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Time for a new boot drive? What's the best way?
Old 27th January 2009
  #1
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Time for a new boot drive? What's the best way?

Been running my lovely dual 1.8 G5 for almost 5 years now, with very little trouble.


However, the main drive is only 80 gigs. I'm considering a "pre-emptive" replacement with something perhaps faster. This is the stock drive ATA 7200 that came with the computer. I understand that it's good to keep one's main drive "clean" and with enough "breathing room." It's only got about 14 gigs of free space, and I strive to give it as much space as possible- but am concerned it could use more headroom.

Of course my current configuration is running great, and I really don't feel like re-loading and re-authorizing every piece of software I own (yes I paid for everything I have). So how do I go about transferring everything exactly as it is on the current master to a new one?

I have considered just turning this beast over to the genius bar to have them move the "disc image" to a new drive, then install that new drive as the master, but then figured this is something I should learn anyway.


It seems like good sense to do this anyway since it's a 5 year-old drive that's been in almost continuous use, but is there a way to perhaps gain a bit of speed here? What do you recommend for speed and reliability? Finally, when I select a drive, how big should it be? Is there a point where there is a "too big" for my master/boot drive?
Old 27th January 2009
  #2
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slappymonkey's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by astronmr20 ➑️
Of course my current configuration is running great, and I really don't feel like re-loading and re-authorizing every piece of software I own (yes I paid for everything I have). So how do I go about transferring everything exactly as it is on the current master to a new one?
well im not sure about Macs, but with a PC you can create a backup image of your entire computer (programmes and all) and burn this to disc. Then install Windows onto your new harddrive, and use the backup to move all your programes, etc to your new drive. However i dont know with Macs, but im pretty sure a similar principle would apply.

Quote:
Originally Posted by astronmr20 ➑️
It seems like good sense to do this anyway since it's a 5 year-old drive that's been in almost continuous use, but is there a way to perhaps gain a bit of speed here? What do you recommend for speed and reliability? Finally, when I select a drive, how big should it be? Is there a point where there is a "too big" for my master/boot drive?
If you want to free up some space and speed up your harddrive remove any unwanted application, old documents, etc and run a defrag on the drive.

As for drive size, there isnt a limit on how much is too big for a boot drive, im just running 1 250Gb Drive with everything on atm. However with a large harddrive (say 500Gb), many people prefer to partition the drive and have one partition as a boot and for programmes, and another for documents. This means that if for some reason your boot becomes corrupted all your documents are safe.

But thats just preference rather than advisory.
Hope that helps a little.
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Thanks,

This is very helpful. Looking forward to hearing from Mac folks who have done this as well.

Why is the raptor drive a much faster ATA? Does it have something to do with cache? Higher RPM? (Doesn't WD make the raptor?)
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted User ➑️
Write, read, seek speed and cache are the data to look for when getting a new drive.

Even thought, in general, SSD are getting there, the raptor is still the fastest in the world in the SATA system, which is what most have.

The raptor performs better especially due to its higher RPM of 10k. Most HDs in the market run at 7200 rpm...


I got mine recently but I am just waiting for SSDs to become cheaper, which will happen by the end of this year I think.


Would be great that WD gets into the SSD business btw... they are getting behind, which is not good news for consumers since competition help better prices...


So I'll notice a bit of a "performance bump" if I replace my boot drive with one of these?

I run Logic 8. Audio is streamed off of other drives of course.
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Deleted 86c3d96
Guest
Replacing your main drive on a Mac is very easy. Just put the new drive in a USB case or extra internal bay. Boot from the Mac OS Disk, and use the Disk Utility. Select the new disk on the left, and select the "restore" tab on the right.

You will see a source and destination which is straightforward.

If it is a MacIntel, make sure you erase the drive and create a GUID Partition Table (GPT) before using the restore function.

It is pretty straight forward, and there are lots of tutorials on the net.
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #6
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slappymonkey's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
considdering your current drive is already 7200rpm you wont notice a MASSIVE performance difference just from changing the harddrive.

Some programs will open faster, and boot times will be quicker. But actually application performance will not be that noticable. Hence why i cant really justify spending that much more money on a 10000rpm drive, but perhaps that just me :P

If your moving lots of audio from lots of different drives what you really need is lots of fast RAM rather than a Harddrive. When you import audio into Logic it is saved in the Ram temporarily. The RPM of a harddrive only really makes a big difference when booting an OS, opening/saving large files and moving stuff from one harddrive to another. And alot of that is controlled more by the tranfer rates and cache than just RPM.

