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harry26

Internal vs external drive in terms of sound quality

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has any one measured or observed the effects of a internal vs external drive say for new mac mini 2012 as a music storage plus playback.

iam thinking of adding a internal drive.but iam not sure how much of a sound quality degradation or compromise is this in terms of sound quality.would this add more noise inside or is this still a acceptable.

iam sure internal drive will be more faster as well.

 

would appreciate comments and help in this regard.

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It seems to be conventional wisdom that an SSD drive is quieter and faster than a spinning drive, but many, including myself still merely use that as the system disc and rely on an external spinning disk to hold the music. In my case I swapped out the original spinning disc. I cannot confirm the benefits, if any, of the method. Also it is recommended, if for example using the USB output of the Mac Mini to feed the dac, that firewire be used to connect to the external drive, and vice versa. Helps to avoid conflicts.

 

I know I haven't really answered your question, but if you are really new to this it might be some help.

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how about internal vs external SSD then?

or internal ssd /fusion drive vs external thunderbolt ssd or spinning drives?

iam trying to understand whether the sound degradation is too much or subtle?

especially with in memory playback being so common.

atleast internal drives wont have an additional fan noise coming from drives like lacie.

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It's easy to buy an external 3.5" 1 or 2 TB drive in an enclosure without a fan. The heat output from something like a WD Red is low enough that passive cooling suffices. I bought a Mini and removed the internal drive and substituted a SSD. Then I attached a 3.5" WD in a powered external drive.

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what about a second internal drive to mac mini which is done by vendors like macsales.is that too much of a compromise.does the external drive sound better than a internal drive?

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what about a second internal drive to mac mini which is done by vendors like macsales.is that too much of a compromise.does the external drive sound better than a internal drive?

 

Metralla and myself have followed the recommended method. In my case I am using a 4 TB WD (Western Digital) Mybook. This is configured in Raid1 so that the capacity is divided 2TB to each of the two discs in the enclosure and they mirror each other. If one fails just drop in a replacement and automatic transfer of all files to the new drive takes place. However, my music is also on my Mac Pro, which I use for ripping and downloading as a further security. Noise from the drive is not an issue as there is no fan required and the drives make very little noise. In addition they are within a glass doored hifi unit.

 

Spinning drives are considered to be emitters of electromagnetic noise, and if contained within the Mac Mini are a potential cause of degradation of sound. I think you may find it difficult to find a forum member who has actually done comparison audio tests. These would be problematic in that there would be quite a delay from initial listening to installation and listening again. On the other hand somebody who had a system for some time and was used to it's sound might be able to offer offer an opinion if they subsequently did the conversion.

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thanks liam for a detailed reply.agreed that spinning drives would cause EM noise. but how about a second internal SSD which can be put into a mac mini. . would that solve the problem?

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yes in my case i guess i can manage with 980gb owc ssd sold at macsales.com.

the main advantage the wholte setup remains compact in my living room shelf.

in this case do you think putting a internal SSD is also a compromise?

 

would it not be better than fan noisy external drive.??

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Harry26.

 

Two thoughts, if you can afford it, I cannot think of any downside to having all your music on an internal SSD. Low energy consumption, low noise, fast response.

 

 

Second, to echo the comment of others. Not all external drives are noisy, nor do all require a fan.

 

Finances permitting I too would go the all SSD approach.

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thanks. bplexico. can you name a few external thunderbolt drives which are not noisy..

 

on an another note.also mac mini can be stuffed with 2 SSD.it it fine to to share the OS and music just in case i run ou of storage.it it abosultely necessary NOT to use OS disk for music.or i thought may be with a SSD we can get away with this.

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Yes if need be you could have your iTunes library on two different disks, either the boot drive and/or the second drive.. You would need to manage where you place the files but that is easy.

 

Refresh my memory on why you need a Thunderbolt drive? I would just use a FireWire or USB 3.0 external drive, you will find many external drive enclosures support both, performance will more than meet your needs to serve up your music files.

