Recommended number of hard drives...

Sorry if this has been covered…whilst saving up some cash for a decent DAW, sussing out the specs required so I can get it all spot on in one (expensive) purchase… I’ve noticed people mentioning having having multiple (2, I understand, but 3 or 4 or more?) hard drives. I was thinking of having a 250GB Solid State Drive for OS and Cubase, and a 1…perhaps 2 TB hard drive for projects.

However I have seen people say that they use another (again possibly Solid State) drive for sample (presumably all the Halion/Groove Agent etc…) stuff etc, which I naturally would have put on the same drive as the OS/cubase…

Just wondered if this (third drive) was necessary, and if so…why??

As many as you need mate, you cannot have too much disc space…I’m using 7 at the mo, 2 of them external…
back up of your back up is important…

I have just this week taken delivery of a new pc and I had spec’d 3 SSD’s. (I also have a separate back-up drive). This is just my view based on what I need and of course shadowfax is right in that you get as many as you need dependant on your particular use and budget.

On the pc I spec’d a 500 for OS and programs, a 250 for projects and a 1Tb for samples. I originally had thought of 250 for OS and programs, but had a couple of comments that Windows 10 was resource-hungry and decided that a 500 was best for that and the other programs.

I am not sure a third drive is really necessary, and possibly the projects could go on the OS drive, but that is more a matter of funds than anything else I guess.

In my opinion, three is the minimum; one for the OS, one for the sample libraries, one for recoding audio and maybe a fourth for video and a fifth for other data such as photos, etc. and a couple for backups of your preacious music, and on it goes. :wink:

shadowfax is exactly right. You can never get enough storage space.

Thanks, I just wondered why they should be on separate drives rather than a large one (obviously with back-up)? For example why keep the samples away from the OS? Excuse my naivity but obviously I’m planning on spending some money!

Maybe this can help you -

You’re not naive at all, you’re wise. The main reason that people use separate hard-disks is that It takes time for the read-heads to search the disc for your data and an hard-disk can only read one peace if data at the time. Having the System and the sample libraries (and/or the audio) on the same drive will therefore, inevitably, result in that the data requests will interfere with one another, and slow down the whole system.

An SSD, on the other hand, has no moving parts, so it doesn’t suffer from this. That many choose to divide the contents over separate disks is more out of old habit, I think. Plus, it does help with keeping the data organised.

SSD’s are still about ten times more expensive than mechanical hard-drives. I suggest that you invest in the largest SSD you can afford (and connect it with at least a SATA3 interface), and place your system and sample libraries on it. You can elect to put those libraries you use most often on the SSD and the rest on a mechanical drive. That’s what I’ve done.

If you choose to use an SSD or HD as a recording drive is up to your wallet. You’ll see the most speed benefit with an SSD when starting your computer, launching your DAW, opening plug-ins and loading sample libraries. I’ve found that a mechanical drive goes a long way (unless you record huge scores with a thousand tracks).

It is worth pointing out that my three drives are actually cheaper than the equivalent single larger drive I would have needed.

For me, a single 3 TB nvme SSD would be great for everything. Unfortunately, that size doesn’t even exist yet.
Even 2 TB SSD’s are still too expensive, so I’m using 6 smaller SATA SSD’s for now. Bit messy, but at least affordable(I’ve acquired the SSD’s over the years). And quite silent.

Another option(i f you have Thunderbolt): get a (Pegasus) Thunderbolt RAID drive. Lots of space, fast. Noisy, though. Not cheap.

I use a 6 TB NAS for backups and offline storage.

My setup:
512 GB SSD for OS and programs, Cubase, Wavelab, Halion, Groove Agent 4 + all steinberg sound libraries
256 GB SSD for Spectrasonics and custom Halion libraries
480 GB SSD for Sample libraries and windows page file
1 TB HDD for back-up
500 GB HDD for projects & Recording
500 GB HDD spare
500 GB HDD spare
120 GB SSD spare

2 TB HDD external back-up
4 TB HDD NAS back-up

I have a 200GB SSD for OS, DAWs, program files, and plugins
a 2TB internal HDD for everything else (dedicated computer, so it’s all just music stuff)
and two external HDDs for backup. That’s plenty for me.