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Leizer

New computer - start up disc size?

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I am in a month or so going to build a new PC and after some reading here (and there) I have understood that fast processor, RAM and fast SSD discs are good to prioritize. Thinking of i7-9700K or i9-9900K, 64GB and at least two SSDs.

What about the size of the boot SSD?The 970 EVO plus 1 TB looks really interesting because I have had a lot of trouble leaving empty space in my current boot disc (256GB SSD). However, I see in many places they now recommend 500GB as boot disc. Are there any benefits of choosing a smaller start-up disc (in terms of loading speed/CbB loading time etc)? I thought of having CbB with project folder on the boot disc, then another disc for samples,  like an 860 EVO 2TB. Maybe also a 7200 rpm HDD for some backups and samples I don't use so often/not so demanding.

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I am similar to you, I had 128gig boot disc on both my laptop (where I download stuff) and my offline DAW. I quickly found I needed to upgrade both to 256gig boot drives and even with that I am just "coping".  Programs can be large and I am an avid video downloader especially from my account with lynda.com. These videos cannot be transferred to a USB disc and must run on a laptop so a bit of build up there. A program like Cubase for example is about 30gig but that is a zip file. So you need 30gig space to download it then you need another 30gig space to extract it and then you need another 30gig to install it so 100gig just to install. You can remove the others once it's installed but you need a lot of free space to initially install it. 

I am also getting back into video and website building and you can get the same problem with those problems. I can cope at the moment but I would agree that for me anyway, the new size for a boot disc on both my laptop and DAW will be 500gig on any new computer I move to or build. I wouldn't go to 1TB though, I don't think that would be necessary as I have more drives on both the laptop and DAW to transfer data to.

I don't know if it makes much difference what size you use in terms of speed of start up because SSD's are like RAM memory in many ways. I still think it is good housekeeping to keep the boot disc as clean and lean as possible. On my laptop which is connected to the internet and involved in many downloads, I do notice windows slowing down over time and I occasionally defrag it even though they say you shouldn't do this with SSD's, I only do it occasionally, 3 time a year. I do notice it speeds windows up after a defrag and cleaning out the junk.

On my offline DAW, I don't notice windows slowing down at all. I still defrag once a year though.

Edited by Tezza
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The only reason that I can think of for boot disc "size" is for imaging the OS, which is the only image I perform. The smaller the image, the faster it can be done/restored. That being said, with NVMe drives, most machines are limited to 2 these days, so maximizing capacity for those is more cost effective. From an image standpoint, that is the only situation I would partition a drive these days. But in doing so, also realize that a physical failure of the drive can lose it all, so backup the data on the secondary as well. Consider the imaging perspective when choosing your OS drive/partition. I image the OS, but use xcopy/robocopy on data drives since it is far quicker.

For an OS that small (mine is 256GB), bear in mind that I also riddle my OS drive with junctions. I let software install to default locations (except VST dlls), then end up moving/junctioning anything that gets larger than 4GB. My OS drive is 256GB, and runs around 130-140GB and images less than 100GB. When keeping an OS that small, you also want to be aware of how to clean the rubbish off of it (temp files, downloads, etc.), especially before each image.

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My system images my system drive every Wednesday and Saturday at 4:00am.  It take a whole 12 minutes onto an external USB3 drive..

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What I have done for many years now, is to use the Location tab, under Properties, of each of my user folders (Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, Videos), off of the boot drive, and onto a standard 7,200 HDD (or for laptops, onto a different SSD than the boot drive).  There is another method of accomplishing this, by creating a Directory Junction for each of those folders, but I prefer using the Location tab).  

It is important to note that while the entire User folder COULD be relocated (not just the folders I list above), but that is something that Windows warns against doing, except in a test environment.  For moving the above folders, using either the Location tab, or creating a series of Directory Junctions, the Windows warning does not apply.

The above folders account for most growth on computers, as expected, so moving those off of the boot drive goes a long way toward stabilizing the amount of space used on the boot drive, as long as you also take care to alter the most paths of content, such as sample libraries, during product installations, so that that product content is moved to some other drive than the boot drive.

So, on MY main desktop computer, the folders that remain are largely static - mainly growing in size when new programs are installed.  The hidden AppData folder and the hidden ProgramData folder can usually be kept from growing when new programs are installed, IF the programs being installed allow for their 'content' to be relocated to some other location, so when installing new programs, pay attention to the installation paths, and for content - simply change from the default boot drive, to somewhere on a different drive.  I have a folder, called VST Content, that lives on one of my other drives, and contains that sort of data.

