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1 SSD, 2 SSD, or 4 SSD

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December 20, 2012 1:31:04 AM

Hello Tom's Hardware! :hello: 
I have been using this website for years, but up until now, I haven't needed to post a question and didn't feel comfortable answering one.

Anyways, I need some help from you guys with regards to a build using the Vertex 4 SSD.

So just for some background, a person owns a business and is deciding to get a computer. He is an acupuncturist and has never had a computer (he knows next to nothing about them). He says he has about 500 patients with all their files on paper, and he wants to digitize them and put them on the new computer hes having me build. I'm not sure whats the best way to store the info because I'm only 17 and don't have much experience with databases yet, but that isn't his priority so I can push off dealing with that until later.

BUT ANYWAYS, back to my question.
I want to give him the performance of a SSD, without running the risk of his files getting lost if the SSD were to go down.

My question to you is would a single vertex 4's, (2) vertex 4's configured with raid 1, or (4) vertex 4's configured with raid 10 be better? Ignore the cost of the drives please.

More about : ssd ssd ssd

a b G Storage
December 20, 2012 1:42:56 AM

SSDs get faster as their size increases - a 512GB drive will be significantly faster than a 128GB one.

That being said, I own a 128GB Vertex 4 and love it crazy to death - it's plenty fast enough.

Also, SSDs are MORE reliable than spindle drives. I don't think you have to worry about reliability - just throw a 500GB WD blue drive in there and set things up to backup automatically.


Also, just how much money are you asking him to spend on this? An office computer doesn't really need an SSD, much less 4 of them. (Especially for someone who knows nothing about computers.)

He'd likely be happy with an i3, onboard video, and a normal hard drive - something that's actually cheaper to get as a prebuilt or kit, rather than built computer.
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a b G Storage
December 20, 2012 1:45:22 AM

My suggestion:

One SSD for OS and Programs - 128GB should be enough
HDD for storage - 1TB are cheap
An external HDD for backup - At least the same size as the HDD
A Bluray or DVD burner for backup as well - Can't modify the files, but they are at least saved

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December 20, 2012 1:51:21 AM

Best advice I have has nothing to do with the drives. I have been a database admin for 12+ years for a very large company and I also build computers on this side. I can tell you keeping the data safe has nothing to do with raid and everything to do with backups. Raid 10 can help loss of data in the case of a drive failure but so much else can and will happen over many years. Think virus infection, data corruption, coffee spilled on the PC, or the business catches fire. Whatever is built gets up and working for patient data, back it up and test a recovery using the backup prior to entering all the patient data. The backups need to automated and on a schedule. Also I would suggest some way to store at least one backup a week off site even if that means he takes a DVD/fash drive home with him once a week. I cant stress this enough since once he gets this up and working he will like most no longer keep any paper copies, this will become his primary place for patient data.

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December 20, 2012 1:51:42 AM

Well initially I had it set up that it cost just under 1000 with a i5 build and I thought that was definitely good enough...but this guy WANTS to spend more. He said he would rather pay for bleeding edge new parts and not have to worry about upgrading...I tried explaining he didn't need that, but he didn't listen. This new build is 1800 with the price of the SSDs included.

But I didn't know that more storage on a SSD meant better speeds, so thanks for letting me know that, but I've also heard a few horror stories about reliability with a SSD. Also my uncles SSD went bad within 3 months of having it, even though this newer model he got hasn't had a problem, I still kind of think that there's still a chance of failure. So that's why I just went crazy thinking about raid 10.
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December 20, 2012 1:54:54 AM

JamesSneed said:
Best advice I have has nothing to do with the drives. I have been a database admin for 12+ years for a very large company and I also build computers on this side. I can tell you keeping the data safe has nothing to do with raid and everything to do with backups. Raid 10 can help loss of data in the case of a drive failure but so much else can and will happen over many years. Think virus infection, data corruption, coffee spilled on the PC, or the business catches fire. Whatever is built gets up and working for patient data, back it up and test a recovery using the backup prior to entering all the patient data. The backups need to automated and on a schedule. Also I would suggest some way to store at least one backup a week off site even if that means he takes a DVD/fash drive home with him once a week. I cant stress this enough since once he gets this up and working he will like most no longer keep any paper copies, this will become his primary place for patient data.


Ahh, I see your point. I was thinking about setting him up with a 1tb backup, but didn't even think of offsite backup...would uploading the data somewhere online be worth it?
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December 20, 2012 1:56:40 AM

I used to work IT and supervised medical charts archival.

If scanned in grayscale its a few kb a file (average 10 pages a file). 500 files wouldn't put a dent into 128gb SSD... With stuff like this access latency is much more important than throughput (though let's be honest, it would take the person more time to find the file and double click on it than for the file to open, mechanical HDs will work fine if they want to save the money).

