OS Drives

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dawman
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OS Drives

Post by dawman » Wed May 06, 2015 5:03 pm

I am really trying to learn more about maximizing space and resources in my 1Us.

I know having an OS on a zippy drive is wise, but since they dump so much data into RAM is it really necessary to have s upper fast SSD for an OS or just a regular SATA III.

I have 2 x M.2 slots on a new ASRock Z97 I am buying, (absolutely worship these for DAWs) and since my PCI-e Ribbon extender for the XITE-1 needs to be folded over the top of the Slots, this usually can bury them.
That means little or no airflow if both slots occupy M.2 SSDs.
I would really like to get a super fast NVMe Samsung this summer for samples, and just keep the same SSD (SATA III) for OS duties.

Would love an OS expert to explain to me how the OS uses RAM and an SSD and why or why not speed matters.

ANkyu

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tlaskows
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Re: OS Drives

Post by tlaskows » Thu May 07, 2015 8:00 am

I looked up m.2 since I knew nothing about it and it looks like for drives it's just the same as SATA 6. I took comp sci, so I should know my stuff, but it's been a long time :(

How much RAM do you have? The more the better, especially for Windows 7. You wanna avoid swapping. I don't think recording audio requires a very fast hard drive.

The only way you can go faster than SATA is if you use a PCI-e flash drive. But that won't fit in a 1U unit...

-Tom

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garyb
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Re: OS Drives

Post by garyb » Thu May 07, 2015 9:48 am

for recording audio, a very fast drive means more tracks. a fast c drive just means faster boots and searches. the c drive shouldn't be used as a recording drive and it's probably a bad idea to use an SSD for a recording drive. a regular SSD or magnetic HD is more than sufficient for a c drive.

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Re: OS Drives

Post by dawman » Thu May 07, 2015 10:08 am

So in other words when there's x amount of GBs for the OS in RAM, it is pretty much stored there and has no need to return to the storage device to get data...?

This is what I am hoping as these M.2s and PCI-e 4x NVMe storage devices.
2.2GBps sequential reads, writes are of no concern, but the Random IOps (samples being streamed) also 2-3 times faster than SATA III specs.

ANkyu

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garyb
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Re: OS Drives

Post by garyb » Thu May 07, 2015 10:16 am

sure, for streaming samples, the faster drives mean more possible voices.

not the entire program is kept in memory once opened, so the c drive still does do some reads depending on circumstances, but the c drive is rarely a bottleneck, especially with an SSD.

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Bud Weiser
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Re: OS Drives

Post by Bud Weiser » Thu May 07, 2015 10:30 am

garyb wrote:sure, for streaming samples, the faster drives mean more possible voices.

not the entire program is kept in memory once opened, so the c drive still does do some reads depending on circumstances, but the c drive is rarely a bottleneck, especially with an SSD.
Isn´t it, most files the OS looks for frequently once it´s up and running are stored in the page file anyway, which is a partition you better have on a separate drive or as the 1st partition on the 2nd, 3rd or whatever drive ?

I´m still using SATA II magnetical 3.5" drives for system and have small swap partitions on every other drive, but not on the system drive.
It´s all fast enough to do audio/MIDI work or play in realtime w/ XITE-1 and VST/VSTi.
In another machine I have a SATA II WD Raptor 150GB which is even faster.

Already in the Pentium 4 times w/ IDE drives I learned, once the system is up, the system drive twirls thumbs, so I always used it for other data too and in audio world that were "non-streaming" samples ready to load, PDF manuals or such.
Never had a problem ...

:)

Bud

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garyb
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Re: OS Drives

Post by garyb » Thu May 07, 2015 11:13 am

yeah, but even the page file isn't a big deal.

drives have been more or less "fast enough" for 10-15 years or so.

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tlaskows
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Re: OS Drives

Post by tlaskows » Thu May 07, 2015 11:17 am

Yep yep, never had trouble with recording and Scope around 10 years ago and back then computers were pretty slow comparatively. I think I used to sequence all my synths, then hit record or something like that. I really don't remember lol.

