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Recommendations for best ex Hard Drive for Pro Tools/iMac i5

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Recommendations for best ex Hard Drive for Pro Tools/iMac i5

Postby Twigboy » Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:07 am

Hi all,

I am having a few problems running Pro Tools as it halts up a bit on big sessions.

I have all my sessions on an external USB 2.0 Lacie 500gig drive. ( powered off the USB bus ) is this bad !!!!

Just been looking at possible Firewire drives that Avid/Digidesign recommend but wondering if anyone can suggest ones that they use for great performance.


I also have a Liquid Mix by Focustrite and only have 1 Firewire port on my machine.

Bugger!!

My machine is i5 4gig Ram imac

Many thanks,

Paul
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Re: Recommendations for best ex Hard Drive for Pro Tools/iMac i5

Postby thenaturallevel » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:02 am

To cut a long story short you need a Mac Pro. I would expect these type of issues with a large session on an iMac.
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Re: Recommendations for best ex Hard Drive for Pro Tools/iMac i5

Postby Aftertouch » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:18 pm

thenaturallevel wrote:To cut a long story short you need a Mac Pro. I would expect these type of issues with a large session on an iMac.

I would disagree, I have an i5 iMac and it is as fast as many Mac Pro's of not too long ago. It certainly blows my old MacPro out of the water.

Twigboy wrote:


I also have a Liquid Mix by Focustrite and only have 1 Firewire port on my machine.

Bugger!!

My machine is i5 4gig Ram imac

One thing you should do, load up with RAM from Crucial. 16GB will set you back just £70. It's just rude not to :D

USB might be a big issue here. You could a) get a FireWire drive and chain your LM to it. B) Get something like a QNAS iSCSI drive and connect it via your iMac's Ethernet port. This will give you roughly the same (or even better) performance to a FireWire 800 drive.
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Re: Recommendations for best ex Hard Drive for Pro Tools/iMac i5

Postby johnny h » Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:31 pm

thenaturallevel wrote:To cut a long story short you need a Mac Pro. I would expect these type of issues with a large session on an iMac.

Its fine if you move the project to your internal drive. If you want to use an external drive, don't use USB 2 for anything other than backup. Firewire 800 is plenty fast enough. Thunderbolt allows you to connect multiple super speed drives and leave your firewire port for other things.
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Re: Recommendations for best ex Hard Drive for Pro Tools/iMac i5

Postby Will_m » Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:22 pm

I think it depends on what you call a big session though and also what kind of things you are running in it. Also when you say it halts up, what does that mean? Is there a specific error message?
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Re: Recommendations for best ex Hard Drive for Pro Tools/iMac i5

Postby Scope » Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:39 pm

First choice is to use the internal HD, then back up to external.
An ethernet based network drive would be 2nd as your E-net is 1000 Mbits/s ( ie more than FW800 )
3rd would be use the FW800port with a FW800 HD first in the chain ( - and your FW400 interface looped after the drive )

I use an ethernet HD and stream true HD video to/from it - so alot more data than audio.
It works just fine.
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Re: Recommendations for best ex Hard Drive for Pro Tools/iMac i5

Postby Twigboy » Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:22 pm

Aftertouch wrote:
thenaturallevel wrote:To cut a long story short you need a Mac Pro. I would expect these type of issues with a large session on an iMac.

I would disagree, I have an i5 iMac and it is as fast as many Mac Pro's of not too long ago. It certainly blows my old MacPro out of the water.

The iMac runs well with what i'm doing, have just invested in a few CPU hungry Waves plugins this is what i mean by making the Machine a bit sluggish on large Mixes in PT 9. Which i think is pretty CPU hogging anyhow.

[/quote] One thing you should do, load up with RAM from Crucial. 16GB will set you back just £70. It's just rude not to :D [/quote]

Think max i can instal is 8gig on mine so i'll definitely do this. Thank u.