Regardless of what you do, RAID1 is a must if you value up-time (for such a small practice, meh). RAID10 is overkill. I would also get 2 mechanical HDs for rotational backup. Have him/her swap the drives weekly and have the second drive out of the office for off-site backup (fire, etc). These drives should be encrypted (I don't know what standard you must follow by law). I HIGHLY recommend it be encrypted because patient records going home is a wonderful way for a prosecution lawyer to start a case. We ended up using truecrypt with AES-256 (free). Alternatively, you can look to online backup but I don't know where the law draws the line (I had a legal dept. I was able to ask about these things but this was before cloud storage was viable).

Due to the small size of his data, simply partitioning his OS drive would probably be good enough but if you want you "can" have 4 drives (2 for OS, 2 for data, both sets in RAID1) but all this is really overkill again.
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December 20, 2012 1:59:02 AM

runswindows95 said:
My suggestion:

One SSD for OS and Programs - 128GB should be enough
HDD for storage - 1TB are cheap
An external HDD for backup - At least the same size as the HDD
A Bluray or DVD burner for backup as well - Can't modify the files, but they are at least saved



I have a DVD burner in the build, I couldn't justify wasting more money for a blu-ray burner knowing that he wouldnt use it.

But thank you for the suggestion, I want to be sure I'm taking the right steps for this guy.
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December 20, 2012 2:02:40 AM

weilin said:
I used to work IT and supervised medical charts archival.

If scanned in grayscale its a few kb a file (average 10 pages a file). 500 files wouldn't put a dent into 128gb SSD... With stuff like this access latency is much more important than throughput (though let's be honest, it would take the person more time to find the file and double click on it than for the file to open, mechanical HDs will work fine if they want to save the money).

Regardless of what you do, RAID1 is a must if you value up-time (for such a small practice, meh). RAID10 is overkill. I would also get 2 mechanical HDs for rotational backup. Have him/her swap the drives weekly and have the second drive out of the office for off-site backup (fire, etc). These drives should be encrypted (I don't know what standard you must follow by law). I HIGHLY recommend it be encrypted because patient records going home is a wonderful way for a prosecution lawyer to start a case. We ended up using truecrypt with AES-256 (free). Alternatively, you can look to online backup but I don't know where the law draws the line (I had a legal dept. I was able to ask about these things but this was before cloud storage was viable).

Due to the small size of his data, simply partitioning his OS drive would probably be good enough but if you want you "can" have 4 drives (2 for OS, 2 for data, both sets in RAID1) but all this is really overkill again.



I don't think I can have him swap the drives, this is his first computer...ever...
And thank you for bringing up the encryption part of it, that never occurred to me before.
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December 20, 2012 2:04:00 AM

If you have good backups raid will not be required which comes with its own set of technical issues especially if you have a drive fail.

Personally I would want a feel for the amount of data, as 500 patients inst a lot unless we are talking various images or media files of the likes.

Also, would want to know the software chosen to store the patient data before specking out the pc as this could impact your choices for CPU. There are custom software packages for doing this type of thing.

If we are talking a simple spreadsheet / access database then a single 256GB SSD would be my choice. A single drive will have the lowest rate of failure albeit I would choose a drive from companies with a noted low failure rates like say an Intel 520 or Samsung 840 Pro. Also if it is a simple setup like mentioned then the PC really doesn't need to be very high end at all, think i5 at most.


EDIT: I just saw the post on encryption and was just about to add that as a must. Good backups and encryption are the priority. Everything else is just performance and reliability which is a much smaller issue than loosing all your data or having it stolen.
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December 20, 2012 2:04:54 AM

Okay, so the 4 SSDs were overkill by far...would you guys suggest a 512GB SSD and 1TB backup?
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December 20, 2012 2:09:50 AM

JamesSneed said:
think i5 at most.


That was my original idea, but he wants the "newest and best" parts

JamesSneed said:
I would want to know the software chosen to store the patient data


Okay, I'll admit I'm lost with this. I have no idea how to even begin searching for this. Any suggestions?

JamesSneed said:
I would choose a drive from companies with a noted low failure rates like say an Intel 520 or Samsung 840 Pro.


Is a Vertex 4 not as good? I have read a bunch of good reviews on it.
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December 20, 2012 2:23:04 AM

runswindows95 said:
My suggestion:

One SSD for OS and Programs - 128GB should be enough
HDD for storage - 1TB are cheap
An external HDD for backup - At least the same size as the HDD
A Bluray or DVD burner for backup as well - Can't modify the files, but they are at least saved

+1. SSDs are cheap enough to justify the price increase and a 1TB+ drive for data is a great idea. You absolutely have to have an external drive on there and I would strongly suggest using a cheap HIPAA-compliant online backup service like Carbonite for a nightly offsite backup. Lately even small practices that I work with have been getting HIPAA audits and man, are they expensive when they find violations.
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December 20, 2012 2:26:32 AM

benji720 said:
Lately even small practices that I work with have been getting HIPAA audits and man, are they expensive when they find violations.


Crap, this is a lot to worry about, I didn't realize that this was such a big undertaking...
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December 20, 2012 2:30:46 AM

amsd6969 said:
Crap, this is a lot to worry about, I didn't realize that this was such a big undertaking...