Do a little research on the two methods I described above, and you can pretty easily have loads of data moved off of the boot drive, onto another larger drive, AND you will fairly well stabilize things on your boot drive, moving forward.

I used to use a 120 GB boot drive - solid-state, and have moved to using a 240 GB drive for my 2nd desktop.  My main desktop happens to use a 500 GB M.2 2280 NVME PCIe drive now, and the laptop uses a 2 TB NVME drive as well (the larger size for the laptop is because it can hold fewer drives than my desktops, so each drive slot is at a premium for space, so each drive on it happens to be 2 TB in size).

For any of the three computers, the boot drives pretty well stay at around their current sizes, and all of the operating system folders on them do fit in far less than 240 GB of size, so take advantage of a 240 GB SSD drive running less than $30 these days, and incorporate either of the two methods of relocating the User folders I list above, and you should be fine for a long long time, perhaps for the lifespan of the computer, as long as you continue to keep new installation content (when possible), altered to point to some other drive.

It is important to note, that some programs just do not allow their content to be relocated, and therefore their content is hard-wired to live in either ProgramData or AppData folders, so some program content you will just leave be, but there aren't too many programs on my systems where that happens, so they don't chew up much space - those programs don't have massive sample libraries.

I hope the above helps some, 

Bob Bone

 

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On 11/2/2019 at 10:36 AM, Leizer said:

..I thought of having CbB with project folder on the boot disc...

SSDs can have a longer life if you can reduce the overall amount of writing to disk. I would therefore keep project files off the system disk.  Project files are ok on a traditional hdd. You won't see any reduction in performance, aside from loading and saving projects being a bit slower.  I have one set of projects on a 128GB Samsung SSD and another set on a 128GB partition within a 2TB WD "black" hdd and I never notice any difference between the two.

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Thanks everyone! Before my current PC, I used to partition the main HDD drive and have a small start up disc, but my last computer had so small start up disc (SSD 256GB) so I didnt partition that. And my secondary drive was (still is) a 5400 rpm HDD which were so slow compared to my main drive so I put almost everything on the SSD from the start. Bad planning and not much money to spend back then. Its almost 8 years old now. Around 4 years ago I bought EWHO and put it on internal 1TB SSD (EVO 850), because the loading times from the 5400 HHD had not been workable.

This time it's different. I have saved more money and have more knowledge of what I need to prioritize in the box.  Everyone of you seems to think that a 1 TB startup SSD is a waste of money,  space  and will make a re-install more complicated and tough.

So, if I get a primary drive (M.2) at 500 GB with no samples, try to keep it clean, I need to have a big sample disc. I have today over 1,5 TB of samples (just EWHO alone is around 700 GB).  My EVO 850 samples disc is starting to get old, so probably have to change that. If I have understood correctly I can only have two M.2s installed totally. So I can put demanding plugins like EWHO on a 1 TB M.2 SSD, and the rest on a 2TB regular SSD (EVO 860 f.e.). Then a 7200 HDD for the rest. What do you think of this? Where do I put the CbB project folder (current folder is now around 20 GB)? Main drive?

 

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1 hour ago, Kev said:

SSDs can have a longer life if you can reduce the overall amount of writing to disk. I would therefore keep project files off the system disk.  Project files are ok on a traditional hdd. You won't see any reduction in performance, aside from loading and saving projects being a bit slower.  I have one set of projects on a 128GB Samsung SSD and another set on a 128GB partition within a 2TB WD "black" hdd and I never notice any difference between the two.

Good to know! How long is the time difference approximately in %? The big wait for me is on orchestra library samples and they will perhaps be a little quicker loading from a M.2 disc, not much else to do about it.

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1 hour ago, Leizer said:

...The big wait for me is on orchestra library samples and they will perhaps be a little quicker loading from a M.2 disc, not much else to do about it.

Multisamples are definitely better on an SSD, and better still an m.2 SSD.  Mine are on a 256GB m.2 drive.  The size that you need will depend on what samples you have.

EDIT
Sorry, I hadn't read your post about your samples.  1½TB is a lot.  I would probably split them and put the important (or most used) sample sets on the faster drive.

Edited by Kev
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I have a Samsung 2 TB M.2 2280 NVME PCIe drive, that holds my Native Instruments Komplete 11 Ultimate Libraries, and a bunch of additional Kontakt sample libraries.

Earlier comments about using SSD drives (and the M.2 NVME drives), to hold mostly 'static' data (loaded onto the drive and read mostly, rather than a bunch writes), is a great way to approach using those drives.

