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Vatroslav
03-23-2008, 05:24 AM
Okay, as drive structures are one of the most important segments of a sample-based audio system, I thought it would be cool to hear everyone's drive setup, everything they tried in the past, what they have set up now and what works for them best, especially those with a network.

System drive

1) What are the specs for your system hard drive?
What is the brand?
Why did you choose that particular drive with those particular specs?
What were your experiences with past system drives?
Have you tried NCQ (Native Command Queing) on your system drive?

2) How often do you back up your system drive data?
Where do you back up?
Do you ghost your system drives?

3) Did you ever strip your OS?
Which OS optimization tools did you use, if any?

4) Those of you that bounce to audio, do you use a separate drive for audio files?

5) How often do you defragment your system drive?
What is the temperature of your system drive and how do you keep it cool?

6) Is your system drive RAIDed?
If so, which RAID, why, and which RAID controller do you use?

7) Do you use your work computer for internet too or do you have a separate junk machine for all of the work unrelated activities (internet, multimedia files, games, etc.)?
Do you use any type of protection from malicious files?
Do you use a TSA (Transient Storage Area) for security?

8) Do you dual-boot / triple-boot your system drive?
If so, what purpose does it serve? Different OS versions, multiple users, OS settings, internet security?
Have you partitioned your system drive?

Sample drives

1) How many sample drives do you use (per machine instance and total)?
Which brands and why?
What are the specs and why did you choose on them?

2) How did you distribute your sound files across your sample disks and why?
How does it perform in comparison to your earlier sound files setup?

3) How often do you defragment your sample drives?
What are the temperatures of your sample drives and how do you keep them cool?

4) Is your sample drive structure RAIDed?
If so, which RAID, why, and which controller?

5) Those of you with a network, how many machines do you have and what is your sounds organization?
How many sample drives per machine and total?

6) What is your total sample drive structure capacity?
How much used?
Have you noticed any performance improvement with low platter data occupation over high one?

7) Has anyone tried SSDs yet, either for system drive or sample drive?

paulwr
03-23-2008, 10:07 AM
Vatroslav, this is way to long of a questionaire! But given the sheer volume of research you share with everyone here, I'll do the best I can quickly here now....................

System drive

1) What are the specs for your system hard drive?
What is the brand?
Why did you choose that particular drive with those particular specs?
What were your experiences with past system drives?
Have you tried NCQ (Native Command Queing) on your system drive?
-An 80GB Western Digital ATA. Came with a purchased system. It's all you need for a system drive. I've always had smaller system drives and they perform fine for that purpose. NCQ, not sure about that.

2) How often do you back up your system drive data?
Where do you back up?
Do you ghost your system drives?

-I back-up the system every month or so. Not much changes. I don't tinker to the degree you do. I back up to two locations, on another computer on the network, and also a stand alone hard drive via firewire. I plan on putting together a robust RAID 5 external self-cooled system sometime this year, probably off my e-SATA port that is part of my mobo. There have been some good suggestions about this...... I don't have my notes at this computer.
Yes, yes, I ghost my system drive. Everybody should. Acronis CD for that.

3) Did you ever strip your OS?
Which OS optimization tools did you use, if any?
-The only optimization tools is the occasional defrag.

4) Those of you that bounce to audio, do you use a separate drive for audio files?
-Yes, separate audio drive. Western Digital Raptor

5) How often do you defragment your system drive?
What is the temperature of your system drive and how do you keep it cool?
-Defrag every month or so

6) Is your system drive RAIDed?
If so, which RAID, why, and which RAID controller do you use?
-System drive on RAID? Yikes! No.

7) Do you use your work computer for internet too or do you have a separate junk machine for all of the work unrelated activities (internet, multimedia files, games, etc.)?
Do you use any type of protection from malicious files?
Do you use a TSA (Transient Storage Area) for security?
-Generally, on a slave I go to only a couple of specific sites that I consider safe including this one. No TSA, no anti-virus. Just 4-5 specific sites that I visit or do update downloads and registration from.

8) Do you dual-boot / triple-boot your system drive?
If so, what purpose does it serve? Different OS versions, multiple users, OS settings, internet security?
Have you partitioned your system drive?
-No dual boot, but when I try 64bit on the DAW (after doing it on a slave first) I will have a dual boot and partitioned drive to house 32bit/64bit separately. Possibly even removable hard drive.

