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What should I get? (Upgrading to Raid, SSD, etc)

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November 9, 2010 1:02:37 AM

I currently have a custom rig. I am thinking of upgrading the hard drive if it be worth it.

Antec 900 Mid Case
i7 920
ASUS Rampage II Extreme
Corsair Dominator 1600 MHz 6 GB
EVGA GTX 285 FTW EDITION 2GB on-board
X-Fi Fatality Titanium Sound card
1000 W PSU
300 GB hard drive internal
1 Tera-byte external hard drive usb 2.0
Windows Vista 64 bit
Aftermarket cooler for cpu ( i forgot brand name came highly reviewed)
28 Inch i-inc hd 1080 monitor
logitech zz500 speakers thx certified

I just purchased Windows 7 and will be doing a fresh install (reformat) however before I do so, I was thinking if I should upgrade my Hard drive, to a SSD or a raid setup.

Basically my intentions are to upgrade the sound card (to asus sonar xts something) hard drive if it be worth it, and any other recommendations some one might have for the system I currently have.

Basically, I use this for gaming, music, and web surfing.

Would I see a big difference to upgrade the hard drive to a ssd, and use that for the os and some of the main games i play?

After all the research, and still in the mist, I feel that I needed to upgrade my sound card and hard drive for better potential for the stuff I do.


More about : upgrading raid ssd

November 9, 2010 1:05:42 AM

Let me add that most of the info I am coming across is so out dated. As far as reviews goes and recommendations dating back 1-2 years... I am sure SSD has come along quite far since then...
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November 9, 2010 1:29:33 AM

To be comfortable I reckon around 200Gb is needed. That gives room for lots of games on steam, windows, any programs you add etc. But you could possibly get by on a single 128Gb ok (but things may get tight later)

So if you can afford it, a pair of 90-128Gb SSDs in RAID0 will be best. Then get a big green drive to hold your music, 'legal videos', and 'human anotmy documentaries' and a backup of your boot drive etc.

I'm running a 4 drive RAID0 at the moment, but its mechanical, and in all honesty I now wish I'd just spent more and got a pair of SSDs, 500MB/s means nothing with a 9.3ms access time unless you're doing video editing or loading huge files.
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November 15, 2010 11:04:43 PM

Would I know the difference with it in raid mode? compared to just a single hd 300 gb? How about one ssd by itself?
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November 16, 2010 3:17:24 AM

@spidersweb

I'm sry I'm confused about your post. Do you want faster access time or did you set up your system to optimize access time and then regret just not going SSD? What is it about the Raid 0 format that makes you prefer the SSD. Personally I'm still waiting for much Higher capacities since I'm not doing any applications that would require the specific advantages of SSD.

@ranger19d

Personally the size of your tower and the number of Drives you are willing to fit in makes a big difference. Sure SSD are nice but they don;t offer that much storage, they can be expensive, and storage/file size requirements are getting bigger by the year. Especially with all the media integration accross different mediums (Windows Media Center for TV etc. Side note: i really enjoy have my Windows 7 networked with my dvr, cable box etc). I have 500gb space on my laptop alone and 2 tb on my desktop.

If you are going to run a desktop with space for 4 drives I'd do a Raid 5 setup, Have the 4 virtual drives across all 4 drives with One for parity backup, One for important files like boot files, legal and financial docs, and big but very trustworthy programs (photoshop, Matlab, what have you) and the other 2 for regular storage. This gives you a very accident resistant setup that also reads almost 4 times as fast because of striping. You will need a motherboard with a good Raid controller on it.
This gives you tremendous security as if one drive fails you can replace it with no data loss, comparible I/O speeds to solid state and significantly more storage that'll last you longer (and you can easily upgrade it if you set it up for hotswapping). 4 500 gb drives will give you 1.5 gb of storage and shouldn't be too expensive.

Long and short of it is I wouldn't recommend a Raid 0 set up unless you have a lot of external back up storage (which you should have anyway) and you are space constrained. Even still, a drive failure is incredibly annoying and is much less so in non-raid0 set ups. Don't do Raid 1 though either, its not very space efficient.
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November 22, 2010 11:59:19 AM

SSDs have very small capacity, so if you have to save games to other drives it's really not worth it.

If you like Windows to boot fast, then SSD's are great but when you have lots of data and programs that require more capacity the SSD won't do too much.
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November 22, 2010 9:52:16 PM

The capacity and price of SSD drives are still prohibitive if you need a lot of space or want to have raid.

A cheaper and more practical approach could be to just get one SSD drive (Intel X25M second gen 64GB or 128GB or even 160GB) and use it as your main drive (C:) , put everything that you use frequently on it and keep your 300 gigger around as D: or E: drive and use it for storage or even backup. Since you have a full tower, physical space shouldn't be an issue at all.

In general, I've found SSD to be so much faster than conventional drives that it's difficult to go back once you get used to it. I don't notice boot up times improvements as much but in terms of loading apps and games, SSD just puts a smile on your face every time.
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