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Melodioso
03-16-2008, 06:13 AM
For the purpose of sample-streaming big orchestral libraries in a dedicated DAW, what gives better performance? One huge (1TB) hard drive or say four smaller ones (320GB), with the library divided into sections??? Is one option better than the other ones? (All SATA drives, directly connected to the motherboard)

Thanks.

Logicology
03-16-2008, 06:59 AM
You'll get better performance with seperate drives. As long as they are seperate physical disks, not partitions.

Melodioso
03-16-2008, 07:14 AM
Thanks, Logicology!

TheAlps
03-16-2008, 09:58 AM
yea you want OS and sample engines, sequencers, etc on one and all samples and recording space on another

as far as single drives vs a RAID for the samples portion, you are about equal until u go over 500gigs or so. RAID is really good, except if you ever upgrade your system you *MUST* keep the same MB line or you might lose your data

so ultimate:

one nice fast disc for the OS/progs
one big fat RAID Array of 10k rpm drives
huge backup of your raid array so you can wipe those discs clean and reinstall from scratch on new hardware if needed

Dannthr
03-16-2008, 07:45 PM
Please don't RAID your HDs (http://www.soundsonline-forums.com/showthread.php?p=71944#post71944)

Also, this is a topic that has been covered many, many times.

TheAlps
03-17-2008, 12:13 AM
Sorry Dan, but it really depends if you are looking for budget or performance. Really I guarantee you that you cant beat a nice SATA RAID with raptor 10k rpm drives, having multiple discs reduces spindle time to find whats needed. Maybe there is some issue with EW stuff that makes RAID a no-no? Otherwise you will always get maximum speed with multiple discs as a raid at the highest speeds you can find, assuming you know how to work with RAID

A.Leung
03-17-2008, 12:21 AM
Sorry Dan, but it really depends if you are looking for budget or performance. Really I guarantee you that you cant beat a nice SATA RAID with raptor 10k rpm drives, having multiple discs reduces spindle time to find whats needed. Maybe there is some issue with EW stuff that makes RAID a no-no? Otherwise you will always get maximum speed with multiple discs as a raid at the highest speeds you can find, assuming you know how to work with RAID

I second that one. ITs certainly been my experience.

Andrew Sigler
03-17-2008, 09:50 AM
My RAID array works like a charm, and I've got all the EW libraries on 'em.

Dannthr
03-17-2008, 03:09 PM
Everything I know about computers and everything my friend, who is a doctor of computer science, has told me about RAID 0 suggests that it is NOT advisable for sample-streaming.

It is NOT random. It is sequential.

But I don't care what you do with your computers. I have a non-RAIDed system and I routinely use 40 to 60 instrument multis.

More information is provided in the link I posted.

TheAlps
03-17-2008, 03:59 PM
post figures, in all the posts i read nothing concrete other than he said she said. If you can show me mathematically why I might consider, but I have been building PC's and coding since 386 days and I have been part of the change over time from technology to technology. I was steamed when they dropped SCSI since I had a LOT of dough invested in all SCSI systems. But the raid concept I cannot see how it would be bad for streaming samples, as it simply does the same thing just offering you more actual discs spinning to find your sectors of data. To me that just means you are getting faster more better response not less.

Dannthr
03-17-2008, 05:12 PM
Your wasting your spindles if you're retrieving two or three parts of a 4mb file spread across 2 or 3 discs, the total bandwidth potential exceeds the spindle potentials--that's why you'd normally WANT RAID 0, but we're not talking about one big 40mb file. We're talking about retrieving tons of little files.

Think about it like this.

If you have one large file, the combined bandwidth makes up for the combined search time.

If you have a hundreds of little files, then the combined bandwidth doesn't make up for the combined search time.

Just think it through, Mr. "Part of the change"

Melodioso
03-18-2008, 12:56 AM
Thanks to all for answering so "passionately" to my initial question! In my case RAID is out of the question, because like I wrote in the 1st post, the system I'm building has 5 hard drives in total: one for the OS, the remaining four for the orchestral library divided into sections (ww/brass/strings/percussion).

It's very interesting to read about RAID here; streaming samples is indeed a special case, and Dannthr's last post brought a new light to the problem. I'm not a specialist, but I kind of agree with what he says... It's funny, that question has been asked many times, but still, nobody agrees!

TheAlps
03-18-2008, 08:24 AM
Your wasting your spindles if you're retrieving two or three parts of a 4mb file spread across 2 or 3 discs, the total bandwidth potential exceeds the spindle potentials--that's why you'd normally WANT RAID 0, but we're not talking about one big 40mb file. We're talking about retrieving tons of little files.