Sample drives

1) How many sample drives do you use (per machine instance and total)?
Which brands and why?
What are the specs and why did you choose on them?
-Two sample drives per machine, 4 machines = 8 total drives. Mainly Western Digital and I think a couple of Seagates. I think Seagate is considered better for the 7200 rpm speed drive now? They came with my machines, one from Sonica-X, rest from VisionDAW.

2) How did you distribute your sound files across your sample disks and why?
How does it perform in comparison to your earlier sound files setup?
-All machines have the samples distributed, some by RAID 0 (It works fine for two years for me.....) and some just spead out trying to balance the load of libraries. As your computer 'farm' size increases, the hard drive load becomes less of a problem anyway.

3) How often do you defragment your sample drives?
What are the temperatures of your sample drives and how do you keep them cool?
-Every couple of months I check, but being sample drives that aren't changed much, rarely is it needed. I don't know the temps, but the computers all have ample cooling with multiple fans.

4) Is your sample drive structure RAIDed?
If so, which RAID, why, and which controller?
-Two slaves done with RAID 0. Was supposed to be a little faster. On the mobo raid, not a separate card. Those are Intel boards, considered old now, but work great.

5) Those of you with a network, how many machines do you have and what is your sounds organization?
How many sample drives per machine and total? Two library drives per machine, some RAID 0, some just singe separate drives.
-Three slaves, soon to be four (most parts here now) , and one DAW.
slave1 Strings
slave2 Brass, percussion
slave3 Gigastudio
DAW Woods, StormDrum, MOR, and other misc soft synths as needed, all VST
DAW stand alone K2 with Choirs

6) What is your total sample drive structure capacity?
How much used?
Have you noticed any performance improvement with low platter data occupation over high one?
- Approx 1.4 TB, about 70% used. I usually don't push any single hard drive enough to notice improvements in low or high data occupation on the drives.

7) Has anyone tried SSDs yet, either for system drive or sample drive?
-No


-Paul

joenovice
03-23-2008, 01:41 PM
System drive

1) What are the specs for your system hard drive? 80GB SATA
What is the brand? Seqgate
Why did you choose that particular drive with those particular specs? cost
What were your experiences with past system drives? SCSI and ATA
Have you tried NCQ (Native Command Queing) on your system drive? no

2) How often do you back up your system drive data? not often enough... twice a year
Where do you back up? secondary internal drive or DVDs
Do you ghost your system drives? not yet but plan to

3) Did you ever strip your OS? manual optimization Which OS optimization tools did you use, if any? http://www.musicxp.net/
4) Those of you that bounce to audio, do you use a separate drive for audio files? yes

5) How often do you defragment your system drive? 4 times a year
What is the temperature of your system drive and how do you keep it cool?

6) Is your system drive RAIDed? no way If so, which RAID, why, and which RAID controller do you use?

7) Do you use your work computer for internet too or do you have a separate junk machine for all of the work unrelated activities (internet, multimedia files, games, etc.)? use for internet and have laptop for junk surfing
Do you use any type of protection from malicious files? yes
Do you use a TSA (Transient Storage Area) for security? no

8) Do you dual-boot / triple-boot your system drive? yes, dual
If so, what purpose does it serve? Different OS versions, multiple users, OS settings, internet security? different OSes, experiments
Have you partitioned your system drive? yes

Sample drives

1) How many sample drives do you use (per machine instance and total)? 1 dedicated sample drive. 750GB
Which brands and why? seagate, cost
What are the specs and why did you choose on them? 7200rpm, nothing special

2) How did you distribute your sound files across your sample disks and why? organized by company for instruments. organzied by library and category for audio files
How does it perform in comparison to your earlier sound files setup? good

3) How often do you defragment your sample drives? only after large installs
What are the temperatures of your sample drives and how do you keep them cool?

4) Is your sample drive structure RAIDed?
If so, which RAID, why, and which controller?

5) Those of you with a network, how many machines do you have and what is your sounds organization?
How many sample drives per machine and total?

