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HDD setup recommendations for new gaming PC?

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June 17, 2010 8:02:09 PM

Hi guys,

I'm in the process of ordering the hardware for a new gaming pc build. I don't have the money for SSDs, so I am looking to order the ideal combination of HDDs at an affordable price (hopefully around $200 or less?).

My build is primarily for gaming and media playback (lots of 1080p .mkv movies) and consists of an intel i5-750 processor, an ati radeon hd 5850, and 4gb of g.skill ripjaw RAM. I will be running the 64-bit version of Windows 7 pro.

I am ordering an Asus motherboard that supports SATA 6Gb/s (listed below)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

So here is my question for you guys: what would an ideal setup of HDDs be for my purposes? I would like at least 1TB of storage, and it's been recommended that I get two HDDs, one for the OS and programs and one for storage of media.

Also, I am tempted to get this 1TB western digital SATA 6.0 HDD, as I can save $30 if I combo it with the PSU I am planning on ordering.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
In addition to recommendations for my HDD setup, thoughts on SATA 6.0 and the HDD listed above?
a b 4 Gaming
June 17, 2010 8:21:55 PM

Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB is probably the best choice right now, with the Seagate 7200.12 right behind it (they both excel in different areas)

Mechanical drives can not utilize the bandwidth that SATA 6 allows, so its not worth going with that WD one.

For $200, you could probably get a smaller OS for apps, and then grab the F3 for storage.

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

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

Total: $200 =)
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June 17, 2010 8:23:40 PM

Transmaniacon said:
Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB is probably the best choice right now, with the Seagate 7200.12 right behind it (they both excel in different areas)

Mechanical drives can not utilize the bandwidth that SATA 6 allows, so its not worth going with that WD one.

For $200, you could probably get a smaller OS for apps, and then grab the F3 for storage.

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

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

Total: $200 =)


Wow, that's very tempting! So ONLY use the SSD for Windows 7, and then run all games and media on the storage drive? Would 40gb really be enough for the OS?
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June 17, 2010 8:24:11 PM

u cant use that Western Digital drive in RAID 1 or above so if u want to uset it dont go for that
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a b 4 Gaming
June 17, 2010 8:33:23 PM

Yea ideally you would want something in the neighbor of 100GB for all your apps and OS, but thats going to run you $200+ alone.

Windows 7 takes up what 15-20GB? I think, correct me if I am wrong, that the rule of thumb is to not exceed 60% capacity on SSDs, to allow them to operate at maximum performance. So the 40GB would be ideal in that regard.

Stepping up you could look at the 80GB Intel SSD, which is usually about ~$190, and maybe go with a 500GB HDD for storage, but then you are looking at about $250.

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June 17, 2010 8:36:37 PM

i think u should give more money and go with the last option of Transmaniacon and get a 80 GB SSD to fully experince the benefits of an SSD because if u use lots of programs like me u will need more than a 40 GB for them
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a b 4 Gaming
June 17, 2010 8:42:00 PM

If you use Steam, I'm not sure you can change the install path to other than C:, so you will run out of space on a 60GB SSD quickly.
Of course, it didn't help in my case to have used Win7 Ultimate instead of Home, but that gets fixed this weekend...
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June 17, 2010 8:50:27 PM

SpeedHunter_2010 said:
i think u should give more money and go with the last option of Transmaniacon and get a 80 GB SSD to fully experince the benefits of an SSD because if u use lots of programs like me u will need more than a 40 GB for them


I think that you have a good point. If I were to shell out the cash for a SSD, I would think that I should invest in one large enough to run applications on it in addition to windows 7. Maybe even install crysis on it?

However, I'm not sure if I'm willing to pay so much extra for this technology yet. What about this idea: purchase small, fast HDD for OS and applications + something like the 1TB samsung F3 for storage, and then maybe in the future invest in SSD for the OS and move the current small HDD over as an additional storage drive. Or maybe just one HDD for OS, apps, and storage (I can backup on my external drives). Do you guys think that SSDs will drop in price significantly over the next year or two?
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June 17, 2010 8:58:25 PM

Onus said:
If you use Steam, I'm not sure you can change the install path to other than C:, so you will run out of space on a 60GB SSD quickly.
Of course, it didn't help in my case to have used Win7 Ultimate instead of Home, but that gets fixed this weekend...


This might be a deal-breaker for the option of getting a SSD for the OS. I have quite a few games on Steam. I'm going to have to look into whether steam games can be installed to other hdds in windows 7 pro, unless somebody here knows for sure.
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June 18, 2010 6:38:50 PM

Alright guys, what do you think of this WD Caviar black? Seems like a good deal, and it looks like it would be a fast drive for applications and storage

Western Digital Caviar Black WD1501FASS 1.5TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b 4 Gaming
June 18, 2010 6:44:49 PM

I would still stick with the Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB, it and the Seagate 7200.12 are the two best 7200 rpm mechanical drives right now.
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