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1 or 2 Drives?

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  • Hard Drives
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
February 5, 2010 2:26:18 AM

I am building a new machine. I am going to be using the machine for home use, basically web surfing and word processing not gaming.
Should I install one large drive, such as a 1TB drive?
Or, should I install two drives, with one being dedicated for the OS?
If I did two drives, how big of a drive would Windows 7 (64) need?
And, if two drives, do they have to be set up as RAID?

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a b G Storage
February 5, 2010 2:36:17 AM

Its really up to you, and how much you want to spend; you could get a pair of drives and put them in RAID 1 (mirrored) or you can run them separately with one as OS and one as data.
You could also get one big drive and separate it into two partitions; one for OS and one for data (this helps if you ever have to reinstall your OS).
As for size, if all depends on what you are going to put on there; the Windows install will be about 20 GB, plus you'll need room for programs. If you just want a bare minimum, in terms of price/gigabyte your best off with at least a 500 GB.
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February 5, 2010 2:47:28 AM

Is there a performance difference in dedicating one drive for OS and one for data? Or would it be that same as partitioning one larger drive?
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a b G Storage
February 5, 2010 2:58:43 AM

There wouldn't be a noticeable performance difference, assuming you get the same line of drive. The partitioning is more for organizing.
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February 5, 2010 3:02:32 AM

Thanks!
This helps me out, I appreciate it.
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February 5, 2010 3:02:46 AM

Best answer selected by ss3251.
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a c 288 G Storage
February 5, 2010 3:08:41 AM

It is simplest to use one large drive. The bigger the better.

Windows will take about 15gb.
It will be loaded first on the outermost parts of the drive where the performance is better.

Partitioning is useful if you want to boot two different os'es, but otherwise, I would not bother.

For web surfing and OS functions, you could consider a 40gb SSD which will make everything feel snappier. Intel has a X25-m for $130. If you need more space, just add a conventional drive for storage and backup.

Raid of any kind is is overhyped and not generally useful to a home user.
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a b G Storage
February 5, 2010 4:50:02 AM

Making two partitions (one for OS, one for data) actually makes a lot of sense if ever upgrade/have to reinstall your OS. If everything is on the same partition, everything gets wiped.
However, if your data is on a separate partition, it will be saved.

I do agree, though; an SSD for the OS is a good idea if you want a faster system, but due to their nature, I wouldn't keep data on them.
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February 5, 2010 11:25:29 AM

I am very interested in using an SSD, probably the 40GB. Is it best to just install the OS (Windows 7-64) on it? Or should I also put major apps (such as Office) on it? I would also have another HDD for data.
The SSD uses SATA 2, I don't see that listed on the MOBO specs, is that rare? I do see 5 SATA 3Gbs connections, will those work with SATA 2?
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a b G Storage
February 5, 2010 1:06:02 PM

You will want to install the OS and your most used programs for the best performance.
SATA 2 is backwards compatible with SATA 1, though your mobo does have SATA 2 (SATA 3Gbs = SATA 2 / SATA 1.5Gbs = SATA 1) so you'll be fine.
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