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Old 08-21-2015, 04:06 AM
jamieboo jamieboo is offline
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Default Samsung EVO 850 500gb

Hello folks

Nearly finished building my new x99 machine that includes three of these SSD's.
I recall reading somewhere that the sample drives should be formatted in a specific way - to 64kb or something? I can't remember, and don't really know what this means.
Also, this is my first time with SSDs so everything is new to me - Do I need to enable TRIM, or is this on automatically?
And finally, should I use RAPID mode or not? There seemed to be some differing opinions about this on these forums a while back, I'm wondering if by now a more definitive conclusion has been reached.
Basically what do I need to do to get the best from these drives for a DAW?

Thanks!
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Old 08-21-2015, 07:52 AM
nitrocan nitrocan is offline
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TRIM should be turned on by default on Win 7 and forwards. You could try using Intel RST and RAID 0'ing them.
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Old 08-22-2015, 01:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamieboo View Post
I recall reading somewhere that the sample drives should be formatted in a specific way - to 64kb or something? I can't remember, and don't really know what this means.
Sectors are the minimum size at which the disk is allocated to files. The smaller they are, the more OS overhead to manage them, but the less wasted space for small files.

Under Windows, you can format drives with up to 64kB sectors, which is what I recommend for ANY drive running multimedia files, as they are usually much larger than 64kB. An EW sample library disk with 64kB sectors will result in only 0.5% wasted space (data doesn't occupy a full sector), whereas for an OS drive, it can be 8%.

Even with HDDs, copying a few GB of files between drives formatted with 64kB sectors is 30-50% faster than with drives with the default 4kB sectors.

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Originally Posted by jamieboo View Post
Do I need to enable TRIM, or is this on automatically?
Handled automatically.

Note that Windows will automatically TRIM all SSDs if the system is left idle for a couple of minutes after startup.

You may have heard that defragmentation is not good for SSDs, which it isn't, but if you try and deframent an SSD under Windows, it will actually only do a full TRIM.

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... should I use RAPID mode or not?
I would recommend that you do NOT use it, as it increases the risk of occasional hiccups because the maximum latency goes to 31ms from just an ms.
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Old 08-22-2015, 01:57 AM
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Originally Posted by nitrocan View Post
... RAID 0'ing them.
With SSDs, the performance improvement may be so close to reading from disk cache, that RAID0 (or any other 'enhancement') is not going to provide ANY significant improvement.
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Old 08-22-2015, 06:38 AM
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Thanks Patanjali!
I didn't perfectly understand everything you wrote about sectors, but I think I got the gist!
Well my OS drive was new and it formatted itself as part of Windows installation. I have no idea with what size sectors it formatted, but it was GPT rather than MBR (so 3 partitions rather than 2).
My two remaining SSDs - which will be my sample drives - are as yet unformatted.
When I go to 'Initialize' them in the Windows Disk Manager thing my choices are, again, MBR or GPT. How do I get to choose sector size?
I haven't yet installed the Samsung software that came with the drive. I should probably do that.
Another thing, in device manager all my SSDs are listed as 'Samsung SSD 850 EVO 500G SCSI Disk Device'.
Why SCSI??
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Old 08-22-2015, 06:42 AM
nitrocan nitrocan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patanjali View Post
With SSDs, the performance improvement may be so close to reading from disk cache, that RAID0 (or any other 'enhancement') is not going to provide ANY significant improvement.
There's a 512 MB disk cache on the 850 EVO 500GB. You can't fit all your samples on there.

And RAID0 isn't simply for sample streaming. You might want to copy files from/to it in the future.
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Old 08-22-2015, 06:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamieboo View Post
Well my OS drive was new and it formatted itself as part of Windows installation. I have no idea with what size sectors it formatted.
They were probably the default 4kB sectors, but they are OK for an OS drive, which has a lot of small files.

