Older drive RAID vs New drives

Hi all

I hope I'm posting this in the right section, I thought maybe I should use the "storage" section of the forum, but this does pertain to a homebuilt system.

I'm getting ready to start building my new gaming computer. Parts should be here today or tomorrow. Going up from XP to Win7, Core 2 Duo to I7.

Going over my options for setting up my HDD's for my OS, programs/games, & data (music,pics,etc)

I have 2 new Samsung 500G F3's and 1 WD 500G Caviar Black ordered. I also have 2 older SATA 1 150G Raptors in my old computer. The WD was kind of a mistake and I was thinking about returning it, but I don't have to. From what I can gather from Tom's benchmark's, the F3's and the Caviar Blacks are roughly equal, with the F3's having a slight edge. Correct me if I'm wrong about that.

I was hoping to get some advice on setting the drives up the best way for gaming. I've used both RAID 0 & 1 before, and not adverse to using them again. Actually, one of the Raptors is just sitting on my shelf. I had the 2 of them in a RAID 0 and one went bad. WD replaced it and I just never rebuilt the array.

Should I include the Raptors in a RAID 0 in my new build? From what I understand, the Raptors don't compare in a 1 to 1 comparison with either of the new drives, so I figure the only way they might be useful is in a RAID array.

Or should I just use the new drives in some combination, and use the Raptors to maybe lift up my monitor and inch or two?

And if I just use the new drives, which would be better. RAID 0 with 2 partitions for OS & programs? Or one drive for OS and one for programs. I realize there would be a lot of wasted space if I use just one 500G drive for OS alone.

By no means am I an expert, but I have no problem setting up simple software RAIDS, partitioning drives, etc. I'm not looking for instructions on how to partition or RAID. But any advice would be appreciated.

I'll be using a new Corsair HX750W PSU with one GTX 275 for now, but may go SLI in the future. I'm giving this info in case power requirements are a factor in the number of drives I use.

Any help/advice would be appreciated.

2 answers Last reply
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  1. To start, you're completely wrong on the F3s and Caviar Blacks being close. The F3s blow the Caviars away. The F3s even beat the VelociRaptors. Also, the Caviar isn't a new drive. It's old tech, and still uses 250 GB platters, making it slower, louder, and hotter. Basically, it's bad at everything compared to the 500 GB platter F3s, and they're more expensive.

    I wouldn't use the old drive in the build, especially not as a boot drive. If anything, I would put the 2 F3s in RAID 0, and whatever else you have as separate data drives.

    However, I don't think it will matter too much for gaming. So really, whatever you end up doing would be just fine.

    Power shouldn't be a factor in the number of drives. You're way over what you need for the GPU.
  2. Thanks for the reply, MadAdmiral.

    And thanks for setting me straight on the F3's vs Caviar. I must have misread something somewhere. I knew I had seen that about the F3's, but I thought the Caviars were in the same general class. I don't really know how to equate the different categories of benchmarks (throughput, seq., random, etc.) to real world use. It seems like I had seen the Cavairs recommended quite a bit in the forums.

    I think I'll just use the F3's as separate drives, and use the Caviar for pics & music, at least for the time being. That time my Raptor quit while in a RAID 0, it was a pain re-installing XP and all my programs again. The risk may not be worth the rewards.

    I appreciate the advice.
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