2010
    Also I forgot to mention I'm going to be using my Firewire audio interface via a Firewire hub so I assume this will reduce speed further.
  3. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004
    The write speed of the external should not matter as much unless you are recording a lot of tracks at a time.

    16bit 44.1khz audio is 5MB per MINUTE so you have plent of headroom.

    I had an old Protools Project setup in the 90s that could record and playback 8 channels of audio simultaneously over a 5MB/second SCSI connection.

    Worse scenario, you copy your current project to the internal drive until you finish mixing it.

    Logic stress benchmarks are showing 72 tracks of playback on a 2011 15" MBP. That's including processing effects and virtual instruments on every single track.
  4. discofuel thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2010
    Ok great. I only really ever record 1 or 2 tracks simultaneously but recently Logic has been giving me the dreaded 'Disk too slow or system overload' message all the time. I couldn't even play back a single stereo audio track without getting the message!

    Just installed an extra 8GB of RAM and will give the external a go and see how it performs.
  5. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004
    I think that has to do with hard drive fragmentation. The more info on the drive, the slower it gets.

    It's like a vinyl record, spinning at a constant speed. A HD writes info from the outside in, meaning a project will play easier if you record when the HD is 20% full VS 80%

    Fun Fact, on a vinyl record the "hits" are usually the first two songs on each side, because the music is written over a much larger space therefore creating better quality.

    Or think of it as a race track, if you are in the outside lane the whole time, you have to run or drive a further distance. On a record or hard drive, you can put much information on the outside lane and access it faster since they are constant RPM speed devices.

    CDs and DVDs are variable speed, but constant data rate. They written to from the inside out, and the CD spins faster on the first tracks compared to the end of the album.

    TMI I know ;)

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