You just want to cover your bases. I haven't gotten any HIPAA violations on my watch but I've worked with people who have. I neglected to mention encryption but as others have posted, it's a good idea. Good luck!
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December 20, 2012 2:34:50 AM

benji720 said:
You just want to cover your bases. I haven't gotten any HIPAA violations on my watch but I've worked with people who have. I neglected to mention encryption but as others have posted, it's a good idea. Good luck!



Thanks man, I'll be sure to do that :) 

And okay guys, now for a pricing question...I had told him to give me 10% of parts (so 180) for building it and setting it up...am I right to think that I should explain everything that needs to be done and ask for more?
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December 20, 2012 2:42:15 AM

I wouldnt use any SSDs. No need for it in terms of cost. One main drive, one external backup that can do auto backups, and set up a VPN to do a remote backup.

"Newest and best" Doesnt mean he needs hardware beyond his needs. New simple means unused. And Best should mean what is best for him. In this case...backup, backup, backup. A UPS for the onsite and remote storage as well definitely wouldnt hurt.
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December 20, 2012 2:47:18 AM

Don't forget about security as well. Considering the fact that your client knows nothing about computers, you may have to manage the security as well.

I'm not sure which brand would be the best, but you should probably get the Internet Suite (most of them are called something like that) or an enterprise version.

Also, you need to hash AND salt any passwords the client would use. Encryption is two-way; if the hacker breaks in and gets the encryption key, game over.

Hashing is one-way; it makes the password unrecoverable. But it can be compromised with a Rainbow table attack ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow_table ), so it has to be salted as well.
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December 20, 2012 2:49:27 AM

Munter78 said:
I wouldnt use any SSDs. No need for it in terms of cost. One main drive, one external backup that can do auto backups, and set up a VPN to do a remote backup.

"Newest and best" Doesnt mean he needs hardware beyond his needs. New simple means unused. And Best should mean what is best for him. In this case...backup, backup, backup. A UPS for the onsite and remote storage as well definitely wouldnt hurt.


Jeeze, you guys are really pointing out how little I know comparatively...I've never heard of a VPN used to backup data, do you have any good links that I could read to learn more about it? And do you have a specific one in mind for a UPS? I have no experience with them either.
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December 20, 2012 2:52:13 AM

A Bad Day said:
Don't forget about security as well. Considering the fact that your client knows nothing about computers, you may have to manage the security as well.

I'm not sure which brand would be the best, but you should probably get the Internet Suite (most of them are called something like that) or an enterprise version.

Also, you need to hash AND salt any passwords the client would use. Encryption is two-way; if the hacker breaks in and gets the encryption key, game over.

Hashing is one-way; it makes the password unrecoverable. But it can be compromised with a Rainbow table attack ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow_table ), so it has to be salted as well.


I'm not sure I understand what you mean. The only passwords he would have on his computer (that I can think of) are the login password, email, and the password to login to his database?
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December 20, 2012 3:22:37 AM

Honestly the #1 issue with database systems are the back-ups! Trust me (us) with this one. Performance these days is a non-issue. SSD vs HDD, i3 vs i5 vs Phenom II - makes no "real world" difference, especially for something as mundane as databasing. But data will indeed be lost and corrupted when you least expect it, and if there is no back-up, or no "working" back-up (happens more than you can possible imagine), then no shiny Ferrari of Computers (the fastest hardware) will bring that data back! Options for a viable back-up implementation range from the practical to the paranoid, free to *very* expensive - many choices... You can't possibly over-emphasize this point to him. Also - in his case, do not forget a reliable uninterruptible power supply (UPS)! #2 reason for data corruption are brownouts! A UPS can prevent some very nasty surprises... I write all of this from experience. BTW, #1 reason for data corruption? Human error.

Don't complicate things by doing RAIDs and all that - honestly no point. Have 2 hard drives, the SSD for the system and applications, and an HDD for back-ups (this would be your basic back-up option. 9/10 times it will suffice. Only thing that can ruin this back-up plan are disasters (fire, flooding, etc.) that completely ruin the entire computer (and even then the data might be recoverable but I would not depend on that), also theft, vandalism and sabotage are real issues a business needs to plan for. The last day of the working week, do a CD/DVD back-up and have him take it with him - he should never store this at work - it should be off-site. Worst case scenario is that if EVERYTHING is lost, he will always have a physical backup with him that at the most will be missing one week's data. Or, you could just set up a Microsoft SkyDrive and zip up the back up (password protected, of course) and just send it into the cloud. Anyways, many options - these are just basic options.
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December 20, 2012 3:31:11 AM

omnimodis78 said:
Honestly the #1 issue with database systems are the back-ups! Trust me (us) with this one. Performance these days is a non-issue. SSD vs HDD, i3 vs i5 vs Phenom II - makes no "real world" difference, especially for something as mundane as databasing. But data will indeed be lost and corrupted when you least expected, and if there is no back-up, or no "working" back-up (happens more than you can possible imagine), then no shiny Ferrari of Computers (the best hardware) will bring that data back! Options for a viable back-up implementation range from the practical to the paranoid, free to *very* expensive - many choices... You can't possibly over-emphasize this point to him. Also - in his case, do not forget a reliable UPS! #2 reason for data corruption are brownouts! A UPS can prevent some very nasty surprises... I write all of this from experience. BTW, #1 reason for data corruption? Human error.



