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Is there anything faster that isn't $300 plus....

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July 27, 2009 4:24:25 PM

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5

From what I could tell it is one of the fastest drives. I'm willing to go down in size I don't store that much data. Load speed of games and reliability is more important to me than capacity. This is strictly a gaming rig build. I'm even willing to spend about $200 US on a drive if it is worth the speed and go down to say 200gb range. I think lower than that I might have some issues with space.

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July 27, 2009 4:56:30 PM

That 80gig will probably be impossible for me to downsize to. Maybe I'll upgrade to that later. What about raid 0 or 5 options, anything really going to make a difference in load speeds?

Are there any i7 920 boards with a good raid 5 or a raid 5 aftermarket card you would recommend?
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a c 127 G Storage
July 27, 2009 9:40:24 PM

Quote:
Load speed of games and reliability is more important to me than capacity.

If that is the case then an SSD is the only viable option, IMO. Not all games are heavy I/O bound but for some games the difference is phenomenal, look at this chart:


(source)

It kind of depends on the game to what degree your performance will increase, but these are time measured benchmarks: real seconds. And the difference is quite large. Now consider your data may get more fragmented over time (due to updates, "defragmenting" causing coherent data to seperate etc) and the difference will be even higher, since a good SSD won't degrade much when doing random reads instead of sequential reads.

And don't go RAID5, maybe if you have lots and lots of data, you currently you don't. So go buy a 1TB drive and you will be fine, and use the existing array as backup solution etc.
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July 27, 2009 9:54:33 PM

Nice that was exactly what I was looking for since I do play a lot of world of warcraft or games like that. I notice a lot of loading between screen lag. Based off of that I'm wondering if the best option for price until SSD comes down some more is getting a second Seagate 500gb drive in raid 0 with a new 1tb for backups.
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a c 127 G Storage
July 27, 2009 11:07:55 PM

Well price is going down right now, since Intel launched its new "Generation 2" or G2 version of the X25-M SSD. This makes the 80GB version to go for close to $200 which is a great deal considering the performance level.

If you want more storage space in the future, you can always buy more 80GB's and make a RAID0 of them. That wouldn't hurt, as you can trust SSDs not to fail like HDDs do. Always make backups of stuff you don't want to loose though, but generally don't store user/data files on SSDs since thats a waste. Use it to store the system (OS) and Application/Games, as they will benefit most from being released of "HDD prison". ;) 
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July 28, 2009 5:32:39 PM

My problem is I need about 100-140gbs with all the games and apps I was shooting for 200gbs just for room to defrag and what not. The $400 plus a backup drive is a bit more than I wanted to swing right now. $200 was kind of my target budget and I can do that with two Seagate 500gb 7200.12 in raid 0 and one Seagate 1tb 7200.12 for backup and storage. I think the wife would castrate me if I went and bought 2 of the SSDs or worse the 160gb ssd.

I run a file server for photos documents etc so I really don't store much on my main computer.

Seeing the tests I'm itching to buy an SSD. If it was like 200gbs for 200 bucks I could live with that but at 80gigs I would need two. I play a lot of games but I'm also a graphics designer, programmer, so I have a lot of stuff I use and right now money is a bit tight to go reckless and drop 400 on two drives while supporting a family. But I do appreciate your opinion and really want to go SSD as soon as it becomes a bit more reasonable.
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a c 127 G Storage
July 28, 2009 7:18:45 PM

If you got central file storage, the only thing you need on your desktops is storage aimed at performance. You say you need 100-140GB, well that would be two 80GB SSDs. If the price goes down within a month to $175, you can buy two for $350, which already more reasonable. And they really are fast.

Maybe you can buy one SSD now, put some things on central storage instead, and buy another one later so you can install more apps. Although i don't usually do this, you can also install apps to a network drive. It will be slower, so its only useful for apps you don't use often.

The other alternative is to abandon SSDs for now and pick a traditional HDD solution. But i do think SSDs have a longer economical lifespan, because they are small, use virtually no power and are very reliable it should be a durable investment that can still be useful later when even faster SSDs are available. In that case you buy new ones and cycle the old ones to other computers. That's how i've been buying my hardware and i got about 5 boxes at home and some more at work. Its actually quite cheap if you know how to spend you money wisely.

But SSDs are expensive ay, but it won't change that fast since of flash memory shortage. The Intels are now cheaper because intel can produce them cheaper, with newer technology. So its not a "profit margin cut". In other words, i don't think the price per GB will drop significantly over the next year. SSDs may profit from 6Gbps SATA but they are already very fast. Especially Intel; the only one with superb random write performance that's astonishing.
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a c 127 G Storage
July 28, 2009 7:20:16 PM

However, if you feel you can't justify the expense with relation to your other duties, then that's certainly a consideration. Its a luxery, really. So do what is wise. :) 
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July 28, 2009 7:41:14 PM

2 X WD Caviar Black 640 GB (the model ending in AALS) in a raid setup would be nice and cost you less than $200
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July 28, 2009 8:05:46 PM

two (quality) single platter 500gig drives in raid 0 would cost significantly less than 200 (maybe 115-135) and be much faster than a single 1TB drive. depends if your comfortable setting up a raid array. just my 2 cents
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July 28, 2009 10:02:12 PM

Thanks guys, I'm going to go with the WD Cavier Blacks. I guess one of the results I looked at earlier I read wrong and it was showing the Barracuda 7200.12 with faster load times. Now the question is 2x500gb or the 640gb version...is the any of them faster at that much space I will never fill them up so speed is the deciding factor.
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July 28, 2009 10:09:12 PM

correct me if im wrong (i dont want to give bad advice) but since they both have two platters the larger drive should provide SLIGHTLY better performance. BUT it probably wont be noticeable and you wont use the extra storage (as you have said) so get which ever you can find cheaper... probably the 500gig models
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a b G Storage
July 29, 2009 5:15:32 AM

Yeah the 640GBs are faster.
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July 30, 2009 5:31:39 AM

try raid 0 otherwise you prolly wont see any difference unless you brake for a ssd
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July 31, 2009 4:24:22 PM

Thanks for all the replies I'm thinking about trying out the 2x640gb caviar blacks in raid 0 and then using a 1x1tb caviar black as the backup. Then when SSDs get cheaper over the next year I'll jump on that band wagon...unless I win the lotto lol.
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