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Old 01-21-2010, 06:54 AM
maestroff maestroff is offline
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Default 1 SSD, 2 possible uses

I just ordered all the parts I'm going to need to build a new computer. Its primary purpose will be to do VST-based composing as that's the one thing that proved too much for my old PC to handle.

I bought 3 hard drives. 1 128GB Corsair SSD with a 220/200MB read/write speed. 1 640GB WD Caviar Black. And 1 Samsung 1 TB drive. The Samsung will be my primary data storage and secondary application drive. But I'm torn about how exactly to use the other 2. What I'm wondering is whether I'd get more value by using the SSD as my OS drive or by using it as my VST library drive? Spending the money to get a second one would have exceeded my budget, though it might be a possibility later this year especially if prices come down a bit.

If I use the SSD as the OS drive I've heard it not only improves the boot speed but it makes the whole system run more quickly. I also already have about 100GB of VST data that I'd need to load on the library drive which would pretty much fill the SSD if I used it. So using the Caviar would give me more room to add more VST libraries in the future to a reasonably quick drive. But on the other hand I'm pretty happy already with the WIndows 7 ~80 second boot times and program running speeds on my current PC which uses 3-year old parts. Which I imagine will only get better using an i7-860 and more/faster RAM. Even without speeding up the HD. The only things that run annoyingly slow are video editing programs and when I'm loading all my VST sounds into memory.

If I use the SSD exclusively as my VST library drive the 220MB read speeds should make pre-loading into memory lightning fast and allow Play to stream additional samples into memory with great ease. I also suspect the SSD will last a lot longer if I use it in this way which would only involve reads 90% of the time verses using it for the OS which is much more likely to involve writing to the disk on a regular basis. But I'd have the space limitations mentioned in the last paragraph and be limiting the expensive SSD advantages to just composing instead of other uses.

So if you were in my shoes which way would you go?

Last edited by maestroff; 01-21-2010 at 06:57 AM.
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Old 01-21-2010, 07:50 AM
Red_venom Red_venom is offline
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I would want to try it out as a sample drive. even if it could only hold a small portion of my libraries.. i'd load like QL Pianos on it or something. A library that requires massive amounts of data to be streamed.
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Old 01-21-2010, 09:36 AM
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It's a bit small to use as a sample drive, you can't keep all your libraries on it. I would wait for SSD to become 500GB - 1TB before using them as primary sample drives. I just installed my OS on 64gb SSD, the whole system just flies. I am still on XP, my DAW boots up in about 17 seconds, and my itnernet partition in about 25 seconds. It sure is nice.
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Old 01-21-2010, 04:33 PM
mdovey mdovey is offline
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I'd use the SSD for the OS.

It is a little small for an OS, and if you look into this section of the forum you'll find that although in theory SSD's should be better than hard disks for sample libraries, in practice (on a system with plenty of RAM, CPU and running a 64bit OS), there really isn't that much between them.

Some stress testing here:

http://soundsonline-forums.com/showp...4&postcount=55



Matthew

Last edited by mdovey; 01-21-2010 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 01-21-2010, 06:52 PM
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persentio persentio is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maestroff View Post
I just ordered all the parts I'm going to need to build a new computer. Its primary purpose will be to do VST-based composing as that's the one thing that proved too much for my old PC to handle.

I bought 3 hard drives. 1 128GB Corsair SSD with a 220/200MB read/write speed. 1 640GB WD Caviar Black. And 1 Samsung 1 TB drive. The Samsung will be my primary data storage and secondary application drive. But I'm torn about how exactly to use the other 2. What I'm wondering is whether I'd get more value by using the SSD as my OS drive or by using it as my VST library drive? Spending the money to get a second one would have exceeded my budget, though it might be a possibility later this year especially if prices come down a bit.

If I use the SSD as the OS drive I've heard it not only improves the boot speed but it makes the whole system run more quickly. I also already have about 100GB of VST data that I'd need to load on the library drive which would pretty much fill the SSD if I used it. So using the Caviar would give me more room to add more VST libraries in the future to a reasonably quick drive. But on the other hand I'm pretty happy already with the WIndows 7 ~80 second boot times and program running speeds on my current PC which uses 3-year old parts. Which I imagine will only get better using an i7-860 and more/faster RAM. Even without speeding up the HD. The only things that run annoyingly slow are video editing programs and when I'm loading all my VST sounds into memory.

