PC performance query. Understanding the storage side of building PC...

I have at the moment a 500gb hard drive. Ive read stuff about storage how u can have 2 hard drives which i thinkhave heard makes the PC better peforming. I think i heard something like ssd is worth considering to [is this only for the OS]?

I dont think i understand this side of PC building properly. CPU, GPU, RAM etc im ok with. Its just the hard drive side of building, storage.

I would like to know then, what would be the best way to go about this part of building so that a PC can be at maximum performance.

Im going to upgrade some components and thought that I should consider altering my current storage compartment in my PC.

Looking forward to hearing advice from anyone, hope this will determine how I should go about making my new PC mark2 ;).

Thanks for reading and am grateful for any helpful replies.

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  1. If you want speed and reliability go with an SSD. They are affordable at 128GB and greatly increase your load/boot times. You can use your 500GB hard drive for storage.

    Before SSDs were affordable, the way to increase the speed was to put 2(or more) HDDs in RAID0 and to improve reliability was to set 2 HDDs in RAID1. To do both you'd get 4HDD and put them into RAID0+1.

    You can still put SSDs in RAID configurations as well. I have the vertex2 and it's rediculous how much faster it is than a normal hard drive. The older generation SSDs are more affordable and it would still be a huge upgrade in performance.
  2. You can run the OS and some other programs on the SSD depending on what size you get. If you get 64 gb, you can run OS and maybe 1-2 other programs but that would be pushing it. It is much safer to get 90-128 gb which will leave you plenty of head room. The best SSDs at the moment are the Crucial M4s. They are a little pricey but very quick. Using an SSD will run OS and other programs very quickly and is well worth the investment depending on how much money you have.

    For HDDs, you have a few options.
    RAID-0 involves 2 HDDs and half of all your data is stored on either drive. This means data can be written in half the time because it is split between the drives. This increases the writing speed of your system but there is one major problem. If one of the drives breaks, then you lose everything assuming you do not have it backed up.
    RAID-1 is the opposite. Data is written to both HDDs so that each drive is a mirror copy of the other. This is mainly for those with very important data or those who are paranoid about HDD failure. When one drive breaks, the other still has all of your data so the computer can continue running as if nothing happened. RAID-1 does not noticeably slow down your system but it certainly does not make it faster.
    One of the best ways is to get an SSD to run the OS and a program or 2 and then have 2 HDDs in RAID-1 as data drives so that you will never any data.
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