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7200rpm 32MB Cache vs. 10000rpm 16MB Cache

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September 8, 2008 6:05:52 PM

Thinking of building a new machine with the 790FX/SB750 boards. Wonder whether a 500GB 7200rpm 32MB cache drive or a 72GB 10000rpm 16MB cache drive would give better performance for Vista x64. Any opinion? Thanks.
September 8, 2008 6:13:22 PM

Well the 10K will give you a better "Vista score", so you could use it for the OS, and a couple of games. Then use the 500GB as storage. (similar to myself, using the Velociraptor as a primary boot, and a 750GB for storage) The raptor will also cut down the boot time (a couple of seconds, to a few minutes).

P.S. those boot times are depending on your other hardware.
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September 8, 2008 6:43:06 PM

are you talking a raptor? because those are around $150 aren't they? you can get two 500gb drives and raid 0 them or for $170 get two 640gb wd drives. that is 1.28tb of space, plenty of speed. that being said i wouldn't recommend any of it without knowing the rest of your set up. typically $85 on one wd640gb is fine with the rest of the money better spent elsewhere. but if the rest of your system is set and in no need of upgrade and you want to spend that amount i would recommend two bigger drive. you can even partition for the OS.
September 9, 2008 12:35:34 PM

Thanks, guys.

@IH8U: How's your experience with the raptors? Are they super hot or noisy? I don't do much gaming, so HDD space is not my problem. (I go 790FX to hook 4 DVI displays :) ) I probably with buy a Drobo and put all my data in it.

@evongugg: Very useful. I'll spend time on it.

@bdollar: I have had a failed drive in a RAID0 array in the days of i845D. I guess I'll not try it this time. By the way, do you think RAID1 is a good choice? I've heard that it can speed up data reading, but I don't really know it's true or not.
September 9, 2008 1:35:11 PM

raid 1 is two drives that are mirrored. so you have redundancy if one fails. this protects you against drive failure. but keep in mind you should probably have another back up source as well that isn't located in your computer in case something happened to the computer and damaged both drives.

as far as speed. you are talking 10k drive , raid 1, etc. what are you trying to gain speed in? the different between 1 640gb wd ncq drive and a 10k drive is really a matter of seconds. are you doing something where seconds are make or break. I mean it doesn't matter a whole lot if you can afford it and want to have it but if you are on a budget then there are probably better areas to spend the $$.

now simply talking raid 1 speed. any gains in reads are typically overshadowed by losses in writes from my experience. but if all you are concerned about is reads then their may be a little benefit.
September 9, 2008 2:18:15 PM

You're right. I probably should spend time on thinking about $$ too. Otherwise, it would be unfair to not to mention the 15K SAS drives :) .

To be honest, there is nothing I'm doing on my computer that requires a few seconds gain. The reason I asked the question is simply because I'm an impatient person. As long as I can afford it, I wouldn't mind spending a few more bucks to make my computer boots faster, my application comes up faster and software updates install faster. I guess I probably should spend more time on doing software tunings than pouring $$ into something I might not need at all.

The configuration I'm thinking at the moment is:

- Phenom X4 9350e (wants to stay in 65W TDP, hate CPU fans & save some energy)
- AMD 790FX + SB750 (probably Foxconn)
- 8GB DDR2-800 (save some $$)
- Dual-DVI HD4xxx *2 (don't do much gaming, probably getting the cheapest one)
- Dual Layer DVD Burner (not quite interested in Blu-Ray)
- 24" LCD x2 + 20" LCD x2

As I said, I think I will put all my files in a Drobo and upload to Amazon S3. So, I suppose I need nothing more than a system drive for storage. How would you say getting the Seagate ST3500320AS for Vista?
September 9, 2008 2:55:17 PM

seagate makes good drives. someone on here has a comparison link to the 32mb cache seagate vs the 16mb cache wd640 and they are actually pretty similar. but you said you don't need the space so getting the extra 140gb probably isn't that big of a deal. in that case i would say might as well go with the higher cache and save $10.

i think you can speed up with a partition as well. that is not my strong suit so you may want to get some scoop on that.

hd4850s are great but they do run warm. not sure what case you have and how cool it will be. i think pretty soon the other 2 4000 series cards are coming out. may want to check specs and prices on them when they do. might save you some money and still provide the performance you need. also maybe they are not as warm. i don't know a lot about it but worth looking into.
September 9, 2008 2:56:35 PM

oh speaking of 15k sas. new cheetah is 450gb and blows everything away. of course $900. :)  :) 
September 9, 2008 11:53:20 PM

@bdollar: Glad that you help. Heat is certainly a big issue to me, because I really hate noisy computer. Hope AMD can release the other HD-4 series cards very soon. There is no way I'll get a UVD card when there is UVD2 cards available. I guess I should spend some time on searching for a good case too. Thx. :) 
September 10, 2008 2:18:33 AM

if you want recs on case and stuff then your best bet is probably to put an idea of what your budget is. what components you are thinking about gettng (with price for each). that will give us an idea of price range and we can recommend things like case and psu etc. also put what your usage plans for the computer are and how you typically upgrade (like never upgrade, upgrade often, etc). this will help with quality recommendations.

as far as the hd-4 series. tom's did a review of the new ones coming out. may want to search for it. again, don't know what your usage is but they might be an option. :) 
September 10, 2008 4:43:15 AM

Actually, the computer I'm talking here is my working machine. I only do a certain few things on it.

- Web Browsing + E-mail/IM
- Web Development & Design (PHP IDE + Dreamweaver/Photoshop etc.)
- Windows & Linux VMs (emulate my clients & servers environment / I've been doing this on my 4GB laptop and they certainly eat most of the memory)
- Watch Vidcasts & DVDs (hardware acceleration, no matter what)

I think I'm willing to pay $1000 ~ $1500 for the computer without the 4 monitors. As long as it's a Quad-core Phenom with SB750 (I love AMD!) and can use 3-4 DVI displays, any configuration will be fine with me. Quiet parts are always preferred. Thanks again. :) 
September 10, 2008 4:44:20 AM

P.S. I usually re-build everything every 2-3 years, so upgrade is probably not necessary. Thx.
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