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Hard Drive Bottleneck on this system???

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  • Systems
Last response: in Systems
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June 9, 2006 11:48:27 PM

I am about to put together the following system:

Power Up Black ATX Mid-Tower Case with Front USB and Audio Ports and Touch-Sensitive Controls
eVGA nForce4 SLI 133-K8-NF41 Sckt 939 motherboard
Ultra X-Finity 500-Watt PSU / SATA & SLI-ready / 16A on rail1 and 18A on rail2
Athlon 64 3800+ (Venice core)
Corsair XMS 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR SDRAM Unbuffered DDR 400 (PC 3200) Dual Channel Kit System Memory (2-3-3-6)
XFX 7900 GT / 256MB / 520/1500
SoundBlaster X-Fi XtremeMusic
Logitch X-530 5.1 speakers
Microsoft Comfort Curve Keyboard 2000
Logitech G5 Laser Mouse


These are components I am keeping from my prior setup:
19" Hyundai Imagequest L90D+
Sony DVD-RW DRU-700A (Dual Layer) - going to use this for all cd-rom / dvd-rom / burning needs
Maxtor DiamondMax 10 / 160 GB / 7200 / 16MB / UltraATA-133


Do you see any major bottlenecks in this setup? Do you think my hard drive I'm keeping is going to cause any significant gaming bottlenecks (I'm not too worried about level load times, but basically in-game performance...how often is the hdd accessed anyway once the game starts, especially if you have 2GB of memory?)

More about : hard drive bottleneck system

June 10, 2006 12:04:51 AM

Thanks prozac - you are prolific! I decided to start new topics on some of the questions I had asked in my earlier thread, since it appeared they had been missed there.

Do you know the answer to how often HDDs are accessed once typical gameplay actually starts?
June 10, 2006 12:10:31 AM

Quote:
Do you know the answer to how often HDDs are accessed once typical gameplay actually starts?
I don't know, but you should try google.
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June 10, 2006 12:33:46 AM

Hard drives are rarely the problem behind bad gaming performance.
June 10, 2006 4:50:29 PM

Quote:
You HDD won't be a bottleneck one bit. Load times should be pretty good. Your whole system looks nice. :wink:


hard drive will always be a bottleneck.. CPU are fast and always keep improving, video card are fast and always keep improving, look at PCI-e bus bandwidth compared to old PCI.. they have been improved..

And yet, HDD cannot even break 80 mb/seconde yet.. barely improved for the last 2-3 years.. Hey? What is the bandwidth of the fastest SATA controller? I'm talking about sata 3.0Gb/sec.. the road is there.. where are the cars?

So, never tell again that HDD are fast and won't be a bottleneck.... They are painfully slow and barely improving compared to other component..

The problem is that they are not exciting technology.. people don't overclock them, they just put them there and forget about them, until they crash..
June 10, 2006 5:21:16 PM

You should find that the 2GB of memory you are aiming for reduces the frequency of hard drive access while gaming compared to 1GB and below.

...And you will find that (unless considering a 10,000 RPM Raptor drive or a RAID setup for speed) keeping your hard drive regularly defragmented will have a larger impact on your hard disk performance than updating that drive.
June 10, 2006 5:55:50 PM

Although like the floppy the hard drive is the slowest part of the pc, it doesn't affect the performance of it. Boot up and load times maybe increase using raid but even so you're only gonna cut off 5-15 seconds depending of what hd and type of raid your using. I have 2 74Gb 10000rmp Raptors in raid and it only give me 10s faster on boot up and around 5 seconds load time on BF2. But after that when the game is playing, it is up to the other components like cpu, vga, etc, so the hd is not really playing a big role on the main gameplay. :wink:
June 10, 2006 6:47:42 PM

Thanks, guys. Helpful replies.
June 10, 2006 7:10:28 PM

Since I have a dual core processor and 2GB of RAM I had gotten to the point that most of the time I was waiting (during my non-gaming usage) was for things to load off of the hard drive. I was never really bothered by load times in games, they were to be expected... but waiting for Windows to boot, Photoshop to load, etc was something which was an annoying wait. Unfortunately, setting up a RAID 0 with 2 WD1600JS drives didn't really help. Transfer speeds increased to just south of 100MB/s for almost the entire "drive" but for some reason the latency is much higher than I expected. I didn't test the drives separately before RAIDing them, so I don't know if the drives are just slow (in terms of latency) or if the RAID is somehow contributing to this. Ironically, I think that it was my game load times that benefitted most, probably since loading big textures would take advantage of the raw transfer speed, whereas loading windows would be hindered by the high latency. Not worth it for the speed upgrade, but I needed the extra storage anyway.

-mcg
June 10, 2006 8:13:52 PM

Quote:
So, never tell again that HDD are fast and won't be a bottleneck.... They are painfully slow and barely improving compared to other component..

I was talking about now. They aren't that slow right now.

They are as slow as they were in 1999 or 2000, when ATA 100 became popular. Frome then to now, the speed improvement has hardly been noticable, compared to advancement in CPU, RAM or video card area. If HDD speed would have been improved as much, in % term, than CPU speed, they would almost saturate SATA150 bandwidth now... So yes, they are slow.
June 10, 2006 9:17:37 PM

8) Good thing we got perpendicular-recording HDs on the way. Should at least equal if not beat the SPEED & STORAGE increase (percent-wise) that red-laser DVD to blue-laser HD-DVD manages. You Think..?? Instead of buying TWO 74GB raptors for SATA-150 RAID, i bought with the same moola, one 250GB WD CAVIAR IDE & TWO SEAGATE 160GB 7200.7 SATA-150.. I think i made a good decision. 144GB or 570GB....HMMMM.....BUTTER.
June 11, 2006 12:05:38 AM

Quote:
Do you know the answer to how often HDDs are accessed once typical gameplay actually starts?
I don't know, but you should try google.

Depends on the game.
!