Hard Disk Specifications For Music Production And Recording

Having faster performing storage is the key to getting better performance. You can have the fastest system in the world, but if the CPU cannot simply read the data from the Hard disk fast enough, all the performance is wasted.

In this article, learn about Hard Disk and Storage memory requirement for music production.

Recommended Hard Disk/SSD Memory Size For Music Production

Storage Minimum Storage For Music Production
Recommended Storage For Music Production
Pro Storage For Music Production
 Storage 1 128 GB Solid State Drive(SSD) 512 GB M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive 1 TB M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive
Storage 2 Not Applicable 1 TB HDD 7200RPM Or 1 TB SSD 2 TB HDD 7200RPM Or 2 TB SSD
External Storage 500Gb External Hard disk USB3.0 or above 500Gb External Hard disk USB3.0 or above 2 x 2 TB External Hard disk USB3.1 or above

Important Storage Drives Specifications For Music Productions

Specifications of Storage Drives to look for in Music Production computers are:-

  1. Read/Write Speed: — You need to use storage with a faster read-write speed for music production. The higher, the better. M.2 SSD is the fastest, SATA HDD is slow. A lot of the newer NVMe M.2 SSDs have super-high sustained read/write speeds to and from the drive. So, although they are more expensive, you are paying for pure performance. Even if you are on a budget, spending on an NVMe M.2 SSD will make your machine perform a lot better. When getting the second storage, make sure you get an HDD with 7200RPM.
  2. Age: — All storage drives have a certain age. All SSD and HDD tend to get slower with use. Installing new storage to the old build will make a noticeable difference in performance.

Why Dual Hard Disk For Music Production

The general rule of thumb for music production computers and laptops is that you want a dedicated drive to store the files you are editing, and then the main storage drive once you are done with them. This reduces the latency.

With multiple drives in one system, you can also quickly and easily back up data from one drive to the other, creating multiple copies of vital files in case of hardware failure or user error.

This is why all example builds in the computer specifications for music production article comes with two drives as standard. A smaller-capacity (faster, more expensive) NVMe SSD or SATA SSD and a larger-capacity (slower, cheaper) SATA HDD or SATA SSD.

If you wish to take it a step further, you can get even more elaborate by having one drive for your operating system and key programs, one for project files in use, and a third as a short-term cache drive.

M.2 NVMe vs SSD vs HDD For Music Production

Storage has evolved quite a bit over the years. With continuous evolving technology, you get faster storage with smaller form factors. M.2 NVMe are the best suited for music production needs as they are fast, and more reliable followed by SATA SSD and SATA HDD. Here is a comparison of different storage formats for music production.

 Storage Type Read Write Speed Operation Average Life Cost
Hard Disk — 5400 RPM 50-120 MB/s Mechanical 3-5 Years Lowest
Hard Disk — 7200RPM 80-160 MB/s Mechanical 3-5 Years Low but Higher Than 5400 RPM
Solid State Drive 200 MB/s to 600 MB/s Non-Mechanical Up To 500 TBW Moderate
M.2 NVMe SSD Up to 4000 Mb/s Non-Mechanical Up To 1200 TBW
Expensive

 If you wish to learn more about hard disk, I recommend you go over this the white paper by V Kasavajhala DELL Technologies.

5400 RPM vs 7200 RPM HDD For Music Production

Although nowadays, you can find hard drives spinning up to 15000 RPM, the most popular drives for desktops and laptops are between 5400 and 7200 RPM. RPM is rotations per minute. The higher the RPM of a mechanical hard disk, the faster it is.

For Music production, hard disk with at least 7200 RPM is recommended. 7200 RPM hard drives are without a doubt faster than 5400 RPM drives, 5400 RPM drives offer an average of 100 MB/s read and write speeds while 7200 RPM drives deliver an average of 120 MB/s read and writes speeds.

7200 RPM drive is around 20 percent faster than a 5400 RPM drive. This will make your music production workflow smoother and productive.

External Hard Disk For Music Production

Using external hard disks is also common among Music Producers. External Hard Disks can be used to store audio files. External Hard drives enable you to easily carry your audio files/samples with you to different studios and gigs.

If you have laptops(like MacBook Air etc.) which come with integrated hard disk and no upgrade, external hard disk are an affordable and reliable way to expand the storage.

Best Hard Disk For Music Production

Here are some of the best hard disk, SSD and M.2 NVMe SSD for Music Production

Best M.2 NVMe SSD for Music Production

Samsung 980 PRO PCIe NVMe Gen4 Internal Gaming SSD M.2 is the Best M.2 NVMe SSD for Music Production

Best SSD for Music Production

Crucial MX500 3D NAND SATA 2.5 Inch Internal SSD, up to 560 MB/s is the Best SSD for Music Production

Best HDD for Music Production

Seagate Iron Wolf 7200 RPM is the Best HDD for Music Production is the Best HDD for Music Production

Best External Hard Disk for Music Production

Fantom Drives 7200RPM External Hard Drive — USB 3.2 is the best external hard disk for music production

I hope this article helped you. If you have any comments, please share below.

If you wish to learn about specifications of computer and laptop for Music Production and Audio Engineering, checkout this article.

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Udeeksh Sood on

Udeeksh is an Audio Engineer and Co-Founder of learnmusicproduction.in. He loves to produce music, research music gear, play guitar, go on treks and road trips.