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Building/rebuilding a gaming computer.

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January 18, 2011 1:08:28 PM

A long time ago (5 years ago) I bought a Dell XPS 600 gaming computer and it has been great to use. Yet, I've decided to gut the thing and build a new computer out of it leaving mainly the case and DVD drives alone. Yet, I'm trying to do this on a bit of a budget.

I've already got:

*Gigabyte X58A-UD7 mother board,
*Intel i7 2.8gx processor
*Sound Blaster Xi-Fi Titanium
*Corsair Dominator 6GB 240 pin DDR3 RAM

I plan on getting:
*RADEON HD 5870 1GB DDR5 HDMI Graphics Card HD587XZNFC (Not sure if I can/want to spend the cash to buy a second one to set up a crossfire.)

Yet, my question is that I'm still undecided on a hard drive.

I've already got lots of storage drives, but I'm looking for a new boot drive/main drive. While I like the looks of the SSD's their price is the main factor as the larger drives are just too pricey! I've seen the VelociRaptor's are considerably cheaper, would it be better to go with them for a gaming computer. Plus, is it worth setting them up in Raid 0?

On a side note: is it worth getting the main/boot drive as large in size as I can? Will a 1 TB drive provide more performance then say two smaller drives in Raid 0?
a b G Storage
January 18, 2011 1:37:23 PM

What I've seen a lot of people do is get a mid-sized SSD for a boot drive (say 90 GB) and then have a 1TB or so for data/programs.

RAIDing SSDs will lose TRIM functionality. You may find that a boot SSD is just fine as far as speed without RAID.

Also HD speed has probably the least impact on gaming performance of any of the components listed (mb, ram, video card are the big ones).
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January 18, 2011 5:39:30 PM

So would it be better to do a boot SSD and a separate 1TB data/program drive or having the boot and data/program drive the same.

Here what I'm thinking: I normally store all my movies, music, and pictures on separate drives from the one that I run the OS and programs off. I've done that in the past?

Would separating the programs to another HD from the one the OS is running on make a big difference, which would mean I'd have a HD for the OS, a HD for the programs, and my other HD's for all my files? Would that increase performance or not really? (Sorry for my ignorance.)
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a b G Storage
January 18, 2011 6:39:11 PM

Well, whatever is on the SSD would have better disk performance than the standard HD. With my current (750GB) HD, I made a boot partition - about 10% of the drive, and it's the outer tracks, so it's the fastest part of my drive. It has the OS, swap file, and some of my most common apps (MS Office, firefox for example).

I do wish I'd made it a bit bigger, say 80GB or so, the 60+ GB (formatted) is nearly full, mostly from DLLs that go in the Windows directory even if the app is on your D drive.

So, a 80-90GB SSD and a 1TB HD would work really nicely, with an external backup solution.
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