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Software: Solid state drives

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written by: Tenebrous

Fortunately my lappy has 3x 250gb drives in, and it supports RAID for additional performance improvements. Which I'm not using (lol).

written by: 0beron

Tue, 22 Jun 2010 11:23:14 +0100 BST

This is really a hardware question rather than a software one I suppose...

Having read Geert's awesome review of the Alpha in which SSDs are mentioned, it got me thinking. I do experience some clicks and pops when streaming samples in something like Trilian, and am wondering a few things:
1) Is hard disc speed actually my problem, or would I do better to install 8GB of ram and/or cut down on my user setup size (unload the piano soundfont etc)
2) Is a high RPM external drive or an external SSD drive going to help at all, or will I be limited by USB 2.0 or firewire data transfer speeds? I.e. is there no point in doing this unless the drive is internal and on a SATA connection?

written by: Tenebrous

Tue, 22 Jun 2010 11:57:15 +0100 BST

Theoretically if you don't actually use the Piano soundfont, it'll eventually get paged out anyway... not sure if that's how it really works on the Mac or how EigenD really deals with it, however. Not having it loaded in the first place is obviously better though.

The setup I was playing around with last night was based on Alpha Factory Setup 2, and I had two Vir2 Electri6ity guitars loaded (sample-based), plus two other AUs and a couple of samplers, and they worked pretty well for me with very rare clicks/pops/crackles etc.

What HDDs are you running with? How much memory do you have? I noticed a HUGE improvement from using 2gb->4gb.

written by: Tenebrous

Tue, 22 Jun 2010 12:04:32 +0100 BST

Also, as an aside I suppose, I noticed that the Kontakt player that Electri6ity uses does a LOT of unnecessary screen updates. I run my Mac headless and watch it via VNC, and if Kontact is open, the screen updates cause the VNC server to use 50% CPU :O. Simply closing the Kontakt window improved my CPU vastly.

I don't know how fancy the Trilian UI is but maybe that would help too.

written by: john

Tue, 22 Jun 2010 12:23:01 +0100 BST

Hi 0beron

Using an SSD doesn't make much difference to the performance of large sample based instruments like Trillian, or EigenD with a big soundfont. All these need big memory buffer in RAM for disc access. The SSD access time is a factor of ten better then rotating disks, but still not fast enough if memory has been paged out - you will still get a glitch. What an SSD will buy you is a lot better load times - I have a Mac laptop with a big SSD and that loads EigenD setups nearly twice as quickly as my old laptop. There is no substitute for a lot of RAM though, especially with Trillian which does seem to be a real memory hog. I have 8G or RAM in my new laptop (which was a very self indulgent purchase!) and everything just works a lot better than it used to.

I would always recommend SSD's for laptops now, if you can afford it. They use less power, are much faster and a lot tougher. I won't be going back...


written by: 0beron

Tue, 22 Jun 2010 13:08:57 +0100 BST

@john, thanks for the detailed info,

@Tene, I've got 4Gb RAM in my mac book pro, the HDD is the stock Apple drive that came with it.

Sounds like an upgrade to 8Gb is the best option for me. I don't mind the load times so much, although it would be nice if EigenD would survive hibernation (hint... :D )

written by: geert

Wed, 23 Jun 2010 07:19:06 +0100 BST

I have exactly the same thoughts as John ... the little clicks I had when playing large sample instruments in Kontakt went away with 8GB, not with SSD. I'm not going to buy a new computer without SSD though, it's just too comfortable for use.

written by: Tenebrous

Wed, 23 Jun 2010 17:05:10 +0100 BST

Unfortunately (for me anyway) SSDs are prohibitively expensive... at £0.22 per GB for HDD and £4.00 per GB for SSD, I'll be sticking with HDD for a while yet.

written by: 0beron

Wed, 23 Jun 2010 17:54:34 +0100 BST

Hmmm, that is my thought also. I need something nice and big since the 250 Gig drive installed by default now has OS X, Omnisphere, Trilian, and now Logic Pro and all its sample libs and loops on it and I'm running out of space after less than a year! When Terabyte SSD drives come into being at a price mere mortals can afford then I'll take three, but until then I'll stick with a USB or firewire external drive.

written by: Tenebrous

Thu, 24 Jun 2010 14:35:06 +0100 BST

Fortunately my lappy has 3x 250gb drives in, and it supports RAID for additional performance improvements. Which I'm not using (lol).

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