Think about it like this.

If you have one large file, the combined bandwidth makes up for the combined search time.

If you have a hundreds of little files, then the combined bandwidth doesn't make up for the combined search time.

Just think it through, Mr. "Part of the change"


well i guess it assumes that you are using equal amounts of samples from each of your drives. But since you may be just as likely to use LOTS of string samples and maybe not so many other ones, one could surmise that you would be overusing the single spindle to get tons of string samples tooting where you could be sharing it with several, maybe I am misinterpreting how a hard disc seeks out sectors, but it sure seems to me that more is better in such a case as this

What is the reference of Mr. "Part of the change"? I don't get it

tfishbein82
03-18-2008, 08:47 AM
Thanks to all for answering so "passionately" to my initial question! In my case RAID is out of the question, because like I wrote in the 1st post, the system I'm building has 5 hard drives in total: one for the OS, the remaining four for the orchestral library divided into sections (ww/brass/strings/percussion).

It's very interesting to read about RAID here; streaming samples is indeed a special case, and Dannthr's last post brought a new light to the problem. I'm not a specialist, but I kind of agree with what he says... It's funny, that question has been asked many times, but still, nobody agrees!
5 drives and not 1 devoted to audio?

Melodioso
03-18-2008, 09:27 AM
@ tfishbein82:

maybe my 1st post was not clear enough... It is for a slave (dedicated for samples) DAW. So the audio HD is on the main DAW.

@ TheAlps:

If I understood correctly what Dannthr is saying: the total seek time in a Raid 0 array is twice as much as a "normal" drive, because two hard drives have to seek the data. So the output may be twice as large, but the total seek time is twice as long. For a "normal" application this may be beneficial, meaning the whole result is still positive. But for the specific task of sample-streaming (meaning thousands and thousands of small files), the gain in output is counter-balanced by the greater seek time, so much that the total performance is affected negatively...

Dannthr
03-18-2008, 10:34 AM
well i guess it assumes that you are using equal amounts of samples from each of your drives. But since you may be just as likely to use LOTS of string samples and maybe not so many other ones, one could surmise that you would be overusing the single spindle to get tons of string samples tooting where you could be sharing it with several, maybe I am misinterpreting how a hard disc seeks out sectors, but it sure seems to me that more is better in such a case as this

What is the reference of Mr. "Part of the change"? I don't get it

Hahah, that's why my doctorate friend recommended a historgraphical analysis of orchestral works to divide instruments that are most likely to be played together onto separate drives. Unfortunately, EW's Kompakt encryption prohibits the option of spreading instruments in the same family across multiple drives.

Jim Curits
04-17-2008, 12:05 PM
I've just read this topic, because I've just upgraded my system to 4GB of ram and then wanted to find out what my motherboard could handle in relation to adding more hard-drives.
I found my motherboard supports 2 x Serial ATA channels (SATA), so this led onto to reading about Raid and finding out the difference between SATA & SATA II?

I found this on a site...hope it's accurate for anybody that's doing the same research as me etc:

In summary, both SATA and SATA2 hard drives can be used with any SATA controller. If the SATA controller can only handle 150mb/s then a SATA2 drive will function as a SATA drive. Also, any SATA cable can be used for either a SATA or SATA2 drive. Both drives and cables are fully interchangeable.


Thanks for this topic it's been an interesting read...;)

ps just one question I'm unclear on at the moment, I have one internal SATA hard-drive connected to one of my motherboard SATA channels, can I connect an external SATA hard-drive to the other motherboard SATA channel?

johng
04-17-2008, 01:47 PM
Sound On Sound reviewed RAID for audio and said it had very little benefit for recording and audio playback. They concluded that RAID is great for video (few, large files), little or no benefit to audio. I have wasted tons of money on faster drives and seen very little benefit at all, even with very dense orchestral writing. I use 10k drives and 7200s and have seen very little obvious benefit.

However, using multiple drives helps tremendously. One for samples, one for boot, one for recording, and one for video streaming.

Dannthr
04-17-2008, 03:30 PM
ps just one question I'm unclear on at the moment, I have one internal SATA hard-drive connected to one of my motherboard SATA channels, can I connect an external SATA hard-drive to the other motherboard SATA channel?

Well, do you mean eSATA?

You could probably snake a cable out of your case... I've never tried it.

Nash
04-17-2008, 06:18 PM
Please read my signature SOFTWARE... You will se the list of libraries which I have all in one Drive (except Cubase). All perfect in terms of performance and other... No problems what so ever. In my personal experience no need for separate drives.

