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Storage upgrade-will an SSD/Hybrid drive make a difference?

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July 9, 2010 5:12:18 AM

Hi everyone,

Just finished a new build, and I'm wondering whether I should upgrade the storage. Here's what I've done, partly driven by whim, and partly driven by what was on sale at Fry's (All prices are after rebates, and reflect sales from 2 weeks ago; I'm using the Amazon site for spec links because it's easier):

AMD Phenom II Black 1055 six core: http://www.amazon.com/AMD-Phenom-Thuban-Six-Core-Proces...

Biostar TA890FXE motherboard: http://www.amazon.com/Biostar-890FX-Based-Motherboard-T...

I got the combo for $249

Cooler Master USP 100 case

Cooler Master 550-Watt Power Supply http://www.amazon.com/USP-100-Gamming-Case-M-AT/dp/B003...

I got the combo for $99

Diamond ATI Radeon 5770 1 gig DDR5 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002UOPRZC/ref=s9_k2as...

Got it for $129

4 gigs Patriot 1333 mhz DDR3 http://www.amazon.com/Patriot-Signature-PC3-8500-DDR3-1...

On sale for $69

I was worried the case would get too hot with just the one fan in the front, so I added an Enermax Apollish 12CM fan, for $9.99 (Yes, it was A Very Good Day at Fry's!)

Stuff I had around that I used on the build: Viewsonic VA2323wm 23" 1080p monitor; Logitech Illuminated keyboard; Logitech G9x mouse; some old DVD player.

Couldn't make up my mind on storage. The Biostar TA890FXE supports 6GPS SATA 3, but the SATA 3 drives were crazy expensive; the build so far has run me $555.99, so it seemed nuts to put in a $200+ Seagate Barracuda XT, especially when I just wasn't sure how much extra performance I was buying. Same went for blowing $300 for a VelociRaptor.

I ended up buying a Samsung 1TB Spinpoint from Amazon for $69.99. http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Spinpoint-Cache-Desktop-H...

Thanks for reading through all that mess. Here -- finally -- is my question. Would I pick up any appreciable performance pushing the Samsung back to a storage drive, and using a high-performance drive for my boot disk? The system seems terrifically snappy -- Plays Crysis at 1900 x 1080 on full everything...Woot! -- but ratings like Windows Experience are showing the storage subsystems as much slower than the rest of the system, and I'm worried I've built myself a choke point.

Any one have any experience with the new Seagate Momentus XT Hybrid drives? http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Momentus-7200RPM-Hybrid-S...

Is a Raptor really worth that kind of money? What about an SSD?

I'd really appreciate the communities thoughts on this.

Thanks!

Chris Feola


July 9, 2010 2:33:52 PM


The time to have considered the SSD option would have been BEFORE you installed OS+Drivers.

Looks like a very decent build, for the money.

Now that you are up and running, it would behoove you to wait until next August, to shop for SSDs. That Spinpoint is plenty snappy ... live with it, for a while.

Glad to see you went for a 5770 (at the least).

= Al =
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July 9, 2010 2:59:20 PM

Alvin Smith said:
The time to have considered the SSD option would have been BEFORE you installed OS+Drivers.

Looks like a very decent build, for the money.

Now that you are up and running, it would behoove you to wait until next August, to shop for SSDs. That Spinpoint is plenty snappy ... live with it, for a while.

Glad to see you went for a 5770 (at the least).

= Al =


Truth. But I like taking 'em apart and putting 'em back together, and don't mind reinstalling the OS and such. (Except on laptops-I do hate tracking down weird drivers.) And I built this machine so that I would continue to work and tinker on it, instead of building something all new again next year. That's why I went with the six-core; it really has little benefit now, but I am guessing future versions of PhotoShop and such will make increasingly better use of it, and consequently it will prove more future proof.

Same thing on the 5770-I'm thinking its a solid board now, and the first time I see one for under $100 I'll snap it up and drop it into a Crossfire configuration.

