How Much Open Room Do You Leave On Your Library SSDs?

ryevick

Member
I'm just curious if there's a consensus amongst the forum for the optimal amount of room/percentage to leave available on your SSD/how much you are able to use without it bogging your work down? It's always tempting to fill it up but I know that's a bad idea.
 

Virtuoso

Socially Distant Member
It's always tempting to fill it up but I know that's a bad idea.
It's only a bad idea if you are repeatedly writing to the drives, due to the way SSDs erase memory cells. It can affect write speed and drive longevity if the disk is close to capacity. (Read this if you want the techy background.)

HOWEVER, if you are using the drives as sample library drives, which are pretty much read-only, go ahead and fill them up. Your read speed won't suffer. :thumbsup:
 
See, this is where I've likely fucked up. I've got my OneDrive synced to my M.2 NVME drive. The M.2 drive itself not only stores all my libraries, but all my projects as well....(yes, this is all backed up on a separate external 10TB drive as well)

Should I reconsider this approach?
 
OP
ryevick

ryevick

Member
I really appreciate all of these responses, they give me a lot to think about. I understand the side saying fill up the library drive because it's read only but also understand that if you're libraries need to install updates (Spitfire) you're going to need room for that. I'm also kind of caught as MarcHedenberg is, where my projects are on my library drive so I need to think about moving them but I don't want to move them to my OS drive, I would guess that's going to mess you up especially when it's time to render. I'm doing a lot of work from my laptop where I have a 1TB M.2 OS drive and a 2TB 2nd internal SSD where my libraries and project files are stored. Hmm... decisions, decisions... it may be time for an external SSD project drive. Very interesting feedback thank you.
 

JohnG

Senior Member
Sample Drives

If the sole purpose of the drive is to store and then play back samples, I think 10% seems like too much for larger drives. If you have a 2TB SSD, keeping 200GB free is more than I would leave free, for example.

If the drive's total capacity is only 128 GB, then maybe 10-15 free makes sense? Maybe 30GB on a larger drive?

I have not seen any "10% free" recommendations in writing from the disk manufacturers and in fact am pretty sure I read years ago from one manufacturer that you can fill SSDs almost to their total capacity.

Even the Samsung tech support phone call, alluded to above, sounds like a rule of thumb rather than scientific fact. However, always happy to be corrected.

Boot or Recording Drives

By contrast with sample storage, if the drive is your boot drive or another drive that is constantly reading and writing, more capacity makes sense. I keep those closer to 50% in case of a big download or something else that hogs a lot of space.

Similarly, you don't want to finish the World's Greatest Burning Guitar Solo and find out your record drive ran out of space halfway through.
 
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Nick Batzdorf

Moderator
Moderator
I have a 1TB SSD with 3GB free. It works fine.

The others have more space, but that's only because I haven't filled it.

And as John says, of course you need to leave room on your system drive. That's different.
 

sostenuto

Big NKS Fan !
My scenario, was having trouble cloning heavily filled (red bar) Samsung C:\ to larger version.
Data Migration, Acronis, Macrium all failed multiple times. Samsung Tech Support suggested a bad 'block' on filled C:\ which would normally be cleared/repaired/moved to unused space. Since little space remained, it was not able to deal with the bad 'block'. I surely do not know this level of SSD detail, but choose to consider Samsung Support suggestion.

Fortunately, with (2) almost identical Win10 Pro PC DAW(s), was able to get back very close to previous functionality by cloning the other DAW :\ to larger SSD and reassigning the full one to lesser functions.

How valid this is for other users is clearly unknown, but lesson learned .... imho.
 
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ryevick

ryevick

Member
My M.2 needs to go on a diet for sure.

I'm not really certain what the largest update would be for a library. BBCSO seems to need a lot. I'm not sure how Spitfire does their updates. Do they download first, then uncompress, then merge, then delete??? I have no idea. BBCSO was just completely restructured. I could do an entirely separate thread on my frustrations with Spitfire's installation app when using 2 computers and it not being able to tell which computer you're using... but I digress.

I have several empty 2 & 4TB external HDDs available. I suppose using one for my project files would be best for now? Not sure.
 
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JohnG

Senior Member
HDDs still work!

Maybe not for the latest giant orchestral libraries or if you’re recording 30 stereo tracks simultaneously at a low buffer, but plenty of older libraries work fine on them.

I use them for large, full-system backups as well
 
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ryevick

ryevick

Member
HDDs still work!

Maybe not for the latest giant orchestral libraries or if you’re recording 30 stereo tracks simultaneously at a low buffer, but plenty of older libraries work fine on them.

I use them for large, full-system backups as well
They work but given the 3 areas you deal with... your OS, storage of sound libraries, and storage of project files... I'm assuming in your going to put your libraries or your projects on a slower drive system that you would want that to be your project files. I know there's writing involved with your project files but that's not really a speed issue, you'd want the loading of libraries on the SSD right? It was a late night and my heads pretty foggy
 

JohnG

Senior Member
They work but given the 3 areas you deal with... your OS, storage of sound libraries, and storage of project files... I'm assuming in your going to put your libraries or your projects on a slower drive system that you would want that to be your project files. I know there's writing involved with your project files but that's not really a speed issue, you'd want the loading of libraries on the SSD right? It was a late night and my heads pretty foggy
My priorities (highest to lowest) for fastest storage:

1. Sample libraries;
2. Record drive -- place where audio gets recorded;
3. Project files (really can be HDDs)
4. Boot drive (C: drive on PC or Macintosh HD on Mac OS)
5. Synths (Omnisphere, for example) -- really can't discern any improvement with SSDs, but possibly there is one.


OS Drive with SSD? Opinions Vary

Some people write that their computer seems "snappier" with an SSD on the OS drive and, for full disclosure, I do have SSDs on nearly every computer now. That said, for me the improvement is either negligible or even imaginary, except for startup from being turned off, which is indeed noticeably faster.

I suspect one's experience of the SSD-OS drive depends on one's style of working. For me, the improvement is small, which may be because of what I write and how. I generally compose larger-scale orchestral or orchestral hybrid pieces for media and work with a template that I load at the beginning of the day and don't mess with too much. Accordingly, once I spend the time to customise the template for a new picture or show or game, I am not starting each track from scratch and, therefore, don't typically load lots of new software all day from the OS drive.

So, if you work the way I do, HDD is ok for boot.

Others, who seem to be more songwriters (guitar bass vocals drums in other words) seem to be the ones who laud the benefits of an SSD for the boot drive.