6) What is your total sample drive structure capacity?
How much used?
Have you noticed any performance improvement with low platter data occupation over high one? No

7) Has anyone tried SSDs yet, either for system drive or sample drive? No

action9000
03-23-2008, 03:30 PM
System drive

1) What are the specs for your system hard drive?
500GB 7200RPM, 32MB cache
What is the brand?
Seagate
Why did you choose that particular drive with those particular specs?
Good quality/price ratio, low noise, fast access time
What were your experiences with past system drives?
Too slow - the larger the drive, the faster.
Have you tried NCQ (Native Command Queing) on your system drive?
No

2) How often do you back up your system drive data?
Rarely. I back up only what I can't get back.
Where do you back up?
I have an 80GB drive where I copy my project files to daily to preserve work in the event of one hard drive failing.

Do you ghost your system drives?
I haven't since I bought this computer in July 2007

3) Did you ever strip your OS?
No
Which OS optimization tools did you use, if any?
None

4) Those of you that bounce to audio, do you use a separate drive for audio files?
N/A

5) How often do you defragment your system drive?
Weekly
What is the temperature of your system drive and how do you keep it cool?
46 C on average. It stays cool with the help of my CPU and case fan (both 120mm). Cooling is extremely quiet.

6) Is your system drive RAIDed?
No
If so, which RAID, why, and which RAID controller do you use?

7) Do you use your work computer for internet too or do you have a separate junk machine for all of the work unrelated activities (internet, multimedia files, games, etc.)?
Yes, this computer is fully capable and equipped for audio work, as well as internet use and gaming, etc. It's a multi-purpose machine (I see no reason to specialize, considering my audio performance doesn't improve enough to make it worthwhile). I'd hate to have this big, beefy computer just sit here. I might as well use it! :p
Do you use any type of protection from malicious files?
AVG Antivirus and Ad-aware
Do you use a TSA (Transient Storage Area) for security?
No

8) Do you dual-boot / triple-boot your system drive?
No but I may reformat soon and dual-boot (audio-only partition and a multi-purpose partition).
If so, what purpose does it serve? Different OS versions, multiple users, OS settings, internet security?
N/A
Have you partitioned your system drive?
No but I may format soon and partition into 2.

Sample drives

1) How many sample drives do you use (per machine instance and total)?
Two.
Which brands and why?
Seagate 500GB 7200RPM (Same as system drive)
What are the specs and why did you choose on them?
Excellent quality, very good quality/price ratio. larger 7200RPM drives are quieter and similar in speed to smaller 10,000 RPM drives. 10,00 RPM drives didn't seem worthwhile.

2) How did you distribute your sound files across your sample disks and why?
One library per hard disk:
Colossus on one disk, EWQL Gold XP on the other disk. When I purchase more libraries, I may buy one more hard drive and share libraries with Colossus. If I pick up Platinum, I will split it across 2/3 hard drives.
How does it perform in comparison to your earlier sound files setup?
Much better! I used to run two hard drives (one system, one sample). My old sample drive was a Maxtor 250GB and it was horribly slow in comparison to the new Seagate drives. I am able to get amazing disk-streaming quality with my two 500GB drives. :)

3) How often do you defragment your sample drives?
Weekly, though they aren't often fragmented at all.
What are the temperatures of your sample drives and how do you keep them cool?
46 C. No dedicated hard drive cooling system. Low-RPM (around 1000 RPM) 120mm case fan and 120mm CPU cooling fan keeps the inside of the case as cool as possible while keeping noise very, very low. Core2Duo CPU runs at a temp. of ~26 C to ~40 C, depending on workload.

4) Is your sample drive structure RAIDed?
No
If so, which RAID, why, and which controller?
N/A

5) Those of you with a network, how many machines do you have and what is your sounds organization?
My audio workstation has no slave machines. There are a total of 4 computers on my home network though only one is used for audio work.
How many sample drives per machine and total?
Two

6) What is your total sample drive structure capacity?
1TB
How much used?
~68GB

Have you noticed any performance improvement with low platter data occupation over high one?
Yes, absolutely. Keeping a drive empty and running samples at the beginning of the drive has proven to be very worthwhile, when comparing my results to my previous audio workstation.

Vatroslav
03-24-2008, 03:52 AM
Great, keep 'em comin'.

It would be great to have everyone's drive setup in one place for future reference to anyone seeking for drive ideas.

