Optimal disk setup for audio workstation

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware' started by tzzsmk, Aug 1, 2018.

  1. tzzsmk

    tzzsmk Platinum Record

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    Heya again folks,
    this is something more complicated and worth discussing, so here's what's going on:

    what disks/drives would you recommend for a decent audio workstation rig (regardless of being Mac or PC, regardless of which DAW),
    let's say limit is 4 drives, all need to be connected via SATAIII,

    here's what I'd pick:

    500GB SSD for OS/programs
    1TB SSD for recording and active projects
    (+ another 1TB SSD for more recording and active projects)
    4TB 7200 rpm HDD as a backup and general data storage


    thoughts, opinions and ideas, what you got working well together?
    thx in advance
     
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  3. midi-man

    midi-man Rock Star

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    1 SSD for Boot the rest can be 7200 rpm and back up a 5900 rpm drive.
     
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  4. ovalf

    ovalf Platinum Record

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    I use OSX, with slave pcs and 2 set of RAID6 disks.
    SSD for boot is necessary but until now but with 5 disks in raid 6 a got readings of 1700 mb/sec.
    Only some kontakt libs need high speed sets.
    Also a must have is a sata power switch to just use the drives you need.
    So for me SSD for boot, ligh libs, heavy libs (sssd or raid) and record drive.
     
  5. twoheart

    twoheart Rock Star

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    If you can afford this setup, great. I personally hate harddisks(too many broken ones in my life) and would always buy an ssd if I can. No mechanical wear, no noise. much less heat.

    But there is one downside. One always must leave some extra space on SSD because the relatively low count (MLC around 3.000) of write cycles before SSD starts to produce errors (overprovisioning).

    I would prefer one 2TB over two 1TB SSDs. Even lower power consumtion and one spare SATA.
    There is a 2TB Samsung 860 (~440 Euros) with 1200TB TBW (Total Byte written) or 860Pro with 2400 TBW (~700 Euros).

    To give an example: If I always leave 20% of my SSD for overprovisioning and given Samsungs TBW guarantees are fulfilled my main disk C: will keep up another 153 years and my D: drive another 230 years.
    So yes, go for SSDs :thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2018
  6. tzzsmk

    tzzsmk Platinum Record

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    and are you convinced about SSD reliability?
    I used to be very skeptical about ssd cell lifespan years ago, later realized "casual" workloads on bigger-capacity drives (with more "available" free cells to overwrite) are no threat,
    on the other hand my common sense tells me mechanical drive cannot loose data in case of power failure or disk controller failure, while SSDs are basically "pumped with voltage" to keep data in,

    sure that's the "minimalistic" way to go, but would you consider additional SSD a worthy advantage?

    speaking of MacOS and SSDs, do you trouble yourself with lack of native TRIM support or use some terminal workaround?


    forgot to write I target pure audio, practically no libraries or virtual instruments installed
     
  7. junh1024

    junh1024 Platinum Record

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  8. roomy

    roomy Newbie

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    I am running a bit different than the other answers here and I am not saying it's better but thought I would bring it up. I do a LOT of higher sample rates and bit depth for my clients (as high as 32bit/192k) and this works well for my needs. Inside my local machine my boot drive is a Evo 840 and also contains all samples, room IR's and all my programs, no audio files. I keep a clone made with BackUpper in case of emergencies. Also internal is a 1 TB WD Gold SAS, this is my work drive for the current project only. A second WD Gold 4TB SAS is my local storage for any sessions I may need to access in the near future. Next I have two Synology NAS units, each hold two 6TB WD Reds in raid. Synology #1 backs up any currently running projects and Synology #2 is storage that gets burned to M-Disc for archive and then deleted from all drives. The client also gets an M-Disc for their archival purpose once the invoice has been paid.

    Works well for my needs. NAS is a great option.
     
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  9. twoheart

    twoheart Rock Star

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    Our common sense is kidding us often. In this case we think HDD must be more reliable because we understand them better. In every HDD ther is a cache filled during write operations because the COmputer is able to deliver data on a higher rate as HDD can write. On a power loss this cache can't be writte to disk. This leads to unpredictable results. In some cases I had disks with damaged directories in other cases damaged master boot record wich renders the disk unusable as the Computer won't start.
    At one occasion I had a laptop with a HDD just under the trackpad and an apple fell on the trackpad. HDD dead. R/W heads on a spinning disk are highly at risk.