Before W8 (or was it 8.1?), you could format the partition before installing a new Windows, but now it requires an unformatted area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamieboo View Post
When I go to 'Initialize' them in the Windows Disk Manager thing my choices are, again, MBR or GPT. How do I get to choose sector size?
You can specify the sector size when creating or formatting a partition.

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Originally Posted by jamieboo View Post
I haven't yet installed the Samsung software that came with the drive. I should probably do that.
Unless you are using a particular facility on the SSD that requires setting up, there is NO need to load any Samsung software.

If you do need to use it, just install it for that requirement and then uninstall it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamieboo View Post
Samsung SSD 850 EVO 500G SCSI Disk Device'. Why SCSI??
New one on me!
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Old 08-22-2015, 07:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitrocan View Post
There's a 512 MB disk cache on the 850 EVO 500GB. You can't fit all your samples on there.
Not what I was getting at. iT is not about whether all the samples can fit in the cache.

When an SSD can provide samples at a rate similar to reading from that cache, RAID0 has NO margin in which to improve sample reading.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nitrocan View Post
And RAID0 isn't simply for sample streaming. You might want to copy files from/to it in the future.
That is not such a time-critical use, so you can be away from it, and so be less affected by how long it takes.

The nature of the copy facility in Windows is that it goes flat chat for a GB or so, then drops down to a lower rate for whatever else is left, which means that you won't really get the benefit of RAID0 except for a few seconds. MS probably did this because they expect that you may want to use the computer during a long copy, and don't want it acting real sluggish because the disk is hogging the limelight!

Plus it is faster to copy files to a single new drive in case of failure than wait for a RAID rebuild!
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Old 08-22-2015, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patanjali View Post

You can specify the sector size when creating or formatting a partition.
Forgive me for being so dim, Patanjali.
But what exactly should I do when I'm about to 'Initialize' the drives in the Windows Disk Manager thing and my choices are MBR or GPT.
Do each of those options imply certain sector size?
I'm tempted to click GPT as that is the newer standard.
Or are you saying that the next stage after choosing MBR or GPT will allow me to specify sector size?
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Old 08-22-2015, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamieboo View Post
Forgive me for being so dim, Patanjali.
But what exactly should I do when I'm about to 'Initialize' the drives in the Windows Disk Manager thing and my choices are MBR or GPT.
Sorry, I think it was me that didn't get that you wanted an answer to that.

To quote from a Whatís the Difference Between GPT and MBR When Partitioning a Drive? article on howtogeek.com:
Quote:
Windows can only boot from GPT on UEFI-based computers running 64-bit versions of Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, and corresponding server versions. All versions of Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, and Vista can read GPT drives and use them for data ó they just canít boot from them without UEFI.
Therefore, for non-OS drives, use GPT.

For OS-drives, UEFI makes a Windows installation slightly more involved, but don't worry if you have already set it up with MBR.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamieboo View Post
Or are you saying that the next stage after choosing MBR or GPT will allow me to specify sector size?
Yes. Selecting MBR or GPT only specifies how the drive is managed. Before you can actually use it for storage, you have to create partitions, which is where you must specify sector sizes.

While you could specify 64kB sectors for all drives, you really should use it for your DAW project drive and all sample library drives for best performance.

General data drives can just be formatted with the default 4kB sectors to save wasted space, though 64kB sectors will give better performance, if you require it.
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Half of DevaKnighT at devaknight.com. All recordings done in Cubase at 192k.
Comp: i7-4930K : Asus P9X79-E WS : Geil 32GB : GV-N750OC-2GI : 55" 4K TV + 23" touchx2 : SSDx6 : UAD-2Q.
HW: Nmn U87Ai : JA-251x2 : Korg padKontrol+nanoKEY2 : No audio for now : M-Patch2 : Tannoy Reveal Active+TS-12.
SW: Win8.1P64 : Cubase 8.0.20 : Goliath : SO PP : Pianos : Gypsy : SV : Sup/Drum 2.0 : AT7 : Ozone 6Ad : RX3Ad.
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