SSD drives

Would like to replace the conventional 5400 rpm HDD in my laptop with a sata ssd. Any opinions on the crucial MX500 or is the samsung 850 still the “go to” internal sata?

Would also like to get a USB 3.1 external ssd and I thought these could be daisy chained but on all the ssd’s I’ve looked at, all seem to have only one cable jack so how is daisy chaining accomplished?


You can’t literally daisy-chain external USB. I think you can forget about that.

For SSD I think most are good. I like Techreport for their value charts and reviews etc. Go check it out.

There used to be some reports that some drives gave some issues when recording multiple tracks as far as I can recall, but that was like a year or two ago and I’m not sure that’s still the case.

I’ve had Crucial MX drives and it was fine. Samsung has better performance I think.

With only three USB ports available on my laptop (one 2.0 and two 3.0’s), one of which will be occupied by the audio interface and another by the e-license dongle, and if using USB hubs is not recommended as I have read elsewhere, I’m limited to a max of only two HD’s (one internal and one on the remaining 3.0 port).

That being the case, the OS and Cubase will have to be on the same drive with either the virtual instrument libraries or the audio files. Would one arrangement (OS / Cubase / Virtual Instruments or OS / Cubase / Audio Files) be better than the other?


You can certainly try using hubs though. I’m not sure how well it’ll work, but it might. In that case I’d probably try with the interface alone and the dongle on the VSTi/sample drive (if you want to try VSTi/samples and projects separately on USB drives).

Otherwise I’m not sure. My hunch says VSTi/samples on the internal drive with the OS, and projects (audio files) on the other. That way you can also move your projects around if you want, by just moving that drive.

Don’t forget a backup solution.

Follow up question regarding the limited number of usb ports found on laptops.

So usb hubs are generally not recommended as they can interrupt data streams and cause external HDD’s to “disconnect”, etc., due to specific chip sets used and / or some sort of “hub data management” going on?

But in the case of the steinberg usb dongle and the ilok’s, are these simply a) some sort of initialization routine to confirm the software is legal when the software is launched and then become “dormant” or do they b) continue to “communicate” with the software as it is being used?

If a) then wouldn’t it follow that if the only “active” device on the hub along with the copy protection dongles is an audio interface or an ssd hd, that you wouldn’t necessarily encounter interruptions from the hub?


I think the software “pings” the dongle every now and then. I have no idea how often or if it’s an issue.

How large are your projects and how are they divided between recording/playing back audio tracks vs. VSTi sample players?

Just getting (re)started. Probably no more than 24 combined audio and VSTi’s.

Dongles are going to use very little bandwidth, and very few times, so they should be safe to use with almost anything.

I’d say put the audio interface and the dongles on a hub, as they will total the smallest bandwidth. The audio is only what you’re recording and playing back with physical hardware at the time.

That leaves two ports for recording files and your samples, which may need to handle many more streams than the audio interface.

However, it may take experimenting with a couple of USB hubs to get one that works properly.

As always the USB standard is very unclear, even after they changed it recently? You won’t be able to use USB 3.1 gen 2 (10GB) because your laptop doesn’t support it. But 3.1 gen 1 (6GB) will be more than sufficient for additional storage.

You will need a USB 2 hub for Dongles and midi devices and maybe another for storage (USB 3 gen 1). But the one base port will do if you only need one external drive.

There are few ways to upgrade your current laptop if still applicable. More internal memory and and replace the internal HD for a SSD. Additionally it will be better to reinstall the laptop to at least Windows 7 64 bit, but preferably to Windows 10 64 bit if possible.

However, If your laptop because it’s a rather old and doesn’t hack it anymore, it’s clear that you need to upgrade to a model that will be able to perform the tasks you want it to perform.

It’s actually really as simple as that!

I have an external 850 (via Thunderbolt), works great. I used a external enclosure and replace the drive. I use it strictly for audio and it works great moving from my Laptop to desktop. I also have a little 4 port hub that I have my dongles on and a flash drive with my Waves plugins… I’m not sure the issue? It sounds like in your case maybe no need for an external drive, internal SSDs always run faster. But if you are going to use an external drive I’d recommend using it for audio… That leaves 1 usb for your interface and the 3rd for a hub with dongles.

Haven’t looked at 850s in awhile but mine was almost 500$ at the time. I might suggest looking at VE Pro and setting up a slave computer for Virtual Instruments Kontakt. Works great, even internally.


  • Sean Ryder Williams

A few thoughts:

There are obviously bigger drives available so I will assume space is not your main concern here. You can however buy an external RAID cabinet if you simply want more drive spindles. Some of the larger USB-drives on the market are actually build like this (effectively 2 striped drives)

Some drives comes with a USB port for chaining, just beware of power consumption and there will obviously be a performance hit on that bus.
The actual impact depends on how often then require data at the same time etc.

Hubs can work sometimes, just make sure you buy a quality one from a well known brand. It usually comes down to witch chip they use. It´s not ideal though.

The dongle is accessed every now and then, but the hit on your USB-bus is tiny. I have multiple on one HUB and it works great.

The best configuration depends on the nature of your projects. The only time you really need a separate drive for libraries is if you´re running multiple tracks of huge libraries. I used one drive for years (not now though), and that always worked for me. Adding more RAM really helped.

The number of audio tracks dosen´t say much as they may just be smaller (repeated) loops that will be cached. A large number of longer and continuous audio tracks is another story. You´ll have to simulate some load and monitor your disk performance to determine the best configuration.