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New gaming system with 5900RPM hard drive. Bad idea?

Last response: in Systems
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February 19, 2010 11:18:55 PM

Hi,

A few weeks ago I decided to put together a new gaming system. I'm not an expert when it comes to keeping myself up to date on what constitutes good hardware so I asked a couple people for advice on what to buy. I ended with the following:

Processor: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16819115202
Video Card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16814130480
Mother Board: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16813131365
RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16820145262
PSU: http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-CMPSU-1000HX-1000-Watt-Professional-compatible/dp/B00154QAXQ/ref=pd_rhf_shvl_1
Hard Drive: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16822152202
Running Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bits

So I went ahead and put together my system and it works fine, but I've been experiencing a couple problems with some games which I think might be related to the slow speed of my hard drive, but in all honesty I'm not sure, so I figured it wouldn't hurt asking.

The problem I'm having is more evident in games like Bioshock 1, Mass Effect 1 and Torchlight (interestingly enough, I haven't experienced this problem in Bioshock 2 or Mass Effect 2 - those games run flawlessly). What happens is I'm playing normally, everything is running fine, and all of a sudden I'll get a very small stutter, kind of like a pause, before the game resumes working normally. The game where this is more prevalent is Torchlight, which doesn't really have big graphical requirements. If I get into a big battle, my game will sometimes start stuttering (skipping, if you would like). In Mass Effect 1 I get this issue when I am walking around the Citadel and I suddenly enter a different area. I'm not an expert in this kind of stuff, but my guess is that my system is trying to read new data to keep the game running, but since my hard drive speed is very low (5900rpm, and rated at 5.9 in my windows experience index) it can't load data fast enough and the game starts stuttering. It's kind of hard to believe that a game like Torchlight with its low system requirements can make my system bend over whereas something like Mass Effect 2 and L4D2 runs smoothly even with tons of enemies on screen and a lot of action going on.

So my questions are: did I drop the ball on the hard drive? Can a slow hard drive really bottleneck your system in games that require constant loading to the point where you experience stuttering? If this is not the case, what else could be causing my problem?

Any input would be greatly appreciated.
a b B Homebuilt system
a c 227 4 Gaming
February 19, 2010 11:40:05 PM

Your MoBo is a GFX card (check link)

Your RAM is every stick Corsair makes in DDR3 (check link)

As for the HD, no doubt that a 5900 rpm, all other things being equal, can't compete with a 7200 rpm one but that is not necessarily the source of your problem.

Ya might wanna try this.....grab one of the drives in this article (Seagate XT 2000 is the best gaming performer outta the 3 focused in the article but the 3 WD drives above it should also be looked at:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/HDD-6Gbit,2528-8.ht...

and use that for your system drive....use the 5900 rpm job for backup in this.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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February 19, 2010 11:45:18 PM

Ooops, I dropped the ball on those two links. They are fixed now!
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February 20, 2010 12:39:09 AM

Selakah said:
Ooops, I dropped the ball on those two links. They are fixed now!


You have the RAM in your link as a kit of 4 x 2 GB, is that really what you got, or do you have a triple channel kit.

You have a very powerful system, where your current HD kind of sticks out, if it is the source of the problem you are experiencing is hard to tell, Torchlight is hardly pushing any system build over the last couple of years.

Upgrading to a newer 7200 RPM HD to use as boot/application drive and relegating your current to a storage/backup drive would be a good idea.
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February 20, 2010 2:41:58 AM

lothdk said:
You have the RAM in your link as a kit of 4 x 2 GB, is that really what you got, or do you have a triple channel kit.


No, what's on the link is exactly what I got. Four sticks of 2GB each. They are setup in the motherboard slots A1, A2, B1 and C1 as per the manual's instructions.

The issue with Torchlight is just plain weird. There's no FPS loss at all, it's just a stutter, as if the computer just suddenly stopped rendering and the game got paused. These short stutters last for what, a third of a second or maybe half a second? It's weird.

I forgot to mention I was also getting MASSIVE stuttering in Fallout 3 exclusively in outdoor areas. However, some research turned out the issue was the 190.x line of drivers, and reverting to the 186 drivers fixed that issue. So maybe it's a driver issue? I can't tell for sure. I still had the Bioshock 1 stuttering in my old system using an ATI HD 4800 card, but I wrote that off to the system being old. I was surprised when I saw the exact same issue pop in this new machine.


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February 20, 2010 5:01:14 AM

Selakah said:
No, what's on the link is exactly what I got. Four sticks of 2GB each. They are setup in the motherboard slots A0, A1, B0 and C0 as per the manual's instructions.


Just read the manual (I have the same motherboard) and am a bit interested in how this configuration affects performance, as it sounds like your would be running triple channel on the A1,B1 and C1 DIMMs and single channel on the A2 DIMM. You wouldn't happen to have any application to test with and without a stick in the A2 DIMM?
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February 20, 2010 5:34:25 AM

lothdk said:
Just read the manual (I have the same motherboard) and am a bit interested in how this configuration affects performance, as it sounds like your would be running triple channel on the A1,B1 and C1 DIMMs and single channel on the A2 DIMM. You wouldn't happen to have any application to test with and without a stick in the A2 DIMM?


I placed the sticks as outlined on page 2-12 of the manual. Looking at page 2-13 it says any excess memory from the greater channel (A in my case) would be mapped as a separate channel so I guess you are right. Could having a separate 2GB RAM stick mapped to its own channel have any adverse effects on performance?

I guess I can remove the A2 stick and run a couple games to test it out.
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