Do you have any good articles for me to read up on for UPS? And I honestly didn't think backing up was that big of a deal until now. I'm going to go back to my original i5 build and tweak it so that it suits his needs better. Or maybe I could get him an A10...the most expensive one is still only like 110, so it saves 100 just on the cpu alone, which could go towards a good HD for backing up instead. What do you think?
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December 20, 2012 3:39:18 AM

The database will probably be small, from what I understand. I'd definitely use a single SSD for booting and a regular hard drive for data because his everyday computing experience will be so much better with an SSD. In terms of stability, I still love the trusty and reliable Samsung 830. I've deployed over 200 of them and I've never once had one fail (although it hasn't been a super long time since they came out.)

I use SSDs in almost all the computers I deploy for my clients because their experience with them is so much faster overall than with a hard drive.

A UPS is a good idea, as noted above. Your client sounds like he's not running a massive business (most acupuncturists have small operations.)

In terms of pricing, you should definitely provide him with an estimate and stick to it, but I think $180 is a little on the low side. We bill at $105/hr (which is low in my area) and I'd probably bid the whole setup at 3.5 hours but I'd mark the hardware up too ;)  Either way, you'll learn a lot and make a little skrill, too.

This is a UC document, but there is a pretty good rundown of HIPAA-compliance stuff in here. I'd give it a look if you'll do more of this in the future.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=w...
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December 20, 2012 3:41:07 AM

amsd6969 said:
Do you have any good articles for me to read up on for UPS? And I honestly didn't think backing up was that big of a deal until now. I'm going to go back to my original i5 build and tweak it so that it suits his needs better. Or maybe I could get him an A10...the most expensive one is still only like 110, so it saves 100 just on the cpu alone, which could go towards a good HD for backing up instead. What do you think?

Go with the i5 on this one. His overall experience will be better. As far as a UPS goes, just get something like this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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December 20, 2012 3:51:29 AM

benji720 said:
The database will probably be small, from what I understand. I'd definitely use a single SSD for booting and a regular hard drive for data because his everyday computing experience will be so much better with an SSD. In terms of stability, I still love the trusty and reliable Samsung 830. I've deployed over 200 of them and I've never once had one fail (although it hasn't been a super long time since they came out.)

I use SSDs in almost all the computers I deploy for my clients because their experience with them is so much faster overall than with a hard drive.

A UPS is a good idea, as noted above. Your client sounds like he's not running a massive business (most acupuncturists have small operations.)

In terms of pricing, you should definitely provide him with an estimate and stick to it, but I think $180 is a little on the low side. We bill at $105/hr (which is low in my area) and I'd probably bid the whole setup at 3.5 hours but I'd mark the hardware up too ;)  Either way, you'll learn a lot and make a little skrill, too.

This is a UC document, but there is a pretty good rundown of HIPAA-compliance stuff in here. I'd give it a look if you'll do more of this in the future.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=w...


Oh geeze, that looks like such a dry read...I guess I'll go through it tomorrow.

But thanks for the rec. on the 830, I'm looking into it now.

And yeah I knew I was selling myself short, but hes paying me 100/hr for servicing after I build it, and I'm going to talk to him about offsite backup storage to see if I have some opportunities to make a little more
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December 20, 2012 3:55:07 AM

http://www.apcmedia.com/salestools/SADE-5TNQXZ_R3_EN.pd... - might get technical, but even you read the first page it will provide you valuable insight.

Oh, backing-up data is one of those things that you can either learn the hard way (very painful way) or learning it the smart way by trusting those of us who were stupid enough to not take it seriously ourselves at one point or another... Your choice, but the question of data loss/corruption isn't a matter of 'if' but 'when' and how bad - and the how bad is usually almost always 'it's all gone'. So yes, it's a big deal. It's not a scare tactic we're playing on you. Not to mention, there could be times when it won't even be a data loss, just a really bad "fix" you applied that messed stuff up so bad that you wish you could just go back to how it was before you installed that wonderful update...haha oh God this brings back some painful and embarrassing memories. Sorry.

The A10 is a good option, so is the i5. For the back-up software you could use Microsoft's free (and phenomenal) SyncToy. Simple, free and it works. http://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/download/details.aspx?id...

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December 20, 2012 4:00:51 AM

omnimodis78 said:
http://www.apcmedia.com/salestools/SADE-5TNQXZ_R3_EN.pd... - might get technical, but even you read the first page it will provide you valuable insight.

