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WD 640 (2 of em) vs. WD/sam 1tb (1 of em)

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August 25, 2008 7:06:19 PM

Building a new PC, got the CPU, GPU, MB, & Memory lined up, now I'm looking at hard drives.
CPU: Q9550
GPU: 2x ATI 3650
Mem: Corsair 2x2gb DDR2 800
Mb: Asus P5Q-E

Looked at newegg:
$85/each = WD 640gb (http://www.newegg.com/Product/...?Item=N82E16822136218)
$150 = WD 1tb (http://www.newegg.com/Product/...?Item=N82E16822136151)
$150 = Sam 1tb (http://www.newegg.com/Product/...?Item=N82E16822152102)

My usage:
-Trade for a living across 3 monitors
-Home video editing (& watching dvd's on occasion)
-No games

Question:
-Any reason NOT to get 2 of the WD 640gb drives for $170 for 1.28tb of space instead of just 1 of the 1tb drives? This way I can separate windows & programs from data (most of which is home videos & pictures)?

Guess I'm mainly looking for a short list of the major pro's/con's of having 2 smaller drives vs. 1 larger drive...(i.e. Power use, heat generation, noise, speed, etc.). Tnx!

More about : 640 sam 1tb

August 25, 2008 7:21:49 PM

I always suggest going with multiple drive to separate programs and data. plus i think the 1tb drives are still a bit over priced, but i heard that they might come down again soon. the amount of power used will obviously be higher, however the that being said just make sure your case is well ventilated (which you should be doing anyway), i really don;t see any cons of the 2 drive setup.
August 25, 2008 7:24:44 PM

I'd go dual drives.
But I have to advise you, definitely go with a different video setup.
Related resources
August 25, 2008 7:34:28 PM

From THG, those drives is the AAKS family seem to run a little hot, at 48'. They did not have the 640 listed, but they had a 750 from that series.

If you really want the best bang, go for RAID-0. Hopefully you back stuff up, then this won't be a problem. People should not buy a drive and pray it does not crash with their data on it. I run RAID-0 on most of my systems, which all backup daily automatically. If you are going with Vista, you can resize partitions dynamically now through the Storage Manager.

David
August 25, 2008 7:43:18 PM

ok, probably will do the 2 drives.

themyrm: Why a diff. video setup? I've only been told to maybe go with 2 passive-cooled 3450's if I was going to go with anything different given that I have such basic usages...but where's the problem with 2 3650's?
August 25, 2008 8:08:38 PM

the issue with going raid 0 is you have now just doubled your chance of drive failure, as your using 2 drives as one big drive to store everything. if this system is something mission critical your still better off separating your data onto another drive. those aak drives are fast as anything to begin with so it should not be a big deal. in the end you have to decide whether you want to trade off the speed for security.
August 26, 2008 11:29:50 AM

I'm not going to be doing any RAID with these drives. I've read various reviews indicating a very slight performance boost with RAID 0, and in my world, losing all data if 1 drive fails is not something I can live with:

2 reviews about RAID 0 performance increases:
http://www.overclockercafe.com/Articles/RAID/pg_2.htm
http://www.anandtech.com/printarticle.aspx?i=2101

So with RAID out of the equation, the edge still goes to owning 2 drives for splitting data from programs vs. 1 big drive?

Also, themyrm, still don't understand the problem w/ 2 ATI 3650's...
August 26, 2008 12:51:17 PM

Well jhammer here are some thoughts:

If you think having 2 drives is any form of backup, that is just wrong...unless you plan to do RAID-1. But you still should use some other form of backup in addition to RAID-1.

Having 640GB for the OS is a waste. You would be better to RAID-0 or SPAN the partition between the drives, and make the OS partition 50GB or less, or even 100GB if needed. Remember, you said 1 drive for programs, 1 for OS.

What I don't get, since you are not doing RAID-1, what difference does it make? If a drive dies, your PC will ultimately be "not working" with either the RAID or non-RAID scenario. What good is the OS without the programs or data drive, or however you plan to split it?

