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Hard drive noob needs advice

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January 2, 2007 6:25:01 PM

Well I'll start off by saying that I know just about nothing about hard drives. However, I recently built a system using two hard drives that I had laying around (a 250 gig IDE and a 40 gig IDE, both Maxtors). I want to make the switch to better performance drives. I'd rather not spend over $200, and capacity is not that big of a deal for me, because i would probly keep the 250 gig one for putting extra files on.

So I did a little research, and came up with three alternatives.

Numero uno:
1 x Western Digital Raptor WD1500ADFD 150GB 10,000 RPM 16MB Cache Serial ATA150 Hard Drive
Possibly in the not-so-near future I would get a second one for RAID 0, but it wouldn't be all that soon.

Number 2:
2 x Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD2500KS 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
I'm also considering the 320 gig edition
With either size these would be in RAID 0.

The third option:
3 x Western Digital Caviar RE WD1600YS 160GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
Also in RAID 0 (assuming you can do RAID 0 with 3 drives, cause I'm not sure). Also, I would consider only getting 2 of these and putting the money somewhere else.

My motherboard is the ASUS P5W DH Deluxe. I have an e6300 OCed to 2.8 ghz. My RAM is DDR2-800 Corsair RAM, of which I have 1 gig, but will have 2 soon. My cooling is not amazing, but I do have 2 intake fans that blow right across the hard drives. My PSU is a 550 watt Antec.

Basically, which of these solutions would give the best performance for my system? Will there be any other problems, such as heat or not enough power?

Thanks!

More about : hard drive noob advice

January 3, 2007 6:10:27 AM

You can't do Raid 0 with 3 drives. If you have 4 drives you can set up two Raid 0 arrays. The drives should be the same for Raid 0 or 1. The Raptor 150 is the fastest SATA drive on the market but only using one is not going to be as fast has using two of them 320 SATA drives in Raid 0. Well, actually before I say that I will say that some tasks the 150 10,000 rpm drive might have a slight edge but I think the overall winner would be the two 320's in R0. Two Raptors would be the easy winner in RAID 0 but very expensive for about 300GB of total storage. Please note that with RAID 0 if one drive dies you loss all your data between both drives and will have to start from scratch with a replacement drive. Hope this helps!

Also even though you are talking about all Western Digital, Newegg sells the SAMSUNG SpinPoint drives for fairly cheap IE the 320 is 89 and the 400 is 109.. Other places might have them for even less. Speed for speed fairly equal to the WD drives except for the Raptor. :) 
January 3, 2007 6:37:40 AM

Define what you mean by performance, and what you need this performance for.

And you are right... You did a 'little' research.
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January 3, 2007 11:48:24 AM

Quote:
You can't do Raid 0 with 3 drives.


that is not correct, you can do RAID 0 with 3 drives (or more, if your chipset allows) atlthough the performance upgrade (over 2 drives) often isnt worth the reliability loss, minimal performace gain (interface becomes bottleneck) and higher CPU overhead.
January 3, 2007 12:19:30 PM

YAY for SATA :D 
!