Oh, backing-up data is one of those things that you can either learn the hard way (very painful way) or learning it the smart way by trusting those of us who were stupid enough to not take it seriously ourselves at one point or another... Your choice, but the question of data loss/corruption isn't a matter of 'if' but 'when' and how bad - and the how bad is usually almost always 'it's all gone'. So yes, it's a big deal. It's not a scare tactic we're playing on you. Not to mention, there could be times when it won't even be a data loss, just a really bad "fix" you applied that messed stuff up so bad that you wish you could just go back to how it was before you installed that wonderful update...haha oh God this brings back some painful and embarrassing memories. Sorry.

The A10 is a good option, so is the i5. For the back-up software you could use Microsoft's free (and phenomenal) SyncToy. Simple, free and it works. http://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/download/details.aspx?id...



Well even if it was a scare tactic, it worked :p  I'm imagining the chaos if he lost ALL of his patients records, so I'm going to play it VERY safe with this one. I'm thinking a backup scheduled once a week, then the backup is sent (somehow) over the internet to a offsite location while being uploaded to some online site. Sound reasonable?


EDIT: I think I just found that "somehow." That link you gave me looks VERY promising.
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December 20, 2012 4:04:37 AM

amsd6969 said:
Should I stick with the 3570k, or is it better to get one of the lower cpus?

If the i5 is your prime option, stick with the 3570 - if you can then skip the k version as the only single benefit there is that it's easier to overclock - which is something you will absolutely not be in need of doing! The non-k 3570 will net you about $30 savings based on the MSRP.
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December 20, 2012 4:08:14 AM

omnimodis78 said:
If the i5 is your prime option, stick with the 3570 - if you can then skip the k version as the only single benefit there is that it's easier to overclock - which is something you will absolutely not be in need of doing! The non-k 3570 will net you about $30 savings based on the MSRP.



Lol don't ask me why, but both of those are on amazon for 215 on amazon right now, so I might as well get it. And oh yeah, I'm DEFINITELY not OCing this...thats just asking for trouble.
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December 20, 2012 4:20:30 AM

amsd6969, you should really sleep on that i5 - seriously dude there are solid, and I truly mean solid AMD alternatives for less, much less, yielding identical "real-world" performance outcomes.
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a b G Storage
December 20, 2012 4:29:56 AM

Yep. Don't bother with an i5 - he's not going to notice a difference of .5 seconds in saving an application.

Get a Phenom II or i3, and explain to him that better isn't necessarily worth it in his case - he'd have to upgrade at the same time either way.
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December 20, 2012 4:31:04 AM

"But I didn't know that more storage on a SSD meant better speeds, so thanks for letting me know that, but I've also heard a few horror stories about reliability with a SSD."


Don't worry about the speed of your (SSD) hard drive, this will not be a significant part of the system to a degree that you should be looking for a faster SSD. If you go with an SSD, almost any speed SSD you get will be fast enough for this persons need, and the few milliseconds faster or few megabytes more per second a bigger, more expensive drive would give will have no noticeable effect on the system as a whole. If you DO want to pick and choose a SSD, choose one with TRIM support, and one that has a low power consumption. Don't let 'speed' be one of your primary reasons for spending more money on this simple set-up.
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December 20, 2012 4:33:48 AM

Besides local backup (external harddrive or dvd), also get him a paid subscription to dropbox/google drive/etc and set up an automated backup. That way you have local backup, and cloud backup.
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December 20, 2012 4:55:54 AM

omnimodis78 said:
amsd6969, you should really sleep on that i5 - seriously dude there are solid, and I truly mean solid AMD alternatives for less, much less, yielding identical "real-world" performance outcomes.

I'm not a 100% Intel supporter all of the time but for high end client builds I always use them. Bang for your buck is probably equal or slightly ahead on the AMD processors in this circumstance, depending on if his software is mutithreaded but in terms of sheer overall performance and energy consumption, I would stick with Intel. We still have way more happy clients using Intel than we do using AMD. One of my guys is a massive AMD fanboy and we have to repair his machines up a lot more than our Intel rigs. For this computer, you want reliable. For reliable, this would be my build:

i5 without k
16GB RAM
128 or 256GB Samsung 830
1TB HDD or RAID1 on here even
2TB+ Backup drive
Good case
Good PSU
Good video card if he needs to do any rendering
And all the other normal computer stuff, ie mouse, dvdrw, monitor, etc. If you want it to really pop, get him a mechanical keyboard and a 27" IPS screen and his world will be blown.
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December 20, 2012 11:45:31 AM

benji720 said:
I'm not a 100% Intel supporter all of the time but for high end client builds I always use them. Bang for your buck is probably equal or slightly ahead on the AMD processors in this circumstance, depending on if his software is mutithreaded but in terms of sheer overall performance and energy consumption, I would stick with Intel. We still have way more happy clients using Intel than we do using AMD. One of my guys is a massive AMD fanboy and we have to repair his machines up a lot more than our Intel rigs. For this computer, you want reliable. For reliable, this would be my build:

i5 without k
16GB RAM
128 or 256GB Samsung 830
1TB HDD or RAID1 on here even
2TB+ Backup drive
Good case
Good PSU
Good video card if he needs to do any rendering
And all the other normal computer stuff, ie mouse, dvdrw, monitor, etc. If you want it to really pop, get him a mechanical keyboard and a 27" IPS screen and his world will be blown.