So I don't mind tinkering; it's just that I agree with you-this Spinpoint seems plenty snappy, and I'm not sure adding a hybrid or SSD will appreciably speed up the system.

Thanks for your thoughts!

cjf
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July 9, 2010 3:16:59 PM

Well ... For performance and reliability (for a failrly reasonable cost), DO go with an INTEL M/G2 OR a Vertex2. Use that as your boot/apps drive and put a 200~250GB "short/fast primary" partition on THE SPINPOINT, for active render and ingest (current/active project and scratch space) ... You've heard the outer tracks are faster ... they are!

You can dedicate the rest of the spinpoint to secondary apps and archives (local backup) ... and just to store mp3 and other media files and evaluation-crapware.

I would SHUN RADEON LIKE THE PLAGUE (and I have) for any sort of serious pro-graphics build (period) ... If you want to discuss THE SMALL HANDFUL of exact nVidia SUB-MODELS, which are "certified-appropriate", then I will ... but there is lots to that so, unless you REALLY want all the crazy details, I will leave you to research the preferred industry configs for your own particular toolsets.

= chow =
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July 9, 2010 3:42:05 PM

Best answer selected by cjfeola.
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July 9, 2010 3:47:10 PM

Quote:
I would SHUN RADEON LIKE THE PLAGUE (and I have) for any sort of serious pro-graphics build (period)


Interesting! Just out of curiousity...what do you consider pro-graphics? Are you talking about video editing? Photo?

I was a professional photog, back in the day (newspapers). Spent a lot of time in wet dark rooms, then was an early adapter of digital dark rooms: film scanners, PhotoShop, etc. But that was many, many years ago. I still shoot a bit, but just for fun. I still print a bit, too -- I've had a series of large-format Epson photo printers. But I don't bother calibrating my monitors or anything like that. Anyway, I'm a Zone System guy: the only thing I trust is the print ...

cjf
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July 9, 2010 4:21:01 PM

Thanks for the points ... I HAD TO EDIT THAT BEST ANSWER SO IT WOULD MAKE SENSE.
Originally, it sounded like I meant for that short partition to be on the SSD but (NO) ... The SSD should be just one large partition and it is the spinpoint that should be carved up.

nVidia vs. Radeon for "PRO" graphics ... jeeesh ... well ...

It is a huge can of worms but I'll just say that, when you are working with 15Megapixel Images or CoDecs of greater than 25Mbits/sec, then, performance (bandwidth) and precision REALLY start to matter and, because current hardware architectures are fully stressed, by these demands, DEVELOPERS must optomize their code and must fully leverage any and all accelleration and precision options.

Because of the cost and complexity of said development, most sw houses tend to develop and test and certify to one particular (nVidia) hw/sw standard feature set.

In a nutshell, nVidia has traditionally catered and pandered to this Pro segmant (Quadro FX) and certain cards (specific sub-models which support OpenGL 3.x) are specifically tweaked and groomed for these specific tasks.

Radeons will work with most software but it can be hit-and-miss, as few developers test or certify with ATi products ... Those that do, usually accept sw/fx plug-in (sw) modules that DO NOT (partner products, utilities, transcoders, etc.).

That is the very short explanation ... not all 9800GTs are appropriate ... nor are all 200 series cards. ALL FERMIS and ALL Quadro FX products (580 and above) *are* appropriate to the broadest swath of toolset-families.

Same thing with CAD/engineering ... the higher up the food-chain, the more rare it is to find an ATi certification in the sysreqs.

= My fingers hurt ... ya happy ? =
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July 9, 2010 4:30:46 PM

this exact model ... And I mean EXACTLY THIS SUB-PART (not at newegg)

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/654090-REG/PNY_Te...

or this exact sub-model

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

The 9800GT-EE(PB) is cheap, good, proven, and hassle free ...

... It is short ... tru single slot ... reduced pwr ... supports SLI ... CUDA .. OpenGL 3.2

does not need aux pwr connector ... takes all it's power from the cardbus ans 75Watts.

The FERMI 460 will be out in a few weeks ... your best option.

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