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Workstation Build, Should I have gone with 32mb cache?

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August 20, 2008 4:24:18 PM

So I recently built a workstation for Solidworks, AMD Quadcore, 8gigs of RAM, Nvidia Quadro FX3700, but I am using two Seagate 250gb 16mb cache 7200rpm harddrives, the Baracuda line I believe.

Would it be worthwhile to upgrade to 32mb hard drives or just wait for SSD drives and maybe run the two drives in a raid, or get a WD Velociraptor (although I worry about their reliability compared to Seagate, just personal preference)?

I have never done a raid setup though so not sure what to do, plus, I'm guessing I'll have to reinstall everything either way. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Things are running find, but would any of these changes make it blazingly different?

Thank you in advance for your help.
August 20, 2008 7:14:12 PM

would definately raid... more cache better but not as much a difference as going to raid 1 at least... in my experience. if you raid 1 tho ur only going to have 250g of storage and that wouldnt last me long... -J
August 20, 2008 7:23:24 PM

The Velocity Raptor would be MUCh faster than your current two drives in RAID-0 and they are very reliable.

OCZ also has some very fast SSDs that have about 1/2 the capacity of the Raptor for about the same price.

All depends on what you are doing.
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August 20, 2008 7:36:08 PM

sldwrksguy said:

Things are running fine, but would any of these changes make it blazingly different?


Not overly...

Raid 1 is faster.. So is a velocaRaptor and for sure SSD's are. Is it worth the hassle and money is the question?

If your system runs fine now... enjoy it, dont bother changing anything.

I would consider Raid 1 until the SSD's are less pricey and then snag one of those.


a c 353 G Storage
August 20, 2008 10:27:42 PM

grieve, I think you accidently got your 0's and 1's switched.

0 is for performance (No back-up) and 1 is for safety (Back-up), but is slower than a non raid config (w/same drive)
August 20, 2008 11:31:53 PM

RAID 1 or mirroring offers better read performance and redundancy. RAID 0 offers total loss of data potential. Don't do raid 0 ever!

RetiredChief said:
grieve, I think you accidently got your 0's and 1's switched.

0 is for performance (No back-up) and 1 is for safety (Back-up), but is slower than a non raid config (w/same drive)

August 21, 2008 8:54:41 PM

yeah Raid 0 is a suicide mission... Raid 1 is better for integrity

But I think he meant same thing I did that raid 1 is almost twice as fast for getting data off drives then not having a raid system at all because there are two copies available for extraction, thus twice the bandwidth off drives, but somewhat slower when writiting because of the double work, but as far as your experince with a GUI you notice read lags more than writes, assuming you have enough ram that it's not too dependant of pagefile.

Plus if one drive crashes you dont have to worry about lossing anything...

I would raid 1 until I ran out of space then go get better drives... cost to goto Raid1 for this guy is almost negligable to increase performance compaird to buying new velocity drives.
August 21, 2008 11:33:46 PM

wheelthrown said:
... raid 1 is almost twice as fast for getting data off drives then not having a raid system at all because there are two copies available for extraction, thus twice the bandwidth off drives, ...


Only if the RAID controller supports this. Not all of them do. Most of the motherboard-based controllers do not do this, and read at the same speed as a single drive.
August 22, 2008 5:58:27 AM

yes... my point was that a raid card is much cheeper way to get faster drive speed than buying faster drives concidering his situation. u are absolutly correct that his mb would not support the desired effect. he would need a card but compaired to buying 2 velocity raptors thats a small price to pay.. and even then I would still buy the card and the two new drives.... lol -J
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