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hard drive opionion for new build

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May 17, 2006 10:53:30 PM

i have everything but an hd and what kind should i get uses are media and gaming
cause i could get a descent basic one for like 40bucks but how upgrade will i notice if i get a 16mb cache or something else
sata hd
system so far:
opteron 165
x1800xl vid card
1gig ocz
asus a8n5x mobo
a b G Storage
May 18, 2006 12:05:10 AM

Maxtor or Seagate sata drives i have found are the best. Seagate's drives seem to be a little bit more expensive, but also a bit quieter. Maxtor drives of the same capacity as compared to Seagate drives are somewhere in the neighbourhood of $5-10 cheaper.
May 18, 2006 12:55:19 AM

Look at Seagate, Western Digital, Hitachi and Samsung. Maxtors have a reliability problem. For every $100 in sales they pay out $5 for broken drives. This is three times worse than Seagate and why they've been bought out by Seagate.
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a b G Storage
May 18, 2006 3:34:04 AM

the last 4 drives i've gotten for myself have all been maxtor drives and i haven't had a problem with any of them so far...
May 18, 2006 3:16:39 PM

Ive had 2 maxtor HDs, maxline 3 250G and a 300G. Ive had them for about a year now no problems... And way quieter and cooler than my raptor 150G.

In the past I had a problem with a 100g WD HD (IDE) but that was a few years back.

I think its a bit of luck like the ipod nano 1 in a million units stuff up now and then....
a b G Storage
May 18, 2006 3:41:52 PM

I'm not 100% sure what "media" means, but I know what gaming is. Don't pay extra for SATAII, NCQ, or any other "feature" that can be found in modern drives. I could be wrong about the buffer, but I don't think there is much of a difference between the 8 and 16mb drives.
I've been saying this a lot, hoping that it will sink into peoples heads. If all your doing is playing video games, save your money on the high end drives and spend it on GPUs/CPUs. Video games don't move enough data to and from the hdd to make a high end one worth while.
May 18, 2006 3:52:56 PM

Quote:
Ive had 2 maxtor HDs, maxline 3 250G and a 300G. Ive had them for about a year now no problems... And way quieter and cooler than my raptor 150G.


Well duh. 7200 rpm vs. 10000 rpm. Of course the raptor is hotter and noisier. Of course I stood 2 feet from 2 74GB raptors running in an open case doing a large write to disk and then a large read from disk and could barely hear either of them. So they're not that loud.

Maxtor's have known reliability issues for failing right after their 1 year warranty is up (on drives that only have a 1 year warranty). Thats why they got sued a few years back for it.

Just get a 250GB Western Digital drive with a 16MB cache. Can get them now for $90 with a $10 rebate on newegg. Or theres a deal on newegg for a 300GB 8MB cache Seagate for $100.
a b G Storage
May 18, 2006 4:07:33 PM

For media and gaming both, very likely capacity will matter more than raw speed.
Depending on the importance of your data, you might want to use a RAID-1 in case of drive failure, with a pair of 250GB drives.
I've had good results with IDE and SATA Maxtor drives, less so with SCSI. WD is also a good choice. The 16MB buffer on my current Maxtor makes this one of the fastest drives I've owned.
Heat kills drives, so I'd recommend a front cooling fan, especially with more than one drive or if you go with 10K Raptor(s).
May 18, 2006 4:09:17 PM

I agree - 250G or 300G WD drive should be fine. Remember that nature abhores a vacume and hard drive space is a vacume. In otherwords, it will get filled over time.

The cache/buffer is a technique to move data into a hd faster than the hd would normally be able to handle it. It does affect reads a bit - but the big benefit is the writes. Of course once the buffer is full, the writes are dependent on how fast the actual drive can drain the buffer in order to make additional room.

I recall a diminishing returns discussion on Cache memory during my university day's, though this had more to do with L1,L2,L3 CPU cache than hard drives.

Good luck.
May 18, 2006 4:56:28 PM

The cache of a hard drive helps both equally. Its point is to minimize reads and writes. Instead of performing a write every time a bit is changed and making the system wait until that is done so it can say "OK done", the cache stores data until its optimal to write all the data to the hard disk at once. It also stores often read files that aren't kept in memory so the hard drive doesn't have to go retrieve it off the disk every time its accessed.

The buffer is almost always full of one thing or another.

Disable it and see what kind of impact it has on your system.
May 18, 2006 5:28:51 PM

Quote:
The cache of a hard drive helps both equally. Its point is to minimize reads and writes. Instead of performing a write every time a bit is changed and making the system wait until that is done so it can say "OK done", the cache stores data until its optimal to write all the data to the hard disk at once. It also stores often read files that aren't kept in memory so the hard drive doesn't have to go retrieve it off the disk every time its accessed.

The buffer is almost always full of one thing or another.

Disable it and see what kind of impact it has on your system.


You are correct - there is a predictive read which is performed in anticipation that if you are reading a block of data that you will probably want the next one in line. This is one of the reasons why defragmenting a HD is important, as you can take advantage of predictive reads.

One symantic point - is that an argument could be made that the buffer is not equally used for both reads and writes. Since the reading includes both requested and predictive reads and some of the predictive reads are potentially bringing data in that will not be used by the system - that there is a bit of waste. Writing on the other hand is always requested by the system and there is no predictive nature in this case.

Admitedly this is a very fine distinction, and the symantics could be argued differently.

Ultimately, you are correct - both reads and writes do take advantage of the buffer, and I blame the multiple pints of Guiness for killing the slow brain cell that had this bit of data.

Cheers.
May 18, 2006 8:30:00 PM

The Maxtor DiamondMax 10 series have proven quite reliable, correcting their manufacturing problems suffered in the 9 series.
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