Install Cubase on main drive, store projects on 2nd drive?


Greetings -

I’m getting a Dell M6600 laptop with 2 internal drives

I’m wondering; should I install Cubase on the boot drive (the drive that has Windows and other programs), and store all the projects on the other drive?

Both drives are equally fast, 7,200 rpm

Any advantages in doing that? What would you do?




p.s. also - would using a SSD drive instead of a 7,200 rpm drive be significantly better?


This must be the 2nd most asked question on the forums - try a search…

classic non-help reply

bad day?


Yep, store your files on the 2nd drive. And back them up externally. :slight_smile:

@Sir_Ricardo, do as you wish, as you feel comfortable, there are no rules for this! Backup to the external media is necessary anyway.

I have all on main drive, where Windows and Cubase installed. Just for fast access. Every night I backup all to external drive. Sometimes I backup all to second internal drive too. Double safe!


thanks for the replies, guys!

I’m asking because I heard that you get better performance if you have the Cubase program installed on your boot drive, but your Cubase files and projects on the 2nd drive.

Is that true? Something about the way drives read and write?



This depends a great deal on how you use your system and the components of your system.
Reading audio data and playing it back from your project requires some load time, but is typically cached.
Writing audio data is very disk/cpu intensive. So having a dedicated project hard drive is preferable with large projects where you are say writing stems a lot. This is a WRITE heavy situation. If you use sample libraries, you have a heavy READ situation on instrument load. How this affects your system will depend on which sampler/rompler engine you are using, the amount of RAM you have and the size of the libraries you want to load. How y our computer shares the read/write bandwidth between hard drives will have a big impact on how much gain there is for splitting those functions out to various hard drives. SSDs have much greater read and write speed. Hence why people prefer them. But, they are not all created equal. And not all systems benefit from that speed.

If you’ve got two drives then, “Yes” I’d put the program on the system drives and the Projects and/or Samples on the second drive. As JMC whether you’ll actually see any benefit from this depends on your system and how big your projects are.

It used to be far more beneficial on earlier versions of DAWs when computers were less powerful.

Necromancing a bit here and haven’t spent all night searching the forum (sorry) but I wonder:

Is it OK to have your Cubase projects (audio files etc) on a external 5400 drive, or will there be bottle necks?

At the most (worst case scenario) I have around 40 audio tracks playing at once (24/44.1), and I never use sample librarys. See, I don’t have much money and I have an older Mac. So fancy SSD USB C drives will come with an additional cost of a USB C to TB2 adapter. Lacies 1TB 5400 drive with TB2 is very cheap ATM, and I want to start recording as soon as possible.

Thanks in advance!

I wouldn’t run anything on 5400RPM, it may be too slow for Cubase and give you errors.
7200RPM IMO. I may be wrong. Others will chime in Im sure

Thanks shanabit!

Hi everyone! I just wanted to ask your advice - I’ve just bought 2 ssd drives today - 1TB and 2TB for data - that was the plan. Totally clean install of windows 10 and Cubase 11. Is it better to load all my vst and plugins to the data drive - not sure as both are ssd. I’m an old school Cubase user - 1991 on the good old atari ST - so forgive me if I haven’t caught up yet. Same for all my samples as well? Thanks everyone - any help MUCH appreciated! Alan.