My performance index check shows 5.9 as the base score. This is down to the current HDD giving that score. I have 7.8 for the graphics and 7.1 for the CPU and memory. I run two 500 gb SATA Maxtor HDDs divided into two partitions.
I want to increase speed. Can anyone suggest a good HDD that will be faster than my current units? They are both 5400 rpm.
Ian Murray
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  1. A 5400rpm drive is not a speed demon. There are lots of options that are faster. In rough ascending order of increasing speed:

    - a larger 5400rpm drive will usually be (a little bit) faster, because more data is packed into the same space, so it's read and written more quickly.

    - a 7200rpm drive will (all other things being equal) be somewhat faster, because the spin latency is lower

    - a 10000rpm drive, like a Velociraptor, will be a bit faster still - I would expect a 600GB Velociraptor to cheerfully slaughter your current drive :)

    - a 15000rpm drive will be faster still, but I'm not aware of any SATA 15k drives at the moment - all the 15k drives I've seen have been SAS or another SCSI variant (or something even more exotic). They are usually rather low capacity, and entertainingly expensive - mostly used in enterprise systems.

    - a Solid State Drive (SSD) will be MUCH faster again, but... SSDs are rather more expensive than rotating magnetic hard disks, and offer lower capacities. For a reasonable price you can get a 60 or 120 GB SSD that will astound you with its speed. You'd be best advised to use the SSD space selectively, and retain your existing drives for the rest of your data. You could, however, get a 480GB SSD - just be prepared for it to be $2000.

    - anything faster than a SATA attached SSD is getting seriously exotic - there are things like PCI SSDs, for example, but they are quite expensive.

    I would recommend you consider getting an SSD, if you are willing to spend the money and the time to set it up. Failing that, you could replace one or both of your 500GB 5400rpm drives with 1TB 7200rpm drives; 1TB 7200rpm drives are quite cheap these days, and you can use Ghost, or similar software, to copy your data - that would be the minimal effort solution.
  2. I would not pay attention to scores, unless you are trying to beat a record... in which case, SSD is the only solution.
    If you are happy with the performance of mechanical drives, go for the F3 Spinpoints from Samsung. 1TB with one of the best speeds around. Good value too!
    I have a VR, but with the SSD pricing these days, they are not that good any more. Not saying I am not happy, but if I was to buy a new drive these days I would either go for the F3 or an SSD.
  3. Or alternatively get rid of the partitions, reformat and Raid 0 your drives to effectively (not quite) double the read and write throughput...

    And it doesn't cost a single penny (assuming you mobo has a raid controller).
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