Cheers,

Nash

cmcken1
04-17-2008, 08:31 PM
It depends on what and how your recording. For most, not too many run all the samples off one drive. You can't get the performance needed as one drive will choke with multis and reverbs going on. Only if your doing one track or a few layers at a time and later converting it to solid audio will one drive work for large scores. I don't run it like that at my home even. I like to be able to work without issue.

Splitting it up among many small platter drives is the best method that I have found. Although, there''s a new hard drive technology that is called perpendicular recording that allows for super transfer rates in large drives. My Hitachi 1TB Enterprise drives are faster than my Raptors in terms of just transfer rate; not in seek times / read time though.

i find that by running hi RPM drives, each dedicated for each section, things run much better with low latency, no pops, no clicks and it works great. I run 14 drives with potential to run about 100 drives off one controller card. Each hard drive is dedicated to one secion of the orchestra and I don't load up the drives past 50% as a rule of thumb. (prevents performance drop in terms of transfer rates)

By using low latency hi RPM drives, a very fast controller card, one can achieve hi throuhgput and very low seek times when Using Raptor 150s. At current, This is the best method other than using a fiber array that I have used. It works. However, even with all the drives going, there is a point where the computer can't process all of that data fast enough and the CPU will start to choke. (this is under heavy loading in real time playback where audio has not been converted to solid audio) This is where you will have to link to get the horsepower and split the CPU, RAM and Controller Bus between many machines. Again, this is only if your not converting to solid audio and for some who prefer to mix and eq all as a whole or pretty close to it vs a few tracks at a time like you would find in a bedroom studio.

THe setup is very easy to do as well. By running off PCI-X or PCIe, you will get really fast read speeds. As long as you don't fill the hard drives past 65% capacity, you will maintain a good read speed but, if you fill the drive up to beyond 65%, the read speed curve will drop and will be closer to a 7200 RPM drive.

So, yes, using more drives eases the work load and gets the data to the machine faster than when using one large hard drive where the heads are going all over the platters trying to retrieve the data. THat's the exact opposite of what you want. That is like a a few people running to and fro on a football field trying to gather folders. It is much faster if you reduce the area to be covered and get more people to get the data. You get the data faster. Run your OS on it's own drive and keep all the libraries on other drives. That way, your not taxing the system drive but allowing it more power just to run the DAW. You get more milage and less wear and tear on the drive this way as well as preventing it from overheating and locking up.

What you want is the lowest latency system coupled with the fastest read speed and transfer rates to get data into the buss to be processed. That's the ideal setup. Low latency and fast delivery times.

All you need is a wicked top controller card with the latest Silicon Image chipsets, multiple outs, a eSATA enclosure using Si chipsets running a nice beefy power supply and top quality eSATA cabling to connect the tower/rack to the controller card and some fast hard drives.

Last I checked when I was buying my cards; Cal Digit made the fastest controllers out there for home use and won't break the bank while Buriy as well as Cal Digit make some nice enclosures. Cal Digit is geared for RAID setups used for HD1080i work but could be used for reading large orchestral libraries but like someone stated above, it's not really a huge benefit for audio unless your streaming large files.

The amount of RAM has no bearing on how many hard drives you can run in a Mac. The controller governs this, so depending on what card you get, the user has many options to run way more drives than is needed.

Jim Curits
04-18-2008, 07:14 AM
Well, do you mean eSATA?

You could probably snake a cable out of your case... I've never tried it.

Yes I do mean eSATA, I can add one more IDE Drive and one more Sata drive to my system, the problem being I have only one unused connecter left to power another internal hard-drive, so I'm thinking run a Sata cable out of my computer to an external powered Sata (eSATA) drive...I now know this can be done by buying a PCI SATA converter (male to female), or just buy a male to female SATA cable.

Keithho
04-18-2008, 09:55 AM
Any comment on this?

SAS vs SCSI vs SATA.

SAS dosent always be in raid right?

Dannthr
04-18-2008, 12:37 PM
You should be able to split your power without any problems, Jim.

I would just stay internal. You'll spend the same amount of money on a SATA cable converter as a power cable splitter and internal drives run cheaper.

jtaylor
04-18-2008, 12:44 PM
SAS is the replacement to SCSI with 10,000RPM and 15,000RPM drives - certainly if money permits that would be the best way to go. I couldn't tell you the best between SCSI and SATA, particularly as the drives within each category vary dramatically.

Jim Curits
04-18-2008, 04:51 PM
You should be able to split your power without any problems, Jim.

