Project folders on SSD?

Right now I have Cubase on my primary SSD, my project folders are on a separate SATA3 HDD.

Should I really think about moving the project folders onto an SSD to increase speed? Will it help projects open and close faster? That’s one of my biggest peeves–project load times.

Am I just dumb…and everyone knows this already lol?

If you can afford it, yes.

However, unless your Cubase disk meter is registering disk usage peaks that are too high, it is probably not an issue.

Ahhh…I’m away from Cubase at the moment, but is the disk usage meter near the ASIO meter? Will it display “between” projects–when I’m loading/closing them?


I’d be careful if I were you. SSD’s are waaaay fast, but unless you’re using a server SSD (at 10 times price of consumer SSD) it’s not really reliable. I’ve had a crash in my projects once, it’s not pleasant. Even losing all the installed studio software is really unpleasant.

Like I said, think twice.

Neither are HDDs, and while SSDs are more expensive, their performance, quietness and relative coolness provide significant advantages.

I still have 15 nice shiny 3.5" disk platters that I haven’t got round to using as coasters yet, because the half dozen already in use are still going strong, getting more use out of them than when they were in drives.

Which is what having a decent system backup regime is for.

The VST Performance dialog has the average load and real-time peak meters for CPU, and the disk meter below them.

See the VST Performance Window section on page 1040 of the Operation Manual for descriptions of what each is showing.

Oh yes you are correct in every way, except that HDD’s are more reliable overall. Still, at least. Even the cheapest HDD are more reliable to the mid-priced SSD. At least now, in january 2015. SSD’s has really boomed the last couple of years, and yes, their performance is superior.

And yes, you are correct again, a good backup is always the key to be safe. But even backups can be unsafe. I had a raid 5 as storage for my projects, and a raid 1 NAS as backup. My raid 5 failed at reboot, because 2 disks were f***ed. I then reinstalled the system on new drives and hoped my backup was fine, but nope… As soon as I read back the data I discovered it was corrupt. One song could be ok, the next could be ssssccccchhhhh for 2 minutes… I was very sad about that.

Nowadays I only use 24/7 disks as they are manufactured to be on all the time. There’s a price difference though, consumer disks are about €60 per TB. Mechanical SATA 24/7 disks are around €100 per TB. SSD 24/7 disks are around €500 per TB. At work, for our hosted servers, we only use 1TB SSD in raid6. That’s 5 drives for double the SSD performance. Waste of money perhaps, but there’s great redundancy. And performance. Sum of it; If you can afford it, sure it’s fantastic. But you should watch out if you can’t afford to do it properly.

While old (2011) and mostly based on enterprise drive stats, this tom’s Hardware Investigation: Is Your SSD More Reliable Than A Hard Drive? article would seem to indicate that there is more variation between manufacturers than between the technologies. It also highlights that manufacturers’ reliability data is misleading at best.

I had difficulty quickly finding more recent mass reliability data that was independent of manufacturers’ figures. Could you please provide some stats for your statements?

Re backups, HDDs are definitely the cheapest way to go, but if I could afford it, I would use SSDs in my NAS boxes, just to be able to transfer data at GbE wire speeds all the time.

Re RAID, HDDs are cheap enough to only use RAID1, as recovery from a failed RAID set is much easier from only one drive than having to temporarily mount a multi-disk set in a computer. However, the hidden side of RAID (or any redundant topology) is the re-build time, during which the set is down in peak performance.

Windows Storage Spaces appears to have comparable performance – though much better write speeds – in its redundant modes, and the drives can be read on any Win 8.x computer as is, rather than use cumbersome RAID recovery software.

When we get to having enough income streaming in again, I will re-consider our NAS setup, looking at dual NAS boxes in active-passive HA mode, that effectively act like RAID1 together, but with unit redundancy, rather than just drive redundancy. I would still keep my current two units as backups for the backups, each 24 hours behind each other.

Conversation has taken an interesting turn…and as the OP I also have some questions regarding reliability then :slight_smile:

I’ve had HDD’s crash on me, but know now how to detect issues early AND how to pull the valuable data from them afterwords. Only once was a crash a severe hardware fail, preventing any recovery.

That said, do SSD’s show signs prior to a failure? If an SSD fails, can data be pulled from it?


You can check this article at TechReport if you want to read up on reliability of SSDs.

The last one started going flaky, and would only show up occasionally. Fortunately, I had done a full system backup just the day before the flakiness started. The other two that have failed over time were dead immediately, mostly OS just failing to start one day. But then, most of my many HDD failures were suddenly dead ones

As per the article I quoted, SMART is not that smart. The best regime for storage management is to have reliable system and data backups, which you know how to easily restore from.