[/quote] USB might be a big issue here. You could a) get a FireWire drive and chain your LM to it. B) Get something like a QNAS iSCSI drive and connect it via your iMac's Ethernet port. This will give you roughly the same (or even better) performance to a FireWire 800 drive. [/quote]


Is it ok to chain something as important as my drive that Pro Tools is reading/writing to/from???? Would there not be issues with having two 'realtime' processsing?? [/quote]
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Re: Recommendations for best ex Hard Drive for Pro Tools/iMac i5

Postby Twigboy » Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:26 pm

Scope wrote:First choice is to use the internal HD, then back up to external.
An ethernet based network drive would be 2nd as your E-net is 1000 Mbits/s ( ie more than FW800 )
3rd would be use the FW800port with a FW800 HD first in the chain ( - and your FW400 interface looped after the drive )

I use an ethernet HD and stream true HD video to/from it - so alot more data than audio.
It works just fine.


Pro Tools always recommend writing to a separate drive to your system drive??? If its just streaming music or playing through i tunes ect then yes the system drive is the one, not for music production, i've always been told.


So is ETHERNET better, are all drives compatible with these ports now??? Anyone had any issues with this and Pro Tools??



Thank you all for the input and advice.
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Re: Recommendations for best ex Hard Drive for Pro Tools/iMac i5

Postby Twigboy » Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:28 pm

Will_m wrote:I think it depends on what you call a big session though and also what kind of things you are running in it. Also when you say it halts up, what does that mean? Is there a specific error message?

Sorry no error message, i have just been working with some CPU hogging Waves plugins, Melodyne, Kontact, Guitar Rig. When i think about it its doing well.

Sometimes i get a error message regarding 'not able to read from the Hard disk, possibly too defragged ect'.

Thats why i was thinking a drive with a faster bus transfer rate???

Thank u
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Re: Recommendations for best ex Hard Drive for Pro Tools/iMac i5

Postby Exalted Wombat » Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:01 am

Twigboy wrote:Pro Tools always recommend writing to a separate drive to your system drive???

But we're suggesting you try it anyway! HAVE you tried?
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Re: Recommendations for best ex Hard Drive for Pro Tools/iMac i5

Postby johnny h » Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:10 pm

Twigboy wrote:
Is it ok to chain something as important as my drive that Pro Tools is reading/writing to/from???? Would there not be issues with having two 'realtime' processsing??

Possibly but probably not. Try it on the internal drive - its really much faster than USB 2. Pro tools might recommend external drives, but that advice was probably written with SCSI and Firewire in mind rather than the slow USB2 interface.

USB2 maximum speed is about 35 MB/s, while internal 7200 drives can reach speeds of well over 100 MB/s ...
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Re: Recommendations for best ex Hard Drive for Pro Tools/iMac i5

Postby Will_m » Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:02 pm

As far as I can remember the recommendation from Avid was to use separate drives, such as another internal drive, or for external esata or firewire, they even recommended a particular chipset.

I've found PT very picky over your hardware but once its set-up is pretty reliable. Of curse there are other much more friendly sequencers that will run on pretty much everything but that a different topic...
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Re: Recommendations for best ex Hard Drive for Pro Tools/iMac i5

Postby Twigboy » Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:35 am

Hi all,

Thanks for your response.


No i've never tried writing to and reading my sessions from my system drive.

That would be saving into my Documents space???

Its not possible to fit another internal drive into the computer alongside the system drive???

Many thanks,

Twigboy
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Re: Recommendations for best ex Hard Drive for Pro Tools/iMac i5

Postby Exalted Wombat » Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:18 am

Twigboy wrote:Hi all,

Thanks for your response.


No i've never tried writing to and reading my sessions from my system drive.

That would be saving into my Documents space???

Its not possible to fit another internal drive into the computer alongside the system drive???

You've absolutely convinced yourself that recording to the system drive is WRONG! However, just try it.

Yes, a folder in Documents would be a sensible place to use. But that's only a label, it doesn't correspond to any particular part of your hard drive. Anywhere will do. Just make a specific folder SOMEWHERE, rather than just chucking the files into a heap in something else's folder!
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Re: Recommendations for best ex Hard Drive for Pro Tools/iMac i5

Postby johnny h » Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:24 am

Twigboy wrote:Hi all,

Thanks for your response.


No i've never tried writing to and reading my sessions from my system drive.

That would be saving into my Documents space???

Its not possible to fit another internal drive into the computer alongside the system drive???

