Running BFD3 off system drive

Hi i have installed BFD3 and one expansion pack onto my system drive on an imac.
There is space there for it i still have nearly a quarter of space left on my storage.
My other option is My Lacie 5400 external drive.
The recommendation is 7200 HDD.
I do not have an SSD and only USB connections.
Should i move my BFD content over to the LAcie external?
Is it just a matter of dragging all the content over the re designating the content path in the BFD settings preferences?
Or should i leave it on the system drive imac?

Welcome @ktwalker1. Hmm, that’s a tough one. What specs are your computer? Is the internal boot drive SATA3 SSD or HDD and the USB 3.0 or faster? USB 3.0 with a 5400 rpm external drive may be ok. With your boot drive down to only 25%, that’s not leaving you a lot of wiggle room with the BFD3 content on there. Ideally you really don’t want to go below 25% free space on your boot drives, as it becomes less efficient.

I suggest just trying it out and see how BFD performs. Copy the BFD content to the external, remove the old paths and add the new drive path. You may want to experiment with the RAM and Stream buffers in BFD3 Engine Prefs. If the audio is too choppy then you know you have to revert back to the boot drive for now. If you can open that Lacie drive casing, try and find yourself a cheap, used SSD to put in it is my advice.

I ran BFD3 off external 5400 RPM USB 2.0 drives on both Mac and Windows for years. As long as you’re not running another sample set off it, it’s fine. At most, you can tweak the buffers to overcome any issues. Generally, you don’t need to.

I wouldn’t bother upgrading to 7200 RPM. SSD is reasonably cheap these days.

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Hi do you think i can leave it on my internal system drive or do you think its better to put it on an external? it seems to be running fine off the internal system drive at the moment.
I just pull off WAV. file samples and midi grooves from the external and nothing else is run off it if i do go ahead and put BFD on there.
I might put BFD3 on my 5400 though it takes 70GB with one extension pack. It sounds great though.
I have a good OWC external for my pro tools sessions drive.
Thanks for the help.

ok great thanks
imac 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5
8 GB 1333 MHz DDR3

pretty solid not super fast.
I will look at running it off my lacie.
With the USB connection only i thought that SSD drives were not much faster.
I am looking at getting another backup OWC 7200.
I will use the LAcie 5400 for now and see if it works.
thanks for the help.

Is that a late 2011 iMac? That has USB 2.0, so not going to be that great anyways with the 5400rpm drive. You can upgrade that iMac with an SSD in the optical drive bay. You don’t even need a caddy. I just used double-side tape to secure it to the frame. Then you can use the HDD that’s in there now for a time machine backup.

For another external drive for that Mac, what you want is a FW800 drive, or enclosure, but they’re hard to find, as they’ve been phased out. But that would be the fastest external bus interface on that machine. Here’s a portable one from OWC. The enclosure is only $25 and then you can just add your own SSD to it for much cheaper. I actually need to get one of these myself.

Great thanks i will have a look there is an OWC store here in Australia with FW800 drives so ill look into that ASAP much appreciated.

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The samples are the important thing, because that’s what BFD reads when it’s running. If you tweak the buffers and increase latency enough, you can run it just about anywhere, depending on what that anywhere is also doing.

Personally, I’d get a cheap 1TB SSD and stick them on the USB. I’m not sure it’s worth the effort to pursue a differenct solution.

So, yes. Put your expansion packs on an external drive. Don’t run them off the system drive. That’s the easy, cheap answer that works.

I edited the link to the correct FW800/USB 3.0 drive OWC. As I suspected, the FW800 enclosure costs a little more, but on your machine it will be worth it, as it will be twice as fast as USB 2.0 that you have. Then in the future if you get a new Mac, you’ll have the USB 3.0 on there to take advantage of even more speed.

Another advantage of FW800 is that you can boot up with it in TDM (Target Disk Mode) if you have macOS installed on it, so it comes in handy if your internal drive has failed. I always keep a clone of my internal boot drives on a FW800 external for emergencies.