DAW hard drive partitioning to maximize performance

Author
imotic
Bronze Member
  • Total Posts : 74
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 2004/01/05 07:03:28
  • Status: offline
2006/11/17 03:49:09 (permalink)

DAW hard drive partitioning to maximize performance

This might be over optimizing, but it's now just getting to the point where I'm curious to know what the best solution would be.

First off, my setup- I'm running Sonar 6 Producer on WinXP64 with two processors. I have two physical hard drives, with a third slower drive kicking around that I don't have connected to anything. I was thinking I'd optimize things a little bit and keep the page file on its own partition on the second drive, while Sonar is on the first drive. But I also want to keep all of the audio files on a separate drive from Sonar for efficiency.

I know that partitioning a drive helps keep fragmentation down (makes it faster), but it makes the drive head have to skip from partition to partition if it's accessing two files from different partitions on the same drive simultaneously (makes it slower), which is why the fastest approach is to be accessing two files from completely different drives simultaneously.

The question is, how should I partition my drives to maximize performance? Should I have the paging partition and the audio file partition be on one drive, while sonar is on another drive? or is that worse than just having the paging file or the audio stuff on the same hard drive as sonar? would it actually be worth it to install that third hard drive and have everything on a separate drive? (i hope not.)

this is more of an academic question by now, i'm sure it really doesn't matter THAT much- but if i've come this far, i don't want to spend all this time to only make things worse. Thanks guys!
#1

3 Replies Related Threads

    krizrox
    Gold Member
    • Total Posts : 4048
    • Reward points : 0
    • Joined: 2003/11/23 09:49:33
    • Location: Elgin, IL
    • Status: offline
    RE: DAW hard drive partitioning to maximize performance 2006/11/17 09:38:58 (permalink)
    We were just discussing a similar topic in the techniques section (dual boot winxp). You are welcome to join in on that thread too if you like. I'm interested in this topic too right now as I am going through a HD setup.

    Larry Kriz
    www.LnLRecording.com
    www.myspace.com/lnlrecording

    Sonar PE 8.5, Samplitude Pro 11, Sonic Core Scope Professional/XTC, A16 Ultra AD/DA, Intel DG965RY MOBO, Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 2.4GHz processor, XFX GeForce 7300 GT PCIe video card, Barracuda 750 & 320GB SATA drives, 4GB DDR Ram, Plextor DVD/CD-R burner.
    #2
    mwd
    Silver Member
    • Total Posts : 627
    • Reward points : 0
    • Joined: 2006/05/18 22:05:07
    • Status: offline
    RE: DAW hard drive partitioning to maximize performance 2006/11/20 09:08:25 (permalink)
    You are correct in realizing that Hard Drive optimizing can give one of the biggest kick in the pants performance boost to be had.

    However I know of no performance gain that can be achieved by partitioning. Also, possibly, you may become a slave to your partitions and it may actually degrade your performance.

    The pros to partitioning a hard drive are it will give you a smaller section to work with for defragmenting and backup.

    The con? You really want the whole drive defragmented and backed up so you gain nothing in the long run. You also can organize things more efficiently when a section of your drive has another drive letter. Your drive paths stay shorter and you have a definitive location for organization.

    The con? You can do the same thing using folders.

    If you want performance consider this strategy.

    1. (3) lightning fast drives (example: WD Raptors 10K RPM, 16mb cache)
    2. OS on drive C:, Applications on drive D:, Data on Drive E:
    3. Turn off the page file on C: and split it between D/E. Keep within MS guideline of 1.5 to 2 times your total memory.
    4. If you got more money than sense you could put in a 4th drive just for the pagefile.

    Isolating nothing but data (created music) on Drive E makes for an easy backup strategy as well.
    #3
    Carl Jensen
    Silver Member
    • Total Posts : 622
    • Reward points : 0
    • Joined: 2003/11/05 19:58:38
    • Location: Indianapolis
    • Status: offline
    RE: DAW hard drive partitioning to maximize performance 2006/11/20 14:00:42 (permalink)

    ORIGINAL: mwd

    However I know of no performance gain that can be achieved by partitioning. Also, possibly, you may become a slave to your partitions and it may actually degrade your performance.


    With drives as fast as they are now I don't really worry about this one anymore, however...

    A couple of years ago, I read an article by Ethan Winer that recommended partitioning a drive and using the first partition for audio, the idea being that the first partition stores the data on the outer portion of the cylinders which will yield better performance. At the time my 160GB audio drive was divided into three partitions, so I ran the Sandra disk benchmarking utility which consistently returned 50 MB/s on the first partition (60GB), and only 34 MB/s on the third partition (40GB).

    Carl Jensen
    #4
    Jump to:
    © 2014 APG vNext Commercial Version 4.6