Music Production - Extrenal Hard Drives - Which is best??

  radders171 13:05 14 Jan 2014


I have a Sony Vaio VGN FW21M laptop with a P8600 (2.4GHz), 4GB RAM, Windows 7 and a 500GB 7200rpm internal hard drive.

If possible i want to avoid for the time being having to buy a new PC (which I will eventually do) for my home studio but I have ran out of internal memory. I want to look at putting all my large sample libraries onto an external drive but I am worried about performance of my laptop and also of the external hard drive and interface to the laptop.

My laptop has an express card slot so i have bought a USB3 2 port adapter from Buffalo (latest model). I understand that this isn't as fast as USB3 connected to the mother board but I hope it's quicker than USB2! (my audio interface ia a USB2 Roland Octa Capture device).

I ave looked at two external drives, both of which look good, but i don't know which is best - especially in my type of use. These are the Buffalo DDR Drivestation and also the Hitachi Touro Desk Pro. The Buffalo gets great reviews (even comparing it to SSD) but I have recently noticed it's only 5400rpm drive speed. The Hitachi is 7200rpm but the cache is much bigger with the Buffalo.

So....for music production, am i going down the right lines? And how do these drives compare performance wise? I don't know exactly how samplers (Kontakt) play native instruments sample libraries (some of which are huge to give the best detail / playability). I know the samples are mostly loaded into RAM and also they are streamed real time when RAM is not big enough??

I 'm not too bothered about loading times for the patches but I don't want glitches / pops when actually playing the instrument.

My laptop is fairly old but numbers wise it still seems fairly relevant - but then I am a novice. If I really do need to ditch it, I'd probably go down that route later in the year.

Thanks for listening and any advice very much appreciated. This is a black art to me and i want to understand it to get the best performance out of my system.


  radders171 15:29 15 Jan 2014

Any takers? :-)

  wee eddie 15:36 15 Jan 2014

Why don't you consider a NAS Drive and use the Ethernet Port, it will probably have wireless facilities as well and that will look after your requirements for the next 10 years or so!

  radders171 17:16 15 Jan 2014

Hmmmmm that hadn't even crossed my mind as a possibility.

Is that doable then and latency wise it will be better than USB3 / Thunderbolt etc and the drive itself will be 7200rpm or above?

I've never heard that mentioned before in terms of music production usage



  martd7 10:34 16 Jan 2014

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  jakelove 13:59 18 Jan 2014

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  radders171 16:07 21 Jan 2014

Thanks for all the very useful replies..

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