Im not saying 10000rpm harddrives arnt good, they are. But they arent a massive improvment considdering the extra cash you have to fork out.
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted User ➑️
What do you call "massive"?

imo, 20-30% improvement is not "massive" but it is indeed substantial.

This guy's hd is 5 years old, so after that time a renewal, and as he call it, "pre-emptive" upgrade is a very good idea.

The topic is HDs, not RAM.
I think you are talking about raw HD performance, and slappy is talking about how much "overall" increases I could expect with this swap in doing every-day things like running Logic...


Correct?
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #8
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slappymonkey's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted User ➑️
What do you call "massive"?

imo, 20-30% improvement is not "massive" but it is indeed substantial.

This guy's hd is 5 years old, so after that time a renewal, and as he call it, "pre-emptive" upgrade is a very good idea.

The topic is HDs, not RAM.
20-30% increase is inaccurate to say the least, especially when it comes to real time computing performance. Theres more to harddrives than just brute RPM speed, calculating the percentage change between the RPM speeds doesnt represent the actual performance differences. But im not going to argue on specifics, this isnt helping astronmr decide.


And yes astronmr your right. On paper a 10000rpm drive could achieve a maxium of a 20-30% boost over a 7200. However in real computing terms, when loading average files (like audio for example), the performance difference is not noticable, a few milli seconds... or about 1-5% performance difference.

My advice when buying any PC component is go with the best you can comfortably afford, its not worth breaking the bank for that tiny bit of extra juice. You wont regret it if you can afford it.
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
So in this case,

Should I also compare some 7200 SATA drives in order to maximize my bang for the buck? What sort of cache should I look for, and other things? Know of a good 7200 RPM drive off-hand that's gonna be a good boot/ software/ OS drive for a film score person?

Do the 10k RPM drives last as long?

It seems if I was streaming HD video in Final cut off of drives other than boot drives, a 10k might make a difference in those other drives if my processor could keep up (I don't use final cut or do video other than in Logic for scoring), but mainly I just want to get something new, speedy, reliable, and with enough headroom to function as the boot. So far it sounds as if the 10k RPM boot drive is not necessarily going to make any real sort of difference, if I understand how things work.

Also, I'd like something quiet...
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
M,

I understand that, but will 7200 or 10,000 RPM's in the boot drive really matter in my daily operations and what I use my computer for. The article doesn't address this specifically. The drive will not be streaming audio. Essentially, would I be shelling out 3x more just to get a 1% difference? I can't imagine that there are throughput bottlenecks happening on the OS drive... or are there?

To put it more simply, I understand why the Raptor is a better, faster drive, but will it make any difference on my OS/ software drive? So far, in talking this out with you guys, I don't see that it will.

I guess maybe someone who understands how OSX makes use the drive where it resides could answer this.

As we proceed past theories, has anyone replaced their main 7200 drive with a 10K RPM drive and noticed any difference in real-world use?
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted User ➑️
I did

Again, it is not massive, but it is real and noticeable.



If instead of talking about HDs you want to talk about overall system performance, then better, faster RAM and processor upgrades are more noticeable.

However, as far as I can tell based on my experience and my reading of others' experiences, it is always a good idea to replace a HD after 5 years.

After all, replacing a HD every 5 years is not like something that will render you homeless. The raptor comes with a 5 year limited warranty btw.

I personally upgrade my computer every 1.5 years so...
Ah gotcha! I missed that. Not looking for benchmarks, but if you do feel that things are "snappier," that's good enough for me. You are on XP I assume.. I am on OSX. Perhaps I'll experience similar results.

Does the warranty have any guarantee for lost data due to an unfortunate physical crash?

And,

Is it "quiet?"

Who are the best folks to buy one from? Probably looking for something around 200-gig.
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Just 2 remarks:

1. Disk speed has an impact on mainly 3 things:
  • the maximum of tracks in a multi track recording
  • the performance of streaming instruments, and
  • the time needed to boot the computer and start programs
I use no streaming instruments (yet?) and my projects are rather small (16 audio tracks max) so I can very well live with a 5400rpm 2.5in disk. Very quiet and cool (in terms of heat production) by the way.

2. If your motherboard is >5y old, check whether it supports SATA.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #13
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
as an FYI, a lot of people have said that the NCQ (native command queuing) technology on Seagate SATA 7200RPM drives makes a very big difference in seek times, especially in audio. According to Seagate, this can actually enhance performance on their typical 7200RPM SATA drive to the point where it is just about on par with a 10k.

I know external Glyph drives use Seagate, but I'm not sure about anyone else. I think most others use WD or Hitachi which don't have that tech. Just a thought.
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