I would just stay internal. You'll spend the same amount of money on a SATA cable converter as a power cable splitter and internal drives run cheaper.

Thanks for the tip Dan.

cmcken1
04-18-2008, 05:33 PM
Depending on which machine you have; there's also the possiblity or option to split the optical drive and feed the drives from there as well.

External and internal cables are not the same. The connectors are totally different and so is the cable for external use. Use of an internal cable with the L ends or similar plastic molded PVC / ABS ends will NOT run correctly when used for external interconnects - data corruption, data loss etc. If your going to mount outside the tower, use eSATA rated connectors.

Jim Curits
04-19-2008, 02:42 AM
Depending on which machine you have; there's also the possiblity or option to split the optical drive and feed the drives from there as well.

External and internal cables are not the same. The connectors are totally different and so is the cable for external use. Use of an internal cable with the L ends or similar plastic molded PVC / ABS ends will NOT run correctly when used for external interconnects - data corruption, data loss etc. If your going to mount outside the tower, use eSATA rated connectors.

Thanks for that, I now intend to keep it all internal, but why would there be internal to external cables (male to female SATA cable) on the market if they cause the errors you have stated? Just curious?

cmcken1
04-19-2008, 08:51 AM
They sell them and the kids and many people that don't know buy them at the local Best Buy, Target, Comp USA storers but, that's how they were doing it prior. Somewhere back in time, we finally figured out that the internal cables are only good up to 12 - 18 inches and for running off the Logic Board only.

So, back to engineering where they completely upped the specs and protocol for that application. The cable materials in & out are totally different as far as impedance, shielding and the type of connector ends that is used. The run length is now 3 feet along with EMI protection now.

That's the answer as to why the consumer still sees those cables and why they are readily available.

Jim Curits
04-19-2008, 11:06 AM
I've just found a 500GB hard-drive I'm interested in:

HD501LJ
SpinPoint T Series
SpinPoint T166 Series
T166 Series
Capacity : 500 GB
Interface : Serial ATA II 3.0 Gbps
BufferMemory : 16MB

Up to 167GB Formatted Capacity per Disk
Serial ATA 3.0 Gbps Interface Support
SATA Native Command Queuing Feature
Device Initiated SATA Power Management
Staggerd Spin-up Support
High Speed Dual DSP Based Architecture
ATA S.M.A.R.T Compliant
ATA Automatic Acoustic Management Feature
ATA 48-bit Address Feature
ATA Streaming Feature(Optional)
ATA Device Configuration Overlay Feature
SilentSeek ™
ImpacGuard ™
(1MB = 1,000,000 Bytes. 1GB = 1,000,000,000 Bytes)
New drive standard, works with Serial ATA motherboards & controllers,
7,200 (RPM), 16mb cache, SATA300 capable (check your MB supports this),
Has SATA Power socket only,
NoiseGuard, ImpacGuard, SilentSeek, Features quiet FDB(Fluid Dynamic Bearing) Moto.


My motherboard is a Intel D865perl, it has 2 Serial ATA connecters, one is being used on a internal SATA hard-drive, this is being powered by a standard 4-pin power connecter, the same as the ones that powers the IDE drives.
Q1...I'm confused, by the specs for the hard drive stating:
Has SATA Power socket only,

Is this a different power connecter?
Any advice on this and if my motherboard is compatible is very much appreciated.
;)

Q2...It states: Up to 167GB Formatted Capacity per Disk, what exactly does this mean? and would it be ok to partition this drive into 3, or is it best to leave it at 500GB for my East West samples?


UPDATE: I've just seen you can buy 3.5 to SATA power connector, so I'm assuming this is what you would use to power this hard-drive.

Keithho
04-21-2008, 11:57 AM
This one does the deal.

http://www.hothardware.com/Articles/Western_Digital_Velociraptor_300GB/?page=4

jtaylor
04-21-2008, 01:18 PM
I'm waiting for solid state hard drives to take off, as performance should increase considerably - the new Raptor hard-drive is nice but not exactly the revolution I was hoping for.

Vatroslav
04-21-2008, 02:19 PM
I'm waiting for solid state hard drives to take off, as performance should increase considerably.

Not for sequential reads, my friend. ;)

That is, streaming audio won't see any true benefit performancewise from SSDs.

OT - several smaller ones, of course (bigger ones preferably). ;)

Jim Curits
04-23-2008, 05:08 AM
Please read my signature SOFTWARE... You will se the list of libraries which I have all in one Drive (except Cubase). All perfect in terms of performance and other... No problems what so ever. In my personal experience no need for separate drives.

