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New HDD setup with Windows 7 -- Need help!

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October 19, 2009 10:49:54 PM

Hey guys,

It's been a while since I've posted here, but I'm hoping the community is still as helpful and knowledgeable as I recall. I built a new system less than a year ago with the following specs:

i7 920 @ 3.8ghz
ASUS P6T Deluxe V2
OCZ Platinum 1600 6gb
EVGA GTX295
Corsair 750w PSU
WD Caviar Black 640gb HDD

I absolutely love the system and have been running games flawlessly for the most part on vista 64 bit.

I preordered the windows 7 upgrade a while ago and will be switching over when it is released. I recently noticed while trying to record some game footage using fraps that I get very slow framerates. I am running Aion at full settings, max AA at 1900x1200 completely smoothly anywhere from 90 - 160 FPS. When I record, however, I drop down in spikes to under 30 fps at times. I know this is not due to my processor, RAM or graphics card. I have read that an HDD can be a big bottleneck when it comes to fraps recording.

I would like to upgrade my HDD setup. I'm not sure whether or not I want to add another caviar black in a raid configuration (I heard that this can be very effective) , or change hard drives all together. I figure that the windows 7 release is a good time to do this, since I'll want to do a clean format before I install the OS. My budget is pretty flexible, but I don't want to go overboard. My main concern is fraps recording, so I'm open to any suggestions for improvement.

Thanks in advance!

More about : hdd setup windows

a b $ Windows 7
a b G Storage
October 20, 2009 4:23:06 AM

A hard drive could be responsible for system slowdown but it shiuldn't have that great an effect on framerates. Seems more like a software problem to me.

I'm not sure what upgrade you would be looking at, and raid 0 probably wouldn't hellp framrate drops. Unless you are ready to invest in an SSD, which would help load times and overall system performnace.

Have you recently defragged, and gotten rid of spyware, hard drive crud, etc. How about recent driver changes?

It definitely looks like its the fraps recording that is dropping the framerates, as you say normally it runs just fiune. I'm just not sure how a new hard drive is gonna help.
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October 20, 2009 4:38:46 AM

I've heard HDDs can be the issue, since fraps records raw video on the fly. It seems to make sense to me, as it would be pretty difficult to record 60 fps videos at 1900x1200 constantly while writing to the HDD...at full size that's multiple gigs a minute. This seems outside of the writing range of my HDD while sharing all other vista processes.

Maybe i'm way off base, but I can't think of anything else that would be slowing the framerates down so dramatically while recording.
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October 20, 2009 4:39:15 AM

As buzznut said a new HDD on its own will not help (one possible exception). Assuming the issue really is throughput on the HDD then the only thing to do is to go to RAID 0 or an SSD. I'm surprised this would cause that big of a hit to frame rates (I would expect long load times), although I guess it could be causing a lot of paging activity. If it is paging activity then you will probably not be able to get around it, but RAID or an SSD would ammeliorate the situation.

Possible exception on the new HDD: If there is way to have FRAPS record to a different drive than the game is reading/writing to then a new drive (non RAID) may help as you could split the load. It owuld really depend on what FRAPS is doing and I do not know exactly how it works (i.e. it may save everything to a temp file before saving to final location).
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October 20, 2009 4:58:37 AM

kamel5547 said:
As buzznut said a new HDD on its own will not help (one possible exception). Assuming the issue really is throughput on the HDD then the only thing to do is to go to RAID 0 or an SSD. I'm surprised this would cause that big of a hit to frame rates (I would expect long load times), although I guess it could be causing a lot of paging activity. If it is paging activity then you will probably not be able to get around it, but RAID or an SSD would ammeliorate the situation.

Possible exception on the new HDD: If there is way to have FRAPS record to a different drive than the game is reading/writing to then a new drive (non RAID) may help as you could split the load. It owuld really depend on what FRAPS is doing and I do not know exactly how it works (i.e. it may save everything to a temp file before saving to final location).


I did have someone suggest that I get another drive in either raid 0 or just run it independently and dedicate it to fraps recording. I am also not that familiar with how it works. Maybe this screenshot will be of some help?



Does that read/write seem to be a lot? I notice that the HDD activity is peaking often (during recording)
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