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2 hard drives or 1?

Last response: in Storage
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Would You Install 1 or 2 drives?

Total: 27 votes

  • 1 rather large HD
  • 12 %
  • 2 HD''s
  • 89 %
August 20, 2006 2:13:43 AM

I was curious if its better to have 2 hard drives in one system. Load all system files on one and the other all games?


Can you mix the makers? 1 Seagate, 1 WD
Can you mix types: 1 Sata 1.5Gb/s
1 Sata 3GB/s

* raptor is too high at the moment *

More about : hard drives

August 20, 2006 4:11:29 AM

If you do use 2 HDD's you can mix and match sizes and manufacturer's as long as you don't set them up in RAID. I thing you can also mix types, again no RAID, but I'm not positive. I would rather have 1 large drive with 16mb cache.
August 20, 2006 4:47:11 AM

Quote:
I was curious if its better to have 2 hard drives in one system. Load all system files on one and the other all games?


Can you mix the makers? 1 Seagate, 1 WD
Can you mix types: 1 Sata 1.5Gb/s
1 Sata 3GB/s

* raptor is too high at the moment *


In general you will be better off with two hard drives.

The idea with two hard drives is to balance the I/O load across the drives.

One simple optimization is to have the O/S on one drive and its swapfile on the other drive. Partition your drives wisely so the load is balanced and backups are easy.

There is an older thread titled "why two hard drives" (if I recall correctly) that gives partitioning suggestions with two hard drives.

In general, you can mix and match drives without any ill effects. As the poster above said, if you intend to RAID your drives, it is better to do so with identical drives (though this is not required but it prevents some minor problems).

HTH.
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August 20, 2006 5:40:22 AM

Quote:
I was curious if its better to have 2 hard drives in one system. Load all system files on one and the other all games?


Can you mix the makers? 1 Seagate, 1 WD
Can you mix types: 1 Sata 1.5Gb/s
1 Sata 3GB/s

* raptor is too high at the moment *


it`s as simple as that .... two drives will simply give you more performance as you balance the load (read - write) between the two of them (it`s something like dual channel memory)....
instead of reading and writing in the same time from one hdd you can read from one and write to the other one (that`s the best scenario)....
...not to mention the benefits brought to you by RAID......
the only downfall is the power consumption which adds double..luckilly the hdds are not so power hungry as other elements in your computer :D 
August 20, 2006 6:18:52 AM

Personally Id rather have 2 or more semi-large HDD's. One for Music, One for Games, One for OS/General, and the fourth for general storage.

I have 4 X 320GB Seagate 3.0gb/s

Id rather have 4 instead of 1 because if one dies i have 3/4th of my stuff and not all of it lost :p  and it goes faster with multiple drives rather than just one big drive, especially when multi-tasking.
August 20, 2006 3:56:50 PM

Is a 500w PSU adequate for 2 HD's?

e6300
Gigabyte DS3
Lightscribe DVD-RW-R 18x
Floppy drive
Soundblaster X-fi XM
ATI 1900 xtx
Aerocool ExtremEngine 3T
Thermaltake 500w 2.0
August 20, 2006 4:35:52 PM

I had 2 drives. now i only have one. I have observed that the performance is low on one hdd. I will soon get a 80 gb raptor.
as far as 500w psu I had 3 HDDs on one 350w PSU.
August 20, 2006 5:12:56 PM

Definately 2, that way you can have system files on one and data on the other, means that if windows has a problem you can wipe the drive with it on easily and reinstall, I know this can be done with partitioning but this way it's easier you can also have things like a Photoshop scratch file and the swap file on a seperate disk which speeds things up as well :) 
August 20, 2006 5:21:33 PM

For your reference, following is a chart that illustrates approximately how much wattage you will need to run various common components in a PC system:

Component Wattage Required
Motherboard 15-30
Low-end CPU 20-50
Midrange to high-end CPU 40-100
RAM RAM 7 per 128MB
PCI add-in card 5
Low to midrange graphics board 20-60
High-End graphics board 60-100
IDE hard drive 10-30
Optical drives 10-25

When you purchase a better power supply you will markedly decrease the amount of noise your computer makes when it’s on. A more efficient, more powerful power supply will deliver more power, regulate it at a more even level and at a reduced noise level. Hope this helps.
August 20, 2006 5:42:12 PM

I've got 8 HD's and a pentium 4 2.8 with a gig of rdram on a 300watter, yeah it's enough :) 

Edit: You should have put in the option for "More than 2 HD's"

I don't have a single system with only one, or two for that matter, except my laptops of course, but I have a couple for each with different os's and data on them.
August 21, 2006 12:28:41 AM

Thanx guys, I think I will go with 2 HD's.

Does this require any special wiring or do you just hook up the HD normally (SATA wire to mobo and PSU to HD)?

The computer will automatically know where the system files are? This is only a gaming machine so the other drive would be all my games. Basically all I do when Im installing a game for the first time, I just change the path if it puts the game on the system files drive, i change it to the game HD, correct?
August 21, 2006 12:33:46 AM

Just hook each up normally. Each with their own SATA cable and own SATA power cable. Then when installing windows, just select which drive to install to. And the one with the OS will load automatically. :) 
August 21, 2006 12:53:11 AM

Don't forget, set the jumper on the drive with your OS to "master" and the secondary to "slave".

I have cursed forgetting that step on an occasion or two!
August 21, 2006 12:54:57 AM

There SATA, no jumper bud.

Edit: You can boot from slave or master, the os doesn't care, just gotta set the boot.ini right if you change it after installing, sometimes.
August 21, 2006 12:55:05 AM

If they are sata you dont need to do that. Only IDE. Or at least Ive never had to do it with sata. :) 
August 21, 2006 5:22:31 PM

For the os drive, whats a good HD? (Not including raptor). For my games I was going to get a WD caviar Sata 250GB 16mb cache.

I was looking for a SATA 80Gb 16mb cache HD but there are none (WD, Seagate, Maxtor). Or is 8gb cache satisfactory for this size of a HD?
August 21, 2006 5:32:56 PM

There is usually minimul difference in performance due to cache size. I'd get a samsung sp2504c or two. Check toms hd guide, they are pretty dam fast, I have two in a RAID0 and they almost match a set of scsi drives wusy runs. (Yes wusy, I'm going to play that one till it's dead :)  )

Don't get 80GB drives, they are slow comparitively these days, 250 minimum.
August 21, 2006 6:56:15 PM

250GB HD for all my system/os/drivers? Can I mix the samsung drive with a western digital?
August 21, 2006 7:01:46 PM

You can mix whatever the h*ll you want, not sure why people always think you can't. I'd use the 250 for the os just because it's faster, put whatever games you really want to load quickest on it too. Throw your page file on the WD to speed things up a bit. I've got two of the samies in RAID0 for 500GB and that's all I need in my primary machine. All my data is on two data servers.
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