Cheers,

Nash

Just curious Nash, is your samples library hard-drive partitioned or not?

I just about to receive a 500GB SATA, and I'm wondering should I partition it or not before I put my samples on there?

Any advice from anybody most welcome.

Nash
04-23-2008, 07:02 AM
Just curious Nash, is your samples library hard-drive partitioned or not?

I just about to receive a 500GB SATA, and I'm wondering should I partition it or not before I put my samples on there?

Any advice from anybody most welcome.

The one that I received was 500gb and yes I had to partition it. I am not sure if you are going to get the same but most likely you would have to partition it. See how you go? Anyway that is not big deal, easy and fast procedure.

Cheers,

nash

Jim Curits
04-23-2008, 07:17 AM
The one that I received was 500gb and yes I had to partition it. I am not sure if you are going to get the same but most likely you would have to partition it. See how you go? Anyway that is not big deal, easy and fast procedure.

Cheers,

nash


Cheers for that Nash...no problems partitioning it, any tips on the partition sizes (how many partitions etc)?

dexterwheeler
04-23-2008, 08:45 AM
So what is the card your using to connect these external hard drives to you mac pro?

It depends on what and how your recording. For most, not too many run all the samples off one drive. You can't get the performance needed as one drive will choke with multis and reverbs going on. Only if your doing one track or a few layers at a time and later converting it to solid audio will one drive work for large scores. I don't run it like that at my home even. I like to be able to work without issue.

Splitting it up among many small platter drives is the best method that I have found. Although, there''s a new hard drive technology that is called perpendicular recording that allows for super transfer rates in large drives. My Hitachi 1TB Enterprise drives are faster than my Raptors in terms of just transfer rate; not in seek times / read time though.

i find that by running hi RPM drives, each dedicated for each section, things run much better with low latency, no pops, no clicks and it works great. I run 14 drives with potential to run about 100 drives off one controller card. Each hard drive is dedicated to one secion of the orchestra and I don't load up the drives past 50% as a rule of thumb. (prevents performance drop in terms of transfer rates)

By using low latency hi RPM drives, a very fast controller card, one can achieve hi throuhgput and very low seek times when Using Raptor 150s. At current, This is the best method other than using a fiber array that I have used. It works. However, even with all the drives going, there is a point where the computer can't process all of that data fast enough and the CPU will start to choke. (this is under heavy loading in real time playback where audio has not been converted to solid audio) This is where you will have to link to get the horsepower and split the CPU, RAM and Controller Bus between many machines. Again, this is only if your not converting to solid audio and for some who prefer to mix and eq all as a whole or pretty close to it vs a few tracks at a time like you would find in a bedroom studio.

THe setup is very easy to do as well. By running off PCI-X or PCIe, you will get really fast read speeds. As long as you don't fill the hard drives past 65% capacity, you will maintain a good read speed but, if you fill the drive up to beyond 65%, the read speed curve will drop and will be closer to a 7200 RPM drive.

So, yes, using more drives eases the work load and gets the data to the machine faster than when using one large hard drive where the heads are going all over the platters trying to retrieve the data. THat's the exact opposite of what you want. That is like a a few people running to and fro on a football field trying to gather folders. It is much faster if you reduce the area to be covered and get more people to get the data. You get the data faster. Run your OS on it's own drive and keep all the libraries on other drives. That way, your not taxing the system drive but allowing it more power just to run the DAW. You get more milage and less wear and tear on the drive this way as well as preventing it from overheating and locking up.

What you want is the lowest latency system coupled with the fastest read speed and transfer rates to get data into the buss to be processed. That's the ideal setup. Low latency and fast delivery times.

All you need is a wicked top controller card with the latest Silicon Image chipsets, multiple outs, a eSATA enclosure using Si chipsets running a nice beefy power supply and top quality eSATA cabling to connect the tower/rack to the controller card and some fast hard drives.

Last I checked when I was buying my cards; Cal Digit made the fastest controllers out there for home use and won't break the bank while Buriy as well as Cal Digit make some nice enclosures. Cal Digit is geared for RAID setups used for HD1080i work but could be used for reading large orchestral libraries but like someone stated above, it's not really a huge benefit for audio unless your streaming large files.

The amount of RAM has no bearing on how many hard drives you can run in a Mac. The controller governs this, so depending on what card you get, the user has many options to run way more drives than is needed.

Jim Curits
04-24-2008, 01:42 AM
Bump Bump,

About to fit my new 500GB SATA hard-drive (dedicating it to samples) any ideas on how many partitions I should make?