2 SSD's. How to set it up?

I have a new, very powerful machine incoming. It has 2, 1 TB M2 NVME SSD drives. Which option should I go for:

Drive 1 - Win 10, Cubase, plug-ins, instruments etc
Drive 2 - Sound libraries, Projects.


Drive 1 - Win 10
Drive 2 - Cubase, plug-ins, instruments, sound libraries, projects.

Or something different?

Brand new system so I’d really like to get this right from the off. It is a Ryzen 3950 with 64gb of 3600 ram.

Thanks for any thoughts.

I’d go for the First Option for sure.

Having said that: it would take some effort to find out differences since your system is top.

Have fun!

I run a system with multi SSDs and no spinners.

I spread the system, app/vsts, projects, samples, across all the drives as suggested above.

Watching TaskMan as a heavy project plays and the drives hardly get off the baseline.

Enjoy your new machine.


I did exactly as you first option. That after a fair amount of research. then I have 2 backups on separate non ssd hard drives. Seems to be a good setup so far. ENJOY!


first option! Installing Cubase on anything other than the system drive is theoretically unsupported (it works though).
Note that this won’t prevent you from installing the Cubase content to the D: drive. The same can be done for plugins coming with a library.
Think a bit about the space you need, 1TB is not small for a system drive, you might also think of partitioning it/them. Just make sure to not fill them up to be a bit more future proof.
I use a small OS SSD usually, with all plugs, instruments, Cubase, stand-alone programs, while all content (Steinberg, Toontrack, NI, etc.) resides on a different one.
And prefer to install Windows before physically installing any additional drive, but that might be just me being a bit OCD.

I would go for option 3:

A Raid 0 configuration with only 1 Partition. It’s faster, you only have 1 virtual disk and if you decide to buy a 2 tb nvme ssd in the future, or even bigger, you can just clone the drive to ONE drive, instead of always buying two drives. NVME Speeds (Gen1?) are fast enough to cover everything, especially in Raid 0.

Raid 0 does increases the risk of disk failure, but you can opt for 1x 2TB HDD as a clone.

  • higher speeds
  • only 1 partition → makes life easier, especially on windows because it uses absolute paths

In my experience, Raid 0 is totally unnecessary for DAW work when using SSDs.

SSDs are plenty fast enough for major DAW work without adding the complexity of raid, and the increased risk of failure of Raid 0. The huge win with SSD’s is the random access time and seek times, which are pretty much zero compared with spinners.

I run a system with 5x SSDs and no raid in sight.

  1. M.2 NVMe 1TB - Win10 operating system, Cubase, plugs
  2. 1TB SSD - projects and lesser used samples
  3. 1TB SSD - sample libraries
  4. 0.5TB SSD - sample libraries
  5. 0.25TB - sample libraries

Works a treat. Even on complex projects the drives hardly get off idle.

I’ve managed plenty of raids in my time, and IMHO they aren’t necessary for DAW work. They can cause pain and grief when they go wrong, and unless you are a competent computer techy you really don’t want to bother with them anyway. Today I use raid 1 or 5 for fault tolerance on servers so a single disk failure doesn’t cause down-time. But Raid 0 is about getting more performance, but also doubles your chance of disk failure causing a showstopper because a single drive failure fails the entire raid disk pair. This trade-off was worthwhile pre SSD when spinner disks were comparatively slow, but with SSD it is an unnecessary complexity for DAW work.

Unless of course you are going to work on projects with hundreds of tracks of audio/samples. But even then I doubt it’s worth it. Just get more SSDs and spread the sample libraries across them.

Add another voice saying option 1.

Option 1.
Something to ponder is that we have a lot of RAM on very fast motherboards and fast busses.
In days of old when recording was called hard disc recording multiple drives really did make a difference.
Now the whole system makes the difference as we’ve seen on this forum people have spent hundreds of pounds on systems that glitch like hell.
That’s why i’d say Option 1.

Thank you very much for your responses people.
Picked the machine up yesterday and I’ve been going with option 1 as per all your advice.

I have installed all my Steinberg, Toontrack and IK stuff on drive 1 and all the sound libraries on drive 2. I may have to shift bits around as time passes but for now I’m very happy.

I downloaded the Jeff Gibson demo and it runs at 32 samples without going over 5 percent, this machine is a beast!