-Tom

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Re: OS Drives

Post by dawman » Thu May 07, 2015 3:02 pm

Excellent.
I already have an M.2 for OS+APPs on the previous DAWg.
I actually thought 8.1 was wickedly fast because of the M.2.
But I notice no difference with these more recent MX 100s I picked up.

Always wanted RAID 0 as when this occurs the random IOps is twice as fast, it seems to know no SATA III limitations, sequential data transfers do however confirm to the SATA III "bottleneck" which really isn't a bottleneck unless you play back massive sampled instruments (MIDI Tracks) while recording massive sampled instruments.

I am getting the NVMe / PCI 3.0 / PCI-e 4x Samsung PM951.
It basically is as fast as 3 x RAID 0 SATA III SSDs at peak bandwidth.

I can wrap my PCI-e 1x XITE-1 Ribbon Extender away from the M.2 Ultra slot.
Just want to make sure I am doing the right thing as I always listen to Supermicro guys about airflow + design and they say they do not guarantee air would reach one, much less two.

Also plan on gluing in an aluminum fin to steal air from the insect killing life sucking fans that are louder than a Hoover Vacuum Cleaner I have front mounted.

Might not an ideal recording solution but temps are really low and fan noise can be heard over the mics according to the FOH.

Good.

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Re: OS Drives

Post by jksuperstar » Thu May 07, 2015 3:43 pm

I have an M.2 (SamsungXP941) in my DAw (PCIe x4, not SATA), and its damn fast as NVMe. But, on my mobo (also ASUS z97) it only boots to 64bit OS. I wanted a x86 OS, so its not used for boot anyway.

For a small setup, WD makes a Black2 drive, which has both 1TB disk, plus 128GB SSD in a 7mm form factor. There's some oddity in driver use, but it should scream fast enough, especially in Win8.1.

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ronnie
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Re: OS Drives

Post by ronnie » Thu May 07, 2015 6:01 pm

I have seen no difference in real-time audio recording or playback (makes sense). Boot times are definitely faster as are program loads, VST and sample loads (like Kontakt) when they live on the SSD drives but once everything is loaded and settled in I don't see any difference.

I suppose if you're going to freeze audio in your native DAW it would be a faster bounce time but I haven't done that cause I'm mainly using the SSD's for the OS, Programs and VSTs.

I would say that the OS, programs, samples and VSTs load about 20 to 30% faster on the SSDs than on the straight SATA drives - noticeable but not stunning IMHO. The smaller SSDs do save space tho'.

I have found that maxing out the RAM pretty much evens the playing field between the two while doing actual work, much more so in native stuff than SCOPE. Also I find that CPU power is to native DAWs what DSPs are to SCOPE. It's like SCOPE doesn't really care as long as your above around 2Ghz.

I don't think disk drives are like analog tape where 15 or 30 IPS actually sounded "better" than 7.5. I have always used 7200 RPM drives I guess just because but now I don't really see where it would actually make a difference in playback or recording. (Correct me if I'm wrong).
"I’ve come to the conclusion that synths are like potatoes, they’re no good raw—you’ve got to cook ‘em, and I cooked these sounds for months before I got them to the point where they sounded musical to me." Lyle Mays

dawman
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Re: OS Drives

Post by dawman » Fri May 08, 2015 11:03 am

Agreed on everything mentioned above.
But I notice more polyphony, more instruments which you can actually witness once you get above 750 MBps.
My Plextor M6e M.2 is PCI-e 2x (PCI 2.0) and 775 MBps.
Using PLAY on that improved amount of patches loaded as well as mic positions total.
But once you get over that speed and 110k Random IOps the difference is not very noticeable to me.
My old Raptors using AS-SSD were getting 89 MBps and fine for Gigastudio.
But Kontakt and PLAY are incredibly more advanced and resource hungry.
Shittier code if you ask me as the sound I got using Gigastudio had a much better low end and polyphony/streaming was great as I could hold the sustain pedal and do glissandos all day.
No way even today with fast ass M.2 SSDs can I do that on Kontakt or PLAY.
PianoTeq is a different story though as the PhyMods those guys do are really great.
Low CPU and high polyphony are worth money in my book...