    When it comes to SSD it's a matter of math. I'm not a great mathmatician, so I need to believe others. But I unmderstand that a modern SSD (say Samsung 840/60) has a quite intelligent controller. The WriteOPs until a cell gets unreliable is >= 3000. This means if a cell is written 3.000 times it may be broken. In this case the cell must be marked as bad, BUT the disk has a giant count of cells (2TB 2 Trillions 2.000.000.000.000) and the controller manages write OPs to be done evenly over all not used cells. So if you leave an amount of space unused, the controller is able to maintain to evenly wear the SSD cell. Even on my C:\ drive most of the data is written once and stays almost forever.
     
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  10. midi-man

    midi-man Rock Star

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    Yes and no. If you are dual booting two OS's yes. No doubt SSD are very fast but I do not see that big of advantage as a data drive. Yes they will load very fast but you will need more storage space and SSD are very expensive in rearguards to 2 or 3 tb.
     
  11. twoheart

    twoheart Rock Star

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    That's true.
    So if one can't afford SSD the better alternative over a single 2TB high spinning HDD would be a small NAS with say 4 500GB drives configured RAID 5. The disks can be cheap ones (5400 as ist's striped like RAID0) and up to 2 drives may be dead and you'll be able to rebuild the RAID.
    Typical transfer rate @1 GBit/s LAN is 115 MByte/s good enough for e.g. Kontakt libraries. Anoter advantage is, you can use the NAS for Desktop and laptop at the samen time.
     
  12. midi-man

    midi-man Rock Star

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    If you can afford a 2 tb ssd go for it. My self I have 1 1tb ssd and 5 7200 RPM drives for data.
    Raid 10 can lose 2 disks. Raid 5 only one disk can be lost.
    I also have a few nas's for storage. They are running raid 5.
    I love Nas's for storage and back up. Internail drives are faster for Kontakt lib, but you could use a nas with a mapped drive.
     
  13. midi-man

    midi-man Rock Star

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    Double reply due to web errors.
     
  14. ovalf

    ovalf Platinum Record

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    Not at all... tons of apps for that (if you need)

    Nas disks are always better, but some companies are making regualr hd with a real long lifespan.
    About backups. Remenber that slower drives can take long hours to do the back up.
    I put the backups in my 16 port raid card (this speed the process), with raid 0 because I only turn them on in the backup time{multiple sata power switch} - in this way the backups this will endure).
    No 5900 rpm disk please, as said there are real strong 7200 diska
     
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  15. tzzsmk

    tzzsmk Platinum Record

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    and that is precisely where things get interesting,
    what about "RECORDING" drive? capacity around 500GB-1TB is enough, prices of SSDs aren't that crazy in that area, while prices of HDDs are (compared to bigger capacity models),
    considering cost of performance, then SSDs are no longer seen as expensive in that regard,

    on a side note, I did some tests having projects stored on virtual RAMdisk under MacOS, render speeds in Reaper improved by 20-25% compared to regular 7200rpm HDD, that's a relatively major improvement I'd say
     
  16. thantrax

    thantrax Audiosexual

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    Don't forget a backup solution (x2 HDD to duplicate everything). HGST is the best (5-year warranty) but it's not cheap.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018
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  17. midi-man

    midi-man Rock Star

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    Well if you really want speed 10 k or even 15 k are the best.
     
  18. midi-man

    midi-man Rock Star

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    Again If you can afford SSD yes they are better and faster. But they are more expensive. Yes the prices have went down a lot but cost per meg is more on SSD.
     
  19. midi-man

    midi-man Rock Star

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    I just got a 4 tb segate 5900 drive I mush say it is really good. Not that must difference in the speed from my older 7200 drives. Also it runs way cooler than a 7200. I am using it as my kontakt lib drive only and it is working out great for me.
    5900 is ok for back up also if you raid 5 four of them I am pretty sure the speed will not bi a issue.
     
  20. midi-man

    midi-man Rock Star

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    Now for a basic nas this will work for $209. Samba file shares and nfs. Don't expect Qnap or Sysology feature for this price.
    [​IMG]

    Terramaster F4-220 100MB/S DISKLESS nas for plex 100MB/S Aluminum-alloy Nas Enclosure Intel Dual Core 2.41GHz 4 bays nas storage 2GB Ram media nas
     
  21. twoheart

    twoheart Rock Star

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    You're right.
    I would also suggest to buy at least one disk more as a spare disk, as in the past it wasn't easy for me to get a similar disk after 4-5 years. In my thecus NAS for instance it needs to be exactly the same size.
     
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