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Any guidelines on drive setups? RPM, OS disk , SSD, etc. confused

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Anonymous
a b G Storage
August 25, 2010 5:15:39 PM

It's been a while since I built a computer, and I'm kinda stuck on the hard drive part.

Now there are 7200rpm drives, 10000rpm, small OS disk, RAID, SSD's, etc. etc.

Some people run one small OS drive, some people partition their drive to be very small for the OS which I can't comprehend why, some swear by RAID0, etc. etc.

Does Tom have an article discussing about this? I can't find one.

Basically I would like to setup drives to get the best performance (but not too expensive). I am also very interested in doing more video editing when I build this computer as my current one is soooo slow.

Here's some info on the system I'm building:

i7 860
8GB RAM 1333
GTX 460
650W PSU

I would greatly appreciate any help or link about this. Thank you!
August 25, 2010 5:49:20 PM

An SSD is great for speed. I'm doing video editing and building a home media library. I'm using a 60 GB SSD for OS and programs. 640 GB WD black for desktop computer use/data, working with files.

Building a server for storage.

The SSD can provide read access several times faster than an HD, that's why people use it for the OS and programs. It's pricey, but it's fun to watch things pop up quickly.

Raid can improve data throughput significantly, but you would need multiple disks.

Pretty much the standard HD for what you are doing would be a WD black or Samsung Spinpoint F3. These are the ones I see recommended most often and get the best ratings at Newegg. Somewhere around $70 to $100 for a 1TB drive depending sales. These are 7200 RPM, which is the standard for consumer level performance.

do a search on anything you don't understand. There's almost always a thread or something that will atleast give you some insight into what you are looking for...then you can ask better questions.
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Anonymous
a b G Storage
August 25, 2010 6:34:00 PM

Thanks for the info.

I understand what's out there, but I am confused about how to set it up. Everyone has their own contradicting advise.

For example, some people say SSD is not reliable, others say it will last longer than I will live. Also, some people say RAID slows down instead of speeding up when not using a hardware controller while others say their previews fly.

I don't know why but SSD's scare me. Also the most I can afford is a 64GB version, will that be enough? You mentioned you put your OS and programs, is there any space left for future programs?

I noticed that almost everyone now is dedicating a separate drive - SSD or traditional - for OS & Apps. So that means that you shouldn't include anything else in there - no music, no videos, no documents, nada?

Seems like a waste of a drive space if you ask me. Does it really increase performance or a marketing gimmick by H/D manufacturers?
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Anonymous
a b G Storage
August 25, 2010 7:43:41 PM

... ok from what I gathered, SSD's are not for me. I would have purchased the old technology which is supposedly inferior to the better ones out there and coming out, and besides the capacity is very limited.

So if I get 3 7200 hard drives would this be sufficient when used with the abovementioned build?

500 gig Seagate .12 for OS/Apps
1TB Seagate .12 for scratch
1TB Seagate .12 for media

No RAID to keep it simple, I'll try RAID0 for the second two if I need a boost.

I have an external backup drive I use for backup. I also wouldn't want to put in a fourth internal for backup because it will generate too much heat.
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August 25, 2010 8:33:44 PM

My SSD is an older model. It works great. I need to make a tweak to my system to make sure the TRIM command is working, but other than that, I am very satisfied.

Is it as fast as the new ones? No. But, it's much faster than a traditional HD. "They say" and I believe it, that an SSD is one easy and quick way to take a dated slow system and turn it into a system with another year or two of useful life. Don't underestimate what a few seconds here and there can mean to productivity.

But, if you are not comfortable with it...don't sweat it. Reliability? Think of it like a flash drive. I haven't had a flash drive failure unless I physically broke it. It will last for several years--but, it will die over time (long time). But, there will always be bigger/better faster out next year.



With regard to OS? I've got my OS and programs loaded that fill 20 of 60 GB. I'll probably get to 30 GB's of programs for video editing, graphics, CAD, etc. That's about it. I doubt I'll ever get close to 60 GBs of programs on this PC. If I do, I'd guess I've got a bunch of crap I should delete.

I haven't used Raid. There are complications. A simpler solution for you MIGHT be unRAID (google it). It would be free for you and has some good flexibility. I'm still learning about servers and drives for my home server build, so that's just an idea and not a recommendation.

Reading some of the RAID/server threads, I'm a little overwhelmed as well. I think there are some gurus and some who believe they are gurus that are all a lot more concerned with performance than would actually affect the individual end user in a self contained system. Meaning they are IT guys running an office server or bigger equipment with tons of users.

good luck Mark.
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