SSD NVMe Config advice

Hi. So i am a little confused as I am seeing conflicting advice for drive setups. I just purchased a used Laptop with a 5400 drive in it. I want to replace this and add a second drive. I can add an M.2 NVMe drive and an 2.5 SSD drive. I have Cubase 9.5 on my main computer and using laptop with elements 10 to kick start ideas but still want it to work as fast as possible (actually this 7700HQ 16gb may be quicker than my desktop 3770K 32GB).
I will be using mainly N.I. Komplete Ultimate 12 and Omnisphere libraries (as you are free to install on a second machine without having to mess around with dongles). I had thought that I would install the OS and programs on the 500GB NVMe drive and libraries and projects partition on a 1TB SSD (970 evo pro). However after speaking to a specialist from an audio pc builder they advised System on SSD and NVMe for libraries and projects.

Would love to hear some opinions and experiences regarding hard drive configs for DAWs.


Loading of the OS and applications is far less demanding than Kontakt libraries and some of the more heavier Omnisphere multies. So yes, it makes perfect sense to put this data on the fastest drive you have. Cubase projects are also not that demanding on disk performance unless you of course have 200+ audio tracks all playing at the same in one project?

One more thing to realize is that especially Kontakt libraries can take up loads of space. So carefully make an inventory of all the space you need now and keep in mind what you may need in the near future! It’s better to invest in a larger drive now than have to buy another in a few months!

Perhaps the most overlooked but certainly not minor detail a lot of people don’t realize is that it’s best to substract about 10% of an SSD’s total drive space for ‘over-provisioning’. This is to ensure the drive remains in good shape and maintains the speed you bought it for in the first place? You don’t have to of course but you won’t be the fist that’s faced with speeds that drop even well below that of of conventional ATA drives by totally ignoring this?

See this for more details:

There seems to be a lot of conflicting advice around on this subject.

I found this on the SOS forum a few mins ago…

Ok so I went for the following setup.
NVMe partitioned for OS and programs. And on the second partition sound libraries. As I wont be installing all of my libraries 500GB is justbabout enough.
Then the SSD partitioned into 4 parts.
1 current projects.
2 projects.
3 storage.
4 backup.

The laptop was taking around a minute or so to start previously now its logged in including inputting password in around 10 seconds.
So far so good.

Glad to hear you figured it out. And yes, the first thing you’ll notice is the much faster boot time. :slight_smile:

I personally never split up drives in multiple partition anymore nowadays. We’re not in the FAT era anymore where we were restricted to a maximum partition size and files per folder! By creating multiple partitions you unnecessarily restrict yourself to a predefined space limits. Better to just format a drive as one and create folders in the root. If you really want to you can always assign drive letters to each root folder. But this way everything can use the space it needs without running out on a particular partition. Maybe something to take into consideration with the next installation? :wink:

I’m getting a sneaking suspicion that my NVMe drive is actually so fast that it is causing projects to fail to load, and to crash Cubase. Poof. Vanished…

This may seem odd, but HOW I initiate the startup of a .cpr is directly correlated to how frequently these crashes happen. If Cubase is already open and I open using the File/Open dialog, it just crashes. But if it’s open and I navigate to the cpr on my hard disk and run the file, it more often than not will start the file. If Cubase is not open and I start a cpr by directly clicking on it, same positive result, if not even better… it seems to open the project just fine. The feeling I have is, and I may be way off base, is that Cubase doesn’t know how to wait and properly cue the data to load the program as that data is streaming in, as if that data stream is just too fast for Cubase to handle… like throwing 10 balls at a juggler at once and expecting him to perform. I’m at a loss.