W7, OS disk RAID 1 or not? SSD, VRaptor, or Momentus XT

I'm building a new system, using some existing bits. I have an i7 960, an Asus P6X58D-E, 2x 2tb and 2x 1tb Caviar Blacks, a WD 300 Velociraptor, and a CM690 II Advanced in hand.

The aim of the system is for photo editing and web design work, with a large iTunes music library, no video. I am looking at a 3 disk (system) solution, 1 = OS, 2 = Scratch and 3 = Storage. The p6t has 2 sata 3, 4 raidable sata 2 and 2 more sata 2 ports. I had been planning to use the vraptor as scratch, the 1tb WDs in raid 1 as the OS, and the 2tb WDs in raid 1 as the storage.

This is a minor rev to my previous system, upgrading to 24gb. I have found that when the system crashes (Vista 64), it takes about 6-8 hours to recover the os volume. The current OS disk uses 270gb, but has not been organized. The new build will use Windows 7.

I'd like to optimize the system performance, but minimize further expenditure, times being what they are.

1) I could just build it as designed,
2) Use the vraptor as the OS, skip raid 1 and chance it. What is the real risk here? I can rebuild the system OS disk if needed, and W7 is reasonably resilient.
3) Add another disk for the OS, I can't afford raid 1 here (at the minute), so same questions as in 2).
a) A Momentus 500GB XT, enough storage, affordable price, some performance.
b) An 120/8 SSD, tight storage, more expensive than I'd like and good performance.
c) An 240/256 SSD, enough storage, too expensive for now and good performance.
d) Something else

I could also do something now and wait for SSD prices to drop further.

Thoughts?

TIA Richard
8 answers Last reply
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  1. I'd just would keep it simple and get a 128GB SSD for OS/Programs/Scratch disk and the 300GB Velociraptor for temporary image storage on your working files.

    I will definitely get a 4-bay NAS drive and set 2TB x4 in Raid 5 setup.Synology 411j comes to mind.

    This setup (6GB total size) will allow flexibility for you and some security/redundancy. Also helps to reduce power consumption as the NAS can be set to shutdown and startup automatically, if required.

    BTW 24GB Ram + SSD will significantly speed up your photo-editing process.

    FYI, I've already have a wireless NAS network (9TB in all), tons of home vidoes, movies, music and photos.

    My next upgrade is a SSD to speed up photoshop process. I'm already using a Seagate Momentus XT (OS/Programs/Scratch), fast but SSD will definitely be faster. My Ram is maxed out at 16GB.

    PS:My first post since I joined THZ in 1996? Dunno why my info put it as Jul 1 2008. Anyway doesn't matter.
  2. setiardi said:
    I'd just would keep it simple and get a 128GB SSD for OS/Programs/Scratch disk and the 300GB Velociraptor for temporary image storage on your working files.


    So you feel that the risk from having no mirror on the system disk is acceptable?

    setiardi said:
    I will definitely get a 4-bay NAS drive and set 2TB x4 in Raid 5 setup.Synology 411j comes to mind.


    Nice thought, but at a grand isn't going happen anytime soon.

    setiardi said:
    My next upgrade is a SSD to speed up photoshop process. I'm already using a Seagate Momentus XT (OS/Programs/Scratch), fast but SSD will definitely be faster.


    So how is the XT working out for you? At $99 for 500Gb, it beats 200 for 120Gb pricewise! It's just how much faster is the SSD and at what cost, money and maintenance (keeping it empty enough) wise.
  3. Regular complete and incremental backups usually are better than RAID 1 as you're protected against file deletion errors, theft or fire if you store the backup in a safe place, etc.
  4. For my use and setup, definitely the momentus XT is much snappier to boot up windows 7 than my WD Caviar Black HDD.

    Having setup a PC with a SSD for my brother before, a SSD is a whole lot faster than my setup.

    Boot up W7, loading up Photoshop and running various Photoshop filters to render RAW files is much, much quicker.

