Big Newb, HD speed confusion

Hey guys, this is probably a laughable question, but I would really appreciate some schooling on this.

I am getting my first desktop and want 2x 150gb velociraptors in raid 0 and 1Tb for data.

I dont understand what would go on the velociraptors.

For example:

If i put the very demanding itunes on the velociraptor to help speed things up, would it even do any good if all the music files were on the 1tb drive?


If windows is on this velociraptor setup, would using a program or data from the 1tb drive basically negate the performance increase of windows for that task?

Basically: will only the programs and data that are exclusively using the velociraptors be faster, and then any time another drive is used there will be no increase??

It seems the programs that I would want to have this capability would all actually use the large slow data drive at the same time (itunes, dvd encoding/decoding, and such)

ANY explanation/advise/help is so appreciated.

13 answers Last reply
More about newb speed confusion
  1. First off, iTunes is not hard drive intensive. It uses quite a bit of memory for what it does, but it in no way taxes your HDD subsystem.

    In order to give you a better answer I need a few things:

    1. What is the rest of the build you're intending?
    2. What will you be using it for?
    3. What is your overall budget?

    RAID and VR drives are not for everyone (a very small percentage of the population actually benefits from such devices/setups), and given the nature of your question, I'd like to analyze whether or not these choices will affect your overall experience with your new build.
  2. core i7-920 OC to 3.1
    Asus P6T delux v2 intel X58
    6 GB DDR3 1600 (*** considering 12gb here, you seem like you know about that decision too and my potential for using that much)
    GeForce GTX285 2GB (might be putting another in later)
    Blur ray drive/ dual layer dvd burner

    I left out some stuff (coolers, power etc) but the whole system is $2068
    My budget could go over 3K, but only if there are benefits that would actually help my needs.

    I will game a little, but really I don't need great performance and don't need to spend more for that.

    Mostly I want to do this (**and all at the same time with no delays...its getting annoying not being able to do it):
    -- Firefox...infinite windows open
    -- Itunes...processing several albums and video at once while playing music
    -- DVD encoding...want to rip DVDs and convert them to other formats and edit their contents and such
    - Watch saved movies in a corner of the screen
    - use other programs that probably arent too intensive at the same time as all this

    Thats pretty much it, and now I am wondering if really Ram is the big issue for me and not data.

    If so, would it be best to do like 2x 1tb drives in raid?
  3. Unless you plan on using GPU-accelerated encoding programs (which currently suffer in terms quality) or gaming at high resolutions (1920x1200+) you really don't need a 285. An ATI 4770 or 4850 would be more than enough for your needs, with plenty of extra horsepower down the line (or GTS 250 or 9800GT on the nVidia side).

    I would take the money you save on a more reasonable GPU and invest in 12GB of memory (1600 CAS 7). This one looks promising:

    As for the hard drive situation, if you get paid to do any of the things you're doing do not use a RAID 0 system. In that case use a RAID 5 because it will give you the speed you're looking for in encoding and file transfers and also provide some security in it's parity disc.

    If it were me, I'd probably do a SSD as the system/programs drive, and a single TB drive as storage (or more if needed in JBOD). Some people love the speed their RAID 0 systems give them, but after all the headaches I've heard people have (disc failure, controller failure, etc) I don't think I'd ever do it. Then again, I don't have any experience with RAID systems, so I'm hardly an authority on the subject.

    From your original question:

    The transfer rate from disc-to-disc (i.e. file copy or move) will always be at maximum the slower of the two devices.
    In the case of loading programs it will always be the speed of the drive you're loading it from (since it loads from disc to ram).
    When encoding video you should always read from one disc and write to another for ideal performance (and the read performance is more critical in this case, although not the bottleneck of the process, which you've addressed by selecting a i7 920).
  4. Ok that helps a ton, thanks.

    I have heard that SSDs are not quite good yet, do you know if these concerns are valid?

    Also, do you think having a fast HD for loading the encoding type program (and using the data off the slow drive...then writing the finished product to the slow drive) will improve performance much at all? (Just trying to make sure I really understand that last part)
  5. lations said:
    Ok that helps a ton, thanks.

    I have heard that SSDs are not quite good yet, do you know if these concerns are valid?

    Also, do you think having a fast HD for loading the encoding type program (and using the data off the slow drive...then writing the finished product to the slow drive) will improve performance much at all? (Just trying to make sure I really understand that last part)

    "Good" is not very specific. There are several SSDs that perform very, very well. There are some that don't perform as well. They are definitely still a very immature technology, and I would currently only recommend them to enthusiasts.
  6. SSDs that would be good choices (listed in approximate order, fastest to slowest):

    Intel X25-M
    OCZ Summit
    OCZ Vertex
    Super Talent MasterDrive SX
    OCZ Apex
    Super Talent MasterDrive OX

    There are others out there, but I just listed the most popular performance-level ones.
  7. Indeed...very, very happy with my X25-M. Expensive, but well spent.
  8. Would you guys mind telling me what programs you put on these super expensive SSDs?