Many thanks,

Twigboy

There's no problem with using your system drive to record onto, at all.
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Re: Recommendations for best ex Hard Drive for Pro Tools/iMac i5

Postby Will_m » Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:35 am

Twigboy wrote:Hi all,
Its not possible to fit another internal drive into the computer alongside the system drive??


It is possible in some of the newer Imacs, I think 2011 onwards. You can even order them with an SSD system drive and an extra internal storage drive.
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Re: Recommendations for best ex Hard Drive for Pro Tools/iMac i5

Postby Aftertouch » Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:13 pm

Aftertouch wrote: One thing you should do, load up with RAM from Crucial. 16GB will set you back just £70. It's just rude not to :D


Twigboy wrote:Think max i can instal is 8gig on mine so i'll definitely do this. Thank u.



Actually, you have the same model as me and it will happily accept 32GB of RAM! My 2011 i5 now has 12GB RAM (2x 2GB original Apple & 2x 4GB Crucial RAM), with 8GB more Crucial RAM waiting on the side to replace the Apple RAM. Once done, I'll have 16GB in total.

The entry-level 2011 i5 iMac was only configurable with a maximum of 8GB on the Apple website. However, it has four memory slots, each can support an 8GB module.


EveryMac wrote: By default, 4 GB of RAM is installed as two 2 GB SO-DIMM modules. Two slots free.

*Officially, this model supports four 4 GB modules -- one in each slot for a maximum of 16 GB of memory. However, third-parties have discovered that it actually will support 32 GB of memory using four 8 GB modules.


More info here...
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Re: Recommendations for best ex Hard Drive for Pro Tools/iMac i5

Postby Twigboy » Tue May 29, 2012 2:50 pm

Scope wrote: I use an ethernet HD and stream true HD video to/from it - so alot more data than audio.
It works just fine.


CAN I ASK WHICH DRIVE YOU USE PLEASE?
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Re: Recommendations for best ex Hard Drive for Pro Tools/iMac i5

Postby Scope » Wed May 30, 2012 5:20 pm

Any SATA drive will do, just don't use USB - its crap.
I stream broadcast quality HD from a FW800 and occasionally from a ethernet HD.
On my Macbook Pro, I use the factory fitted 5400 rpm internal drive which does a reasonable job thankyou !

Re iMacs with 2nd drives - only if you remove the optical drive.
Then you get an optical-drive-bay caddy and hopefully a nice fast laptop-size SSD
There is no other space inside the case that I know of ( and I have taken a few apart for servicing / cleaning etc )

If you want lots of drives, you need a Mac Pro or an ethernet raid solution.
For any other Mac, Thunderbolt looks like the best way to go, if you can find a thunderbolt HD.
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Re: Recommendations for best ex Hard Drive for Pro Tools/iMac i5

Postby Iain Boyd » Thu May 31, 2012 8:07 am

Scope wrote:
Re iMacs with 2nd drives - only if you remove the optical drive.
Then you get an optical-drive-bay caddy and hopefully a nice fast laptop-size SSD
There is no other space inside the case that I know of ( and I have taken a few apart for servicing / cleaning etc )

A quick trip to the Applestore will reveal that's hasn't been true for a long time. I use a 27" iMac with SSD system drive and an internal 2Tb SATA drive, and an optical drive as usual on the right hand side. Never has ANY problem with speed no matter how much I run. And it's all in one box.

Back-ups are obviously external, but otherwise this is pretty much a perfect system for value, screen size and multiple drives. In the past I've used Mac Pro towers, Macbook Pros with and without external monitors, and even a BBC micro - some time ago now - the fully loaded big iMac is by far the fastest and best, ever.
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Re: Recommendations for best ex Hard Drive for Pro Tools/iMac i5

Postby Will_m » Sat Jun 02, 2012 2:41 am

Iain Boyd wrote:

A quick trip to the Applestore will reveal that's hasn't been true for a long time. I use a 27" iMac with SSD system drive and an internal 2Tb SATA drive, and an optical drive as usual on the right hand side. Never has ANY problem with speed no matter how much I run. And it's all in one box.

Is this true of the 21" too?
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