    I don't bother with RAID 1 setup, I do incremental and full backups.

    I did a full disk image backup on my Momentus XT soon after installing all my softwares. I store this backups on the NAS.

    For my precious family photos and videos, I store them in both my NAS drive. Yes, forget to mention I bought a Dlink DNS-320 2-bay, which is darn cheap compared to my Synology DS411+, since I had 2x 2TB HDD laying around :pt1cable:. A third copy I burn to a DVD Disc.

    So, I guess, I'm pretty much covered from hardrive crashes, having had bad experiences with in-PC hardrive crashes before.

    So my recommendation, go get that SSD and get the Dlink DNS-320 at about USD$100.
  5. RichardCH said:
    I'm building a new system, using some existing bits. I have an i7 960, an Asus P6X58D-E, 2x 2tb and 2x 1tb Caviar Blacks, a WD 300 Velociraptor, and a CM690 II Advanced in ha.......................isk if needed, and W7 is reasonably resilient.
    3) Add another disk for the OS, I can't afford raid 1 here (at the minute), so same questions as in 2).
    a) A Momentus 500GB XT, enough storage, affordable price, some performance.
    b) An 120/8 SSD, tight storage, more expensive than I'd like and good performance.
    c) An 240/256 SSD, enough storage, too expensive for now and good performance.
    d) Something else

    I could also do something now and wait for SSD prices to drop further.

    Thoughts?

    TIA Richard

    Hey TIA Richard, get an SSD, it will "Knock your socks off", it will be much faster in everything u can think of on PC.

    Put OS on it with most used programs(depends on how much data u actually use), if it does not work for u, u will know soon. So u could return it or exchange it. No harm done.

    I used to hear a lot of nonsense about the SSD from people who actually don't have one. I build or upgraded few PC's with the SSD for friends and when they have it back, they say what a difference. Even if it just boot faster or goes to sleep or off. They don't complain about "things are slow again."

    I had WD velociraptor 300GB and bought Vertex2 back 2 years ago or so. No more stutter if u bookmark 300 tabs in chrome or if u close them, takes 1/4 of a second. I don't care for benchmarks, since they are not real usage test. But, every now and than I go on a PC with HDD and I am glad I have the Vertex SSD.

    1 = OS + frequently used programs or all if it fits,

    2 = Scratch

    3 = Storage and My Documents
    ----------------------
    /no pressure here/
  6. nikorr said:
    Hey TIA Richard, get an SSD, it will "Knock your socks off", it will be much faster in everything u can think of on PC.

    OK, I get the message! An SSD it is then.
    nikorr said:

    1 = OS + frequently used programs or all if it fits,
    2 = Scratch
    3 = Storage and My Documents
    ----------------------

    So given my available drives, this is the plan

    SATA3 port1 = SSD (Crucial M4), OS + Programs, 128 or 256GB?
    SATA3 port2 = 300Gb Vraptor = OS Paging (mimimized), Photoshop and Lightroom work.

    SATA2 port1&2 = 2x2Tb Caviars in Raid1, Images, Data and Stuff
    SATA2 port3&4 = 2x1Tb Caviars in Raid1, Music (around 250Gb) plus other Stuff
    SATA2 port5 = Optical drive
    SATA2 port6 = External SATA drive bay on CM690-2, top eSATA port unconnected

    Comments? Could I use a second partition on the 2x1Tb to backup the OS Partition? What works best to do that? I already use a TeraStation for off machine vital data backups, straightforward Winmerge filecopy,

    Thanks Richard
  7. Hi RichardCH

    24GB RAM = 24GB page, if u can afford it split it on SSD too.

    U can play around and make it smaller and see if everything still works to satisfaction.

    IMHO, your set up as good, as it could be.

    Just make sure u use optimization guide to get the most out of it,

    tecmo34 put it together to make it easy.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/270102-32-useful-articles-part

    /Good luck/
  8. Many thanks all, using the guide to setup an M4 SSD at this minute, using the scheme proposed earlier.

    Regards Richard
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