solid state hard drives

I am intrigued when reading about solid state hard drives.

I am curious if any Nuendo users have employed them in their work and exactly how they were used (boot drive, samples, audio drive, etc.).

I would also be interested in knowing if there was a marked improvement with work flow.

I’m using one as a boot drive/ work disk. It’s almost like having a new computer. Really speeds things up.


Booting Wim7 64bit and N5.5 from SSD. Very fast.

Hi Munchkin,

I Installed one as a boot disk first. Then tried putting a project on it. I liked the speed increase so much I bought another one to replace my old fashioned project disk :wink:


Autosave: I used to have to wait several seconds for it to finish in the past. Every single time. Now it’s so fast I don’t even notice it any more. That is what I call an improvement of workflow.



The main reason I am going nowhere near SSD drives is simply because I am reliably told you can only write to them a certain amount of times and then boom!

I guess that makes me either a pioneer, a dare devil or a fool!

If it blows up I’ll buy a new one.

BTW What is the amount of times exactly? Because I’m pretty sure you can write to any harddrive a certain number of times before it gives up the ghost…

Before getting a drive I did some rough comparisons-- it’s sort of apples and oranges, because the ssds are rated with an estimated number of write/erases vs “mean time between failures” with a conventional hdd…but considering my last work drive lasted me a good seven or eight years (they’re getting better and better), and my computer’s on all the time, if the specs are reasonably accurate my ssd should last at least twice as long, if not longer, than that hdd.

Oh, it’s backed up, all right. Twice. So… we’ll see!

So, hear, hear to “foolish pioneering”! Like Martijn-- if it blows up I’ll get a new one, too. The increase in speed really shoots the ssd into “can’t go back” territory (though-- [off topic] it definitely speeds up save time, in my case it ameliorates, but doesn’t solve the long save time on big projects with lots of edits issue[/off topic]. I’m going to get another after the next price drop…


The answer is “mirrored discs”.
In our systems, each disc is mirrored. If a disc fails, just replace one.
Need to perform a critical update (soft- or firmware), then remove one of both discs and take the plunge.
If a problem occurs, just use the one you have not updated. Without problems, put the second disc back in mirror.


After some research it seems to be safe to say:
SSDs are not a good choice for really busy studio work with large files.
A Drive that kills itself more or less slowly, but also assuredly is not to my taste.
Fast as hell in the beginning have even good brands lost 30 to 50 % of read speed after an 1 week stress test.
Since I am still fine with the existing HDDs ( no excessive track counts, ridiculous amount of plugin use or heavy automation) and not yet had a drive crash on me ( except in my office ) I’ll stay with those till they have found a cell material that does not eat itself and a controller that is not on its edge with wear-leveling to keep the SSD alive a little longer.
I am probably conservative, here, but also on the safest side for my work.

Big K

Hear, Hear!!
(although I confess I have riduculously large projects sometimes with 150+ tracks in 24/96 to 5.1)

Fredo, I am sorry but life is far too short to set up stuff that is barely out of the test labs - I need stability.
Mirroring system drives is not my idea of a good way forward either - the more complex a system the higher the chance of a failure.

Hello Neil
Do you remember those discussions in the old forum? There we had complaints that Nuendo would not deliver an unlimited number of tracks, as claimed, but had its limits at 500 or 999 tracks, always in addition to a few 100 MIDI tracks, a halfwitted number of Plugins and bags of automation.
Projects of 150 + tracks in high resolution and surround I would rather consider a medium size production for the work you do.

Looking at those huge amounts of data being shoveled in/out and being erased/recorded in the run of such a job, if the studio doesn’t buy a new SSD with every project it means kind of asking for “it”.

Big K

I don’t have an opinion about SDD discs, I have not digged into that yet, but I do have a strong opinion about mirrored discs.

I don’t think there is anything complex about setting up a mirrored disc. It’s just an identical copy of the main disc.
You might have a point when it comes to other RAID configurations, combined with specific RAID controllers.
These days the build-in Mobo SATA controllers allow you to mirror each disc, thereby providing 100% secured content.
We have about 15 machines in our building, and not a year goes by when a disc fails somewhere. Be it a OS disc or data disc, it never caused us downtime or loss of content. Just replace the broken disc, whenever you have the time for it.
And even if it would add some level of complexity, I gladly sacrifice it in favor for never having to worry that a machine goes down or that I lose content.

