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Which HDD to go with????

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December 29, 2010 12:59:39 PM

In another thread I was talking about a build in general then we got down to the HDD.

I will be using this hdd for storage and when I do it's usually many files at a time (3-10gb at a time).

Performance on transfer would be nice but will I notice a huge difference between these two?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|22-148-433^22-148-433-TS%2C22-136-544^22-136-544-TS

If for some reason you can't go to the link one is a WD 640gb Sata 6.0gb/s 64mb cache the other is a seagate 1tb 3.0gb/s 32mb cache.
Both are the same price.

Space really isn't that big of an issue.

More about : hdd

a c 126 G Storage
December 29, 2010 1:19:24 PM

Don't let the 6Gbps or the cache size fool you. The 640GB is a 320GB-platter generation HDD; it uses 2 platters of 320GB. The bigger the platters, basically the faster the HDD. We call that data density.

320GB platters are kind of old; you should not buy products older than the 500GB platter generation. Currently the 5400rpm drives are at 666GB and 750GB platters; so 320GB platters would be quite old by comparison.

Try to find 500GB/1000GB drives of more modern generation, such as Samsung F3.
December 29, 2010 1:22:31 PM

sub mesa said:
Don't let the 6Gbps or the cache size fool you. The 640GB is a 320GB-platter generation HDD; it uses 2 platters of 320GB. The bigger the platters, basically the faster the HDD. We call that data density.

320GB platters are kind of old; you should not buy products older than the 500GB platter generation. Currently the 5400rpm drives are at 666GB and 750GB platters; so 320GB platters would be quite old by comparison.

Try to find 500GB/1000GB drives of more modern generation, such as Samsung F3.


I see. Yeah that's a bit of information that retail stores don't show now do they ;) 

Been poking around the forums and I've seen many different people mention the Samsung F3 but what kind of reliability do they have?
The only thing that I think samsung makes is TV's.
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a c 126 G Storage
December 29, 2010 2:06:45 PM
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Yes in some circumstances HDDs can be faster than SSDs; not for long though the new SSDs coming in early 2011 will be faster than any HDD.

But still, there is one thing HDDs are very good at: "sequential I/O". Sequential means the harddrive can just continue reading/writing without having to "seek" to a specific position. HDDs can thus read large files very well, and have the same write speed as they can read large files. So 120 MB/s read and 120MB/s write is quite fast.

Where HDDs truly do a terrible job, is random I/O - that means reading or writing small files. This is not something YOU do, but what your operating system and all the applications (firefox for example) do. Whenever you boot your system or start an application, it would require like 1000 small file requests both read and write.

HDDs basically can do only 100 Random I/O operations per second, we say: 100 IOps. Modern SSDs can go beyond 100.000 IOps in some cases; though 8.000 - 35.000 is a more reasonable comparison. Still that's some hefty performance increase! Not just 20% or 40%, but a hefty 10000%+ speed increase; that's something you WILL notice.

Now the reality is that you got both mixed sequential and random I/O. So the best thing you can do is separate your data. Your OS + installed applications/games on SSD, and any personal file storage on a HDD instead. This would give you the best of both worlds:

small SSD takes care of small I/O done by your Operating System and Applications; meaning they won't slow down your HDDs.
big HDDs store mostly large files at which they excel.

This configuration would use the best performance properties of both HDDs and SSDs. So think of them as working in harmony, instead of it being a choice between HDD or SSD. A small 30GB SSD could give you most of the benefits already, though i think 60GB would be more reasonable.

Note that you can buy HDD now and buy a modern third-generation SSD that are coming out after February 2011. The Intel G3 is one of those third-generation SSDs, and if you like speed when you click things on your desktop, you really would want one!
December 29, 2010 2:10:25 PM

Best answer selected by echod.
December 29, 2010 2:13:43 PM

sub mesa said:
Yes in some circumstances HDDs can be faster than SSDs; not for long though the new SSDs coming in early 2011 will be faster than any HDD.

But still, there is one thing HDDs are very good at: "sequential I/O". Sequential means the harddrive can just continue reading/writing without having to "seek" to a specific position. HDDs can thus read large files very well, and have the same write speed as they can read large files. So 120 MB/s read and 120MB/s write is quite fast.

Where HDDs truly do a terrible job, is random I/O - that means reading or writing small files. This is not something YOU do, but what your operating system and all the applications (firefox for example) do. Whenever you boot your system or start an application, it would require like 1000 small file requests both read and write.

