External Solid State HD?

Get that song on tape! Errr... disk?
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seenoevil II
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External Solid State HD?

Post by seenoevil II » Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:49 am

So, for a multitude of reasons including upgrading my computer rig soon and/or fleeing the US as it descends into dictatorial darkness, I need a new external HD.

My current rig is a late 2009 iMac (how time flies) with USB 2.0 and firewire. The internal is 500GB.

I'm likely going to stay in the apple ecosystem as I like Logic and I don't want to lose all my old projects.

So, what do you recommend?

I keep seeing those orange rimmed deals in videos of producers. Are they any good, or just hype?

Please and thank you.

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Larry Mal
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Re: External Solid State HD?

Post by Larry Mal » Tue Jun 02, 2020 9:12 am

We use a lot of those Samsung EVOs which are not expensive, work well, and I have no complaints about them. I have them in my own computer for Logic projects.

I have bought cheaper, no name SSDs, and it's not something I would recommend.
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Re: External Solid State HD?

Post by mbene085 » Tue Jun 02, 2020 9:59 am

Aren't EVOs internal drives? I bought one and am happy with it but he'd need an enclosure.

I have some Samsung T5s that I got on various sales (black Friday etc) and those are as compact and slick a form factor as you could find. They're USB 3.0, so they'll work with future macs, and would work with your current usb 2.0 ports, albeit at a much slower speed.

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Re: External Solid State HD?

Post by Larry Mal » Tue Jun 02, 2020 10:33 am

Well, any drive can be put in some kind of enclosure. I guess I should have mentioned that.

But you can buy a USB 3.0 enclosure for like $10, and just put the SSD in that.

That's what I do, it can often make more sense to do it that way from a financial perspective.
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Re: External Solid State HD?

Post by seenoevil II » Tue Jun 02, 2020 10:59 am

So Mac seems to skimp on internal storage perhaps thinking more serious users will pair with an external drive with lightning (or is it thunder?) ultra high speed thats nearly as fast as an internal bus.

Could I run sessions exclusively through USB 3.0? Is 3.0 fit for that purpose? Or merely backing up and transporting files. I've tried running larger sessions using 2.0 and it would crash, but if memory serves I've successfully done it with a sd card.

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Re: External Solid State HD?

Post by Larry Mal » Tue Jun 02, 2020 11:13 am

Good point, do you have an SD card slot? That's a fine way to add 128 GB of fast storage.

So, USB 3.0 is tremendously fast, not as fast as PCIe but still more than sufficient for the audio work you or I are doing.

The problem with laptops is the bus, more than the speed of it. If you have one of those MacBook Pros with the two miserable USB-c slots, then you have two busses, and that's all you can ever have.

Those busses have a great amount of bandwidth, but ideally you would not be using the same bus for in and out.

In my aging Mac Pro, I have five drives in there, one runs Logic, one holds my samples, and there is another drive that I record the resulting audio to. So each drive is dedicated to only giving, receiving or processing information.

With a laptop, you are limited, especially since one of those USB-c slots has to handle your power.

Now, none of this necessarily matters, because it's quite likely that your audio recording will never tax your system to the point where that matters.

But, if you had an SD slot, then that's its own bus, so you could put your samples on that, and then record to an external drive. That would be a very strong system.

Or if you are just recording audio, no problem, just plug your interface into one slot, and use the external drive as your record to drive. That'll be strong also.
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