if i go for an SSD system drive, and i put all my applications on there, then this will improve the speed of booting the PC and loading applications, yes?
but unless i put my sound libraries on there i won't see any difference with these, right?
also, is it even recommended to put libraries on an SSD - there's a limited lifetime of read/write cycles, isn't there, so would constantly reading samples use that up rather quickly?
Well, you have a limited number of writes rather than reads (which have no effect) so sample playback usage is almost ideal due to the limited number of writes as opposed to the heavy use of reads.
Of course the downside with that is that setting up a machine with enough drive space for your average EastWest or Kontackt collection would end up being a costly business.
As far as the write issue goes, it's not really much of an issue these days. The OS now has TRIM support which allows the drives to self manage their write cycles, ensuring that the drive will only try and write to the sectors that are least used in an attempt to ensure even usage across the drive during it's lifetime and to reduce early failure. Even drives with heavy usage profiles are now expected to last 3 - 5 years which is as long as your typical mechanical drive and if your not writting that frequently to your SSD it may even last longer due to the lack of mechanical parts to fail, althrough the tech is still too new for us to know just how long in total.
additionally, some of the 3XS models offer an SSD cache drive. i'm not really sure what this is for or how it could improve performance for me.
It's a fairly new feature only available in certain configurations. It allows you to use a SSD to cache the more frequent used data on a harddrive.
So for instance we put in a 60GB SSD in front of the sample drive. Each time you start a project it will cache any data on the sample drive that you access for that project it will cache that data to the SSD, so next time you come back to that project it will load from the SSD rather than the harddrive so hopefully speed it all up for you. It'll keep cacheing new data until you reach the limit of the SSD and then it'll start to replace the least used/oldest data with new data as it's being accessed. Whilst not as fast as a pure SSD solution it will give you increased performance when working with your current projects.
can you even have two SSDs as well as the two HDDs i was hoping to put in?
Sure, if you ordering online you can select the number of drives by the drop down, otherwise place your order by phone and specify exactly what you want and the guys will arrange it for you.
lastly, *very* silly question... i'd want to use two monitors, but all the graphics card options only appear to have one of each socket type (so one DVI, one HDMI, etc.). how are you meant to set this up?
Each card will have 1 of each but any two can be used at anytime. Most monitors normally have more than 1 input (not all, but the vast majority) so one may have DVI and D-sub or hdmi so normally you can get away with mixing and matching depending upon what screens you have already.
ScanProAudio & 3XS Audio Systems