Optimal disk setup for audio workstation

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

  1. G String

    G String Platinum Record

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    M-Disc??? Good for 1000 years - or your money back!
     
  2. twoheart

    twoheart Platinum Record

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    That's true. In most cases.
    But if you really depend on your data "most" is not enough. Without a proper backup scheme I would be bankrupt years ago. Not all dead drives were gracefully.
    Thus I'm a quite extreme "backup guy". With a good backup strategy I don't need to rely neither on HDD nor SSD :yes:
     
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  3. twoheart

    twoheart Platinum Record

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    Really not bad. But for what data. Most data tends to change much over time.And for a regular backup M-Discs are too slow and too expensive. 100 GB BD 4x M-Disc is 15 Euros here.

    But it's good for family photos/videos or other long term data storage e.g. completed projects ...
    Thing is with all kind of historical data. Will there be a technical solution to read the data in 100 years. Try to read a betamax video today.
     
  4. KidPix

    KidPix Ultrasonic

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    True, but SSDs do have the same SMART.
    https://mashtips.com/ssd-health-test-and-performance-monitor-tools/
    If we value our data, backup must be done and does not matter if it is HD/SSD/etc...
    Shit happens...
    Early SSD models were CRAP, but technology advanced a LOT!
    But I bet it was not a Samsung PRO or some really reliable model...
    It is not only the storage cell that can fail, but the SSD controller and there is no SMART
    attribute for that, the HD controller may fail too, but it is fixable by changing the board.
    The controller in TLC models like Samsung EVO suffers more stress than the controller
    in the MLC models like the Samsung PRO, but make no mistake the Samsung 860/970 EVO
    is safe and fast!!
    To minimize the stress a bit I consider important to keep the NVMe M.2 SSDs cool, specially
    the TLC models. YMMV

    Agree.
     
  5. SineWave

    SineWave Audiosexual

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    The SSD that failed after around a month of usage is 256GB OCZ Vector. Yeah, an older MLC model [cca 2014 when that happened]. They were actually known to be a bit unreliable, but the price was too tempting, so my client wanted it despite my other suggestions [Crucial MX300 at the time]. :sad:

    The store that sold it exchanged it for a Sandisk SSD and there were no problems since, and I make damn sure to make backups of it whenever I'm at his studio. :wink:

    Yep, SSDs have SMART data, too, and one should check it out from time to time, to be on the safe side.
     
  6. twoheart

    twoheart Platinum Record

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    A bit off topic but may be helpful:
    There's a little SMART utility called HDsentinel (Win/Linux)
    It monitors all SMART enabled HDD and SSD drives and gives optical feedback in system tray.
    For more advanced users it's possible to makeHDsentinel a Win system service without UI. You'll be able to send an email if a defined threshold is reached.

    This is a more active form of observing SMART. :thumbsup:
    Otherwise most users try to investigate the status of their disks, when it's too late.

    https://www.hdsentinel.com/
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
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  7. Xupito

    Xupito Audiosexual

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    Both of you have valid points. Both SSD and HDD can have sudden deaths (that beautiful "clang" in the HDDs lol). In fact SSDs are designed to "age well" with progressive degradation of speed and capacity.

    Precisely my first SSD was an infamous OCZ. I'm so happy it died soon because thanks to that it allowed me to make use of the "warranty-on-steroids" period and exchange it for a Samsung Pro.

    I've a very aggressive backup policy. RAID0 guy lol (not with my work data though. I'm not that crazy). BTW, broken HDD in a RAID0 array doubles the fun... (I'm a folder... now you see me.. now you don't)
     
  8. taskforce

    taskforce Audiosexual

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    May i ask why everything needs to be connected via SATA? I understand your mobo is 1 gen prior to nvme but you can always use something like this https://www.amazon.com/StarTech-com-PEX4M2E1-M-2-Adapter-Profile/dp/B01FU9JS94 with a NVME ssd plugged into a pcie slot x4 and use it as a boot drive and yes, it works. At least with Windows. Theoretically it should work with your Hackintosh too but i haven't tried it.
    Cheers
    Ps: Or absolutely kill everything with something like https://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod...7440&cm_re=optane_pcie-_-20-167-440-_-Product
     
  9. Xupito

    Xupito Audiosexual

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    I use one of these (not same model, a generic PCIE x4 to SATA3 adapter) and still slows my SSD from about 450MB/seg to about 375MB/sec. The value can vary depending on the soft used but the speed disminution is consistent in %

    Edited after correction by @taskforce : my bad, it's a PCIe 3 x4, much better than my PCIe 2 x4
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
  10. taskforce

    taskforce Audiosexual

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    What i posted is a NVME to PCIE 3.0 x4 adapter mate. Nothing to do with SATA speeds. Speed should be about the same as the m2 nvme slot like here:

    Intel and some other brands release some of their M2 NVME ssds in other flavors as well, like PCIe and U2. If the adapter looks cheapo to you you can try other brands like Asus. Here:

    Cheers :)
     
