PC reformat question


I’m about to do the dreaded PC reformat to clean up my system. This time I’ve picked up a new 256 GB SSD to spread things out a bit more. I’m thinking about using the new SSD as a “Programs” drive, basically the SW install content for everything non-Steinberg (NI, Izotope, XLN Audio, EW Play, etc…). Will use my main C: drive for Windows, System drivers, Cubase, HALion, and the rest of my Steinberg content (I have a UAD Apollo interface, I think that needs to be on the C: drive so that will be there as well).

Windows updates and new SW installs has me constantly cleaning up my C: drive to keep around 30% free-space for good performance, I figure moving some of the other Recording SW to another Drive would help. Of course a bigger C: drive would help, yes, but the 256 GB’s are what I have so I’m going to use them. Currently I have three SSD’s (one for OS, Cubase, other SW, the second is for Projects, and the third hols all my Sample content).

Anyone else have things setup so Cubase is isolated with the OS on a singe drive? Any benefits or problems with doing this?

Here are my current system specs:

Win 10 Pro
i7-3930k @ 3.20GHz (6 core)
32 GB Ram
3 SSD’s (2 @ 256 GB - OS/Projects, 1 @ 500 GB - Samples)
AMD Radeon R9 200 GPU

Cubase Pro 8.5.20
UAD Apollo Firewire


I have a similar setup with three 500 GB SSD drives (plus a couple of 4 TB mechanical drives for backup) with no problems.

The benefits of having the OS and applications in one drive, the audio files in the second and the samples in the third are obvious.

Thanks for the reply, yes that’s how I have things now. If my C: drive was a 500 GB SSD I would keep things the way they are. But I got a great deal on a 256 GB drive so that’s what has me thinking about putting things like NI Komplete, Addictive Drums, and my Izotope SW, etc… program installs on a separate drive. It would defiantly free up some space on the OS/Cubase drive. I’m just unsure how those programs will react with Cubase being on a separate drive. All of them put a lot of content into C:\ProgramData and C:\User… directories. I’ll still keep all their Sample based content on my Sample drive, just wondering if they’ll get temperamental being on a non-OS drive.


Well, I have Garritan CFX Concert Grand, which volume of data is 122 GB, performing with no issues from the third drive. I have also Slate Trigger samples in this third drive as well as several rather heavy Halion third-party libraries. In fact, this third drive is used almost at 70% of its capacity. With 32 GB of RAM I’ve never had any overflow problem.

I can’t see why NI Komplete or Addictive Drums should react differently.

Can you please take a look at my thread here and tell me your thoughts

Rumlee, took a look at your thread. This subject can draw in a lot of different opinions, but here is my take… Dividing content over a few drives does matter (SSD or older HDD’s), it has more to do with CPU workload, threads, and core usage. In simple terms you want to optimize your entire DAW system so it works well as a whole.

The responses you received are valid, yes SSD’s are faster and more efficient. Yes, read/write and disk latency is a not an issue anymore with SSD’s. But putting all of your sw, samples, and projects on a single super fast SSD only addresses how fast programs/files are dealt with on that drive alone. The drive tasks still need to go through the CPU and back. Sure it will work, nothing’s going to break using one big fast drive but is it optimal? …No… These new SSD’s are so fast they do more waiting on the CPU and motherboard resources now (just the opposite of how things were with older HDD’s, ex 6400 rpm).

There are many ways to approach DAW setups and things will depend a lot on your system is configured (and your budget… SSD’s are cheaper than they were a few years ago, but still pricey in my opinion). But the more you spread content out across many drives the better, your maximizing your threads, core usage and program handling. Your whole system will be more efficient. Don’t expect a night/day difference, but things will improve.

Think of it this way; a well planned out system with decent components will outperform an expensive system with the newest/fastest technology that isn’t configured to be used as a DAW. DAW’s are different than business machines and need to be configured properly.

You don’t want Cubase, your VSTi’s, sample streams, and audio interface all competing for the same resources (ex: a System Bus between one SSD and the CPU). Give your OS and programs their own pathway, your projects another, your sample streaming a separate path too. Balance out DAW content to reduce wait times and resource competition.

This subject can get very technical and what works for me might not for you. You can easily get by with two SSD’s, trust me… a crappy audio interface, not enough RAM, or a cheap video card will degrade your performance / latency much more.

Long winded response, but hope it helps you out. You’ll need to hear from some others with their experiences too.