Honestly, the only reason I'm going with the i5 k is because its the same price but otherwise, I get your point. And I didn't get him a video card only because the most hes probably going to do is looking on youtube videos. But I'm thinking about going with the following

The aforementioned i5 3570k
AS Rock LGA1155 socket Mobo
256 Vertex 4 or 830
3tb Caviar green hd
Corsair Vengance Red 8gb (2*4) @ 1866 mhz
Thermaltake 500w
Dvd burner 24x with lightscribe
Antec three hundred

Any objections?
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a b G Storage
December 20, 2012 12:43:17 PM

Hardware is perfect for databases for a single practice. The biggest recommendation I would give is to use a "cloud" based backup like Mozy (http://mozy.com/products/) - go with the "Pro" version. Depending upon the total size of the backup, it will cost $30-$50 per month for his account, but the data is stored off-site, secure and encrypted (encrypted before transmission).

Mozy also has an online chat as well as phone service to answer all the questions you have and which service is best for your client. And $50 per month may sound like a lot, but consider if you are billing at $100 per hour for service calls, this automated solution is 50% of one hour billable....

I have worked with databases for quite a few years, and the backup is the most important thing to setup. He will need internet access as well - that will add to a monthly fee as well...

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December 20, 2012 1:50:32 PM

benji720 said:
I'm not a 100% Intel supporter all of the time but for high end client builds I always use them. Bang for your buck is probably equal or slightly ahead on the AMD processors in this circumstance, depending on if his software is mutithreaded but in terms of sheer overall performance and energy consumption, I would stick with Intel. We still have way more happy clients using Intel than we do using AMD. One of my guys is a massive AMD fanboy and we have to repair his machines up a lot more than our Intel rigs. For this computer, you want reliable. For reliable, this would be my build:

i5 without k
16GB RAM
128 or 256GB Samsung 830
1TB HDD or RAID1 on here even
2TB+ Backup drive
Good case
Good PSU
Good video card if he needs to do any rendering
And all the other normal computer stuff, ie mouse, dvdrw, monitor, etc. If you want it to really pop, get him a mechanical keyboard and a 27" IPS screen and his world will be blown.

I definitely don't want to hijack amsd6969's thread, but I have to address this. Firstly, no business client would ever know the difference between an AMD and Intel CPU. High-end clients care about costs more often than brand, and if you supply systems to business clients who can quantify their needs for specifically Intel platforms, then I stand corrected, but I've never worked with or for a business that cared about anything other than costs. And you really have to repair that AMD fanboy's computer more than anyone else's? You have way more happy clients using Intel than AMD...come on...even you can't take those comments seriously. Maybe you didn't do a good job building those AMD systems...but you settled blaming a stellar company instead of your own shortcomings? I agree with you on the energy consumption favouring Intel. And "reliable" - well, let's define that. The computer turns on, stays on, and runs the programs that are thrown at it. Please reference any articles on AMD platforms being less reliable than Intel's, because frankly that's a mighty claim to make that AMD sells less reliable products.

Good video card? Did you read the original post? It's an acupuncturist and the needs here are related to databasing. APU or Intel's HD graphics will still leave plenty of headroom, absolutely no need for dedicated graphics (wasted cost, extra heat, more things that can break, and higher electricity costs). 16Gb RAM? What for? Even 4 would be more than necessary. 2TB+ backup drive? Seriously, I don't want to come off rude but your recommended build is not very conducive to a small business in need of mere client/patient data collection, and if these are the sort of solutions you're coming up with for your customers/at your work, then you best hope they won't be conducting an external IT audit any time soon.
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December 20, 2012 2:38:02 PM

omnimodis78 said:
I definitely don't want to hijack amsd6969's thread, but I have to address this. Firstly, no business client would ever know the difference between an AMD and Intel CPU. High-end clients care about costs more often than brand, and if you supply systems to business clients who can quantify their needs for specifically Intel platforms, then I stand corrected, but I've never worked with or for a business that cared about anything other than costs. And you really have to repair that AMD fanboy's computer more than anyone else's? You have way more happy clients using Intel than AMD...come on...even you can't take those comments seriously. Maybe you didn't do a good job building those AMD systems...but you settled blaming a stellar company instead of your own shortcomings? I agree with you on the energy consumption favouring Intel. And "reliable" - well, let's define that. The computer turns on, stays on, and runs the programs that are thrown at it. Please reference any articles on AMD platforms being less reliable than Intel's, because frankly that's a mighty claim to make that AMD sells less reliable products.