My Samsung NVME drive transmits approximately 7 times faster than a standard SDD, so if you put your sample libraries on one of these NVME drive, you will see blisteringly fast data transfer rates.

I have 2 of the NVME drives in my main desktop - 1 for the boot drive, and then the 2nd one for the most frequently used sample libraries.  I happen to have 4 additional standard SATA III SSDs (each is 2 TB), and 2 additional 2 TB regular 7,200 rpm HDD's, and I put my user folders from Windows (Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Pictures, Music, Videos), and the Cakewalk Content, and Cakewalk Projects on the regular HDD's, and folders that see a lot of reads and writes, (Cakewalk Projects and my user folders) really are best kept on regular 7,200 HDD's.

Your listed drives are fine - but you WILL find benefit from relocating your Windows User folders (in my first thread post above I detail this), and once you relocate those folders and additionally relocate things like program content (samples, mostly), to any drive away from your boot drive, then your boot drive will stay small, and either a 240 GB or 500 GB SSD or NVME drive for the boot drive would work just fine.

Bob Bone

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5 hours ago, Leizer said:

If I have understood correctly I can only have two M.2s installed totally.

This is Motherboard dependent, so be sure to check this information as you build your machine. Typically one of them can be set to higher speeds (X2 or X4) at the expense of SATA III connections on the board (my NVMe X4 drive disables SATA 5/6 connections). I used normal speed for the OS, and the X4 for a larger sample drive.

Otherwise, your intended configuration will work, but make sure the motherboard supports the NVMe drives too. Another thing to check is the form factor and keying for NVMe.M2 drives... one is for their length.... make sure what you want to use will also physically fit onto the motherboard.

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1 hour ago, mettelus said:

This is Motherboard dependent, so be sure to check this information as you build your machine. Typically one of them can be set to higher speeds (X2 or X4) at the expense of SATA III connections on the board...

Mine only allows one single m.2 drive and it uses the combined bandwidth of one PCIe slot plus a pair of SATA slots and rules out using those particular PCIe & SATA slots.  Some motherboards have as many as three m.2 slots, but using them all limits the bandwidth allocated to each.

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I have a Gigabyte X399 Designaire XC motherboard, and it supports 3 NVME drives, and also supports 8 SATA III drives.

Bob Bone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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12 hours ago, Robert Bone said:

By the way @Leizer, LOVE your signature's CbB notation.  Brilliant

Bob Bone

Funny how Cb and B are the same musical note! 😀

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Ive heard that SSD drives wont last as long because of writing to disk but I've owned one for 4 years now and yet to see issue with it. I have a 256GB and probably 70GB are project files. I have them all backed up just incase but so far so good with that theory.

now watch my SSD will die tonight because I said this :D

FWIW, I find leaving the audio files on the SSD drive, they load lightning fast. Totally different animal compared to when a I ran my projects off an HDD. Samples too.

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22 hours ago, Kev said:

Multisamples are definitely better on an SSD, and better still an m.2 SSD.  Mine are on a 256GB m.2 drive.  The size that you need will depend on what samples you have.

EDIT
Sorry, I hadn't read your post about your samples.  1½TB is a lot.  I would probably split them and put the important (or most used) sample sets on the faster drive.

It's a pity 2TB M.2 discs are so expensive, otherwise I would have got one of those. But a slower regular SSD will do perfectly for most of my samples, so as you say it will probably work nicely splitting on two drives with different speed. I actually run Albion One from my 5400 rpm HDD at the moment, and it works just fine. It is running through Kontakt5 that is on the 1TB SSD though, so maybe that helps a little.

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18 hours ago, Robert Bone said:

I have 2 of the NVME drives in my main desktop - 1 for the boot drive, and then the 2nd one for the most frequently used sample libraries.  I happen to have 4 additional standard SATA III SSDs (each is 2 TB), and 2 additional 2 TB regular 7,200 rpm HDD's, and I put my user folders from Windows (Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Pictures, Music, Videos), and the Cakewalk Content, and Cakewalk Projects on the regular HDD's, and folders that see a lot of reads and writes, (Cakewalk Projects and my user folders) really are best kept on regular 7,200 HDD's.

Bob Bone

This is a great idea. I will implement this because Desktop, Downloads and Documents are the most growing and changing folders on my computer. Good to have them off the main drive.

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18 hours ago, Robert Bone said:

By the way @Leizer, LOVE your signature's CbB notation.  Brilliant

Bob Bone

Thanks! I think I have to do a song with those notes. In C flat. ;)

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