Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Hard Drive Cache - Performance boost with 32Mo?

Last response: in Storage
Share
March 26, 2008 3:50:01 PM

Hey,

I need around 500G of memory, and I'm looking at two possibilities in RAID 0:

2 * Barracuda ES.2 S-ATA - 250 Go - 32 Mo for 145€

2* Spinpoint T166 S-ATA - 320 Go - 16 Mo for 130€

Apparently, the Spinpoint is also a little more silent whilst the Barracuda is more durable. The desktop will be in a bedroom, but I'm still avid for performance!! I was wondering if a gain in cache memory would increase overall performance.

I'll gladly welcome suggestions :) 
March 26, 2008 4:44:07 PM

The barracuda is more design for heavy workstation or servers. I would just get a Seagate 500Gb 7200.11 hard drive. They are almost the same drive as the ES.2 except more for home use and cheaper. Both Seagates have 5 year warranty. I've seen the 500Gb 7200.11 at $109.97 CAD which in euros I'm sure will be lower.
March 26, 2008 5:08:24 PM

The cache acts as a buffer between the physical disk and the system. The larger the cache the more it can store and send to the system at the full interface bandwidth speed. That being said you will barely notice any difference between 16 and 32meg cache. I have 2 raid arrays, 2x400gb with 16m cache each and 2x500 with 32m cache each and can not tell the difference. I agree with rmicro1, I think your better off buying the one larger drive.
Related resources
March 26, 2008 5:56:18 PM

so u think RAID O Isnt a good idea?
March 26, 2008 6:04:24 PM

Raid 0 will give you slightly faster read and write times but you will absolutely need another drive to backup information to. Raid 0 has the consequences of losing all data in the raid if a single drive fails.

If you are on a budget and can only afford two drives, do not go with a Raid 0. Too risky for the price.
March 26, 2008 6:07:22 PM

Raid0 is good but it depends on what your using it for. I work with a lot of huge files(10-50GB) so its twice as fast moving them around between my raid arrays than using single drives. But in general, raid0 on a home PC is not worth the price or hassle.
March 26, 2008 6:15:22 PM

^agree with the hassle part

as for drive failures... you have 2 drives in raid so yes, 2 opportunities to fail, but at the same point on one large drive if it fails you still lose all ur data. Best bet in either case is to backup stuff. If super important use dvd's or even tape drives, otherwise using an external drive that does not stay powered on all the time (and thus the heads are parked) is more secure than just relying on the one (or raided two) internal drive.

JMO, for what it's worth. Rock on.
March 26, 2008 7:43:44 PM

Hassle, it most certainly is, but I think it's worth it. Of all the hassles in my computer builds I spend extra money on the quanitity of my hard drives so that I get the best of both worlds.
A lot of people have 1 main drive and then a backup drive which probably doesn't get used like it should. What I have is one more drive then them. 2x 250's in Raid0 and a single 500 that gets synced to the raid0. 500GB synced with 500GB. My media is stored ON the 500GB drive so that when I'm using my computer and listening to music or watching a video on my 2nd monitor, there is no performance hit. Then syncing backs up my music/downloads/media from the 500GB to a partition on the Raid0. Every month I run DriveImageXML automatically with autoit v3 and the image of the Raid0 partition (60GB on outer edge of disks) gets stored on the 500GB drive.
So for me, it's the best of both worlds. I have a rather fool proof setup going with 2 smaller drives and a medium sized drive. The setup work was a hassle, but nobody can say I'll be up that creak without a paddle.
a c 104 } Memory
a c 167 G Storage
March 26, 2008 8:28:08 PM

@synh: If you need 500gb, get a 500gb drive, it will be cheaper.
32meg cache is better than 16, but I think you would be hard pressed to see any real difference.

There is generally no real world(vs. synthetic transfer rate benchmarks) performance advantage to raid of any kind.
Go to www.storagereview.com at this link: http://faq.storagereview.com/tiki-index.php?page=Single...
There are some specific applications that will benefit, but
gaming is not one of them. Even if you have an application which reads one input file sequentially, and writes
it out, you will perform about as well by putting the input on one drive, and the output on the other.



Hard drives are quite reliable these days, but if you have data you don't want to lose, you need to have an EXTERNAL backup system.
March 27, 2008 9:08:16 AM

Thanks for all the advice lads, greatly appreciated. That storagereview link is excellent, cheers. I guess I probably will go for a single internal HDD, with an external back up. But then, would you recommend a Spinpoint or a Barracuda?

So all in all, if RAID 0 isn't really what it is cracked up to be, how do you achieve the performance of say a raptor (or, let's be crazy, a cheetah) without suffering the hellish rattling?

By the way, are they "guides" on backing up your system properly?
March 27, 2008 11:08:23 AM

I would definately recommend either the 7200.11 or the spinpoint, both are nice so whatever fits your budget at the time and you won't regret either.

As far as backing up. It's all personal, there are built in tools in windows to let you backup your OS and stuff but honestly... just backup your pictures and videos and game save files and stuff and don't worry about the rest. Windows tends to need to be cleanly installed every year or 2 anyway. I usually go through and format and reinstall windows on all my computers on an annual basis just to clean up the file system and stuff. So the only thing I ever bother to backup is my media stuff (music/pictures/movies) and my other important stuff like school work and game save files. That way if the computer blows up, while I do have to reinstall windows, I still have the data that I need. And it never hurts to reinstall windows lol
!