cubase: optimal hard drive setup?

hi guys,

at the moment i have one 500gb and one 1tb hard drive. my o.s., cubase, cubase projects and vst’s/plugins are on my 500gb drive (my vst sound libraries are also on the 500gb drive) and just audio/wav samples are on my 1tb drive.

i was wondering what is the best way to use your hard drives with just cubase (pc)?


It would probably be better to keep your projects on your 1TB drive too, leaving your 500G for running Cubase and your OS. Otherwise the drive is hopping around more while reading the audio from your project files. I’m not an expert under the system hood but that’s what makes sense to me.

Ideally, having a third drive for just your project files would save the drive from jumping from samples to project audio. This also saves your samples from getting fragmented between system writes (as you’ve already done) but also around your project files as you record audio and add new samples.

I use three Western Digital Caviar Blacks this way and am completely happy with the set-up. They’re fast, affordable and solid. Someone may have an even better way. I’m always up for more streamlining tips.

Hope that helps.

OK, here’s an idea. Buy an SSD (a small one like 128 gb will do, now they’re finally quite affordable) and move the OS, Cubase and the other applications you use to that (make an “image” of your OS drive and then copy it to the SSD. Lots of backup applications can do that, including shareware/freeware.) If the only application you use on that computer is Cubase, even a 64 gb SSD will do. You can get one of those from for as little as $70.

Set up the 500gb drive as a second internal drive. Move all your sound libraries to the bigger drive and use the 500gb for your Cubase projects (audio drive.)

The SSD will make Windows and Cubase fly through all the operations, and having a larger drive for your sound libraries will allow you to have more of them.

In a couple of years most DAW users will only use a spindle drive
for plain/basic storage.

CD/DVD (soon)
DoDo bird