Good video card? Did you read the original post? It's an acupuncturist and the needs here are related to databasing. APU or Intel's HD graphics will still leave plenty of headroom, absolutely no need for dedicated graphics (wasted cost, extra heat, more things that can break, and higher electricity costs). 16Gb RAM? What for? Even 4 would be more than necessary. 2TB+ backup drive? Seriously, I don't want to come off rude but your recommended build is not very conducive to a small business in need of mere client/patient data collection.


LOL...I'm not gonna lie, your logic is definitely well argued there. I am a total AMD fanboy (mainly because of price :kaola: ), but I do think that an Intel rig should be used for professional computers, just because they SEEM to have less problems (I say seem because I have personally had less issues with Intel rigs).

And does the 3TB seem like overkill to you? I am able to get it for 140, which is $0.21 a gig, which seems like a great deal (even though I've heard these aren't as fast...but hes using it for backup so I don't think thats an issue). Are you recommending 1 tb?
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December 20, 2012 2:38:12 PM

My thoughts as a noob:

I'm learning as i go. I've read the entire post / book above with much interest.

1. AMD A10 5700. 8 GB ram is overkill ...
2. ASRock Mobo (FM2 chip)
3. SSD: Intel 330, Samsung 830/840, Crucial M4 - your choice. All very reliable. I went with Intel which is the slowest .... i love it
4. Big monitor (24" should do ...)
5. Won't need a GPU - this is the best onboard graphics avail
6. 1TB hdd for computer backup
7. A system of backups: CD's / DVD / USB. This appears to be the Achilles' heal of this system (requiring human reliablity).
8. From the doctors point of view - I would pay you $50 / week to back up this data and keep this system alive. Sounds like he does not want to think about this - just wants the thing to work. Nothing is free - your knowledge and time weekly and his piece of mind that his (and his patient's) data are good to go. That's a deal for both of you.

Finally - sticking with what i know (very little). HIPPA is scary. Medical records are scary. That's cause I don't know the laws, rules, or regulations for HIPPA. Laws are not about what makes sense technology wise. Bottom line: if this is dealing with medical records i would strongly recommend you brush up on the technology requirements (encoding / encrypting).

Good Luck !!
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December 20, 2012 2:52:28 PM

amsd6969 said:
LOL...I'm not gonna lie, your logic is definitely well argued there. I am a total AMD fanboy (mainly because of price :kaola: ), but I do think that an Intel rig should be used for professional computers, just because they SEEM to have less problems (I say seem because I have personally had less issues with Intel rigs).

And does the 3TB seem like overkill to you? I am able to get it for 140, which is $0.21 a gig, which seems like a great deal (even though I've heard these aren't as fast...but hes using it for backup so I don't think thats an issue). Are you recommending 1 tb?

Look, the AMD vs Intel argument is as old as, well, Intel and AMD. It won't go away. If you favour one over the other based on your own impressions, that's cool. If money is a non-issue, then there is no issue. It's a rarity when there's no budget limitations involved, and that's not even to imply that professionals on an unlimited budget don't choose AMD. I have used both for personal use, and I have used both with clients. I have never (!) been told by a client that they don't like their AMD cpu, nor have I ever been told how glad they are that I purchased an Intel. It's just not something they care about. Period. You favour Intel, good. The point is that both are good options, and should always remain options until you make a final decision.

Nothing wrong with 3TB - if the price is right, get it. odiervr's list is good, modify it as you see fit, but his (her) list is practical. I also like his/her thinking about your business plan - and yes, it is a business plan! You being 17 and already positioning yourself the way you are is incredible by the way. Hope you are proud about yourself and are excited! Do this right, and you might just become a hot potato if your client spreads the word around about your usefulness!
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a c 353 G Storage
December 20, 2012 3:00:31 PM

For a Business computer, definitely recommend the Intel route.
This has Nothing to do with CPU performance. I seriously doubt he would see a performance difference between AMD vs Intel CPU. Where I work there is several thousand computers (laptops and Desktops), AMD Very Very few. National average is approx 20% AMD and 75 % Intel.
... Intel chipsets and drivers are better, that is Intel provides more frequent drivers updates. Before you say "yea right". SSD performance is slightly better for Intel chipset/drivers. Intel's driver support Trim when in raid - I DO NOT recommend raid for a business system. Then there is the issue of how long it took AMD to provide a driver that even supported trim. Not an issue for OPs system, but driver support for Laptops using both an iGPU and a dGPU was not the nearly as good as NVidia for switching between 2D/3D applications. Good reason is MONEY and support personnel; unfortunately AMD is hurting in both departments.