 

Barr

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i dont want to use the USB for anything but the DAC.

 

firewire storage i dont know much about it.can you recommend any quiet high performing firewire storage please.

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i dont want to use the USB for anything but the DAC.

 

firewire storage i dont know much about it.can you recommend any quiet high performing firewire storage please.

 

I have a Western Digital MyBook Studio in my main system, and another in my office desktop system that I sit perhaps 3 feet away from. I can't hear any acoustic noise from either one. The 3TB model is selling for less than $200. I use an Audioquest Forest firewire cable (perhaps $30) to connect the one in my main system. (I had to connect the one in my desktop system via USB because of some recognition issues on bootup with Windows 7 and an Asus Rampage III Formula motherboard. No such issues in my main system with the MacBook Pro.)

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yes in my case i guess i can manage with 980gb owc ssd sold at macsales.com.

the main advantage the wholte setup remains compact in my living room shelf.

That would be lovely. You could have a small 60GB or 120GB SSD for the OS and that big ~1TB SSD for your audio files. I can't imagine the price of that SSD. How much?

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That would be lovely. You could have a small 60GB or 120GB SSD for the OS and that big ~1TB SSD for your audio files. I can't imagine the price of that SSD. How much?

 

 

I've seen them online for $2500 to $3000 depending on the company. One day, like everything else SSD's will drop in price as the market gets flooded.

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Also I just saw this today, however I have no experience with the manufacturer,

 

LaCie - LaCie d2 USB 3 Thunderbolt Series

 

Lacie external drives, now have Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 ports. 3TB for $299.85.

 

I too only have experience with the Western Digital External drives which have worked great for me. Though I would say if you are within 3 feet of the enclosure you may or may not hear anything, but you certainly wouldn't any farther away and not at all with music playing. In fact I use one in my system today. But the 980gb OWC SSD drive sounds like a winner.

 

Barr

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excellent find bplexico.ths lacie fanless TB storage looks very promising.

 

btw the western digital .do you use a thunderbolt or firewire or usb?

do you use the green or black drives?

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My WD has only a USB connection, however my DAC is hooked up via Firewire. They do make ones with Firewire connections as well. Min comes with a green drive, which for the purposes of music works fine, and should in theory be quieter (though lower in performance) of a black drive.

 

Also the other drive I use from time to time is an enclosure I got from OWC, you can place any 2.5 or 3.5 drive in it, it's kind of like a toaster. It has Firewire, USB 3.0 and eSata ports. Energy saving switch so you dont have to power it off.

 

Voyager by NewerTech - Hard Drive Dock for 3.5" and 2.5" SATA Devices provides high-performance and flexibility

 

Barr

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Min comes with a green drive, which for the purposes of music works fine, and should in theory be quieter (though lower in performance) of a black drive.

The "Red" series are quieter. But I cannot hear my Green series.

 

I don't like multipurpose devices that much. So an enclosure that's like a Swiss army knife doesn't attract me as much as a device that is dedicated to the purpose.

 

(PS. I hope Lacie drives have improved. They gave us all sorts of overheating problems 5 years ago on a commerical project I worked on. I would not buy one, although many users are happy with them.)

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Good points Geoff. I have not had a red drive in my possession and as you noted, the green more than suffices. As to the Voyager, it is more of a convenience thing if you need to move a hard drive among multiple devices for a period of time. But it does work great and the only noise one would hear is from the drive itself (as it is noted enclosed). And of course if a drive dies in a WD Mybook not sure how easy it would be to swap in a new drive. But then again they are at commodity pricing these days.

 

Barr

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That's comparatively a very high price for just less than 1TB for an SSD. You could buy a lot of stuff for the difference by going for spinning external storage and get higher capacity. My discs are green WD's in a Mybook enclosure. One small issue with my system, and others have experienced it to is that you will need to manually switch on the Mybook before the Mac Mini as otherwise the Mac Mini will have looked for the music library before the external drives are available and iTunes will default to it's default library location.

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