2x IDE HDDs vs 1x SSD

Hi all,

It’s time to go SSD. I currently run 2x 7200rpm SATA 2 IDEs: one for the system, the other for project audio, and I’m beginning to wonder if I need two drives any more. I’ve only got 8 ins and typically use no more than 3 at a time. But I also have Jamstix and BFD, which I want to be able to run simultaneously. I’ve maxxed out my DDR3 RAM to 16GB, tiny maybe by today’s standards but I’m not sure it’s going to be enough - things are a bit jerky when I drag them around.

This two-disk setup has always been a no-brainer but now I’m not so sure. I was talking to the JS guy (Ralph) and he said that with an SSD streaming performance questions are a “non-issue”. I expect it would be the same for BFD, even with having SATA 2 and not getting the max out of the SSD. It’s starting to sound like the extra performance of an SSD means that I might be able to get away with a single 1TB SSD for everything: system and apps, recording and running streamed-audio VSTis.

What do you all reckon? There must be someone who’s already trodden this path but I would be grateful for all thoughts on the matter.


I store my entire sample library (Native Instruments and Spitfire) on an external SSD connected to my laptop. All Programs are on an internal SSD.

It seems like most sample providers still recommend 2 drives even if they are SSD.

Just my thoughts. As always, your mileage may vary.

SATA2 is slower then most very modern HDD can handle
I would suggest to by a new computer
or you can only replace the system HDD with a SSD
that could be the best compromise for now

Thanks, food for thought there. A SATA3 card is also an option. I’m trying not to buy a new machine…

your machine seems that old that a SATA 3 card would not work with full speed anyway

I suggest to invest in a new computer every 6-8 years
and it don’t has to be a high end performance machine

actual computers have more than enough power to handle mid size Cubase projects with ease and come with SSD drives
add a second one for the libraries and you are good

but related to the initial question
it is a good idea to use two SSD, one for the system and one for the data
then the system will not affect the streaming that much
and don’t forget to make backups

Yes, it is getting a bit long in the tooth but, other than the drives being a bit noisy, it handles everything I throw at it just fine - fine enough for me, anyway. I must say, even with SSD I’d feel happier with two drives but two decent 1TB SSDs is gonna cost a lot, especially as they’d be running on an old SATA 2 machine.


Might be better off sticking with what I’ve got for the moment. Might even be worth keeping this machine as my general workhorse and looking into a laptop for the audio, which would give me mobility…

Well, cheers guys, this has been very helpful. C

you could start with one SSD for the system install
that gives the most benefit, even on SATA 2

I upgraded my system drive first and still ran audio from a spinning disk. Just doing that will speed up your machine hugely. I’ve now got ssd and M.2 drives as well as spinning disc to backup everything