SSD verse HDD:
.. First off I DO NOT recommend any of the Consumer HHDs - Reliability is not up to par. For older generation HDDs they were pretty good, but I feel that the Higher RPMs coupled with the Higher density media and Keeping the cost down (margin up) have sacrificed "quality" I have some OLD HDD that are going on to 15 years and STILL in use. Go with an Enterprise HDD.
.. Reliability for SSDs are good (very good for Crucial M4 and Samsung 830). Although the Samsung 840 WILL probably equals the 830 it has not been out long enough. These are the ONLY two SSDs I currently recommend. NOTE: I have 13 SSDs (various brands) dating back to Intel’s G1 and NOT a SINGLE failure.
Back-Up:
My recommended configuration: 2 SSDs, a 128 gig For OS + Programs, a 256 gig for His data, an Internal 500 gig (or 1 TB MAX) Enterprise HDD for Backup, Same for an External USB (build it yourself - DO NOT buy a cheap WD/Seagate backup drive), so need an enclosure.
For Back up: after initial Windows install, windows updates, Driver Installs, and Programs loaded. Use windows 7 back up to create an image of the OS drive. This image would be placed on the HDD and COPIED to the External drive!! Need to re-install Windows, a 15 min job and back up and running. ONLY need to redo this image after new programs are installed and tested. Initially more frequently, later maybe once ever three to 6 months. NOTE: Move My documents folder from OS SSD (C-drive) -> D-drive (2nd SSD).
Get a backup program and set to run once a day, preferably in evening. And Yes also back up to the "cloud” DO NOT recommend raid1 as one poster pointed out.
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December 20, 2012 3:09:38 PM

omnimodis78 said:


Nothing wrong with 3TB - if the price is right, get it. odiervr's list is good, modify it as you see fit, but his (her) list is practical.


Okay, good. And yeah, I'm starting about thinking of going back to the a10 build I started making, the few miliseconds difference between the two isn't enough to justify a 100 more for the processor alone.

omnimodis78 said:
I also like his/her thinking about your business plan - and yes, it is a business plan! You being 17 and already positioning yourself the way you are is incredible by the way. Hope you are proud about yourself and are excited! Do this right, and you might just become a hot potato if your client spreads the word around about your usefulness!


I am excited, but you have NO idea how worried I am about this because I do plan on starting my own computer business (I created my logo, business card, and am 1/2 way through a website already), and if I do this right, I'lll have a lot of referrals coming my way from him. But if I screw it up somehow, it will be a serious confidence blow and mean I have to work just that much harder to get more clients.

So far I have built 3 custom builds for other people and have been working with computers since I was 10, using google as my guide. Think I have what it takes?
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December 20, 2012 3:15:48 PM

amsd6969, could you list all the parts your currently seriously considering getting? With so many ideas and recommendations floating around here (most of which are great recommendations), it would be helpful to see where you stand at the moment. And definitely consider RetiredChief's points, he brings some solid (and evidently qualified) points to the table!
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a c 353 G Storage
December 20, 2012 3:19:33 PM

"Nothing wrong with 3TB - if the price is right, get it” For enterprise drive looking at $450 ± $50. AND 3 TB way Overkill.
As I stated, I do NOT recommend consumer HDDs for a business
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December 20, 2012 3:21:58 PM

RetiredChief said:
For a Business computer, definitely recommend the Intel route.
This has Nothing to do with CPU performance. I seriously doubt he would see a performance difference between AMD vs Intel CPU. Where I work there is several thousand computers (laptops and Desktops), AMD Very Very few. National average is approx 20% AMD and 75 % Intel.
... Intel chipsets and drivers are better, that is Intel provides more frequent drivers updates. Before you say "yea right". SSD performance is slightly better for Intel chipset/drivers. Intel's driver support Trim when in raid - I DO NOT recommend raid for a business system. Then there is the issue of how long it took AMD to provide a driver that even supported trim. Not an issue for OPs system, but driver support for Laptops using both an iGPU and a dGPU was not the nearly as good as NVidia for switching between 2D/3D applications. Good reason is MONEY and support personnel; unfortunately AMD is hurting in both departments.


Okay, I'll agree Intel has more support, but I'm not sure its worth the money...
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December 20, 2012 3:27:40 PM

omnimodis78 said:
amsd6969, could you list all the parts your currently seriously considering getting? With so many ideas and recommendations floating around here (most of which are great recommendations), it would be helpful to see where you stand at the moment. And definitely consider RetiredChief's points, he brings some solid (and evidently qualified) points to the table!



http://amzn.com/w/NJI7QZJKKLEM

That link is up to the date list using amazon just as a organizational tool.

And yeah I know I am, its just I'm a little overwhelmed by personal opinions at the moment lol
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December 20, 2012 3:29:09 PM

RetiredChief said:
"Nothing wrong with 3TB - if the price is right, get it” For enterprise drive looking at $450 ± $50. AND 3 TB way Overkill.
As I stated, I do NOT recommend consumer HDDs for a business

Agreed, but let's keep things in perspective - he is not buying enterprise level parts. If he were then this would be a whole different thread. Of course it's over-kill, but if "over-kill" is the direction we're going to go then I better go back and edit most of my posts. :pt1cable: 
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December 20, 2012 3:29:52 PM

Pcpartpicker.com is a great place to do some PC planning. It will also shop around for you.

GL !
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December 20, 2012 3:33:56 PM

odiervr said:
Pcpartpicker.com is a great place to do some PC planning. It will also shop around for you.

GL !


I know of the site, but never got around to using it. I guess I'll try it.
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