So I have this awesome gaming rig I built not too long ago but I was unable to afford the hard drive at the time so I recycled some IDE's I had. I know... So I had a system with a huge cooling fan, overclocked CPU, top graphics card, 8GB ram and two lowly IDE's at 120GB and 30GB. So a couple days ago I bought a Western Digital's Caviar Black in 1TB (WD1001FALS). Which apparently is the fastest 7200 RPM from what I've read. So this thing is already a huge improvement over IDE's but my last couple drives were so small I never partitioned them. However this one is huge. So after some reading I decided to partition like this: 25GB, 300GB, 100GB and so far the last 500 (1TB=apparently 931.5GB)is unused. The 25GB I use for Vista and its drivers, the 300GB is for gaming stuff, and 100GB is for other random programs. I did this because some articles I read indicated that Vista would boot faster and be more responsive with a smaller partition at the "front" of the drive. I was content.
However today I was telling my friend about it who is the Geek Squad supervisor at my store. He isn't dumb either, he's really computer savvy and is a gamer and builder with multiple certifications, so I generally agree or accept what he says. But he suggests that eve though it is SATA, I should put the OS on a small partition on the 1TB and then use the rest for storage and the use the IDE's for my games and programs. He said that all the partitioning would cause the hard drive's seek time to increase and therefore slow me down. Is he correct? Because it doesn't seem like that is true.
Here's just a opinion, I don't really have any facts to back it up but...
I would agree with your boss. I don't really see the benefit of partitioning (except for backup purposes: ie. Having a 15 gb OS only partition is a lot easier to back up than a full drive with all your files.)
Partitioning your primary drive makes the single head of the HD go to two different portions of the drive and will thus make the seek times longer.
With your system, I wouldn't think that an IDE drive will slow you down because you should have enough ram to handle it. Two or more drives is almost always recommended, IMO
Well yes. and no. Partitioning is for keeping data seperate. technically if you were to defrag with all of your data on one partition, a good defragmenting program would put all of the files commonly used (a game, vista system files, drivers) at the front of the drive for you, and everything else would be sorted out accordingly. Use the slower drives for data storage, CD images, movies, whatever you got. you will get better seek times by having the OS on one drive, and a game or shared stuff on another so you will benefit from having the ability to read from both drives at the same time. Partitioning doesn't help you for reliability or anything like that, it just keeps things seperate so you can format your primary partition (reinstall windows) without losing your data on the secondary partition.
OS and programs installed on fastest drive you got
Everything else is just storage