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  11. taskforce

    taskforce Audiosexual

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    I kindly disagree and will explain why. Max speed is nice in file transfers or when loading tens of gigabytes of libraries. But maximum transfer speeds is not what we absolutely need in everyday DAW work. It's not even what "fast disk" means per se. Fast disk for audio (and many other tasks) means a fast random read and write capability and average seek time and not necessarily astronomical maximum read/write value. Striping 2 ssds (raid 0) will give almost twice the max speed but will actually slightly slow down seek time and random read/writes due to the raid header data. In the real world and any pc be it Windows, Mac or Linux, disk latency and random 4k read/write values are the ones that really matter in performance.
    So, any person with a need for performance and a decent comp would get themselves a decent NVME drive like a Samsung 970Evo/Pro or Intel900p. Another good choice currently should be the HP Ex920 as shown here :http://www.thessdreview.com/our-rev...-review-1tb-great-speed-for-a-dynamite-price/
    Why stripe two Sata ssds in raid0 and get roughly around 800mb/sec and worse than single drive latency when you can get NVME and get 3gb/sec easily with a single drive and the best latency available atm. If you still want blazing speeds you can stripe two nvme drives lol.
    Cheers :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
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  12. Xupito

    Xupito Audiosexual

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    And then the computer bottleneck would be everything but the SSD lol

    Thanks for the correction )
     
  13. tzzsmk

    tzzsmk Platinum Record

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    simple answer, all slots and pci lanes occupied with cards already :)
    (don't confuse with my signature rig here, that's an entirely special result of personal craziness)
     
  14. artwerkski

    artwerkski Rock Star

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    I didn't meant 'striping your internal drives' . . . they're fast enough. I meant the ext. storage, drobo, NAS ie. There you can double your
    normal IO speeds.
    But optimal drive speed is important, at least to me, when switching between projects that have multiple Kontakt instances with
    orchestral libs up the wazoo. I'm saving literary hours in the week. As does Andy ... ;)
     
  15. taskforce

    taskforce Audiosexual

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    Oh wow, you fooled me eheheh... No worries then... I have installed a bunch of Samsung 830,840,850 Evo and Pros and recently a 860 Evo 1tb. None have failed so far apart from an 830 some years ago that was doa. I would suggest the new 860 evo with my eyes closed. Grab 2 x1tb 860 Evos for about 400 euros, stripe them in raid 0 and get about 900-1000mb/sec for your storage solution, fast loading your libs/full projects etc. An 860 pro 512gb for system drive goes for about 200 euros (best in class endurance except the Intel Optane which kills everything in this dept). If this sounds a lot, an 860 Evo 500gb goes for about half the money the Pro does (and comes with half the endurance as well hehe). Also for a more budget minded solution but still nearly top performance (always speaking about SATAIII-6gbps speeds), i would suggest the Crucial MX500 drives. They are slightly cheaper than the Samsung Evo drives. 1x MX500 500gb and 2x MX500 1tb drives will set you back around 400-450 euros. I only have installed a couple of those but they come with a 3 year warranty and i was pleasantly surprised when in many cases those drives challenged the Samsung Evo drives in performance. And Crucial/Micron is no slouch company either. They developed 3DXpoint memory with Intel (Optane ssds utilize this tech) and now that their partnership is over, i am expecting to see some 3dxpoint ssds from Crucial that will challenge the really expensive Intel Optane drives in terms of performance and price.
    Thanks for baring with me :)
    Good luck with your build mate.
     
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  16. tzzsmk

    tzzsmk Platinum Record

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    @taskforce thx for insights - so, SSD for OS aside, you'd even omit the regular HDD completely? prioritizing pair of 1TB SSDs eventually?
     
  17. taskforce

    taskforce Audiosexual

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    Absolutely my friend. Yep, as others have suggested as well, no hdd for workload purposes but surely you will need one or two for backup. I 've seen you mentioning you already have a fine Synology so i'd guess you 've already got the backup dept covered. :)
    So no hhd, unless of course there is a budget issue and you still need something beefy and speedy with larger capacity.
    In the -not so- older days i would suggest a WD Black but that is old news. The king of desktop hdds nowadays is the Seagate BaraCuda Pro and it's the fastest spinning drive, even the smallest model of the series @ 4tb, goes around 220mb/sec, with its largest sibling the 12tb drive going close to a whoping 280-300mb/sec (depending on the workload), kinda mind blowing for a pure mechanical drive. These drives have a 256mb cache, spin @7200rpm and they come with a 5 year warranty plus a free data recovery service for the first 2 years. This last one is really my fav cherry on top. The 4tb should be around 160 euros. There are also 6,8,10 & 12tb models.
    On the really low budget but still adequately performing side there is a "sleeper" 7200rpm,128mb cache Toshiba drive, the X300. The 4tb model is about 120 euros and if i remember correctly these come with a 2 or 3 years warranty depending on where you buy them. The 4tb model reaches a healthy but not really top 140-150mb/sec.
    On another note, time and time again, i see people suggesting Ironwolfs and WD Reds for single drive use. Even fkn youtube has videos with a few clueless "yes-i-am-a-reviewer" type of guys suggesting so. I 've said it before and will say it once more. That is a no no people. I don't care if you have it for and it works. These drives are meant to be used in raid arrays as they include no data protection tech on their own. Get a system error (a quite common situation in the Windows world) and the nas/server drive will try to correct it only once and then it will quit, whereas even the cheapest desktop drive will try correcting it multiple times, and you 'll be able to notice something's gone wrong anyway.
    Please forgive me for going off topic with this last bit, you take care mate.
    Cheers :wink:
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
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  18. Andrew

    Andrew AudioSEX Maestro Staff Member

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    I'm using 120GB EVO 850 for OS and 1TB PRO 850 for samples, VSTs and projects. Still have 30% free on the PRO.
    For backups 2TB + 2TB 2.5" Firecudas, so far no issue.

    For modern build, EVO 950 might be a good idea for samples and Crucial MX500 for OS and the rest.
    Backup HDDs should be ideally kept outside main PC case, in case of power failure.
     
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