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Topic: Samsung hard drives and USB 2.0 vs Firewire

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  1. #1

    Samsung hard drives and USB 2.0 vs Firewire

    I'm about to add two external 200 GB hard drives to host sample libraries, and the local place I shop for computer parts only have Samsung hard drives at the moment (they're out of Western Digital and Maxtor). Anyone can vouche for the performance of Samsung drives? Also, the whole USB 2.0 vs Firewire thing has been hotly debated, but I have yet to see a definitive answer as to which one is better for sample hosting/streaming. Any new development on that?

  2. #2

    Re: Samsung hard drives and USB 2.0 vs Firewire

    The general consensus seems to be (in order of best performance first)

    Internal IDE/SATA
    Firewire 800
    Firewire 400
    USB 2

    Internal hard drives always provide the best performance. Firewire 800 is probably the best external option, but is only really an option if you have a Mac.

    Out of USB 2 and Firewire 400 I would go with Firewire. It is a bit like SCSI - it uses a controller chip to take some strain off the CPU. For this reason it seems to perform better than USB 2 which requires CPU time to work. Even so you will not get the same performance that an internal IDE drive would provide, but as long as your arrangements are not overly complex it should work.

    Wayne

  3. #3

    Re: Samsung hard drives and USB 2.0 vs Firewire

    I agree unless you are using a Firewire soundcard (slightly more complicated than this, but as a general rule); then I would put the USB second or third in the list.

    D

  4. #4

    Re: Samsung hard drives and USB 2.0 vs Firewire

    I haven't bought it yet , but LaCie is making a Firewire 800 card for PC that has 3 firewire ports .....Jim

  5. #5

    Re: Samsung hard drives and USB 2.0 vs Firewire

    The thing is, my computer already came with a bunch of USB2 ports, but it has no firewire--I'd have to buy firewire PCI card.

    I know you guys said firewire is superior, but is USB2 "bad" for running two 200 GB hard drives of samples? Will I get sound drop outs, CPU overload..etc? If it'll do the job just fine, then I could just use the USB2 ports readily available on my machine.

  6. #6

    Re: Samsung hard drives and USB 2.0 vs Firewire

    To say that USB 2 is "bad" for sample streaming is a blanket statement. But so is to say that you won't have any problems. The bottom line is that the performance you get is probably going to depend on the complexity of your arrangements. You may not get any dropouts - or you may get a lot depending on how complex your music is. Unfortunately, the only way to find out where that point lies is to try it.

    Wayne

  7. #7

    Re: Samsung hard drives and USB 2.0 vs Firewire

    USB 2 and firewire 400 are about the same speed, but firewire has the added advantage of sustained speed, where usb can sometimes slow down or hiccup.

    That said, I stream samples from a USB hard drive and have no problems whatsoever. But that's me.

    Don't waste money on buying a USB or firewire external drive. Just buy a standard drive (I have two 200 giggers) and put them in a $25 external drive kit. You'll save quite a bit that way.
    --
    Robert Gregory Browne
    KISS HER GOODBYE (now available)
    KILLER YEAR: Stories to Die For (Jan. 2008)
    WHISPER IN THE DARK (2008)
    St. Martin's Press
    http://www.robertgregorybrowne.com

  8. #8

    Re: Samsung hard drives and USB 2.0 vs Firewire

    Quote Originally Posted by wayne_rowley
    ToThe bottom line is that the performance you get is probably going to depend on the complexity of your arrangements.
    I compose a very wide range of styles, so the music will be as complex or as simple as the imagination allows--which means there will be times when I'll do a big piece with lots of instruments.

    Quote Originally Posted by robgb
    USB 2 and firewire 400 are about the same speed, but firewire has the added advantage of sustained speed, where usb can sometimes slow down or hiccup.

    That said, I stream samples from a USB hard drive and have no problems whatsoever. But that's me.

    Don't waste money on buying a USB or firewire external drive. Just buy a standard drive (I have two 200 giggers) and put them in a $25 external drive kit. You'll save quite a bit that way.
    Yep, I plan on getting bare-bone kits that contain a power cord and a USB connector--with no casing. I don't see the point of having a casing if the drives are just going to sit there on my desk (behind my LCD monitor so there won't be any chance of anything bumping into them)--I only need to blow the dust off of them once a while.

    How many more people out there stream samples off of their USB2 external drives without problems? I'd love to hear from your experiences. And no one has any experience with Samsung drives?

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