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EXT drive for library: What Quality Required?

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Hi - This is my first post to this forum. I’ve just installed Logic Pro X on a new Mac Mini (M1). And I’m wondering if putting the library on an affordable usb flash drive will bang up performance. How demanding is the library? Do I need to buy something fast and expensive to get good performance?


To be clear, I intend to put the library on an external drive. And want to know how to do this most affordably with the least degradation of performance. Thanks.

Edited by pasternak
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I just saw you've edited your original question and I now understand it better.


You could put your library on an inexpensive HDD however your performance will suffer. Not so much the performance during playback or mixdown, but every time you connect your hard drive, or if the drive goes to sleep, you'll have to wait for it to wake up etc. which can get annoying if you're using Logic Pro all the time.


Have you considered using the external drive for some of the other things that you currently are keeping on your internal, so that you can keep the library on the internal?

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Just a quick performance note - internal M1 SSD speed - MacBook Air 1TB - Black Magic Disk Speed Test - 1GB files


Write - 3,647 MB/sec (that's 3.6 GBytes/sec - almost a DVD in 1 second)

Read 1,815


External USB3 SSD - Write 300 MBytes/second, Read 287 MBytes/sec


The external drive is fine for almost all things, but the internal SSD is an order of magnitude faster.


There is nothing you can add to an M1 Mac externally that will improve performance over the internal SSD performance.

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Thanks, Facej. I’m doing a poor job of asking my question. I don’t expect to beat the internal drive with anything plugged into a port. I’m actually headed the opposite direction - meaning, I don’t want to buy a more efficient EXT drive than I need because fast drives are both larger than I need (more than 128gb) and expensive. Let’s say I want to stream HD video instead of logic library data. I might might automatically feel compelled to buy 180 Mbps based on the false notion that faster is always better. But you might stop me and tell me to save my money because all I need to effectively stream HD video is 5Mbps. This is where I’m going here. I’m wondering if good library performance really requires a fast and subsequently expensive external drive. I’m going to put the library on a usb flash card and check for myself. I don’t expect to break anything trying. :)
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OK - any SATA drive (6gbps) connected to a USB3 adapter (UASP) is fine. HD video is easy on drives.

It all depends on just how much video you are going to do. Basically, if you video, spend more money...


$60 SSD, $10 enclosure is the "cheap" image..."expensive" $100 SSD, $80 enclosure, Thunderbolt connection is the other image.


For audio work? either. For video? dunno - but it all beats HDD speeds...




not cheap

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