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External SSD for Garritan Full
#2893378 09/23/19 11:57 AM
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Smart guys on the DP forum: I know Garritan CFX will perform better if I install it in an external SSD connected to my Mac. The Mac, I just realized used an HHD. What is the minimum size that I should buy and do you have any recommendations? Is there a speed or other requirements I need to consider?

This is on sale today only. Is this a good fit?

https://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-500G...254571&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&sr=8-3

Last edited by TomLC; 09/23/19 12:05 PM.

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Re: External SSD for Garritan Full
TomLC #2893382 09/23/19 12:08 PM
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For the purpose of getting better speed than an HDD any SSD will do.
Samsung tends to have faster speeds ... which you might want. Or not. But also the highest price.
Kingston, San Disk, Western Digital ... all make less expensive units.

For virtual instruments any of these will suit.

I have an internal 512 GB M.2 SSD. That's for the OS and all the pianos including the Garritan CFX.

But there wasn't enough storage for the "full" CFX, so I installed only the "small" version. If not for all the other stuff on that drive the full would fit.

Since in your use case you will not load up that external SSD with OS and apps ... then 512 GB should do well enough.

Re: External SSD for Garritan Full
TomLC #2893384 09/23/19 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by TomLC
Smart guys on the DP forum: I know Garritan CFX will perform better if I install it in an external SSD connected to my Mac. The Mac, I just realized used an HHD. What is the minimum size that I should buy and do you have any recommendations? Is there a speed or other requirements I need to consider?

This is on sale today only. Is this a good fit?

https://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-500G...254571&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&sr=8-3

I have one of these for my MacBook Pro that is reasonably fast.

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Re: External SSD for Garritan Full
TomLC #2893386 09/23/19 12:12 PM
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Mac, The main thing is I get pops and crackles using Garritan. So I thought this would be dedicated and not be interrupted with email notices and such. Thanks

So actually, 250GB would be enough then?

Last edited by TomLC; 09/23/19 12:18 PM. Reason: Size

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Re: External SSD for Garritan Full
TomLC #2893396 09/23/19 12:30 PM
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never mind. the difference in price is not worth the smaller size. I'll buy this one today and get the deal. I can use it for the Time Machine function on the Mac. So when I get it, I just uninstall Garritan and then reinstall to the new drive. I can run it from there without installing anything else?


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Re: External SSD for Garritan Full
TomLC #2893407 09/23/19 01:01 PM
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I hesitate to answer any specific questions about the Mac because I've not used a Mac in over twenty years.
In general, though, the SSD runs circles around an HDD.
If that SSD has a USB 3 interface, make sure you plug it into a USB 3 port on the Mac (if it has one).

Re: External SSD for Garritan Full
TomLC #2893421 09/23/19 01:29 PM
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Have you checked if you can replace the HDD in your Mac with an SSD? Not sure about this, an internal SSD will probably be faster than an external one. At least that's the case for PCs.

Like MacMacMac, I've never owned a Mac (that's a lot of Macs) but I once helped a guy install an SSD in his Macbook.

After we ran into some problems unscrewing the hard disk out of the Macbook, we contacted the Apple agency in our city.

They installed an SSD on the machine for free, even though it was quite old. I don't know how the rules for this are in the United States.

Last edited by TheodorN; 09/23/19 01:34 PM.

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Re: External SSD for Garritan Full
TomLC #2893422 09/23/19 01:33 PM
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This one runs up to 1050 MBs. It's an overkill, but I couldn't pass up the half price one day deal on Amazon.
And it connects to USB3 and to USB-c.


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Re: External SSD for Garritan Full
TomLC #2893423 09/23/19 01:39 PM
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Theo, thanks for the reply. No, the Mac runs fast enough. It's not even a year old. I had to replace the one I got in 2009 as it froze up. The guy at Apple support was really nice as he proceeded to kill it completely. I lost everything that was in it. So this is a good solution to run only VST's and Time machine backup to the external drive.


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Re: External SSD for Garritan Full
TomLC #2893427 09/23/19 01:49 PM
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Yeah, in that case, this is probably the best way. I see that the Amazon SSD utilizes the NVMe technology to get the faster speeds.

In a footnote they say 1050 MB/s based on internal testing. Techradar gets roughly 500 MB/s speeds out of it, but that's still more than enough for piano VSTs, I believe.

Last edited by TheodorN; 09/23/19 01:50 PM.

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Re: External SSD for Garritan Full
TomLC #2893570 09/24/19 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by TomLC
Mac, The main thing is I get pops and crackles using Garritan. So I thought this would be dedicated and not be interrupted with email notices and such.

I doubt you get pops and clicks due to an HDD.
The root cause to this is deeper in the system, the main difference to the HDD will be the shorter startup time.

What you need to do is analyze what is running on your system, shut down what isn't needed and optimize Garritans settings (mainly playing with the latency). Also set garritan to the same sample rate as your sound output (better yet: adjust the sound output to garritans sample rate). With VSTi you absolutely want to avoid on the fly resampling.

