Pro Tools|24 for Mac OS X — Hard Drive Minimum Requirements

Storage

Storage requirements have not changed from previous versions of Pro Tools. As with all Pro Tools systems, drive performance depends on a number of factors, including track count, edit density, and the use of crossfades or processing like Beat Detective. For sessions with high edit density, we recommend the following configurations. Testing has been conducted using Digidesign’s DigiDrives. Performance with other drives may vary.

  • Dedicated audio drive or drives (internal or external). Recording to or playback from system drives is not supported.
  • SCSI drives recommended for maximum performance.
  • When using QuickTime movies with Pro Tools systems, for reliable performance of 16 or more audio tracks, audio drives should be connected to a compatible SCSI HBA card, with video drives connected to a separate SCSI bus (preferred) or IDE/ATA bus.
  • Note that there is limited support for IDE/ATA and Firewire drives, listed below.

SCSI Hard Drives

  • SCSI interface: Wide single-ended or low-voltage differential (LVD or Ultra 160)
  • Disk drive rotational speed: 7200 RPM or faster
  • Buffer Size: 512K or larger

Additional SCSI Requirements for Pro Tools Systems

  • Mac OS file system: Mac OS Standard (HFS) or Mac OS Extended (HFS+)
  • Mac OS Extended (HFS+) recommended
  • Drives should be formatted with Apple Disk Utility, included with Mac OS X
  • or ATTO ExpressStripe (see below)

ATTO Utilities

The Pro Tools installer CD contains two ATTO utilities specifically for OSX users. They are located on the Pro Tools installer CD in a folder labeled ATTO Utilities.

ATTO ExpressPCI Configuration Tool

ATTO ExpressStripe

  • Although this is an option, it is not necessary to use ATTO ExpressStripe with SCSI drives and Pro Tools 6.
  • You can use Apple Disk Utility to format or partition drives for use with Pro Tools on OS X.
  • Apple Disk Utility can be found in the Applications/Utilities folder on your OS X hard drive, or in the Apple Menu when booted from the OS X installation CD.
  • The ATTO ExpressStripe software included on the Pro Tools 6.0 CD requires a separate purchase from ATTO.
  • ATTO ExpressStripe can be purchased for $99 (USD) directly from ATTO from their website at www.atttotech.com

The following sentence in the ATTO Utilities Read Me on the Pro Tools 6.0 CD is incorrect:

You must install this utility to format or partition drives for use with Pro Tools on OS X.

The Mac OS X Disk Utility can be used instead to format or partition drives. The rest of this information in the ATTO Utilities Read Me is correct:

You must also install this (ATTO ExpressStripe) if you wish to create striped volumes, or if you wish to mount striped volumes created by ATTO ExpressRaid in OS 9. Striped volumes are separate drives that are formatted to appear as a single drive on your desktop. Striped drives are not supported for audio recording and playback, but are often used for video playback.

Hard drive families from the following manufacturers are recommended:

Manufacturer Drive Family
Digidesign DigiDrive*
Avid rS, iS Plus, iS Pro
Seagate Cheetah, Barracuda
IBM Ultrastar

* First generation DigiDrives are not supported in LVD mode

SCSI Accelerator Cards

Notes

  • Pro Tools has a single audio file size limit of 2048MB. This equates to about 4.5 hours at 24-bit, 44.1 kHz.
  • High Speed Drives require manufacturer-approved enclosure to ensure correct heat dissipation, required for sustained drive reliability.

Storage

Approximate Storage Consumption (Megabytes per Minute per Track)

Sample Rate (kHz)
44.1
48
16-Bit — MB per Min
5
5.5
24-Bit — MB per Min
7.5
8

As with all Pro Tools systems, drive performance depends on a number of factors, including track count, edit density, and the use of crossfades or processing like Beat Detective. For sessions with high edit density, we recommend the following configurations. Testing has been conducted using Digidesign's DigiDrives. Performance with other drives may vary.

SCSI Drives—Approximate Track Counts:

SCSI Drives
44.1/48 kHz
4
128
2
64
1
32

Note: above results are with approved G4 AGP desktop models only.

IDE/ATA Hard Drives

IDE/ATA drives meeting the following requirements are qualified for up to 32 tracks at 44.1/48 kHz with Pro Tools TDM systems:

Firewire Hard Drives

The DigiDrive FireWire 80 has been qualified with Pro Tools|HD systems for the following:

  • Supported track count (per drive): 24 tracks per drive at 48 KHz/24-bit
  • Maximum 4 drives for a total of 96 tracks at 48 KHz/24-bit
  • More than 4 drives may result in -6042 errors

DigiDrive FireWire 80

44.1/48 kHz
1
24
2
48
3
72
4
96

For more information and specific requirements, see DigiDrive FireWire 80 Requirements

Important Note About Mixing Drive Types With Pro Tools Systems

You cannot spread audio files from one session across different types of drives. For example, if you have a session with audio files on SCSI drives, you cannot record or play back Pro Tools files from an IDE/ATA or firewire drive. (this applies to audio files only, video can be on a different type of drive, or the same type of drive as the audio files in a session)


Digidesign Compatibility Documents Index