I'll post back this summer with the results from the NVMe M2 SSD.
Who knows, it might set new real time records, those are the ones that count.

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garyb
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Re: OS Drives

Post by garyb » Fri May 08, 2015 11:21 am

yes, a faster drive should mean more voices and/or playback-recording tracks.

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ronnie
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Re: OS Drives

Post by ronnie » Fri May 08, 2015 1:43 pm

Yeah, Kontakt uses "DFD" which is prolly why I use 7200 RPM drives starting back when. I seem to recall that the speed of the drive def made a difference in sample smoothness and polyphony. Now with the SSDs I wouldn't be able to tell.
"I’ve come to the conclusion that synths are like potatoes, they’re no good raw—you’ve got to cook ‘em, and I cooked these sounds for months before I got them to the point where they sounded musical to me." Lyle Mays

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dante
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Re: OS Drives

Post by dante » Fri May 08, 2015 3:19 pm

You can talk all you like about individual components, but unless they are engineered to work together there will be bottlenecks.

Why not hock yer ass at Vegas for a few years then just drop 70 large for the ultimate 1U DAW machine :

https://www.oracle.com/servers/x86/x5-2 ... isons.html

8)

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Bud Weiser
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Re: OS Drives

Post by Bud Weiser » Fri May 08, 2015 5:26 pm

garyb wrote:yes, a faster drive should mean more voices and/or playback-recording tracks.
I doubt you get more voices from a DSP device by using a faster drive.
In CPU/DSP world, more voices come from more CPU cycles, more lanes between CPU and RAM and more cache.
"Cache matters" is the rule and it doesn´t matter if there is a sample player in the ballpark or a virtual synth you want more polyphony for.

B.t.w. same rules for CPU cores!
Example:
When you have 2.4GHz quad core processor, you get LESS voices from a single core for VSTi and compared to a dual core w/ 3.4 GHz CPU.
It´s because the single VSTi is been calculated by the 1st core when loaded and that keeps the same for more VST/VSTi until that core is at it´s limits,- in fact it depends on the host´s management.
Only multiple instances and MP ready standalone VIs (applications) benefit from more (and hopefully fastest) cores.

But, w/ a sampler/sampleplayer, the faster drive helps streaming more samples faster, this required by more voices,- when available,- and especially for MIDI multimode VSTis, like NI Kontakt.

Bud

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Re: OS Drives

Post by dawman » Thu Apr 14, 2016 4:25 pm

My latest Supermicro C7Z97 OCE with Windows 7 x64 is so much better than H170/Z170 builds I bought a 2nd spare.
Now I have the older ASRock Z97.
Spare 1 C7Z97 OCE with i7 4790k
Spare 2 C7Z97 OCE with i7 5775C.

M.2s for OS+Apps
32gbs DDR3
Dual SATA III SSDs

Interesting that the i7 5775C running stock @ 3.3ghz runs 20 degrees cooler than the i7 4790k and has equal performance tk its 4.4ghz OC.

Now I know my XITE1 wont need new drivers and these PCs will rarely be used until my first PC starts dieing.

Be warned.
After Skylake CPUs Intel will no longer allow Windows support for thier CPUs before Windows 10.
So if you like your Scope gear.
Extend its life buying parts now.
Z170 and H170 with Windows 10 DOES NOT WORK WITH ASIO/SCOPE.
Spent an extra 1500 bucks to figure this out.

But sure have a fast internet PC now.

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garyb
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Re: OS Drives

Post by garyb » Thu Apr 14, 2016 5:34 pm

i haven't had complaints from anyone about those other than you, but in any case, a driver update may be imminent.
i don't want anyone holding their breath or anything....

dawman
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Re: OS Drives

Post by dawman » Sat Apr 16, 2016 6:13 am

Could it be the chipsets?
2 boards in a row using 100 series chipsets.
?

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garyb
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Re: OS Drives

Post by garyb » Sat Apr 16, 2016 10:17 am

sure, it could be.

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