Aurender N100 internal hard drive or USB external drive?


I own one of the rare breeds of Aurender N100 variants that did NOT come from the factory with any internal hard drive storage, it is the same as the N100H in every other aspect.
Right now I have a 4tb WD HDD connected in the rear of it by USB which is fully accessible from the Conductor app.

I guess two questions really....

1/ Would I truly notice any difference in SQ if I went ahead and installed an internal hard drive vs my present usage of an external USB hard drive.

2/ If I went ahead and installed an internal hard drive, what model of hard drive is fully compatible with the N100, or does it really not matter? Or are there levels of HDD drives? Is SSD better than HDD? Are there levels of SSD?

Guess thats more than two questions but you get my quandary.
Seriously this stuff keeps me awake at night.........
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uber,

That’s way too many questions...just kidding. Looks like you got the N100SC model.
1. I would say yes, you should hear uptick in SQ. Based on my experience with head to head comparisons between Vault and Aurender playback from their respective internal drives. The music files stored on sounds fuller, detailed and smooth compared to those on Vault. The music stored on Vault drive sounds lifeless. There is a considerable amount of loss in high fidelity.

2a. What drive model, I would ask Aurender support team for recommendation.

2b. SSD better than HDD...Yes, here is why; by caching songs to the SDD for playback, it eliminates any sound quality degradation and even drop outs due to a non-optimal network connection from for example, a NAS drive. Playback from SSD also minimizes wear and tear on the HDD drive as after loading to the caching drive, the HDD goes idle.

With a internal drive, you’re also shortening the path and eliminating possibilities of external interferences between two components.
Great article Anwar, thanks!

Sounds like due to the way Aurender caches all music queued up to play onto its internal ssd it might not be as crucial for where the hard drive resides as it might be otherwise.

However I still might prefer to install an internal HDD just to tidy things up a little.
Internally, you have less of an issue with more power supplies to pollute your AC.

SSD is best, but you don't need top of the line. 2 year old SSD's have plenty of throughput.  They have instant, random access, and no motors to spin up/down.

I only have about ~ 200 GB of music at home, I keep it on a thumb drive attached to my Roon server. Technically slow as can be, works fine.

Best,
E
Heard back from Ari at Aurender customer support.

You pays your money and takes your choice apparently.

Any brand off HDD or SSD was his reply although he did say he preferred Samsung for SSD and Seagate for HDD.


I’ve had good luck with Samsung, crucial and WD ssds, according to their website it needs to be a SATA SSD 2.5/ 7mm. There’s 3 speeds I, II , III get the III it will run at whatever your streamer accepts and that’s the fastest and most common now. If you decide on a HHD same deal 2.5/7mm need to watch those some laptop drives are 9mm.
Djones
Thanks for the additional information of speed of drives.
If going to do it probably not worth skimping so do it right first time.

The speed would be dictated by the streamer connection most likely it's either SATA II or SATA III either one would be plenty fast for audio. Main thing is the interface of SATA 2.5/7mm there are a lot of different ones. 
Good comments by @Djones51.

I believe that a 4 TB HDD in a 2.5 inch/7 mm form factor is something that probably doesn’t exist, at least from a quality manufacturer.

Although I have no experience with Aurender products I don’t think you could go wrong with a 4 TB Samsung SSD, especially the "EVO" version. The somewhat less expensive "QVO" version just comes with a 3 year warranty, as opposed to the 5 year warranty of the EVO. Also, while it may not matter the QVO is rated for considerably fewer lifetime writes than the EVO (1440 TB vs. 2400 TB).

Unfortunately, though, the Samsung 4 TB EVO SSD costs $600 at B&H or Newegg, my go-to places for such things.

Best regards,
-- Al

AL
It looks like you are correct on there not being a 4tb hdd in 2.5 and 7mm height format, largest would be 2tb.
I have found a few pre owned Samsung 4tb ssd in 2.5 and 7mm height on Fleabay between 350 and 400.
Might be my route as I have not much intention to perform many writes, just my initial copy and a few updates when/if I add more albums digitally.
Thanks to all!