Thread: DAW BUILD 2013
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Old 03-07-2014, 11:08 AM   #61
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 9,090

Originally Posted by Tod View Post
So how important are SSDs in the overall picture when it comes to performance in our non live studios?

Now I'm not against SSDs, I'm going to be getting them myself, but I would like to make some knowledgeable choices because money don't grow on trees. However, if it turns out that SSDs make a huge difference in recording and playback performance, I sure wouldn't be afraid to put money in that direction.
Not as much.
I run live sound + make the computer record all the inputs to disc simultaneously. That certainly demands I/O performance! Requires a SSD in fact.

So, that's kind of my benchmark for an example of high performance use (ie. Set yourself up to do this and your system will be able to do anything).

If someone comes along asking how to build a system and get the biggest bang for the buck, I'll point to this. Especially if someone is already talking about wanting to buy server class 8-core i7 machines loaded with ram... All that would sit there idling and absolutely never be utilized unless you built an I/O system to match (ie. use an SSD).

I was just working on a session last night running off one of my archive drives. I had already FLAC'd the wav files. It was only just under 30 tracks and only 48k sample rate but Reaper had to decode and play the FLAC files on the fly and I also had some time compression going on on the fly with a few edits. The archive drive is an older external firewire drive. Reaper had no issues.

Back to the live sound thing. My late 2008 C2D Macbook Pro is my backup machine for live sound. It does the live sound + recording gig with the SSD I installed in it. It's punishing for it with CPU use in the 90% range but it does it.

My conclusion is that if you're on a budget, an older machine upgraded with a SSD will do a lot more for you than an i7 with tons of RAM but only a standard HDD. And if you're only mixing a couple dozen tracks, not doing live sound or performance, and not using one of the newest most CPU hungry VSTi orchestral synth something something maxes anything out something, you can do a lot with a modest budget.

Last edited by serr; 03-07-2014 at 11:17 AM.
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