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High Performance Drive Upgrade Options

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  • Corsair
  • Storage
  • Product
Last response: in Storage
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April 20, 2011 4:37:50 AM

I'm looking at my options for an upgrade to my computer. My hard drive is clearly my weakest link.

i5 760 3.8GHz
Gigabyte P55-UD4P
EVGA GTX 470
WD Caviar 500GB 7200/16MB/SATA-3
Corsair 4GB DDR3 1600MHz

Listed below are a few options I'm thinkin about:
Corsair C300 64 or 128g and keep my current drive for storage.
Two RAID 0 Veli(300gx2) 10k 6GB/s used for both system drive and storage.
SSD(Corsair C300 64g) and either a single 10k drive or RAID 0 with 2 decent 7200s, maybe the Spinpoint or a decently priced set of 6 GB/s.

What are you opinions?
Also is there any new technology in the near foreseeable future(6 months)?

Thanks.

More about : high performance drive upgrade options

April 20, 2011 7:28:47 AM

I'm leaning towards letting SSD technology develop a bit more, let speeds increase and prices decrease.

If it were between RAID 0 Momentus or single Barracuda XT. How do you think those 2 would compare?
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a c 180 G Storage
April 20, 2011 3:02:05 PM

Raid-0 is of little use on a normal desktop. Sequential benchmarks will shine but most activity is small random i/o, a task at which a SSD shines.
Do not be impressed by 10k or even 15k hard drives. Sequential data transfer rates from those drives are not as good as from a modern 1tb drive. The 10k or 15k does help with access times, but access times on a SSD are negligible in comparison.

The seagate momentus is an interesting drive, but it's main use is on a laptop where two drives(ssd for performance, and hard drive for storage) are not an option. The small nand cache will probably be insufficient to help much.

A SSD is the way to go. Prices keep dropping, but if you wait, you will wait forever. Even here, do not be impressed by benchmarks. Sequential speeds are meadured by an app that bears little resemblance to what you actually do. Similarly high iops are generated from an app that generates a queue depth of 32 or so, not what we normally do. From a performance point of view, any current drive will be a noticeable improvement for you. 40gb can hold the os, but 64gb-120gb would be better to hold some apps and games. Expect to pay about $2 pergb.

I would go with the Intel 320 series. They have been the most trouble free drive in the past:
http://www.behardware.com/articles/810-6/components-ret...
The report is a bit old, and does not include newer drives.

As to new developments, the Z68 sandy bridge chip is reported to have some sort of ssd/hard drive integration. Perhaps like the momentus XT.
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April 20, 2011 4:59:34 PM

The Corsair C300 seems to blow other numbers out of the water. Hear anything good about those?
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a c 180 G Storage
April 20, 2011 5:27:09 PM

The C300 is a good unit. It will be superceeded by the C400, a gen3 product.

The numbers are misleading. Every SSD will have about the same random access response time. This is a statistic that is not advertised. It is orders of magnitude faster than a hard drive. I see little difference to me if a unit will do 5k iops, or 50k iops at huge queue lengths.

Ditto on sequential speeds. Faster than 200 mb/s does not buy you much, unless you are doing lots of sequential file copying. In that case, look into a gen3 drive that has 6gb sata support, and get 6gb sata capability on your mobo.

Today, the only ssd I would trust to be problem free is Intel. They have the resources to properly test their products, the P67 debacle nothwithstanding.

Still, you are 95% likely to have a good experience with any other ssd.
To see what issues may exist, go to the vendor's support forum and do some browsing.
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