External Hard Drive Question

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Mudcloth
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External Hard Drive Question

Post by Mudcloth » Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:27 am

I know this might be the equivalent to asking about the best compressor under $200, but here goes.
My rig is a Macbook Pro, Motu828 MKII firewire.
Last year I bought a 2 Terabyte external hard drive to record on, a Western 7200 rpm. It was noticeably slower than the Lacie that had filled up. A recording friend of mine said it was because the hard drive was too big and my Macbook was having a hard time finding files. So I transferred over a bunch of my old sessions to the Western and continues to use the Lacie to record on.
Now I'm ready for a new hard drive again. I've narrowed it down to a OWC or a Glyph.
My question is, first of all, was my friend right about the hard drive size? If so, would partitioning the new hard drive help? I've noticed that 500 gigabytes is about the smallest drives out there.
I'm leaning toward getting the OWC Mercury Elite Pro. If the hard drive size isn't an issue, through partitioning or otherwise, I'd rather get the 1T over the 500G.
Any thoughts? Thanks.
Matt Giles
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Nick Sevilla
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Post by Nick Sevilla » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:22 pm

I've been using 600GB hard drives as the work drives.

No partitioning.

These:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6822136555

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Post by Electricide » Mon Sep 23, 2013 3:04 pm

did your WD 2TB have a 32MB cache, or 64?

With a 64 MB cache it should be able to keep up.

Still, moving parts and all, there are bound to be faster or slow seek and read times. Do a google search for read/write speeds of whatever drive you're looking at, and compare that way.

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Mudcloth
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Post by Mudcloth » Mon Sep 23, 2013 4:04 pm

I've searched for the specs on the 2T and I've come up empty. Odd that I can pull it from the drive itself. I'm betting it was 32mb, maybe even 16mb. I had no idea what I was doing when I bought it so now it's a massive back up drive.
The OWC 2T drive is 64mb. $195, but if it runs smoothly it should last me a really long time.
The most I ever track is 16 tracks. Most of what I do here at home is 10 tracks for drums and then overdubs. A lot of sessions end up being less than 5 gigs. For a guy like me, this drive would last me at least 3 years.
Matt Giles
Austin, Tx


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kslight
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Post by kslight » Mon Sep 23, 2013 5:11 pm

They are expensive, but I personally really like the 7200rpm LaCie Rugged drives, 500gb and 1tb triple interface. Very good luck with this, and I know someone that buys them by the case and uses them also.

On the contrary, I have bad luck with external drives from Seagate to Western Digital to G Technology...can't recommend any of them.

I would avoid huge drives (over 1tb), I personally find they are hard to manage (backups) and maybe I just don't feel secure committing so much data to one drive. At least for the work I do, if I can fit that much on a drive its hard to know whats on a drive because literally anything could be on it its so huge. Maybe that's not a problem for you depending on the work you do, but I have a stack of work drives of various projects and their associated backups..

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Mudcloth
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Post by Mudcloth » Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:34 am

So, still looking. I've been told and read that cache size doesn't matter and that it totally matters.
Looking up the Lacie rugged drives, they do not list cache size under its specifications, so I assume it's low.
The OWC drive is at 16mb for the 500g model, 32mb for the 1T, and 64mb for the 2T.
The Glyph Porta Gig 50 is at a whopping 8mb.

Also funny is that Western doesn't put rpm in its drive descriptions.

Glyphe had the fastest sustained transfer rate, followed by Lacie, then OWC.

Seriously, a 500g/7200 rpm/64mb might cover all the bases, assuming that cache does matter. Except that I can't find one out there, yet.

Looking at reviews, some people love all of these and some people hate all of these, except Glyph. Everyone seemed to like Glyph.
"I'll never use _____ drives again!"
"I've always used and loved _____ drives."

So, I guess I'm going to buy one of these drives at some point this week, probably using a dart board and a blind fold, and let everyone know whether I love or hate the thing after a while.

*Edit* to say that there are plenty of internal hard drives that are 500gb/7200rpm/64mb. I was hipped to this hard drive dock:
Vantec

Could be yet another option. OY!!!
Matt Giles
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Post by jhcore » Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:09 am

I hope I'm not making your hard drive choice headache any worse, but I've been using the 500gb OWC Mercury Elite since 2009 with absolutely no issues. Actually, it's a friend of mine's drive who has loaned it to me indefinitely; he also has it partitioned into 8 or so chunks, and has used it for both audio and video editing.

I think he also recently picked up another OWC, but this one is bus-powered/firewire, and it also seems to be pretty robust.

I have a similar setup to yours (MB Pro, firewire I/O), FWIW.

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Post by digitaldrummer » Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:22 pm

I once recorded 12 tracks of 24/44.1 to an older laptop running Windows XP, using an internal 5400rpm disk. I was using Sonar 4.x at the time. The only reason it worked was because I was only doing a live recording so there was no plugins, no mixing, etc. Only a bunch of very large files streaming to the disk as we recorded an hour long set at a time. I then transferred the tracks to Pro Tools for mixing/editing.

I sure would not recommend trying that though. :-)

A better drive with larger cache (i.e. 64MB) will usually make it run smoother.

Mike

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