If I use the SSD exclusively as my VST library drive the 220MB read speeds should make pre-loading into memory lightning fast and allow Play to stream additional samples into memory with great ease. I also suspect the SSD will last a lot longer if I use it in this way which would only involve reads 90% of the time verses using it for the OS which is much more likely to involve writing to the disk on a regular basis. But I'd have the space limitations mentioned in the last paragraph and be limiting the expensive SSD advantages to just composing instead of other uses.

So if you were in my shoes which way would you go?
For now, because I can't discern any distinct advantage an SSD has over a HDD with regards to streaming PLAY libraries (except the fabulous load into RAM times), I'd go ahead and use that for an OS drive. You'll be astonished at the kind of response you get after making the jump. No more waiting for slow boot times and slow app loading times. You can sit in front of your computer and go; compared to previously making yourself a cup of coffee or something while waiting.

Don't worry about the Reads killing SSD issue. Even with normal usage, theoretically an SSD is going to last much longer than a mechanical drive. You'd need to do an insane amount of Writes daily to reach an SSD's typical warranty expiry date.
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Old 01-22-2010, 06:55 AM
maestroff maestroff is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by persentio View Post
For now, because I can't discern any distinct advantage an SSD has over a HDD with regards to streaming PLAY libraries (except the fabulous load into RAM times), I'd go ahead and use that for an OS drive. You'll be astonished at the kind of response you get after making the jump. No more waiting for slow boot times and slow app loading times. You can sit in front of your computer and go; compared to previously making yourself a cup of coffee or something while waiting..
The popular choice definitely seems to be use it for the OS. But what keeps this from being an easy decision is the fact that of all the things I've used my current computer for over the last 3 years, the only time I've really felt impatient about its performance is when I'm watching Sonar load large collections of VST samples into memory. Well that and loading certain PC games, but I've cut back a lot on my gaming lately. So if sample loading now becomes fabulously fast with an SSD... it gets seriously tempting to go that route.

Last edited by maestroff; 01-22-2010 at 06:57 AM.
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Old 01-22-2010, 07:05 AM
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Well, you could clone your OS HDD over to your SSD and just try out the SSD as a boot drive for about a week or 2 and see how that suits you. With 128GB worth of space though; that's not too shabby to put a few of your smaller PLAY libraries on for streaming (and perhaps even Spectrasonics ones perhaps). The loading into RAM time IS fantastic with SSDs.
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Old 01-22-2010, 11:13 AM
maestroff maestroff is offline
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The only ones I own right now that I'd consider putting on the SSD are EWQL Orch Gold, SD2, Ministry of Rock, and Kontakt 4. At least for the next half a year or so that will probably be enough since I compose for fun instead of professionally. MOR I can probably keep on the slower drive since rock-based arrangements don't usually use quite as many sounds as the orchestral ones. Without MOR, Gold, SD2, and K4 currently come to about 80GB which should easily fit on the drive with some room to spare if need be. So I think I'm going to go with the SSD as VST library route. If I have any disappointment over the rest of the machine's performance (which is hard to imagine with an Intel i7-860 and 8GB of DDR3 1600, Cas 7 RAM), I'll clone the OS onto a second SDD drive once I can get a 256GB one for $400 or less.
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Old 01-22-2010, 05:40 PM
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Actually, depending on how many applications you have installed, you could consider getting Intel's X25-V. It's only 40GB; but you can get it cheap for ~$129. The point of this drive is simply to have just enough space utilized for your OS, so that the cost of the SSD is reduced and people would find it easier to make the jump. All your other files should go on other HDDs. Currently, I am only using 25GB for Windows 7 plus all of my applications.
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Old 01-23-2010, 04:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christerholm View Post
It's a bit small to use as a sample drive, you can't keep all your libraries on it. I would wait for SSD to become 500GB - 1TB before using them as primary sample drives.

I personally agree with you.
I'm also waiting SSD's to become more large in capacity.
And also the price to come down too.
Its far to expensive. (at least for me)
I can buy a new computer if were to buy 2 500GB SSD's and RAID them.
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