[ardour-users] DAW recommendations

Lars Tobias Børsting lars.tobias.borsting at ntnu.no
Wed Mar 8 15:01:07 PST 2006

"Brett Clark" <Brett at ciscoinc.com> writes:

> Even though i have not hit any bottleneck on the ATA133 HDD, i would
> still go with a SATA-2 drive for my next machine (possibly even
> striped if i had the extra cash).

The type of interface between the harddrive and the chipset is not the
bottleneck - it's the speed of the physical hard drive that's
important. ATA133 is fast enough for any of todays consumer 7200 RPM
hard drives.

The speed the platters spin with and the areal density of the platters
are the important factors. Todays standard is at 7200 RPM for consumer
disks. The higher the areal density the more information the heads can
read or write for one round. In the real world, this usually means that
the disks that can store the most data have the highest areal density,
and hence is the fastest (a 500 GB drive outperforms a 250 GB
drive). Another factor is the number of platters in the drive. This
usually varies from one in laptop disks up to four in desktop disks and
more in fast server disks.

As an example, in one of my computers I have two disks that spin at 7200
RPM, one has a SATA interface and the other has a PATA interface. Which
one is the fastest?  This will be the one with the highest areal
density. In my case my PATA drive outperforms my SATA drive with about
10 MB/s. This demonstrates that the interface is not the bottleneck.

If you want really fast disks, go with large 15000 RPM SCSI disks, but
they are expensive. A cheaper alternative is the newish 150 GB 10000 RPM
Raptor disks from WD or a 7200 RPM with 500 GB. Striping is also an
efficient way of increasing your read/write bandwith, which increases
linearly for each member in the stripe array.


Lars Tobias

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