250gb/5,400 rpm VS. 200gb/7,200 rpm

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
R.J.Dubya
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250gb/5,400 rpm VS. 200gb/7,200 rpm

Post by R.J.Dubya » Tue Nov 13, 2007 6:25 pm

What do think in terms of laptop drive performance (for music - and Ableton live specifically). Is there a real performance difference in today's 5400 vs 7200 rpm drives? The extra 50 gb would be nice in the 5400. I'd also be concerned about power usage and heat from the 7200. I'm thining specificcally about the ones that come with the macbook pros by the way.

So I guess I'm wondering:

a- is the 7200 that much quicker and useful for audio?

b-does the 7200 still suck too much power and make too much heat compared to the 5400?

opinions ?

cheers
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laird
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Post by laird » Tue Nov 13, 2007 6:35 pm

I think faster is better.
But I've never actually conducted my own side-by-side comparison.

Still, how many tracks on Live do you want to use? Each audio track has its own audio file on the HD somewhere that Live has to read, all roughly at the same time. Slower HD's = fewer audio tracks can be played at once.

I'd prefer better performance over an extra 50Gb of storage.

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Post by SubFunk » Tue Nov 13, 2007 6:56 pm

this is hard to say, the performance of 5400rpm drive definetely improved, i think [not a comp techy kind of person] that it has to do with the improved bus speeds feeding the drive...

a 7200rpm is sucking more power, if you run of the battery and is developing much more heat..

i went with a 5400rpm internal and have a 7200rpm ext.

no problems with neither of the drive, did not pushed any limits yet.

i guess i would go with the 5400rpm for being an internal and for huge projects get an ext. drive..

just my 2 cents
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Timur
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Post by Timur » Tue Nov 13, 2007 8:17 pm

The 7200rpm drive will mostly be faster with random access of many small files, not so much with sequential access of large files, because the 5400rpm drive squeezes more data on the same physical space. Also the 7200rpm 2.5" drive will always be slower than an external 3.5" 7200rpm drive, because the disc of the 2.5" drive has a smaller diameter (moves slower at its outermost tracks).

It could be more useful to buy a decent defragmentation application that can lay out the files in an intelligent manner and go for the 5400rpm drive.

Here is an example of one of my drives (which is both 10000rpm fast and defragmented). The outermost tracks hold only 25% of the mostly used programs and data, the innermost tracks hold the remaining 75% of lest used data. The big data chunk in the middle is excluded from this calculation. This is my complete 60gb NI Sample Library which is ordered by filename and folders, which is the best way to layout those files, because all NI plugs load samples alphabetically (like Battery or Kontakt performances). The big chunk of free space between the outermost areas and the middle sample library is used for new written data like Live's temporary audio-files and renderings and such. By leaving lots of free space between my mostly used files, the library and the lest used files I make sure that there's enough bandwith/speed for written files and that my working-files are mostly written to the fastest areas of the disc.

Problem is that on MAC the file-system works different. Actually it tries to make sure that you don't ever need to defrag anyway. But that doesn't include intelligent file-placement. There is a defragger for MAC, but I forgot its name. I think it could be able to sort alphabetically at least. To get a large free chunk of free space you just have to create a large dummy-file, defrag and then delete the dummy-file.

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R.J.Dubya
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Post by R.J.Dubya » Tue Nov 13, 2007 9:52 pm

So in general, a 7200 rpm drive wouldn't make Live any safer from the odd crackle or stutter here or there?
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Post by Timur » Tue Nov 13, 2007 10:30 pm

Only if you use lots of clips which are spread over the disc. But you can try yourself. Set all clips to RAM so that no harddrive is used at all and see if you get less stutter/crackle.

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Post by wilxon » Tue Nov 13, 2007 10:44 pm

i will be upgrading my hard drive soon - at the same time i change over to leopard.

I will be going for the new Western Digital 250gb 5400rpm intelliseek.

I may wait a month or so to get the 320gb one.


i think spare hard space = :lol:

R.J.Dubya
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Post by R.J.Dubya » Tue Nov 13, 2007 11:17 pm

wilxon wrote:i will be upgrading my hard drive soon - at the same time i change over to leopard.

I will be going for the new Western Digital 250gb 5400rpm intelliseek.

I may wait a month or so to get the 320gb one.


i think spare hard space = :lol:
Are you going to install it in your current machine?

Are you saying there will be an option for a 320gb drive in the macbook pros in a month, or there is one coming out separately you're thinking of that you will buy and install?

edit: Sorry, just read it again - Western Digital intelliseek will come out with a 320gb soon I guess. I'm brain dead today.
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Post by Timur » Tue Nov 13, 2007 11:24 pm

OT: By the way R.J., did you see my thread about how so set Tempo to work with template 40 on the Remote SL in Live? I thought you'd be interested in making it work that way.

R.J.Dubya
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Post by R.J.Dubya » Wed Nov 14, 2007 12:01 am

Timur wrote:OT: By the way R.J., did you see my thread about how so set Tempo to work with template 40 on the Remote SL in Live? I thought you'd be interested in making it work that way.
I may have. I can't remember. Was it the one where the transport buttons don't work anymore if you get tempo control working in template 40? I think I've seen someone with a work around like that, and I decided it wasn't worth it. But maybe your way doesn't have the trade-off? Got a link?
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leedsquietman
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Post by leedsquietman » Wed Nov 14, 2007 5:26 am

If you're working off mains, 7200 rpm drives are hands down the winner for track counts and plugins, especially if you only have the one drive.

I have a 7200 rpm internal drive on my ageing Dell inspiron 9100 laptop and it gives much better performance than my wife's core2duo with 5400 rpm for audio streaming.

Having an external drive negates this somewhat - i have a 10000 rpm maxtor external hdd for audio files and that rocks with the 7200 internal one for o/s and plugins,
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Post by Homebelly » Wed Nov 14, 2007 6:57 am

leedsquietman wrote:i have a 10000 rpm maxtor external hdd for audio files and that rocks with the 7200 internal one for o/s and plugins,
How is that attached,, is it USB or FW400/800?
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Post by forge » Wed Nov 14, 2007 7:48 am

It's hard to say how much of it is down to Vista but my new core2duo 1.73 often seems slower than my last computer which was an Athlon 2200 with XP and 1GB ram and a 7200rpm drive

I have a feeling the 7200 drive had a lot to do with it

if you can get a 200GB 7200 notebook drive that sounds appealing to me - 200GB is heaps and you would at least know that the performance was good

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Post by Machinesworking » Wed Nov 14, 2007 8:22 am

forge wrote: if you can get a 200GB 7200 notebook drive that sounds appealing to me - 200GB is heaps and you would at least know that the performance was good
+ 1

though I have Logic, and Komplete 5 as well as a few other GB munching sample Libraries, 200GB has become a minimum for me. :oops:

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Post by forge » Wed Nov 14, 2007 8:40 am

Machinesworking wrote:
forge wrote: if you can get a 200GB 7200 notebook drive that sounds appealing to me - 200GB is heaps and you would at least know that the performance was good
+ 1

though I have Logic, and Komplete 5 as well as a few other GB munching sample Libraries, 200GB has become a minimum for me. :oops:
I have a 120GB and it's permanently got between 1-3GB spare - most of it's actually my Ableton Library and my music folder

but I do feel like the difference I'm noticing is down to HD speed - and I think I could easily live with 200GB and just use an EXt for backup

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