Also, RAID performance is complicated. I read your links, and the 1st one does not mention the drives or the RAID controller. The 2nd article mentions these, but they are talking about a ICH5/6 controller, the 1st attempt for Intel to do RAID. The ICH9/10 controllers do this alot better than the older versions. Also, what you plan to do makes the difference. I have noticed a HUGE performance increase when I rip a DVD movie, which writes alot of data to the drive. My Office apps don't seem any different, some games do, some don't. Also, they don't mention the stripe size in the 1st review, which can make or break performance with RAID-0 arrays. THG did an article on stripe sizes and the impact to performance, and I think they did an article about on-board RAID controllers too with respect to performance ratings.

Just some thoughts...

August 26, 2008 2:05:27 PM

After reading about partitioning and stuff, I think I'm going to just go basic, skip RAID, maybe make 1 partition for a swap file, and then just have a C and a D drive. I'll put the OS & programs + maybe large video files on the C. I'll put the rest of my data on D. I doubt I'll notice a huge diff in performance personally given that for the past 5 yrs I've been on 1st gen SATA with all old components, so this new PC will probably boggle my mind regardless...
August 26, 2008 2:44:00 PM

Here is an idea, but I am not sure the on-board controller will support this.

Multiple arrays on the 2 drives. You could, depending on the controller, make a RAID-1 array using 100GB from each drive for your boot partition. This would give you some redundancy if 1 drive were to fail. Your system would still be able to boot should you lose 1 drive. Then make a 2nd array in RAID-0 of 200GB for your video editing. This would give you better performance for this type of operation. So now, you have 100GB in RAID-1 for boot, and 200GB in RAID-0 for video editing, and that leaves 340GB on each drive that you could make available in 1 or 2 partitions, not using any RAID. You could either make 2 x 340GB partitions, or span them with the Windows Disk Manager app that comes with Vista to make a 3rd partition of 680GB. Your total usable space would be 980GB.

Breakdown:
Boot Volume = 100GB RAID-1
Video Editing Volume = 200GB RAID-0 (also put your swap file here)
Volume 3 = 680GB spanned, for pictures and programs.

If the ASUS P5Q-E controller supports multipe arrays on the same drives, which it might.

-D
August 26, 2008 3:03:43 PM

Very interesting and most apropos to my situation, I'll look into what you recommend, thanks for the idea!
August 26, 2008 3:24:14 PM

the ciprico software will do it, and its awesome, i use it for similar reasons when i have to use motherboard raid. plus you can upgrade to hardware raid at a later time with out having to do anything to the drives the hardware will support the prebuilt array on the new controller.
August 26, 2008 6:06:18 PM

JHammer569,

You have proposed 2 questions for discussion.
1). Hard Drive options for a Trading professional, and a video editing hobbyist.
2). You have opened the door for discussions on your video card choice.
-3-monitor, streaming data, DVD watching, non-gamer

Recommended solutions with arguments

Solution 1, tailored to your preferences.
-2 640GB WD hard drives. Fast, quiet, dependable.
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article847-page1.html
Recommended partitions for simplicity, ease of use, and overcoming future problems
C: Drive 1, 320GB. OS, Programs, Swap file.
Use true image or ghost and image this drive either monthly or quarterly. Provides a method of quickly recovering your OS, Programs, and quotes database. Restores your desktop precisely to your last image.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
D: Drive 1, 320GB. Trading Data, Research, library of articles, Accounting, ie back, middle and front office.
Develop a frequent back up methodology for this imperative partition.
E: Drive 2, 320GB. Videos and music.
This is a partition pre-build for the unlikely event of a “drive 1” failure and the need to re-image your C: drive.
F: Drive 2, 320GB. More Videos, music, and hard drive images.

