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Q: is FW800 fast enough for streaming huge VSTi sound libs ?
Old 20th December 2010
  #1
Q: is FW800 fast enough for streaming huge VSTi sound libs ?

recently i got a macbook pro, to take on live gigs. however, since its much faster than my old home PC DAW, and can do bootcamp thing w Win7, i started speculating if i could also use it at home, for my Nuendo system, with vsti orchestras pianos ethnic etc.. and retire the old p4 3.2...

unfortunately, its a late ver MBP with FW800 being the only high speed interface on board. it has no xpress card slot to fit an eSATA controller or something. my sound libs are on NTFS disks i'd like to put in external FW800 case and access from win7/nuendo system.

is this protocol fast enough ? what is your experience w external disks?

typically i'd run 3 or 4 full kontakts w my PC and fast internal sata2 disks..



there's also raid 0 stripped FW800 cases, if that would help.. alternatively, id just have to make do with internal 500Gb, and another 500Gb instead of superdrive. which isnt enough for what i had in mind..



i'm pretty new to mac's, and the "laptop DAWs" in general..


thanks

PS i asked on music computers subforum, but got zero answers..
Old 20th December 2010
  #2
Shy
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Unless you're gonna be running a really huge amount of samples simultaneously, all streamed from the hdd constantly and without any memory management that samplers offer, avaraging over 70mb per second (something like 250 voices at 48kHz 24bit), then sure, the interface but more importantly a specific hdd with good performance can handle it. My experience with FW800 on macbook pro: stable and flawless performance.

I recommend you get something like a LaCie Little Big Quadra, since it's 1tb and has excellent performance. Worth the cost. Do some testing and figure out the maximum mb/s you'll be using. The eSATA connection can give about twice the bandwidth of the FW800 (despite the maximum 3 times as much of interfaces).
Old 20th December 2010
  #3
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Xero's Avatar
yeah it's a shame apple ditched the express card slot on the latest generation, if you wanted to use an audio interface, you might have to possibly share the firewire port.

I don't suppose they have any usb3.0 on those latest macbooks, otherwise i'd say use usb3.0 for the hard drives, and firewire for the audio....
Old 21st December 2010
  #4
thanks guys... that is good to hear. so i've been thinking of getting another WD Black 1Tb 64mb cache disk, as i have one already, pair them up and dropem in this external fw800 raid box:

OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro RAID Ready eSATA/F... (MEPQ936AL2) at OWC


what do you think?




PS can you recommend what would be the best replacement for the macbook pro's internal 2.5" hard disk?

seems the maximum that MBP will accept at 2.5" @ 7200rpm, is 500Gb. there is only one single disk on the market that exceeds this limit. the Seagate Momentum with 750Gb. but i heard bad things about it being noisy and vibrating etc.

good things however about his succesor, the 500Gb Momentum XT (a ssd and hard disk hybrid)..


any recommendations ?


in the world of 3.5" HDD everything is nice and dandy, but with 2.5" i came to realize options are much more limited..
Old 21st December 2010
  #5
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roginator's Avatar
 

.. I told you !! heh ...
Old 21st December 2010
  #6
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Xero's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by clusterchord View Post
PS can you recommend what would be the best replacement for the macbook pro's internal 2.5" hard disk?

seems the maximum that MBP will accept at 2.5" @ 7200rpm, is 500Gb. there is only one single disk on the market that exceeds this limit. the Seagate Momentum with 750Gb. but i heard bad things about it being noisy and vibrating etc.

good things however about his succesor, the 500Gb Momentum XT (a ssd and hard disk hybrid)..


any recommendations ?


in the world of 3.5" HDD everything is nice and dandy, but with 2.5" i came to realize options are much more limited..
i dunno i'm all about SSDs now for laptops, but you will pay for it. i generally would take seagate over WD any day.
Old 21st December 2010
  #7
yes i was thinking of SSD, i dont mind paying for that kind of stability and speed.. i wanted to put in something like Vertex Mac Edition 160Gb.


however, Snow Leopard doesn't support TRIM function (like latest SSDs do), and performance of SSD without it, when written/read many many times, decreases rapidly. ive seen some disturbing testing results, where it fell to HD speeds and less. if you have a newer, recent SSD with trim support , and your OS, like win7 , does support trim, then everything is okay. no degradation of performance.

all we can hope that Apple get the support for this in their new OS update soon.


disclaimer: this is all from reading tons of stuff online on SSDs, tests etc.. on Mac forums and beyond.. i havent had any experience with this personally.
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