Troubles with SSD disc

Yesterday we made a recording session with my band. We were using a behringer x32 console and were using about 20 tracks tracked via USB. After one/two minutes of recording ardour was complaining that data could not be written fast enough to disc.

After that I switched to a normal sata disc and the problem was gone.

I’m not sure if its a specific problem of my hardware but it seems to me that SSD disc are not the best solution for recording.

Best regards Herbie

PS. excuse my bad english.

Check the specs of your SSD disc. Particularly the write speeds, from the very little i know. solid state technology is known for its increadibly quick read speads, however write speeds tend to be slower than there machanical counterparts.

also remember that SSD technology only has a limited amount of write cycles, so they are generaly not the best option where lots of write operations happen.

So the behringer x32 consol works in linux? I’ve seen the x32 a couple of times and its plasticness assuide it has been pretty impressive console.

Yes the x32 works like a charm. The preamps are in my opinion very very good. The console is extremly flexible concerning routing. Under linux it was plug & play (usb). Even the remote App ist available for linux. I think that no other manufacturers at the time can provide a console with this features for that price…

Actually write speeds to SSDs should be much faster then mechanical drives in general, in general a SSD is just plain faster. However depending on the quality of the SSD, you may get symptoms like once you have written enough to the drive to have filled it once(Even if the drive is not full it will write to new blocks every time as part of a wear balancing algorithm in most cases) it can slow down. Better quality SSDs don’t suffer from this slow down much, but worse quality ones will.

However what I suspect may be happening, is you are connecting your SSD and your x32 to the same USB2.0 bus, which is MUCH slower than a SSD drive, and are now having to share the bandwidth of the USB2 bus between both and getting conflicts. Thus is you switched to a SATA disk internally and off the USB bus it would make a difference.

Another difference could be if you were using a thumb drive instead of a full SSD 2.5" drive. Both are technically solid state, but thumb drive and SD card performance in general doesn’t match that of a true 2.5" SSD drive.

And to give a counterexample, I have run SSDs in my laptops for some time now and unlike any other time in my history, can track fairly decent sized sessions (48+ tracks at once) to my internal drive running my OS as a result. The SSD is much better for this than a mechanical drive for a variety of reasons, and I tend to try to ensure I get decent quality SSDs, so I have had very good luck with this.


I agree with Seablade… I’ve been using SATA SSD’s for some time now and have not had any issues… I currently keep a separate drive for recording than OS… but as my /home is on my primary OS drive I have accidentally done a couple of projects on that drive and didn’t notice any performance issues… However I only record 8 channels at a time at the moment … but can be recording 8 while playing back another 16…

I use a SSD for my OS and another to record my sessions to in my studio machine. They’re both Crucial C300-CTFDDAC128M drives, not exactly speed demons these days but I’ve never had an issue with them being too slow while recording.

I’ve got another SSD (same type) in my laptop, which connects via Firewire to my mixer/interface. That has both the OS and recording partition on it. It too is rock solid for me.

Seablade makes an assumption that the SSD is external and that it’s conflicting on the USB bus, which could easily happen if that’s the case, but there’s nothing to indicate how the drive is connected. Mine are both SATA attached.

It’s quite important that you use a file system on the SSD that us SSD-aware, and that you mount it in such a way to optimize its use. See for details on this.

also remember that SSD technology only has a limited amount of write cycles, so they are generaly not the best option where lots of write operations happen.

Maybe that was a problem 10 years ago, but on modern SSDs it’s irrelevant. Remember that on SSDs the information does not have a fixed place, every time you write to an SSD it gets written to a new location, so you have to multiply the writting cycle limit by the amount of cells and the “write amplification factor” which comes from the space that is already in use (the SSD runs an algorithm that levels up the written cycles of the cells by rewritting existing data to less used cells, so in total more data is written than what you actually write, hence “write amplification”).

So maybe it was a problem with a 128MB SSD from 2004, but it’s not even close to being a problem on a 128GB SSD from 2014, regardless of each cell’s endurance. And even 128GB is small for today’s standards, I use a 512GB one (and it’s an 840 Pro, so I’m even less concerned, but a humbler one like the 840 EVO would work equally well for practically any purpose… in fact if the 1TB EVO had been available when I bought my SSD I would have bought that one).