I already have my system built, but I had a question for you guys in regards to my hard drive. I currently have a 320 caviar blue(leftover from an older computer) and I'm out of space, had planned on getting a new one anyway. My question is as far as best performance for the money, should I pick up a 640 black and use it as storage and stick with the 320 for the os, pick up a 1tb black(I realize its performance is lower than the 640) or raid a couple of 640's? I could always give my step-dad the blue as it would be an upgrade for him . Any thoughts? I'd like around a tb for movies and whatnot but it is a gaming/multimedia rig mainly.
samsung f3 500GB is going for $45 (after $5 off coupon: EMCLXLW22 ). the seagate 7200.12 750 GB is going for $69 (after $10 off coupon: EMCLXLW23 ). Both have better synthetic performance than the Caviar Blacks, though not sure if I'd say reliability equals WD.
Another option is to get a WD Caviar Green 1TB for storage only, and keep your caviar blue until SSD prices / availability are better.
The Samsungs are definately a good price...I'm a little wary of their reliability though since they've only been out a short time(the f3's I mean) although that 1tb f3 is awfully tempting. I've never been a seagate fan, so if it were between them and WD I'd definitely go with WD. I suppose I could save up and get a SSD and a green. The blue 320 has honestly performed well enough, if I wasn't running out I'd just hang on to it. But I'm thinking in the future...I suppose I could just go for a 1tb black and pick up an SSD when prices drop. How much of a performance gain/loss would happen if I did a raid 640 setup vs 1tb black?
for your 2x 640GB vs 1TB question, it depends on a few factors. First is how good your RAID controller is, most boards will use ICH10R these days, and it isn't too slow compared to dedicated host controllers when only looking at RAID 0. If you're concerned about write speeds, they will be significantly better with the 2x 640GB setup. When looking at Reads, it will be a small gain. Overall access time should be better as well, but can't say for sure unless you did a test of both configurations.
If all you are doing is storage though, the 1TB green drive will perform just fine. It's main weakness is that it's I/O transfers of multiple small files isn't as good as the Blacks, for sequential reads and writes, it's very close to what the Blacks can do.