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Best setup for one SSD and two HDDs for performance

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April 13, 2010 6:59:16 PM

I'm building a new machine. My current storage issues has me wanting to plan ahead better on the next one.
Right now I'm working with two 300M drives and one is used for OSS/general media and the other for video files. This is problematic because when you run out of space on one, you inevitably create an overflow folder on the drive with spare space. This is why partitioning is a mess. Also, I'm well aware of the pros of keeping OSS on its own drive. Finally, I had/have a 750M external drive that I run select backups to to keep my wife from killing me by losing the family pictures, etc.

Fast forward. The new system will be Win7 run off the X25-V 40G SSD. I'll try not to run out of space by being very selective with which apps need the speed.

I'll then have two 1TB Samsung Spinpoints for the data. I don't have any interest in RAID 1 because I really do want the 2TB space. Should I struggle with having two distinct drives and figure out how to organize folders or should I run them in RAID 0 as one big drive or is that just too risky? I'd probably selectively create my backup profile to the external 750G based on how important the data is... financial/tax records, photos, etc so that may mitigate some risk. How would you do it?

Thanks.

Bobby
April 13, 2010 10:10:19 PM

For what you are using them for you won't see much of a practical performance difference either way.

You are currently having trouble organizing folders on 300G drives -- will you have the same trouble with the larger 1TB drives? If so, Raid them. If not, don't.

I just ordered a 30GB SSD for my OS, and have spinners for my pics/music/videos/data, and I am not going to bother with RAID 0. Just too much of a pain to set up and then maintain if the array goes down. I figure the SSD will be plenty fast and my drives are big enough that I won't have to play folder jenga.

Its good that you are making sure that you back up the critical stuff. One of my drives just failed after just six months and if I didn't have WHS I would be in deep trouble.

April 13, 2010 10:56:12 PM

good point
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a c 415 G Storage
April 13, 2010 10:56:15 PM

2TB drives are now down to the point where they're pretty much cost-competitive with 1TB drives (i.e., a 2TB drive is around 2X the cost of a 1TB drive). In your position I'd probably just go with the 2TB rather than a couple of 1TBs.
April 14, 2010 1:26:22 AM

sminlal said:
2TB drives are now down to the point where they're pretty much cost-competitive with 1TB drives (i.e., a 2TB drive is around 2X the cost of a 1TB drive). In your position I'd probably just go with the 2TB rather than a couple of 1TBs.



But what this fails to tell you that It is harder to archive a 2tb drive cause you can only back up the data on another 2tb drive. This is the reason I keep 1tb drives and have not moved over to 2tb. Also when that drive goes down cause they all do, I would rather lose 1tb of data than 2.

Unless you want to buy a 2tb and another to back that 2tb up the cost can add up. But I do agree the prices are looking good on bigger hds.
a c 415 G Storage
April 14, 2010 2:21:45 AM

> But what this fails to tell you that It is harder to archive a 2tb drive cause you can only back up the data on another 2tb drive.

Two comments:

1) The OP is talking about archiving only selected files, so he doesn't need as much capacity on the backup drive.

2) Even if he needed 2TB of backup capacity, he's in the situation of choosing what drives to buy. He doesn't have to worry about how to fit his backup on existing drives. So if he needs 2TB of space for backup he can buy a 2TB backup drive just as easily as he can buy two 1TB drives.


> Also when that drive goes down cause they all do, I would rather lose 1tb of data than 2.

Two more comments:

1) Why use 1TB drives when you could use 500GB drives and only loose that much data at a time? Where does it end?

2) You only need the backup if the main drive fails. The chances of both drives failing at the same time are fairly small.

The reality is that you should really consider any data loss to be unacceptable. You shouldn't loose data no matter what drive fails. If you're really worried about failure of a backup drive, this means you should alternate between at least two backup drives. That way if you loose one drive you have the other to recover from. So there's no worry about "loosing more data with larger drives".
April 19, 2010 8:26:28 PM

Good points so far. I actually already purchased the 40g SSD and two 1TB drives.

I'll also have my exisiting 750g external and will probably carry over one of my existing 300g internal as well.

Most of my disc usage is video. It's hard to believe how much space my DV AVI files take up. I usually edit projects, render to the final AVI file, and then ditch the originals to save space. Even doing that, my two 300g drives are packed to the point of overflowing projects to spare space on my external. In the current machine, my OS and apps are also on one of the 300g drives.

I would simply use one 1TB drive for all media and mirror it on the other 1TB but I'd like to start archiving my original video captures instead of ditching them because I tend to reuse my miniDV tapes. I guess I'm still not seeing the magic solution other than grabbing another 2TB worth of drives and just mirroring everything. It's only $140 right...so maybe that's the ticket.

OT: Does win7 have a built in data backup solution?
a c 415 G Storage
April 19, 2010 9:14:51 PM

Windows 7 includes the ability to make a "System Image" backup to save a copy of the entire OS partition in case of corruption or drive failure, as well as the ability to make file-based backups so that you can restore individual files if necessary.
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