HDDs basically can do only 100 Random I/O operations per second, we say: 100 IOps. Modern SSDs can go beyond 100.000 IOps in some cases; though 8.000 - 35.000 is a more reasonable comparison. Still that's some hefty performance increase! Not just 20% or 40%, but a hefty 10000%+ speed increase; that's something you WILL notice.

Now the reality is that you got both mixed sequential and random I/O. So the best thing you can do is separate your data. Your OS + installed applications/games on SSD, and any personal file storage on a HDD instead. This would give you the best of both worlds:

small SSD takes care of small I/O done by your Operating System and Applications; meaning they won't slow down your HDDs.
big HDDs store mostly large files at which they excel.

This configuration would use the best performance properties of both HDDs and SSDs. So think of them as working in harmony, instead of it being a choice between HDD or SSD. A small 30GB SSD could give you most of the benefits already, though i think 60GB would be more reasonable.

Note that you can buy HDD now and buy a modern third-generation SSD that are coming out after February 2011. The Intel G3 is one of those third-generation SSDs, and if you like speed when you click things on your desktop, you really would want one!



Awsome info there Sub (best answer for sure!)

I'm actually ready to buy right now and don't know if I can wait another 2-3 months. That and I don't know what the prices are going to be on that since $ per gb is already high enough on current SSD's.

I've chosen the OCZ vortex 2 SSD because of popularity and from every test that I can find show it to be slightly better than the competition.

What are your feelings on that? It was between that and a corsair with similar specs recommended by another veteran. Both use sandforce so probably the same drive really.

Thanks for all the info so far.
December 29, 2010 2:39:05 PM

sub mesa said:
Don't let the 6Gbps or the cache size fool you. The 640GB is a 320GB-platter generation HDD; it uses 2 platters of 320GB. The bigger the platters, basically the faster the HDD. We call that data density.

320GB platters are kind of old; you should not buy products older than the 500GB platter generation. Currently the 5400rpm drives are at 666GB and 750GB platters; so 320GB platters would be quite old by comparison.

Try to find 500GB/1000GB drives of more modern generation, such as Samsung F3.



WDblue 500gig

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


vs


WD 640gig black

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


How I see it is that the black is larger (640gig vs 500gig) larger 64mb cache, and black version is more performance and enthusiast oriented.

BUT....

Average Seek Time: Black
11ms
vs

Average Seek Time: BLUE
8.9ms


hmmmm...

What would you do?

Price is not much more for the black


So my question is... is the "BLUE" better than the black in this case ????
December 29, 2010 2:48:59 PM

Mfusick said:
WDblue 500gig

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


vs


WD 640gig black

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


How I see it is that the black is larger (640gig vs 500gig) larger 64mb cache, and black version is more performance and enthusiast oriented.

BUT....

Average Seek Time: Black
11ms
vs

Average Seek Time: BLUE
8.9ms


hmmmm...

What would you do?

Price is not much more for the black


So my question is... is the "BLUE" better than the black in this case ????


With all your current post on tom's right now I don't think you need to hi jack my post. Thanks =)
December 29, 2010 3:00:24 PM

Sorry... but is seemed like he knew the answer to what I wanted to know.


I wondering if the 500gig platform is better than the 640 ...

and if the 750gig is better or worse than both...
December 29, 2010 3:04:06 PM

Mfusick said:
Sorry... but is seemed like he knew the answer to what I wanted to know.


I wondering if the 500gig platform is better than the 640 ...

and if the 750gig is better or worse than both...


Well seeing how you've already posted this I'm sure once he sees your post he can answer it.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/265074-32-what-genera...

is a link to your post with the same question if you don't remember.
a b G Storage
December 29, 2010 3:14:08 PM

Mfusick said:
Sorry... but is seemed like he knew the answer to what I wanted to know.


I wondering if the 500gig platform is better than the 640 ...

and if the 750gig is better or worse than both...


Hijacking someone else's thread is a violation of the forum rules. Keep it in your own thread please.
a c 126 G Storage
December 30, 2010 11:53:00 AM

echod said:
I'm actually ready to buy right now and don't know if I can wait another 2-3 months. That and I don't know what the prices are going to be on that since $ per gb is already high enough on current SSD's.

I've chosen the OCZ vortex 2 SSD because of popularity and from every test that I can find show it to be slightly better than the competition.

What are your feelings on that?

Vertex 2 uses Sandforce SF-1200 NAND controller; which is the most popular controller right now. Excellent choice, i'd say, if you want an SSD now.

