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please give me advice on some hard drives.

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  • Hard Drives
  • Western Digital
  • Storage
  • Product
Last response: in Storage
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November 22, 2006 12:31:12 PM

ok, i am lookin for a couple of hard drives. i mainly use my pc for gaming.the rest of my computer specs are:
evga8800gtx
evga 680i nforce
core 2 duo e6600
corsair 2Gb ddr3 (800MHz)

i was lookin at the western digital 150Gb raptor and maybe getting two of them, but then i seen the price.
http://www.dabs.com/productview.aspx?Quicklinx=3XRY&Cat...

then i thought about getting two of these
http://www.dabs.com/productview.aspx?Quicklinx=3WF6&Cat...

would these be quite quick. i know the raptors will be quicker but i dont know if i want to pay £300 for a couple of hard drives. are raptors worth it or would i be able to get by with the two 250Gb drives.

if anybody could recommend better hard drives please do because i dont know much about this.

help will be much appreciated, thanks, albo

More about : give advice hard drives

November 22, 2006 1:51:02 PM

Raptors are great for gaming rigs, but the low storage space and high price tag are the main drawbacks.

Personally, I use 2 74gig Raptors in RAID 0 as my primary volume, and a 320gig PMR SATA drive for data and storage.

The newer drives using PMR (Perpendicular Recording) come very close to Raptors in terms of read/write performance. You can get the Seagate 320gig ones for $95 a piece on newegg. Placing 2 of these in a RAID 0 would most definately get you where you want to go... for the price of a single raptor.

here's the link...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...
November 22, 2006 2:25:04 PM

One option is getting 1 75GB raptor and 1 seagate 7200.10 250GB. That way you have speed for games, and space for media. Also, you can do the above with 2 raptors in raid, if you really want the speed.

Bruce
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November 22, 2006 2:44:02 PM

The new Rev 10 drives from Seagate and WD's PMR drives (forgot what they were called.. meh) are probably the sweet spot for price and performance, especially the 320 gig model. The raptor, I feel like is way overpriced, only if you have the money to blow than you should get it.

I like Seagate because of their 5-yr warranty, so I would recommend their's more than WD, but both of them are great brands.
November 23, 2006 11:11:35 AM

would that work out ok having 1 74Gb raptor and 1 250Gb seagate 7200 16Mb
November 24, 2006 3:08:30 AM

For the best performance you should get 2 of whatever you decide so you can put them in RAID 0.

2 250gig drives in a RAID0 will outperform a single Raptor and will be about the same price.

2 250s in RAID0 is no slouch... 2 320 PMRs in RAID0 is the best bang for your buck.
November 24, 2006 6:40:19 AM

thanks for your replys. i just decided to go with two 74Gb raptors and will run them in raid 0 .

thanks, albo
November 24, 2006 8:48:53 PM

Good luck with the 2 74G Raptors. Using them as a primary volume on my gaming rig I can say they do very well performance wise. Although I am seriously contemplating buying one more 320G PMR drive, adding it to my other, and making a new main RAID0 stripe out of that.

For storage and pagefile purposes, you may want to install another HDD be it SATA or IDE and remap your My Documents folders and Windows pagefile. Any size will do, 40, 60, 80... whatever... as long as it is a decent performing drive. Using a secondary volume for your paging file makes a big difference in your RAID performance as the pagefile I/Os will result in a performance hit on your RAID0 array.

As for stripe size, for general use and gaming my sweet spot has been 32k. Although your results may vary.

Happy RAIDing :) 
November 25, 2006 10:02:52 AM

ok so you are saying that aswell as my 2 74 Gb raptors i should buy another hard drive, 320Gb PMR. could you please explain to me what the storage, pagefiles and pagefile I/Os are, sorry i don't know anything about this.

so what would i be running on the raptors, and what would be on the other hard drive, the 320 one.

thanks, albo
November 25, 2006 6:13:52 PM

2 74gig Raptor drives in RAID gives you 138GB of usable space. As a primary volume, Windows will boot much faster as will games... especially ones of the MMORPG variety. Your sustained average data transfer will be around 105-120MB/sec. The drawback is, 138gigs fills up very fast.

The only hinderance to performance for using RAID0 as a boot volume is your windows pagefile. Since Windows constantly reads/writes to this file (the I/Os I spoke of previously) your RAID will take a performance hit. Also, if you ever listen to music/etc while gaming moving your Music and Document files over to a secondary volume is a benefit.

You don't need to buy another hard disk at all much less a 320gig PMR. If you have a spare 40/60/80/100gig drive sitting around use that. All it has to do is house the Windows swapfile and your document/music files. Also you don't have to do this step right away... the beauty ofadding an additional volume is that you can do it at *any* time then simply move your document files/music/pagefile/etc over to it.
November 26, 2006 11:48:56 AM

ok thanks i will use a 160Gb drive from my old pc.

thanks for the help

albo
November 26, 2006 12:43:19 PM

I had 2 74GB raptors, and did not notice any big difference over having just one. In all honesty, I wouldn't even bother with the raptors, if you already bought them no big deal, but, having used them in the past, and still having both of them, I would go with the Seagates..... The load times and such are not NOTICABLE in games....
wes
November 26, 2006 1:18:32 PM

Quote:
For the best performance you should get 2 of whatever you decide so you can put them in RAID 0.

