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I need 2 hard drives; OS and storage

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May 13, 2010 2:38:14 AM

so i got a new rig, but i still have my old hard drives. I have my old 500gb seagate from a maxtor 4 external, and a wd blue 250gb. I think they're both 8mb cache, and most new hard drives have 32mb. i don't know much about the cache, but i think they're pretty outdated. plus my motherboard has sata III 6g/s support, so i'm thinking of getting new hard drives.

i need one for the OS and all programs, and one for just basic storage. for the OS, i want a speedy one, but something that's still cheap. I'm thinking about the wd black with the 6gb/s feature. and for the storage, i think a 1.5 tb or 2 tb wd caviar green will be enough.
your thoughts?

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May 13, 2010 4:42:56 AM

How much storage space do you need. If 1TB is enough, the Spinpoint F3s are plenty fast. What is your budget? Have you looked into SSDs for a boot drive?
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May 13, 2010 5:00:36 AM

ssds are too expensive right now. i'm looking for spending around 80 for the os hdd and 70 for the storage. plus, i'm gonna have a lot of games and programs to install, and that takes up well over 100 gigs. 250 gb would be enough for me.

for storage, i'd like around 1.5 tb. i have 500 gigs now, and it's filling up quick.
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a b G Storage
May 13, 2010 5:07:35 AM

How about using an external hard drive for storage and a good fast 500GB hard drive like the seagate 7200.12 for the OS and other apps..
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May 13, 2010 5:11:07 AM

i already have an external, but it's only 500 gigs. i want an internal cuz it's more convenient. are caviar greens good, or seagates?

and is the 7200.12 have 6gb/s? does that even help a lot?
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a b G Storage
May 13, 2010 4:17:19 PM

Maybe you should perform a little "surgery" on your 500GB external drive and swap it out for a cheap 1-2TB drive.

6Gb/s is a non-issue with platter hard drives since they are just barely encroaching the original SATA I (1.5Gb/s) speeds. It's more for future SSD's that will break the 3.0Gb/s barrier.
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a c 349 G Storage
May 13, 2010 9:28:02 PM

There is NO standard hard drive on the market now (nor expected in the near future) that can come close to the limits of SATA 6Gb/s. In fact, few get beyond the original SATA 1.5 Gb/s, but there are a few that get over 1.5 but not up to 3.0 Gb/s. So unless you are going to an SSD, don't worry about buying a SATA 6 Gb/s hard drive.

The WD Green drives are good in many ways, but they are not their fastest line. They are designed to save energy, so they actually are a little slower than the WD Black line. Compared to the old drives you have been using, the newer ones are certainly faster. For cost and speedy performance, the Caviar Black with as large a buffer (cache) as you can get will be good. WD commonly makes them with 32 MB cache, some with 64 MB. (They often put 64 MB cache on a Green drive to help offset its slower seek time due to rotational speed.)

On a new WD drive, check carefully for whether it is made with "Advanced Format". This is a new way for data to be organized on the disk surface, and it is supported by the newer Windows (Vista and Win 7). But Win XP requires an adjustment via a free downloadable utility. Check the WD website for details of "Advanced Format."

In terms of cost per GB, the "sweet spot" used to be around 1.5 TB. However, in looking now at WD Caviar Green bare drives on Newegg, they go like this:
1.0 TB $ 69.99 (64 MB cache)
1.5 TB $ 99.99 (64 MB cache) = $66.66/TB
2.0 TB $139.99 = $70.00/TB

The Caviar Blacks look like:
1.0 TB $ 99.99 this week, reg $109.99

Last machine I built we used a pair of 1.5 TB WD Greens. We were not seeking top performance. In fact, it is a compact-case unit for TV use so we wanted quiet, but it does not require super-fast data access. It uses fewer cooling fans, so we wanted low-power-use HDD's as part of the design.
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May 13, 2010 10:41:50 PM

i already performed "surgery" on my external haha. took out the hard drive and used it as internal, which i'm on right now.

Paperdoc, thanks for the in-depth response. i think i might just use the Caviar Green as the primary drive and the storage, so i'll only have one HDD. my current OS drive might be slower than the green, but i'm not sure. it runs at 7200 rpm, but only has 8mb cache if i'm correct. is it faster than the 5400rpm 64mb cache?

as for the os drive, i'm planning on waiting until SSDs come down in price.
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Best solution

May 14, 2010 3:38:06 PM

I have had tremendous success with the WD Caviar Black. I am currently running 4 workstations with 640, 750 & 1TB Caviar Black drives. There is a noticable difference between the Green and the Black, and between the Black and other older drives.

For the OS, check this one out: 640GB Western Digital Caviar Black for $65

Yeah, it's off Amazon...the 'Egg is $10 more (plus shipping, which is free on Amazon). I buy from both and can tell you it's about a horse a piece in terms of packaging, shipping times, etc. (hey, at least in my experience!)

The cool thing about this drive is that it performs just as good as the 1TB drive since it has the same ariel density on the platter. This will give you a substantial boost right away (I'm typing this on a machine I have just upgraded the boot drive on from an old 80GB, 8MB cache drive to a newer WD Caviar. The difference is striking!), and when you get an SSD down the road, you can repurpose the drive into a fast storage/working file drive.
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May 14, 2010 10:19:18 PM

thanks. i'll be getting a 1tb black, since i need the storage. when ssds get more practical, i'll buy some.
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May 14, 2010 10:21:16 PM

Best answer selected by jkwonman.
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a c 115 G Storage
May 15, 2010 1:59:54 AM

Hard Drives - Check out the performance charts and pick whatever 500 GB per platter drive performs best under your usage patterns. The 2 TB WD Black and XT from Seagate are good choice but at smaller capacities, you are limited to the Seagate 7200.12 or the Spinpoint F3. The 7200.12 excels in gaming, multimedia and pictures whereas the F3 wins at music and movie maker. See the comparisons here (copy past link in manually, link won't work in forum):

(http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2009-3.5-desktop-har...[2371]=on&prod[2770]=on)

Look at the tests that reflect your usage and choose accordingly.
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