I knows it's a pretty long questionare, but I thought everyone would just give one-words answers not to take too much of their time.

Here I go:

System drive

1) What are the specs for your system hard drive?

SATA II, 200GB, 7200, 8MB, 5ms

What is the brand?

Seagate Barracuda

Why did you choose that particular drive with those particular specs?

Five-year warranty, good experiences with Barracuda, price

What were your experiences with past system drives?

Was lucky enough to never had a failure.

Have you tried NCQ (Native Command Queing) on your system drive?

No, but reportedly it shouldn't be a significant improvement, even with random reads.

2) How often do you back up your system drive data?

Daily.

Where do you back up?

Memory stick and server. K2 multi and DAW project file.

Do you ghost your system drives?

Yes. Acronis True Image.


3) Did you ever strip your OS?

No, haven't even tried working on one, but it would be interesting.

Which OS optimization tools did you use, if any?

A start-up manager and manual OS services configuration.

4) Those of you that bounce to audio, do you use a separate drive for audio files?


Don't have to bounce anymore.

5) How often do you defragment your system drive?

Once a week. Diskeeper.

What is the temperature of your system drive and how do you keep it cool?


Haven't checked yet, but will have to do soon.

6)Is your system drive RAIDed?

No.

7) Do you use your work computer for internet too or do you have a separate junk machine for all of the work unrelated activities (internet, multimedia files, games, etc.)?

Separate junk system.

Do you use any type of protection from malicious files?

No. None whatsoever. And never get infected with anything.

Do you use a TSA (Transient Storage Area) for security?

No, but it looks like an interesting security solution.

8) Do you dual-boot / triple-boot your system drive?

No. No need.

Have you partitioned your system drive?

No. No need and on SATA it can lead to loss in performance.

Sample drives

1) How many sample drives do you use (per machine instance and total)?

5.

Which brands and why?

Western Digital Caviar all the way. The best for stress conditions and sequential reads.

What are the specs and why did you choose on them?

SATA II, 320 GB, 7200, 16 MB, 2ms

2) How did you distribute your sound files across your sample disks and why?

Section split with orchestral samples, others according to the likeliness of simultaneous usage.

How does it perform in comparison to your earlier sound files setup?

Much better.


3) How often do you defragment your sample drives?

Every time they need to be defraged.

What are the temperatures of your sample drives and how do you keep them cool?

Haven't checked yet, but will have to soon.


4) Is your sample drive structure RAIDed?

No.

6) What is your total sample drive structure capacity?

1,6 TB.

How much used?

Around half a terabyte.

Have you noticed any performance improvement with low platter data occupation over high one?

Yes.


7) Has anyone tried SSDs yet, either for system drive or sample drive?

Haven't yet and it shouldn't be any sort of improvement for sequentials.

elcabong
03-24-2008, 09:34 AM
I just got a Samsung 750GB SATA drive for the Quantum Leap pianos. Main thing is it has 32MB of cache. It took about 6-8 hours to de-frag it after installing QLP (about 260GB). With tax and shipping it cost about 195$. It is 7200rpm. I agree with the previous poster that 10KRPM drives didn't seem to be worth it and they were too small. The drive seems very nice and very fast, no problems so far.

I looked at SSD's but they were all too small and too $$$$.

Vatroslav
04-21-2008, 01:34 PM
Bumping this in hope it will be moved to 'Hardware'.

Come one, guys, let's hear more. We really need this thread.

The x64 era is here and the multidrive structure is one of the most important elements of any streaming audio system.

I know it's a very long questionare, but it would really be great if everyone with a multidrive structure in a machine would take a couple of minutes to give insight into his/her disk system. :)

jtaylor
04-21-2008, 01:58 PM
System drive

1) Raptor 150GB 10,000RPM
2) Backed up when I feel the need.
3) Basic optimisations, but not "stripped".
4) N/A
5) I leave defragging alone. Vista automatically schedules it.
6) No RAID. I was tempted but figured it was too much effort.
7) Internet: Yes. Anti-virus: Yes. Not ideal for performance but I'm a big one for multi-tasking.
8) Used to dual boot with XP32 but not anymore.