Do note however that the speeds that these SSDs get are 'inflated'. For example, they are listed as having ~285MB/s sequential write; while the actual NAND is capable of ~120MB/s write speeds. The difference is caused by compression that the SSD applies internally. If you write zeroes, you write at 285MB/s, if you write random data, you write at 120MB/s. Realistic data is mixed and thus would be between the physical write speeds (120MB/s) and the inflated speeds after applying compression (285MB/s). On a system disk the compression may lead to a reasonable 10-40% compression, so the 285MB/s is overrated.

The most important thing, random IOps, is quite fast on the SF-1200, and it degrades very little in performance over time compared to the Intel SSDs. This is also partly caused by the compression. So the compression adds a real benefit and isn't just marketing, though listing the write speeds of 285MB/s is overly optimistic, of course.

Intel, on the other hand, lists specifications that are rather conservative, meaning that on a clean drive you will get higher performance than the official specs. That makes Intel SSDs underrated if you just compare the raw specs, so careful here!

If you want to benchmark your SSD, you can use utilities like CrystalDiskMark, AS SSD, HDTune and ATTO. Do note the difference however! In default mode, CrystalDiskMark uses random data that is not compressible, while HDTune and ATTO use zeroes and as such would show much higher write speeds than CrystalDiskMark and AS SSD would give you. CrystalDiskMark has a "zero fill" option that makes the data easily compressible, so you can compare the difference. The default CrystalDiskMark should give you ~120MB/s write speeds, while the 0-fill should give you 285MB/s write speeds.

@Mfusick: why don't you create your own thread? Then i can reply to your inquiries as well. :) 
December 30, 2010 12:03:24 PM

sub mesa said:

@Mfusick: why don't you create your own thread? Then i can reply to your inquiries as well. :) 


lol I did first... with no replies... then I read this thread and it seemed like the info I wanted to know so i asked.

There was a even a link above
December 30, 2010 12:26:38 PM

sub mesa said:
Vertex 2 uses Sandforce SF-1200 NAND controller; which is the most popular controller right now. Excellent choice, i'd say, if you want an SSD now.

Do note however that the speeds that these SSDs get are 'inflated'. For example, they are listed as having ~285MB/s sequential write; while the actual NAND is capable of ~120MB/s write speeds. The difference is caused by compression that the SSD applies internally. If you write zeroes, you write at 285MB/s, if you write random data, you write at 120MB/s. Realistic data is mixed and thus would be between the physical write speeds (120MB/s) and the inflated speeds after applying compression (285MB/s). On a system disk the compression may lead to a reasonable 10-40% compression, so the 285MB/s is overrated.

The most important thing, random IOps, is quite fast on the SF-1200, and it degrades very little in performance over time compared to the Intel SSDs. This is also partly caused by the compression. So the compression adds a real benefit and isn't just marketing, though listing the write speeds of 285MB/s is overly optimistic, of course.

Intel, on the other hand, lists specifications that are rather conservative, meaning that on a clean drive you will get higher performance than the official specs. That makes Intel SSDs underrated if you just compare the raw specs, so careful here!

If you want to benchmark your SSD, you can use utilities like CrystalDiskMark, AS SSD, HDTune and ATTO. Do note the difference however! In default mode, CrystalDiskMark uses random data that is not compressible, while HDTune and ATTO use zeroes and as such would show much higher write speeds than CrystalDiskMark and AS SSD would give you. CrystalDiskMark has a "zero fill" option that makes the data easily compressible, so you can compare the difference. The default CrystalDiskMark should give you ~120MB/s write speeds, while the 0-fill should give you 285MB/s write speeds.

@Mfusick: why don't you create your own thread? Then i can reply to your inquiries as well. :) 



I hear ya Mesa. I've read about the next generation SSD's and they are quite appealing for sure. Then again though I've been watching these current SSD's since about May and have been waiting for a price break so I could afford one. Of course like everything else in computers things get much cheaper right before the new tech comes out.
I currently am on a 320gb (or somewhere around there) WD drive that I pulled out from an older HP computer that I had.
So i'm sure just even the samsung f3 would be an upgrade but I really doubt a noticeable one.

I don't really care about benchamarking but at the same time I would like to know that my money went to good use and not just performing at 50% or so.

I will be running W7 x64 and I have found a guide that looks very helpful for getting me going.
Apparently it's not as easy as just plug and play.

!