Solution 2. This is the best solution given all your communications.
1 320GB WD hard drive (single platter, for lower noise)
becomes an expendable drive
1 640GB WD hard drive (for all trading data +, no videos)
if your computer crashes tomorrow, this drive is unaffected by the re-imaging process or can travel quickly to the next computer.
1 high capacity E-Sata external drive for videos.
C: Drive1, 320GB. OS, Programs, Swap file. (Imaged, easily replaceable)
D: Drive2, 320GB. Mission critical files. Frequent back up.
E: Drive2, 320GB. HD Images, data and software not requiring “Frequent” back up.
F: Drive3, High capacity, E-sata external drive. (Videos)

Solution 3. Overkill; some pro-traders, trading other peoples money, use this as a “warm and fuzzy” marketing blip.
3 drives in hardware Raid 5


Performance, for your apps, is derived in the following order. CPU, Memory, Video, Hard Drive.
Note: (your use of video editing software is the only caveat)
Keep it simple. Question whether the gains derived from Raid overcome its complexity in implementation, use, and recovery in the event of a problem. Are you willing to miss a trade for x< 2% performance increase?

......
Regarding your second topic, the video card. You may wish to provide this user group with more color regarding the priority and use of your video editing hobby.
August 26, 2008 6:14:55 PM

"Solution 2. This is the best solution given all your communications.
1 320GB WD hard drive (single platter, for lower noise)
becomes an expendable drive
1 640GB WD hard drive (for all trading data +, no videos)
if your computer crashes tomorrow, this drive is unaffected by the re-imaging process or can travel quickly to the next computer.
1 high capacity E-Sata external drive for videos.
C: Drive1, 320GB. OS, Programs, Swap file. (Imaged, easily replaceable)
D: Drive2, 320GB. Mission critical files. Frequent back up.
E: Drive2, 320GB. HD Images, data and software not requiring “Frequent” back up.
F: Drive3, High capacity, E-sata external drive. (Videos)"

Edit
under this solution, HD images should be on the F: Drive3, external drive.

Edit 2:
C: Drive1, 320GB. OS Programs, Swap file. (Imaged, easily replaceable)
D: Drive2, 320GB. Mission critical files. Frequent back up.
E: Drive2, 320GB. Videos and music
F: Drive3, High capacity external drive. HD Images, Archived Videos, Mission critical(drive 2) backup location.
(under this solution, the E-sata interface is no longer an imperative)
August 26, 2008 7:34:56 PM

Bro Bro,

All this might be a bit confusing, here is an all-in-one easy fix:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Multi-Bay-USB-2-0-eSATA-SATA-RAID-S...

Buy your 2 drives and put them in that device listed above. Set it to "Safe33". You will have 2 hard drives show up, one 210GB, one 860GB. Install the OS on the 210GB drive, and put anything else on the 860GB 2nd drive. This box handles all the raid, there is nothing for you to configure. Remember, if a drive dies, only the 210GB will remain, the the 860GB goes away.

You will need to also buy a eSATA cable(cheap), and a gizmo to take a SATA port from the inside to make it eSATA(also cheap). After you set Safe33, install your OS and apps to the smaller drive, dump your other stuff on the big drive, and you are done.

Whalah!

P.S. THG also review this unit, they liked it and it was recommended well.
August 26, 2008 9:03:10 PM

tnx for the promo code.

amdiesen, my trading data is virtually nil. It would just fall into the category of apps/programs. Videos/music are the largest hogs. The rest of my misc. data like email & excel spreadsheets and stuff like that isn't too bad.

But you bring up an interesting thought that I didn't consider...maybe I should just do a 320gb on Drive 1 for OS/apps, and maybe go with a 640gb Western Digital for Drive 2 for all my data, with the option of always adding a 3rd drive down the road if I need more room?

I currently have a WD Mybook external hard drive for backup purposes so I don't need anything beyond that. My large video files, once I burn them onto DVD's or make them into movies, I'll probably slowly delete since I don't see the purpose of keeping them for 25 years if I have them on DVD in edited version.
!