BTW: the discussion about SSD speeds / NVMe is misplaced.
1) No piano VST uses the bandwith of even standard SATA-600.
2) You are limited by the USB interface

During startup, Garritan caps out at a measly 80MB/s on my system (1TB Samssung 850 evo IIRC).
Hammering the keyboard with the held down mouse button and activated sustain, I can't get over 40MB/s and that is with way more keypresses than any pianist could ever do.

Last edited by Granyala; 09/24/19 12:07 AM.

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Re: External SSD for Garritan Full
Granyala #2893583 09/24/19 02:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Granyala

During startup, Garritan caps out at a measly 80MB/s on my system (1TB Samssung 850 evo IIRC).
Hammering the keyboard with the held down mouse button and activated sustain, I can't get over 40MB/s and that is with way more keypresses than any pianist could ever do.


Tom, if I were you, should choose 1TB Samsung SSD at one time, like Granyala laugh
Even if you have enough now, but think about the future.
When my two SSDs filled up with VSTs, I regretted that I hadn't chosen 1TB but 500GB for my second SSD at the beginning.
I have to open the desktop case and change SSDs for different sound libraries by unplugging frequently frown
Three VSL pianos are already over 500, not to mention other sources Garritan, Bechstein DG etc.


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Re: External SSD for Garritan Full
robinlb #2893618 09/24/19 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by robinlb
Tom, if I were you, should choose 1TB Samsung SSD at one time, like Granyala laugh
Even if you have enough now, but think about the future.
When my two SSDs filled up with VSTs, I regretted that I hadn't chosen 1TB but 500GB for my second SSD at the beginning.
I have to open the desktop case and change SSDs for different sound libraries by unplugging frequently frown
Three VSL pianos are already over 500, not to mention other sources Garritan, Bechstein DG etc.

I'm having my DAW workstation built with 3 TB of NVME SSD specifically for this reason.


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across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: External SSD for Garritan Full
Tyrone Slothrop #2893622 09/24/19 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
I'm having my DAW workstation built with 3 TB of NVME SSD specifically for this reason.

Oo

Guess you fart money like Unicorns fart rainbows. laugh


The backbone of modern industrial society is, and for the foreseeable future will be, the use of electrical Power.
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Re: External SSD for Garritan Full
Granyala #2893623 09/24/19 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Granyala
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
I'm having my DAW workstation built with 3 TB of NVME SSD specifically for this reason.
Oo

Guess you fart money like Unicorns fart rainbows. laugh

I've never had any student loans. (Well, that's not completely true - my daughter took student loans, and guess who is now responsible cry )


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across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: External SSD for Garritan Full
TomLC #2893636 09/24/19 09:26 AM
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Guys, Maybe I misunderstood the need for a SSD to run large VST’s. My purpose for using a VST is to get a less intrusive (softer or more distant) sound using headphones. Would it make more sense to use a dedicated laptop with a HHDrive, instead of a separate SSD? Although I prefer not to have a lot of electronics sitting on my piano.


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Re: External SSD for Garritan Full
TomLC #2893638 09/24/19 09:43 AM
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Hi Tom, I don't think your playing purpose defines what kind of drive you should get. The reason to have a decent fast machine, enough RAM and an SSD is to maximize the headroom you have to run your VST at the lowest possibly latency and fewest audio errors (pops, clicks, missed notes).

Garritan CFX Full is one of the more demanding VSTs out there for computer resources, and the transfer speed from the drive to RAM is one of the bottlenecks that can be addressed to maximize its performance. A fast external SSD should greatly outperform a disk-based HHD in seek and transfer times, and is probably a good choice (but until you try it, you won't know whether your existing HDD is good enough, it may well be, especially if you have a lot of RAM dedicated to CFX).

Whether the SSD adds to much bulk and extra cables to your setup is something only you can decide.


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Re: External SSD for Garritan Full
TomLC #2893641 09/24/19 09:57 AM
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Currently, I have a Mac with 8GB. And 1TB storage. I am currently using less than 300MB with CFX. I don't have it dedicated if you mean a partition. I’m now thinking of getting a separate cheap laptop or if it will work a chrome book, and use it. No internet connected.

What do you think? Will it work? 2 to 4Gb?


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Re: External SSD for Garritan Full
TomLC #2893644 09/24/19 10:11 AM
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I'd say you should just try your existing setup with CFX and see how it runs! If it stutters and pops (usually while you play lots of big, fast chords with pedaling) you can look to a RAM and/or SSD upgrade.

CFX won't run on a Chromebook unfortunately.

I ran CFX just fine with 512MB ram but my MacBook Pro has a built in SSD. 2-4GB RAM allocates should be fine (I think I use 4GB now). I also disabled WiFi and BT cause it's a dedicated offline Garritan machine smile

I'm happy to share my CFX settings if it'll help.


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Re: External SSD for Garritan Full
TomLC #2893660 09/24/19 11:18 AM
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I kind of like the idea of having a dedicated laptop that I can set behind the music desk and leave running. Not connected to wifi or bluetooth. So no notifications of email or that sort of thing. Just Garritan. Maybe another in the future as I like a good Steinway sound. How about this little Laptop. It has: 64GB solid state drive (SSD)

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/acer-t...sh-storage-black/6355804.p?skuId=6355804


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