View Full Version : Options for a HDD for my audio work

7th July 2010, 06:07 PM
Hey guys. I'm currently weighing up my options for a HDD for my new MacBook Pro 15" i7. As i received it through my university, i was unable to configure the specifications of it and so i'm left with a 500GB 5400RPM Internal HDD which can't seem to handle my Logic Pro sessions with large track counts. In my previous laptop, i found the stock internal 250GB 7200RPM to perform more reliably than my WD MyBook Studio FW800 for recording, so i just used the internal for all audio work (despite everyone saying i shouldn't). It wasn't rock-solid, but it was usable. Ideally, i want an improvement in the reliability stakes.

So here i am, needing something to store and work on all my audio sessions. Here are my options:

- I can replace the internal with a 500GB 7200RPM (Next Byte will provide and install for $449 or $249 depending on whether i want G Force protection... could do with some guidance as to how necessary this feature is, but i think it's pretty important!).

- I could try and source the Seagate Momentus 500GB 7200RPM with or without GForce from somewhere else to try and save money, and install it myself, though i think that will void my Applecare. I rang them and they said it would void it, but i've read in many places that it wouldn't and it's common practice to go DIY.

- I could leave the internal HDD as is, and use an external HDD for audio work (something from Glyph, most likely in the PortaGig range. SSD would be awesome, but probably too expensive).

I'm not convinced by that last option, as i only have 2 USB ports, and 1 Firewire 800, and will usually need to have at least an audio interface and an iLok dongle connected at all times, as well as other occasional peripherals hogging bandwidth.

This is really just me thinking out loud so apologies if i'm rambling incoherently, but if anyone has any advice, recommendations, or wisdom to share with me, i would love to hear it!

Thanks guys.

7th July 2010, 07:23 PM
My opinion having recorded a lot of records on my laptop

1. Upgrade to the 7200 internal regardless - you'll love it. Do it yourself if you can handle a screwdriver - its easy-peasy. And doesn't void your warranty. Avoid g-force stuff - slows things down. Get a standard Seagate and go. Any PC supplier can sell you one. Cheap. And put your existing internal in a case for extra storage.

2. Use an external drive if you're doing a lot of multi-track recording. Mixing is fine on the internal - you can up the latency - but for recording, you really need a separate recording drive. ALWAYS a firewire drive. You can daisy chain audio device and hard drive - leave the drive at the end of the chain.

I've always used IceCube enclosures, but they're getting close to end of life being IDE based - I'm still hunting for a good SATA version. Any suggestions dudes?

My 2c from 10 years of experience.

7th July 2010, 07:32 PM
If you feel like it, rip out your optical drive and install another a second hdd!

8th July 2010, 11:34 AM
Thanks for the advice Jusrus, really helpful to hear someone speaking from experience.

That sounds like the way to go then, i'll source a standard Seagate 500GB 7200RPM internal and make the switch myself. Out of curiosity, do you think it would be worth the extra money for the Seagate Momentus XT hybrid SSD HDD? Might take some of the strain off the HDD, and isn't ridiculously priced...

I'll replace the internal as soon as possible, but i won't be buying an external for a few weeks at least (don't have any imminent major tracking sessions). Do you have any experience with Glyph drives? I've heard a lot of good things about them.

8th July 2010, 04:03 PM
Don't go Seagate for the replacement internal. Get a Hitachi 7K series, much more reliable, and actually a shave faster throughput.

8th July 2010, 09:05 PM
Hey Brains - just personal preference or got a linky for me to read? I've had nothing but issues with Hitachis when they've come built in to Macs, but I'm ready to be convinced. Don't suppose you had an external HD/case (for sata drives) recommendation?

9th July 2010, 01:09 PM
Clockworks excellent article with comments and additional info from others.
It's all there with recommendations for enclosures, drives , interfaces etc
+1 here for Hitachis too after lots of input from friends who manage large servers.