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Which Hard Drive to Buy??????

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June 2, 2010 10:25:56 PM

I have been looking to set up a raid array and I'll tell ya; reading all the reviews from buyers has got me all confused. I have used Seagate, Western Digital, Maxtor and many others and I've only had one hard drive die in 10 years. Are the manufacturers paying people to slam the competition or something? Anyways If you were looking to buy where you get it from and what would you buy?

I'm looking for 4 drives, buy two at a time cause money is tight. Fast 250gig


Thanks Steve.........

I found these but then I read a million bad reviews

http://cgi.ebay.com/Western-Digital-RE2-Raid-SATA-250GB...

More about : hard drive buy

June 2, 2010 10:41:32 PM

sorry for asking I'm sure it been asked two many times already.....No Biggy
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June 2, 2010 11:41:57 PM

Most of the opinions you will see are based upon anecdotal evidence and therefore of questionable value. Every manufacturer has had some great drives and has had some bombers ..... many of the most favored drives among the bombers....example Raptor.

You can head over to http://www.storagereview.com/php/survey/survey_result_t...

And look at their reliability database.....I spent an hour or so once averaging the results and if you search here on THG you might find the thread I posted them in. I do remember that Seagate came out on top but can't remember the order on the rest now how close they were.

Finding a fast 250 GB drive is somewhat of a contradiction as 500 GB per platter drives have a distinct speed advantage.

A 250 GB drive will run you $45 whereas a twice the size (500 GB) will cost only $10 more.....a 1TB drive is $10 cheaper than 2 250's which provide only half the capacity.

I'd get a single 1 TB drive ....as for what to choose .....

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.

As for your RAID goal, here's my standard cut / paste on that subject

While there are applications that do benefit from RAID 0, gaming isn't generally considered as one of them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID_0#RAID_0

RAID 0 is useful for setups such as large read-only NFS servers where mounting many disks is time-consuming or impossible and redundancy is irrelevant.

RAID 0 is also used in some gaming systems where performance is desired and data integrity is not very important. However, real-world tests with games have shown that RAID-0 performance gains are minimal, although some desktop applications will benefit.[1][2]


http://www.anandtech.com/printarticle.aspx?i=2101
"We were hoping to see some sort of performance increase in the game loading tests, but the RAID array didn't give us that. While the scores put the RAID-0 array slightly slower than the single drive Raptor II, you should also remember that these scores are timed by hand and thus, we're dealing within normal variations in the "benchmark".

Our Unreal Tournament 2004 test uses the full version of the game and leaves all settings on defaults. After launching the game, we select Instant Action from the menu, choose Assault mode and select the Robot Factory level. The stop watch timer is started right after the Play button is clicked, and stopped when the loading screen disappears. The test is repeated three times with the final score reported being an average of the three. In order to avoid the effects of caching, we reboot between runs. All times are reported in seconds; lower scores, obviously, being better. In Unreal Tournament, we're left with exactly no performance improvement, thanks to RAID-0

If you haven't gotten the hint by now, we'll spell it out for you: there is no place, and no need for a RAID-0 array on a desktop computer. The real world performance increases are negligible at best and the reduction in reliability, thanks to a halving of the mean time between failure, makes RAID-0 far from worth it on the desktop.

Bottom line: RAID-0 arrays will win you just about any benchmark, but they'll deliver virtually nothing more than that for real world desktop performance. That's just the cold hard truth."


http://www.techwarelabs.com/articl [...] ex_6.shtml
".....we did not see an increase in FPS through its use. Load times for levels and games was significantly reduced utilizing the Raid controller and array. As we stated we do not expect that the majority of gamers are willing to purchase greater than 4 drives and a controller for this kind of setup. While onboard Raid is an option available to many users you should be aware that using onboard Raid will mean the consumption of CPU time for this task and thus a reduction in performance that may actually lead to worse FPS. An add-on controller will always be the best option until they integrate discreet Raid controllers with their own memory into consumer level motherboards."

http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1001325
"However, many have tried to justify/overlook those shortcomings by simply saying "It's faster." Anyone who does this is wrong, wasting their money, and buying into hype. Nothing more."

http://computer-drives-storage.sui [...] erformance
"The real-world performance benefits possible in a single-user PC situation is not a given for most people, because the benefits rely on multiple independent, simultaneous requests. One person running most desktop applications may not see a big payback in performance because they are not written to do asynchronous I/O to disks. Understanding this can help avoid disappointment."

http://www.scs-myung.com/v2/index. [...] om_content
"What about performance? This, we suspect, is the primary reason why so many users doggedly pursue the RAID 0 "holy grail." This inevitably leads to dissapointment by those that notice little or no performance gain.....As stated above, first person shooters rarely benefit from RAID 0.__ Frame rates will almost certainly not improve, as they are determined by your video card and processor above all else. In fact, theoretically your FPS frame rate may decrease, since many low-cost RAID controllers (anything made by Highpoint at the tiem of this writing, and most cards from Promise) implement RAID in software, so the process of splitting and combining data across your drives is done by your CPU, which could better be utilized by your game. That said, the CPU overhead of RAID0 is minimal on high-performance processors."

Even the HD manufacturers limit RAID's advantages to very specific applications and non of them involves gaming:

http://westerndigital.com/en/products/raid/http://weste...
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June 3, 2010 11:04:18 AM

This seems odd... as I said earlier I have only had one drive go bad, well now that I am looking at drives my Maxtor 6B200MO 200gig drive is crapping out on me starting to get spin up errors. It's old and slow and it's time to up grade.


I do a lot of movie production and audio recording, always have used two drives one for operating system, programs and the another to record on and read from. My audio system can record 32+ tracks simultaneously @ 32 bits per track. I thought I could setup a raid array to make it faster the plugins I use are real time and very demanding although I haven't used my new system to record with I have another setup I use while I'm building this one.

got any ideas on a set of new drives that would work well for what I am doing. I thought (after reading your post) get a 500gig for the OP and programs and a 2T to read and write too.

Thanks so much Steve....... :hello: 
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