What speed for an external drive is enough?

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G.Derksen
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What speed for an external drive is enough?

Post by G.Derksen » Sat Nov 19, 2005 1:33 pm

I'm planning to buy an external HD (Firewire) to store my set + decoding cache on. Now I've seen drives supporting a speed of 800, but they're quiet expensive. Is a speed of 400 Mbit/s. 5400 rpm enough or is it wise to spend more. The LaCie 60-GB would be my choice, 160 Euro...

gerhard

linzatti
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Post by linzatti » Sat Nov 19, 2005 3:19 pm

Aim for 7200rpm.... If you have the money, get 10 000rpm.

But, you won´t experience any dropouts with a 7200 disk.

Lo-Fi Massahkah
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Post by Lo-Fi Massahkah » Sat Nov 19, 2005 7:37 pm

Hi!

Get an ordinary 3.5" 7200 rpm HD and put it in a USB2 or FW case of your choice. This is probably your cheapest option - and it'll work a treat.

The 5400 rpm are often 2.5" laptop drives which are smaller, but slower (duh?!) and more expensive due to their size. But they will suffice unless you aim to do multiple (eight or more?) track RECORDING.

However unless you're making filmscores or symphonic music which requires audio playback of 50+ tracks - 10.000 rpm would probably be overkill.

Cheers,
Mikael

dirtystudios
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Post by dirtystudios » Sat Nov 19, 2005 7:40 pm

Look for 7200rpm with an 8mb buffer.

k

G.Derksen
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Post by G.Derksen » Wed Nov 23, 2005 11:33 am

I discovered that my Powerbook Titanium anyway doesn't support Firewire higher then 400... So I guess as long I'm not changing laptop it's not neccesary to have a faster external harddrive, or not? I'm using Live just for deejaying, not producing (in case this information would be helpfull)

Lo-Fi Massahkah
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Post by Lo-Fi Massahkah » Wed Nov 23, 2005 12:01 pm

G.Derksen wrote:I discovered that my Powerbook Titanium anyway doesn't support Firewire higher then 400... So I guess as long I'm not changing laptop it's not neccesary to have a faster external harddrive, or not? I'm using Live just for deejaying, not producing (in case this information would be helpfull)
Faster than what? I've run an external 7200 rpm from my pc firewire (400). Is your internal drive a 5400 rpm? Or 4200? Faster is faster... But there might be no need...

I know shite of Djing - but in case you're not running more than a couple of tracks (four?), you'd have no problems what so ever with even a 4200 rpm drive.

Cheers,
Mikael

G.Derksen
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Post by G.Derksen » Wed Nov 23, 2005 8:23 pm

Ok, thanks for all the info! Just one more question...

Isn't a small portable drive much better for travelling? They're designed to be 'on the road', in your pocket & probably can stand more shocks or kicks then an 'ordinary' external harddrive...

sqook
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Post by sqook » Wed Nov 23, 2005 8:31 pm

linzatti wrote:Aim for 7200rpm.... If you have the money, get 10 000rpm.

But, you won´t experience any dropouts with a 7200 disk.

Psssh, a 5400RPM drive on a firewire 800 bus will kick the crap out of a 10,000RPM drive on fw400. The point of a good external casing is that the firewire chipset (and the hard drive buffer) will provide bursting read/write speeds while the drive spins happily away on the inside.

My advice -- pick up an average hard drive and buy an external case yourself.

G.Derksen
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Post by G.Derksen » Wed Nov 23, 2005 8:38 pm

Sqook, is the only difference between an 'ordinary' drive and a 'mobile' the casing? Is it just the 'box' that's giving this extra protection you're looking for when you want to go mobile?

blastique
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Post by blastique » Wed Nov 23, 2005 8:42 pm

I totally agree with ya sqook.

Derksen, have a quick read of a post I just made, http://www.ableton.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=30029

Better performance will be achieved with less of a bottleneck, matched to a drive's speed rating.

and yes, 2.5" laptop hard-drive mechanics are generally designed to withstand more knocks than their 3.5" desktop counterparts.
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blastique
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Post by blastique » Wed Nov 23, 2005 8:53 pm

G.Derksen wrote:Sqook, is the only difference between an 'ordinary' drive and a 'mobile' the casing? Is it just the 'box' that's giving this extra protection you're looking for when you want to go mobile?
I'll just add that if you do decide to go with a 3.5" drive, as they are considerably cheaper, you are no doubt concerned about protecting it. I went on a super long hunt for the best enclosure for my back up hard drive (in the odd event my external 2.5" containing all the records fails).

I decided to go with the Vantec NexStar 2 with usb2.0 and firewire 400. It has these interesting little things that help mount the drive into the enclosure and also provide a seemingly substantial amount of absorption - still not enough to go bang your drive on the floor, but it is definately a bit more peace of mind. I am extremely weary of the fact that lots of enclosures are designed in a way where you literally are screwing the hard drive directly to the body.

A very expensive alternative to the Vantec are ones made by macally. They have superior internal drive mountings that provide even better shock protection. I can't remember of the top of my head which model it is, but it also has an encryption feature. I'd pick one of those up if I had the cash, but sadly I don't, so the nexstar 2 will have to do for me.
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EddyTheEagle
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Post by EddyTheEagle » Thu Nov 24, 2005 8:14 am

Just a question about this:

Is USB 2.0 fast enough, or would you recommend firewire?

rozling
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Post by rozling » Thu Nov 24, 2005 11:58 am

This page says usb 2 is faster (480mb/s to Firewire 400's 400mb/s) but I suspect there may be other factors to consider like the amount of usb devices you have connected etc.

Some time back I looked into pcmcia -> serial adapters. These can apparently give a bandwidth of 1.5Gbps. I wanted bus powered but no joy, however what with all these external HD threads it got me looking again...

You can get a pcmcia -> sata adapter for just over $30 here, and a powered case for just under $40 here. I think this isn't too bad for (on paper) a tripling of your external drive bandwidth...

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