Now there is some bad advice, right there...
RAID 0 is definitely the answer to a question no one has asked, y'know?
It reduces the reliability of your data, in an attempt to be way noticably faster - which it is not.
A single bad sector on either disk will bring both of them crashing down, with complete loss of data.
To recommend RAID 0 without mentioning this is irresponsible,
Regards
November 26, 2006 1:30:09 PM

Cannot agree more.... I probably wouldn't waste my time again with Raid 0. The .10 drive by Seagate are very fast, almost as fast as a Raptor. I used 1 Raptor, then raided 2 of them.... I didn't notice any difference AT ALL in game load times and such. And the difference between 1 raptor and one of the new perp. seagate drives is so marginal, that it would not be noticable.... I have used Raptors for a while, at least a couple of years, while they are of outstanding quality, the Seagates I have owned are just as good. If I were you I would go with one of the perp. Seagate drives.

wes

BTW. I have had a raid array crash one me.... and it was very unpleasant as well as it happend with no signs. The computer booted and the array was gone. I WILL NOT raid 0 again simply because the performance difference in what I was doing was not noticable and not worth the cost or loss.
November 26, 2006 1:45:08 PM

so what will it be better to run them in, RAID 1 is that where it keeps a copy on the second disk, so if one fails it will still work?
November 26, 2006 2:04:30 PM

Well, if I did it again, I would probably go with Raid 5. The main reason is that in THEORY it gives you performance of raid 0, with redundancy of a mirroring array. If one drive fails, you operate at a degraded state until you replace the drive and rebuild off of the other two. Here is an article of using raid with the chipset.... I am not sure how much better a PCI card is, I know the PCI bus is "slow" I just don't know the performance difference between PCI and chipset raid.

http://techreport.com/reviews/2005q4/chipset-raid/index...

wes
November 26, 2006 9:19:20 PM

RAID0... bad advice and irresponsible?

I prefer not to dignify an ignorant blanket statement like that with a response. If you have better advice, by all means give him one that is not obviously biased in the negative.

...roundfile = roundfile + 1

Anways... Yes it is true that running 2 disks in a RAID0 array does increase the risk of potential corruption and failrue (or MTBF if you want to get real technical), since you are using 2 disks instead of one. It is also viewed in many circles that running RAID is a question if *when* not *if* it corrupts. In my early days of using RAID0 stripes they corrupted often but these were in the Windows ME and XP pre-SP1 days where Windows did not handle RAID0 system volumes well at all. The system would shut down too fast and frequently corrupt the file system. In fact the error message I'd always get with RAID0 arrays was UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME. Just typing that brings back bad memories. But that was with 2 60gig IBM drives, and later 2 80gig Maxtors... both IDE and using a PCI RAID card - a bad idea.

Since then however, I have used RAID0 for over 3 years now with no failures with the most recent being 2 Raptors which has been going strong for just shy of 2 years now.

Also, failure rate is why I always recommend using an additional volume for document files, music, etc. The OS and games can always be reinstalled if the unthinkable happens, but douments and such may be valuable... hence why the 2nd volume. And most true gamers reformat every so often anyway so it's nice to have those files stashed away.

One last thing on that... the Raptors are enterprise-grade drives and such have a 5-year warranty. In the many cases I've seen them in action over time they have proven to be rock solid drives and a very good choice for a long-term RAID solution.

RAID 5 is the best of both worlds, but chipsets do not support RAID 5 and require specialized RAID controllers that are $150+ and a minimum of 5 hard disks to set up.

In terms of performance, 2 Raptors in a RAID 0 does make a difference but it depends on how you set it up. In my case, the sustained data transfer is consistently 45-50% better than running a single drive. Most people will set up a RAID0 for a primary volume and it will seemingly suck -- because of the things I spoke of before (improper optimal stripe size, Windows swapfile...etc)

Also, having done RAID1 as well you do not get the same performance in RAID1 that you do in RAID0. Yes, you will get an increase in read performance... but you will take a slight hit in write performance. The system will take longer to shut down as data has to be written to the second drive, and although you do get the redundancy in data -- 2 x 74gig in RAID 1 is 74gig of usable space = not worth the money spent considering how much Raptors are.

Still your call man, but I just wanted to clear the air of some of the biased opinions I was seeing.
November 26, 2006 10:04:34 PM

Raid 5 can be done with as few as 3 HD's. And a standalone controller is not required, there are a few (server) MB's that implement a raid 5 controller. I don't know about desktop MB's, as I do have a standalone device.

I prefer to keep my backup solution seperate from and independant of my PC

I cannot boot from it, but it saves and restores like a mad thing.

I personally would never do a MB raid0 solution, and would be sceptical of a raid1 set as well.

Load times are, for the most part, over-rated. For the few that do rendering, encoding, or any large file transfer operation, there would be a significant improvement. Would the bandwidth of a SATA pair outrun the 1 GB ethernet controller on my standalone device? Nah...
November 27, 2006 2:47:56 AM

True, server MBs do support RAID5. I was speaking in terms of desktop boards... of which none of the current chipsets support RAID5. Which means at least a mid-range dedicated controller which start in the $150 range.

And yes, a RAID5 array of 1 Mirror + parity (3 total) is the lowest amount you can use. I mis-spoke before. Thanks for pointing that out.
November 27, 2006 2:54:59 AM

No problem.
November 27, 2006 6:23:35 AM

thanks for all your help people, ragemonkey i will go with your suggestion which is run the two raptors in raid0 and have another drive to keep files, documents etc. thanks alot.

albo.
November 27, 2006 11:06:28 PM

The Intel 965 Express chipset supports Raid 5 and 10. And I also think Nvidia's Nforce 4 SLI edition does as well. I would get a card though regardless of whether I was going with Raid 5 or Raid 0.

wes
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