Sample drives

1) Seagate 750GB 32MB cache
2) Single folder, all together.
3) Again, automatic defrag.
4) No RAID.
5) N/A
6) 750GB, with other drives available if necessary.
7) SSDs are too expensive currently.

admin
04-22-2008, 08:56 AM
This belongs in HARDWARE, it's being moved ...

daedalus
04-22-2008, 02:43 PM
System drive

1) What are the specs for your system hard drive?
What is the brand?
Why did you choose that particular drive with those particular specs?
What were your experiences with past system drives?
Have you tried NCQ (Native Command Queing) on your system drive?

400 GB Samsung Spinpoint SATA II 16MB Cache, NCQ active. It's fast, it's silent (that's a big plus) and it has high data rates. I used Seagate Barracuda drives before, good for system drives as well.

2) How often do you back up your system drive data?
Where do you back up?
Do you ghost your system drives?

Depending on usage - lots of system changes means lots of backups, incremental or complete. I have one clean master backup with a fresh install on DVD, the other backups on external HDDs. Ghosting yes, with Acronis TrueImage.

3) Did you ever strip your OS?
Which OS optimization tools did you use, if any?

I tried striping the OS, but the positive effects weren't worth the work. No other tools here.

4)Those of you that bounce to audio, do you use a separate drive for audio files?

Yes, another internal 500 GB SATA II 16MB Cache 7200 U/min, with NCQ on.

5) How often do you defragment your system drive?
What is the temperature of your system drive and how do you keep it cool?

Approx. once a week. The temperature is about 42C with two 80mm fans next to the drives.

6) Is your system drive RAIDed?
If so, which RAID, why, and which RAID controller do you use?

No Raid anymore.

7) Do you use your work computer for internet too or do you have a separate junk machine for all of the work unrelated activities (internet, multimedia files, games, etc.)?
Do you use any type of protection from malicious files?
Do you use a TSA (Transient Storage Area) for security?

Oh yes - there is a lot, but I'm using a seperate system partition for that kind of use. Bitdefender keeps malware out.

8) Do you dual-boot / triple-boot your system drive?
If so, what purpose does it serve? Different OS versions, multiple users, OS settings, internet security?
Have you partitioned your system drive?

Yes, triple-boot. Different OS versions for different purposes.
System drive partitions:
1- 32 MB (not GB!) boot partition
2- 30 GB Vista32 System Parition for multimedia usage (games, internet, office, etc)
3- 10 GB WinXP32 Pro (will be Vista64 soon!) System Partition for musical use only. Holds only system files and essential programs such as burning software, anti-virus software, etc.
4- 20 GB Gentoo Linux 64 Partition for writing, TeX, etc.
5- 4 GB Linux Swap
6- 150 GB partition for Games, etc.
7- ~160 GB working partition for backups and large audio projects and Samples.

Sample drives

1) How many sample drives do you use (per machine instance and total)?
Which brands and why?
What are the specs and why did you choose on them?

Both internal drives, 400 GB and 500GB Samsung Spinpoint SATA II 16 MB Cache 7200 U/min, 2 external eSATA 500GB Western Digital MyBooks Premium. The internals are very silent, blazingly fast for an SATA II which is no Raptor and have high data rates (87 MB/s). The externals are eSATA due to the *much* higher data rates compared to standard USB 2.0 or FireWire.

2) How did you distribute your sound files across your sample disks and why?
How does it perform in comparison to your earlier sound files setup?

The most critical samples are on the 160 GB partition of the system drive. Samples not used often are located on the 300 GB partition on the sample drive, some files are mirrored to one external drive, some samples that are a must have 'on-the-go' are only located on the other external.

3) How often do you defragment your sample drives?
What are the temperatures of your sample drives and how do you keep them cool?

Approx. once a week. Temp is around 45C.

4) Is your sample drive structure RAIDed?
If so, which RAID, why, and which controller?

No Raid.

5) Those of you with a network, how many machines do you have and what is your sounds organization?
How many sample drives per machine and total?

N/A

6) What is your total sample drive structure capacity?
How much used?
Have you noticed any performance improvement with low platter data occupation over high one?

1,6 TB, about 300 GB used. And yes, low occupation keeps the drives faster - this coincides with the fact 'the larger the harddrive the faster'.

7)Has anyone tried SSDs yet, either for system drive or sample drive?[/QUOTE]

No, not yet.

Best regards.