    I guess I am still having trouble telling what programs would really be benefited from such a drive.

    Is it basically that windows just starts up instantly and the programs you put on it will instantly pop up?
  9. SSD's (at least the ones KyleSTL listed) give you fast response time and fast read/writes, so yes, programs not only load faster, but Windows starts very quickly. Basically, response time means less time between clicking something and it happening. Saving files, opening programs, changing settings... lots of stuff. The only downside is they're small for the price, though since you're not gaming much, you shouldn't have to worry about that.
  10. Read speed isn't the problem with those cheap drives though. They have delayed write issues, which won't show up on that test.
  11. Oh thanks guys. So i am kind of gathering that if a few seconds here and there dont totally matter, and I'm not gaming much, it probably isnt worth it?

    If I am downplaying the significance at all just let me know...if not i may save the money and go for more space instead.
  12. Unless you're doing huge file transfers I would avoid expensive/complicated. Just get a couple WD Black 1TB drives and that should give you plenty of disk bandwidth. Remember to get a 64 bit OS, and disable (or severely cut back) on the page file/virtual ram (since you will have 12GB of system ram, this should not be a problem). Often times peoples lack of ram translates into high VR usage and it makes the system suffer in all aspects. With plenty of ram, your system will probably be snappy enough that a RAID array or SSD won't make a whole lot of difference.
  13. :hello:
    has a very nice section of categories to choose from ranging from Bad Marketing, Build Logs, How-To, Linus Tech Tips Videos, NCIX Tech Tips Videos, Overclocking & Benchmarking, Troubleshooting, Unboxing Videos, Uncategorized, and Water Cooling. They also have lots of Monthly by Year Archives to pour over. Personally after watching about two dozen of the videos hosted by Linus Sebastian, which hosts both the NCIX Tech Tips on YouTube as well as the Linus Tech Tips on, I feel that anyone not knowing something about a particular subject matter will find most everything they are looking for information wise. His videos are sequentially numbered and by subject. I noticed at the end of each of the NCIX Tech Tips videos on YouTube you will see a list of other videos mainly related in some way to many of the questions I have when I decided to gather information on a new PC build for myself. Some are ones hosted by Linus, and others are hosted by other people. I feel that this information in these videos are second to none and answer questions I had been wishing I could find good videos and information on. He is not stammering around talking non-sense, but is very well versed in PC Building and how to test scenarios to arrive at the test results he is seeking to show you. My intentions are to view every video he has ever produced and as a result I know I will fill in the gaps in my learning of what is missing and what I am seeking knowledge about. The videos are not dry, and he is a little humorous. He breaks these videos down into specific subjects and often breaks down a subject into sub-categories of which he keeps expanding upon for more in-depth knowledge about certain subject matters. Linus cares about helping people and welcomes PM's for which he will answer you for what information your seeking as shown in his videos. I have never seen such wonderful well narrated videos of such closeup video shots to what he is explaining. From a personal viewpoint, I feel a lot of videos on YouTube leave out narration and only play aggravating music, which really takes away from real learning. There is no substitute for bite size lesson videos with good narration and high quality video resolution. Many of his videos are in HD as well as other lower resolution choices. From a personal viewpoint, I think Newbies or far less informed people should start digging in for their information instead of the Forums. I think you will learn more in far less time than it takes to keep messaging and posting back and forth. Save the Forums approach until after you gather enough information from researching and watching good videos first. I feel that you will be better prepared as a result and will be able to post in the forums for answers to more intelligent worded questions. I am certainly not intending to put anyone down, but I hope my experiences and findings will benefit a lot of newbies that do not seem to know the basics before they try to build a complex PC System. Most of his videos seem to run between 6 and 13 minutes which I find to really aid in my learning curve and attention span. Remember, both Linus Tech Tips and NCIX Tech Tips can be accessed from one easy location and are both hosted by the well versed and experienced Linus Sebastian at ( by clicking on the category on the right pane. Hope this helps a few of the newbies to learn the lingo and the methods of doing things they are seeking with far less aggravation than just having at it in the blind from perhaps poorly written instruction books or manuals, LOL. Linus Tech Tips make learning fun and enjoyable. He is a real asset to the community and he is testing new and the best of the latest and greatest as well as some of the less desirable products out there. He is able to weed out what is better and more appropriate for the situation at hand and what you may want but do not know what to get or why!
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