I've got a somewhat decent gaming system and I'm exploring some storage options. Unfortunately, I'm a complete novice when it comes to storage and it would be amazing if I you guys could provide me with some pointers on what sort of storage setup would be good for a gaming system.
Intel i7 920 OC'd 3.8Ghz
MSI ATI Radeon HD5970
6GB DDR3 Corsair Dominator RAM
Asus P6T Deluxe V2
Corsair HX1000W PSU
Antec Twelve Hundred case
Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB WD2001FAS
Windows 7 64-bits
Currently I've got my OS and 150GB worth of games on my Western Digital.
What some people have suggested me is to get a SSD to use for my OS and applications, keep the WD as purely a storage drive, and go for a Velociraptor for games-only. I've also seen some talk about "ghosting" (I got no clue what this is) which is supposed to let a regular HDD benefit from the reading speeds of a SSD.
Like I stated above, I'm a complete novice in terms of storage. I've never paid much attention to hard drives before, but people keep telling me that a SSD is the "single most noticeable upgrade" you can get for your PC right now, and I'm willing to jump into the bandwagon. Problem is, I'm a gamer and the storage size of SSD's seems to be very limiting unless you got loads and loads of cash to drop. So using a SSD for anything other than the OS/applications seems out of the question.
My budget is about $500-$600. Based on that, and taking into account the WD I already own, what would be the best way to spend this money to get a good storage setup for my gaming system?
Ive got two cheap Seagate drives that are already individually fast in RAID 0. I average just over 230mb/s read and write. I keep a system image backed up on my 2tb drive. Its a cost effective solution that gave me solid performance, assuming your board has a built in controller. Two drives would cost you about $110. If you've got more than you might throw four together, or even splurge to get a good add in controller card.
You have to realize, faster hard drives will not have a huge impact on your gaming. You have a great processor, and great video card - those are the most important issues. If you want to dump money to shave a few seconds off your boot time, sure, you can do that. I don't think it will affect your frame rates much.
I'm happy with my current FPS performance in games and I understand that changing my storage hardware around won't do much. I'm more concerned with having a faster, more responsive system, faster boot times, and reducing (or downright eliminating) those annoying loading stutters that happen every once in a while in wide-open sandbox games. Like I said before though, I'm a complete novice when it comes to storage. As far as I was concerned, storage was just a single HDD for your entire system and that was it, but it seems the trend lately is to have 1) a SSD for your boot/OS/Applications, 2) a fast HDD for your games, and 3) a storage HDD for movies/music/etc.
The cost-to-GB ratio of current SSD's make them very, very restrictive for use in gaming unless you've got loads and loads of cash to spend, or unless you only plan on playing 1 or 2 games constantly (like World of Warcraft), so that's out of the question for now. I figured (and correct me if I'm wrong) that having a fast 10,000rpm HDD dedicated exclusively to games would make my loading times better and help placate the occasional in-game loading stutters that happen in wide-open games.