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Konskoo

How much SSDs to use on computer for Cakewalk?

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I want to build a computer for Cakewalk. I want to choose how much SSD to use in it.

I thought of two variants. In both variants I will not store archive files on computer on which I will work in Cakewalk. Only current project work files will be on computer on which I will work in Cakewalk. Archive files I will store in NAS or another computer with RAID.

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Variant 1. On computer for Cakewalk one SSD: M.2, PCI-E x4, NVMe.

Two logical disks on it: disk C, disk D.

Disk C: Windows 10 Home 64-bit, applications including Cakewalk.

Disk D: current project work files.

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Variant 2. On computer for Cakewalk two SSDs. Each SSD: M.2, PCI-E x4, NVMe.

First SSD. Disk C on it. On disk C: Windows 10 Home 64-bit, applications including Cakewalk.

Second SDD. Disk D on it. On disk D: current project work files.

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What is better for Cakewalk's performance, stability, data safety?

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6 hours ago, Colin Nicholls said:

Variant 2. Two physical discs > 1 physical disc and 2 logical discs.  

Thank you, Colin. Why Two physical discs better?

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I'm not sure if two discs are considerably better if the one drive is big enough. As SSD doesn't have a moving reader head like HDD it shouldn't be an issue. However, for the same reason logical discs don't really give you any benefit either (separate folders will do) . Last time I had any issues with drive speeds were 20 years ago. Audio is light and easy for SSD drives. And nothing stops you trying with one disc, just add another if you run out of space.

Maybe users with gigantic sampler files can introduce a scenario where separate SSD drives are recommended.

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10 hours ago, Konskoo said:

Thank you, Colin. Why Two physical discs better?

Multiple I/O subsystems, less stress on each, better multithreading. The difference may be minimal, but I'm pretty sure it is better.

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If I'm not mistaken, if you have 2 physical drive, then it's advisable to set "Global audio folder" and "Picture folder" on the second drive, assuming you install OS and Cakewalk in your first drive.

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I started thinking this a little bit further.

If I had a new computer with storage options open I would buy the biggest m.2 drive I can afford and leave the other slot(s) free for future additions. As computers have a limited number of m.2 slots (1-3) it would not make sense filling the slots with smaller drives. The price of the drives are also getting cheaper every year. The  new pcie  4.0 offers even faster max read/write speeds (3GB-5GB per second), twice the speed of pcie 3.0. However, the full speed in both cases is available only on the bigger drives (1TB and over). And also, most likely only the first m.2 slot runs at the maximum speed (via cpu instead of chipset) which also favours the idea of just one disc.

To give a perspective regarding  DAW environment, if you have a 5min song with 50 full length audio tracks in 192KHz/24bit, your project is less than 10GB in size. So yes, one drive is fully capable of handling  unpacked audio of any sized project, even if all of your software is on the same disc. In real life you obviously don't  reach the benchmarked maximum speeds  but I hope this gives you a good picture of the current m.2 SSD speeds.

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I use variant 2.

One plus is that you have more data throughput bandwidth by using 2 drives vs. everything on 1 physical drive. I'm still using SATA drives, but M.2 may be much  faster, so as not to make as much difference in that regard by using 2 physical drives.

Plus I store hundreds of GBs of sampler libraries on my data drive. That would crowd my system drive if I had all that one one drive.

 

Edited by abacab
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On 9/11/2020 at 3:02 AM, lmu2002 said:

...The  new pcie  4.0 offers even faster max read/write speeds (3GB-5GB per second), twice the speed of pcie 3.0. However, the full speed in both cases is available only on the bigger drives (1TB and over). And also, most likely only the first m.2 slot runs at the maximum speed (via cpu instead of chipset) which also favours the idea of just one disc.

To give a perspective regarding  DAW environment, if you have a 5min song with 50 full length audio tracks in 192KHz/24bit, your project is less than 10GB in size. ...

I did an experiment a couple months ago that may be relevant to this discussion:

The tested device was a 500GB Gen4 NVMe drive running the ATTO Benchmark in both a direct-to-CPU PCIe slot, and a switched PCIe slot.  The result was a ~1-percent difference in the throughput.  Link is below:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/showpost.php?p=14878090&postcount=1827

Also, outside of the space requirements for the audio, it's important to keep both the overall speed capability and the user experience in view.   There was a pretty careful test done to compare the sample loading performance of an NVMe drive versus a conventional SATA SSD.  The differences in the loading/usage experience is far smaller than the speed difference between the two technologies.  I'd like to see other tests of this kind, particularly in the context of CbB.  Link is below:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wL8XYGgd_O9fomMrK1EpSnZJeQwhVOAn91e82byj8s4/edit

Lastly, keep in mind that 50 mono tracks at 192kHz needs less than 40MBytes/sec to playback. 

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