External SSD Optimization/Formatting Tips?

ag75

Senior Member
I recently picked up another external SSD (Samsung SSD T5) and was wondering if I should be formatting it Mac OS Extended (journaled) or APFS? I use MacOS Mojave. Thoughts? Tips on how get better read speeds? My current SSDs are formatted Mac OS Extended (journaled) and I have been averaging read speeds of 410 MS/s.

Thanks
 

Sami

The Undisclosing
it makes zero difference in speed. APFS is essentially just JFS+ with some extras. Use whichever, but Apple is definitively going to be moving over to APFS for everything, so it might make things easier in the long run. The theoretical maximum for SATA 3 is 600 MB/s, so realistically, you're quite close already.
 
OP
ag75

ag75

Senior Member
it makes zero difference in speed. APFS is essentially just JFS+ with some extras. Use whichever, but Apple is definitively going to be moving over to APFS for everything, so it might make things easier in the long run. The theoretical maximum for SATA 3 is 600 MB/s, so realistically, you're quite close already.
Thanks for this. I started using the new drive (for the new Cinematic Studio brass Library) and I forgot to format it first so it was streaming audio with the default exFat format. The disc meter in Kontact was maxing out at 100 percent which I thought was odd. Could it have been because of the default exFat formatting?
 

Sami

The Undisclosing
theoretically, but unlikely. You could try CrystalDiskMark for academic purposes...
 

Ásta Jónsdóttir

Active Member
I have a new Samsung T5 SSD for my sample libraries and would like to know if it is better to format it for exFAT or NTFS?

What should the allocation size be set to when executing the format? (The default appears to be 4096 bytes)

Thank you for any advice here
 

TomislavEP

Active Member
I have a new Samsung T5 SSD for my sample libraries and would like to know if it is better to format it for exFAT or NTFS?

What should the allocation size be set to when executing the format? (The default appears to be 4096 bytes)

Thank you for any advice here
Hello again, Ásta

If you're using Windows only, you could probably stick with NTFS though FAT32 and exFAT are compatible with a wider range of operating systems including their older versions. This is why FAT32 is usually offered as the default option for portable devices. However, you should note that the maximum size for an individual file is 4 GB on FAT32 while there are no such limits on exFAT and NTFS.
 

Ásta Jónsdóttir

Active Member
Hello again, Ásta

If you're using Windows only, you could probably stick with NTFS though FAT32 and exFAT are compatible with a wider range of operating systems including their older versions. This is why FAT32 is usually offered as the default option for portable devices. However, you should note that the maximum size for an individual file is 4 GB on FAT32 while there are no such limits on exFAT and NTFS.
Thank you Tomislav

Yes, I am working on Windows only with Reaper DAW. I know Logic is standard but I started on Reaper a few years ago and am very familiar with the workflow and coming from ProTools, I prefer Reaper's audio editing. The Reaper mixing buss also sounds superior to my ears.

My Samsung T5 SSD only offers exFAT and NTFS so I think I will go with NTFS.

Do you know which "Allocation Size" is best? The size choices for NTFS in the drop down menu go from 512 bytes to 2048 kilobytes with a range of 13 selections in total. 4096 bytes is the default size when choosing NTFS.
 
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TomislavEP

Active Member
Thank you Tomislav

Yes, I am working on Windows only with Reaper DAW. I know Logic is standard but I started on Reaper a few years ago and am very familiar with the workflow and coming from ProTools, I prefer Reaper's audio editing.
Same here! I was a Pro Tools for years before switching to REAPER. I find it superior to Pro Tools in every aspect and I'm now far more productive. :)

Do you know which "Allocation Size" is best? The size choices for NTFS in the drop down menu go from 512 bytes to 2048 kilobytes with a range of 13 selections in total. 4096 bytes is the default size when choosing NTFS.
I think its safest to leave this as it is. If you won't be using your drive on other operating systems you can go with NTFS, though you would probably also be OK with exFAT.
 

Drjay

New Member
I use my T5 to store sample libraries under Windows. Initially the disk was incredibly slow, when I used the stock format (exFAT). After formatting to NTFS it appears to be way faster. But maybe it‘s just my imagination, since disk performance is dependent on quite a lot of parameters.
 

Ásta Jónsdóttir

Active Member
Same here! I was a Pro Tools for years before switching to REAPER. I find it superior to Pro Tools in every aspect and I'm now far more productive. :)

I think its safest to leave this as it is. If you won't be using your drive on other operating systems you can go with NTFS, though you would probably also be OK with exFAT.
Excellent!

I find Reaper very productive as well, once getting past the initial learning. Reaper is very deep and I have gone very deep with it and have many of my own custom macro quick keys set up that really help me to navigate faster when editing. It is very nice to be able to create 15 different viewing levels and jump to them immediately rather than haphazardly wheeling around the zoom level with the mouse wheel. I like the viewing navigation more than ProTools which is already quite simple. The sound quality of Reaper was the main factor that made me switch initially. I was testing it out against other DAWs and found that Reaper and Samplitude were the best sounding ones and then all of the other benefits came to light over time. Reaper grows with me as I learn and develop and I like that.

I will go with NTFS. It seems to be the choice for many.

Thank you again Tomislav
 

Ásta Jónsdóttir

Active Member
I use my T5 to store sample libraries under Windows. Initially the disk was incredibly slow, when I used the stock format (exFAT). After formatting to NTFS it appears to be way faster. But maybe it‘s just my imagination, since disk performance is dependent on quite a lot of parameters.
Thank you for your insight Dr. Jay

Good to know your experience with NTFS vs exFAT and that NTFS appears to be way faster.

When you formatted your T5 for NTFS, what allocation size did you choose?
 

Drjay

New Member
I used the standard block size, which is 4k if I remember correctly. I did not care too much about it. In layman's terms the „optimal“ block size depends on the average file size your are going to use. It‘s a trade off between wasted disk space and seek times. Additionally you could gain a better write performance by switching on ‚write caching‘ (device manager/policies). The drawback is, you have to be more careful when removing this drive.
 

Per Boysen

Member
Interesting thread! I too have the T5 and when I didn't check the format when setting it up (mainly for Windows) which means it is exFAT. But now when I have all my sample libraries stored on the T5 I'm about to copy it to a second, backup, T5. I will format the backup T5 to NTFS and see what feels most productive in use. Thank you for reminding me about this :)
 

TomislavEP

Active Member
Actually, the biggest benefit of NTFS, outside removing file size limits, is the support for security policies and change journals, which is why this is a preferred format for a modern Windows OS. On the other hand, it can also be a good choice for storage volumes, including the portable ones, if you don't need compatibility with operating systems outside Windows.

The allocation size is mostly about preventing wasted space on the drive, but this is probably not that important with the drives used for storage of sample libraries, as it could potentially be on the ones where you frequently remove and add new files. So you can safely leave this on a default value.
 
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Ásta Jónsdóttir

Active Member
Thank you for the education and help Tomislav and Dr. Jay. This generosity is really wonderful and makes me smile. I enjoy learning the reasons for doing things, not just being told to set things one way or another way and trust in it. I appreciate the explanation. I'm not adverse to being very technical but at the same time, I do not design hard drives and file systems for a living. It is good to know the differences in formatting and I have copied down the information and filed it away for next time.
 
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