Just my 2 cents …


And I thought I was erring conservative by waiting as long as I did to get an SSD!

I was wary about getting one, but did a lot of research over a few months; talked to friends in post houses and read every test I could find. What I came up with was that SSDs compare very favorably to “spinners”… and there’s no risk in making a small SSD your boot drive-- the number of writes in such a scenario is pretty much insignificant in terms of wearing the drive out.

In my case: I’ve got my OS and applications on a 128 Gig SSD, mirrored from my original HD, which remains online. The SSD holds ONLY the OS and apps-- all of my 200+ gigs of user data are referenced on the original hard drive. That’s where all the re-writing takes place. I still have the OS on the original drive, and there would not be a hiccup nor any lost data should the SSD spuriously blow up. It’s literally a no-risk situation. Sometimes, for a really big project, I’ll keep the session on the SSD (backed up regularly). Another advantage to SSDs is that, should you want to, you can run pretty much everything off of the boot drive with no performance hit.

And in this configuration, whether running the session off of a “spinner” or the SSD, the speed difference is phenomenal. As stated earlier, it’s pretty much like having a new, much faster computer.

There’s an excellent article on SSD reliability in high-stress real world application on Tom’s Hardware dot com-- not sure what the forum rules are these days in terms of including links, but if you do a search for “ssd reliability-failure rate” you ought to be able to find it. Very informative and even-handed.

Considering that if you shop around you can get a 128 Gig SSD for around 85 bucks these days, and factoring in everything reported above, for me it seemed (and has panned out to be) a win-win situation.

And with that, to each his own!


As always…

I’ve had one as a boot drive and it died after 5 months of work.
The speed increase was great, but it’s too much hasse for me. I’m back with old fashioned hds now.


My first SSD was an ocz agility and it was pretty… weak if I may say. Sometimes no boot, had to recover the boot partition a few times etc.

Since I went with Crucial’s M4, no troubles anymore. These drives screams ! You’re safe with intel as well.
SSDs are cheap now and the performance is nothing but stellar !

It’s a funny thing to observe how conservative audio engineers are… :smiley:

Fair enough - can’t really argue with that.

Modern SSD’s can take about 100,000 writes. Your mechanical hard drive will probably fail long before that, especially if it is set to never sleep. SSD’s don’t need to sleep.

I have had a bunch of OWC SSD’s fail too soon. Lately I have been buying Samsung - 512 GB, 6G drive for around $350 on Amazon.

The performance boost is so dramatic that I would never again spec any computer for my company that didn’t have an SSD boot drive.

I am typing this on a 15" Macbook Pro with 750 GB 6G SSD (Samsung I think). Getting 450 MB/S read and write times. 7200 RPM mechanical drives get about 100 MB/S over internal SATA, maybe more on 6G.

I use to keep projects on a second internal mechanical drive on my Mac Pro, but now I run them from an SSD boot drive and archive them to the other drive.

In two years mechanical hard drives will be dinosaurs.

One thing I’m interested in knowing is will I receive a boost if I have three separate solid state hard drives, one for Nuendo, one for my audio files and one for samples, which is the setup I use now.

Or would it be beneficial to have all audio and samples on the same solid state hard drive as Nuendo?

It shouldn’t matter much whether the data is on separate drives or the same drive. It matters a lot with mechanical drives, because the heads have to seek for data, so it’s better to have one drive seeking for one bunch of data and another drive seeking another, rather than one drive doing all the work. There is no seek time on SSD’s, just the time it takes to read from memory. Although theoretically there might be a slight boost to use more than one drive for different purposes.

But SSD’s are expensive and the largest single drive capacity is limited to 750 or 980 (but the 980’s are really just two 480’s spanned together). The smaller ones are more economical (I mean less money per GB) than the larger ones, but there is no way I could afford to have all of my sound libraries (totaling around 4 TB) and project archives on SSD’s. And I would prefer to keep my project archives on an external mirror RAID for safety reasons.

Having said that, you will likely see a performance boost if you RAID two SSD’s in a RAID 0 (striped) configuration for your boot drive, especially if both are 6G SATA.