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Topic: 8megs or 16megs? Which is better for sampling?

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  1. #1

    8megs or 16megs? Which is better for sampling?

    Hehe...I bet that got your attention!!!

    I'm talking about the hard drive buffer cache size, I'm upgrading drives and I have noticed that although most drives feature an 8 meg buffer cache, some have 16 megs. Does this have any impact on how well the drive will stream samples or is this a non-issue for us?

    If anyone has any info on the imprevements that a higher cache provides please let me know.

    Thanks!
    >>Kays
    http://www.musicbykays.com
    Music Composition for Feature Films, Television and Interactive Entertainment

  2. #2
    Senior Member newmewzikboy's Avatar
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    Re: 8megs or 16megs? Which is better for sampling?

    Obviously, the cache is primarily used as a place to buffer material from the hard drive, so it doesnt need to seek and find the same material again in a near setting. This could be divided amongst many different files on your hard drive if you have multiple handles opened.

    To say 8mb is better than 16mb would depend on the application and memory management, how you are using the files, the number of files etc.

    Another thing to visualize is in audio playback. If you have two stereo files sharing the buffer, trying to move data from buffer to memory or soundcard, the hard disk can effectively service both more efficiently with 16mb than with 8mb, as it would have to work twice as fast to fill both at the same time with 8mb - less chance for contention. It still has to service both, but it has more time to do it with 16mb...

    Personally, when looking for an external HD for my laptop, I went with the 16mb multi interface FW400, 800, USB 2.0 version of the Maxtor Touch II, mainly because it was the most advanced product they had. And the 16mb option seemed to follow that reasoning, as they increased it over previous products by 8mb.

    I would say go with the latest offerings as you will probably pick up added benefits that are of a higher priority as well as the 16mb buffer

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: 8megs or 16megs? Which is better for sampling?

    I have not yet purchased a 16 mb buffered drive, but I plan to do so on the very next drive purchase.

    It will actually be interesting to see where the watershed point lies. There's no question that video and straightforward audio streaming benefit from the larger cache. Whether the seek-happy activity of a sampler architecture benefits may be different--there may be a breakpoint where one is actually flushing away more unneeded data than not.

    I think I would concur that on face value, one would want to buy the latest drives just to take advantage of all the other constant incremental improvements in design.

  4. #4
    Senior Member newmewzikboy's Avatar
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    Re: 8megs or 16megs? Which is better for sampling?

    I agree with B, and thought I mentioned. Samples may need more refreshing for longer streaming notes, so buffering aint gonna do a lot of good, as you will be swapping like crazy over and over again. Maybe for short repeated notes that use the same sample file, and can be caught in the buffer, but for larger instrument loads s with lots of disk streaming, 16mb won't add up to much...

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