Storage options for my new multitasking and gaming pc build

I searched and didn't come up with any info that relates to my question. I am going to be building a new machine in the near future. I have been doing a lot of research in the past week and it's pretty easy to decide what hardware to go with by just looking at reviews and actual user opinions.

My machine is going to be used for FPS games, DVD burning, cd audio extraction/ripping, some light photo/video editing, and just generic multitasking here and there. My question is what would be the best setup for my hard drives (with best speed in mind and ambient noise not too much of a concern.) Is having 1 drive for windows xp os/apps, 1 drive for games only, 1 drive for general storage/pagefile overkill? If not I was looking at the recent comments about the 7200.11 and WD AAKS drives being so close to the Raptor performance it wasn't worth getting one.

The problem is none of 7200.11's or AAKS are anything less than 500GB drives. It would be a little silly to have a 500gb drive for the OS/Apps and another for just games. So what are some your opinions out there? Is 3 drives overkill, don't be a pansy and shell out the cash for 2 Raptors and then a storage/pagefile drive and let my ears bleed a little?!

Thanks guys and gals I hope this sorta topic wasn't covered recently because I couldn't find anything.
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  1. That's actually what I use.

    I've had one, two and then three hard disks...I don't think I could ever go back to just two disks.

    It works GREAT. I can be gaming from disk 2 while burning a DVD from disk 3 without worrying about skips/glitches. Or constantly downloading to one while burning or gaming on another.

    It's also great for video editing. I can capture via FireWire to an unused disk while gaming or whatever on another. I also like to convert my edited DigitalVideo to MPEG2 for DVD burning, and of course it's much smoother reading from the editing disc and converting onto another disc.

    Again, if you multi-task like myself you can't go wrong with 3 seperate HDDs.


    Also, even a 250gb or 320gb drive is really overkill for just games...I would partition it in two (even 120gb is overkill for games- I use an 80gb partition) and use the (slower spinning) second half for storage/editing/etc. I would also do the same for drive #3. It allows for much quicker scanning (rarely) and defragging. Give XP or Vista (and apps) the first 20gb+ of drive #1.
  2. Cool, thanks for the response. I just now saw that WD does in fact make an AAKS drive thats 320gb. I will have to search around and see if any places have reviewed that specific one. Still tossing around the idea of a Raptor OS drive but might pass with all of the talk about the newer drives being so close to its performance its not worth the price.
  3. Noya said:
    I would partition it in two (even 120gb is overkill for games- I use an 80gb partition) and use the (slower spinning) second half for storage/editing/etc.
    All partitions on a single disk spin at the same speed. That being said, they actually run slower when accessing more than one partition. JBOD is the way to go.
  4. The outer cylinders of a large drive rotate at the same number of rpm's that the inner cylinders do. But, the outer parts have a larger circumference, so they hold more data per track. That is why the outer parts transfer data at a higher number of bytes per second. The larger capacity drives are more dense, and will have more platters. This means that more sequential data transfers can happen without needing an arm repositioning delay.

    For best performance of sequential type operations it is best to have the source data on one drive, and the destination data on a second separate drive.
    It may not be easy to arrange this, and the benefits may not be worth the effort.

    For this set of applications, I can see the benefits of several smaller drives. Put the os on one, the games on another, input files on a third, and output files on the last. For backup, use a single external hard drive.

    With lots of multi-tasking, go for 4gb. Use vista-64 bit. XP was written when ram was precious. XP tries to conserve memory by writing lots of pages to the page file to clear out memory. This causes lots of extra hard drive I/O Vista will use currently cheap ram to keep things around and avoid I/o if it can.

    For a good tutorial on hard drives, go to

    ---good luck---
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