External hard drive

I’m going to buy an external hard drive in the near future. Maybe 4 TB or bigger. Does it have to be a fast SSD or do music programs work even slower? For example Hollywood Orchesta, Native, BIAB?

Hi @Hulkko,
If you want to put your samples on external SSD, it is always better using a fast one. I have my samples, Spitfire, EastWest, Heavyocity etc. on Samsung T7 because, yes, the fast ones are necessary for this purpose. And if you want the maximum speed, you’ll need to use a dedicated USB-C port in your computer. Fortunately, T7 comes with USB-C to USB-C cable.

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Thank you for the information. I was actually just looking at Samsung’s SSD 2TB hard drive. I could fit at least Opus stuff in that too.

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HDD will be fine as long as it’s 7200 rpm.

This is perfect for samples. I have a few of these. ALWAYS put samples on an SSD. Especially Opus and Kontakt based.


here is the specs of my 2 SSDs, just to help you forming an opinion

I don’t use sample-based tools so much, so I don’t need more space/power now :grin:

Internal 1 TB as-ssd-bench SSD interno.xml (906 Bytes)

External, 1 TB, Samsung T5 portable used for backups only
as-ssd-bench Samsung Portable SSD T5.xml (923 Bytes)

I used the AS SSD Benchmark tool to have specs

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Samsung SSDs are well respected and used in the composer/sample world.


I have my 4 TB Western Digital external HDD as backup device, but, anyways, the speed is not critical for backups. My SDD is only for samples and all VSTs.

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Thanks to you and others for the info. I am buying a Samsung 2TB. At first I can manage with one, because my MacBook Pro has a 1TB hard drive. I will probably buy another similar one later.

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That’s a good size if you are thinking of and Orchestral libraries. A few of those can be quite big. Good choice!

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you are right, but I decided to go for a SSD because I am a sborone

where “sborone” means a person who tries by all means to show off by boasting skills or qualities that are mostly non-existent
:grinning: :rofl: :joy:

Note that any SSD above 512GB is essentially over the top excess, you ought to involve Hard Disks for capacity and SSDs as a temporary drive. Additionally having 4TB of SSD amounts to nothing except if your PC is sufficiently strong to have the option to appropriately use it. This is the sort of PC you should legitimize a 4TB SSD.

Oh, you are Ozzy Osborone! :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

It’s OK, my friend. We all have our reasons why we buy one or another…
And I feel so privileged having you as s friend. Your humor is contagious.

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You really need a SSD for most of the big sample libraries these days. Kontakt and most of the other players that developed by the sample library developers only loud some of the samples into RAM and then the stream the rest as needed from the drive. So with the amount of data they are trying to pull from the drive in real time, an SSD makes a real difference. I also highly recommend an SSD for your boot and OS drive, just because who wants to wait for that slow as crap to boot, even from a fast SATA drive.

Everything else can be stored on a standard spinning drive, preferably 7200 RPM or better if you’re dealing with a lot of tracks of recorded/playback audio. Back ups can be even slower drives if you want to just have fewer really large drives for back up and archives.

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I like it so much, that I think I’ll use it as nickname ha ha ha

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now, joking aside, SSD are always useful to speed up ANY data transfer, regardless the musical, photo/video, or other kind of data

For example, antivirus checks are faster, searches are faster, etc.

The only remaining issue is the SSD bottlenecks

And a more technical article

And a very interesting article about PC optimization by Pro tools devs

And here a guidance for Ableton Live

And I think more guidelines are offered by the various DAW devs

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Great articles, Claudio. This is absolutely true. The time of mechanical drive is reaching its end when speaking about performances and SSD become the less and less expensive. Anyways, the only reason why I do use the HDDs is, weill, because I already owned them. Hehe
I remember i was wondering, more than 20 years ago, why in a world of computers that was dominated by purely electronic components, there were still mechanical ones, hard discs. and floppies. Fortunately, it changed.

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External disk drives (spinning disks) are not durable. They are meant to put your data on them and then store them on a shelf. You cannot use them for stuff you access a lot or for writing/reading daily sequential data or gaming. They will quit within months.

People say, I will get an external drive take it out of its case and put it in my PC because it is cheaper than the internals. It is cheaper because it is not “heavy duty”. Nearly all of the external drives are not heavy duty. I got that information straight from the factory after my external drive I was running internal quit. Get an internal drive and run it external if you want to use the drive hard.

I concur with your cautions generally, but I assume that you are saying that some / most external drives (i.e. the combination of a housing with a drive in it) contain cheaper and less reliable drives. Whether an external drive per se is reliable of not depends on the internal device.

I’m sitting near an external drive with Western Digital Black server drives in which have a 5 year guarantee. I think this is what your last line is saying e.g. using QNAP or similar housings with robust internals.

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Got an 8TB Seagate external drive installed in my pc. It has hosted a lot of my Kontakt libraries without a hitch for 6 years up to now, albeit slightly slower than my SSDs. I’d rather throw money at decent RAM than large capacity SSDs.