Hard Drives -

 The Importance of

Hard Drive Performance



It's important to have quality hard drives in your computer. I say drives because a single HD rarely will do.





When building a computer optimized for performance, and especially when you're going to record audio, speed is just as important as the amount of storage space.



You could buy a 250 GB drive, but even if you partition it down to several parts it wouldn't perform as good as several smaller hard drives.




Because no matter how many partitions all disk operations happen to the same physical hard drive, and the computer can't read from several places on the same physical disk at once.


Why is hard drive performance so important when recording audio?


Because high quality uncompressed audio files quickly take up a lot of space, and if your HD can't keep up, you'll experience pops and clicks in the recordings or other kinds of quality setbacks.


The optimal hard disks for recording are SCSI Hard drives. SCSI stands for Small Computers System Interface and is used for relieving the CPU of certain parts in your computer, in this case the hard drive.


This means the SCSI drives rely on a SCSI controller (a PCI card in your computer) instead of the CPU. With this you're increasing performance to your hard drive and freeing up CPU resources for other important tasks.


The bottom line: SCSI drives are highly recommended for high quality audio recording, although this technology is rather expensive. But if you're dedicated to building a recording studio capable of producing high quality music, I say this is the way to go.


I'm on a budget and can't afford this, then what?


One or several "regular" IDE Hard Drives will do for most home recording studios. But there's a few things to keep in mind:


  • Physical drive speed should be at least 7200 RPM or more

  • The hard drive should have cache memory (new hard drives usually come with  8 or 16 MB of cache memory).

  • It should support Direct Media Access (most new hard drives do).

  • Do not buy one 240 GB hard drive, get two 120 GB drives instead (or three 80 GB drives), this way you'll add flexibility and increase performance.




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