2 hd's & perf: Where to put OS/game installs/...


If you have two hd’s, one WD1200JB and one IBM120GXP 80Gb, what would be the optimal setup regarding OS, storage, game installs, and other installs (office appl.)? Would it make a noticeable diff. in performance?

Right now, the OS is on the older drive (IBM). Would it then be worthwhile moving it/reinstalling (XP, and I use NTFS) onto the WD drive?

Also, will gaming performance improve if the OS and game install are on separate drives, or is that just an unsubstantiated rumor?

If the latter is true: Would it then be sufficient to keep the OS on the older drive and simply do game installs on the new drive? Which is of more importance: that the OS or the game install is on the faster drive?

I have read that some IBM drives have been likely to fail. Is the 120GXP one of those?

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  1. You provide no details on your MOBO or how much memory you have so hard to say exactly. It is probably worth reinstalling windows every 6 months anyway, so now's your chance.

    Put the OS and programs / games all in the first partition on your WD1200JB. Don't know how many games you have so the size of that partition is up to you. There is no benefit to install games on a separate drive to the OS and you have to reinstall them again if you reinstall windows anyway. Use the rest of the drive for data or something.

    Make a primary partition on your IBM120GXP of about 4Gb and put nothing in it except your windows page file. Use the rest for data.
  2. Well, I've never owned either of those drives, so don't take my opinion at any self-appointed face value...

    Regardless, I don't see any particular need to readjust your HD setup. Maybe if you explained what you're primarily using your system for... Anyway, I think it was 60GXP and 75GXP that earned IBM harddrives the infamous "Deathstar" nickname. Regardless, rumour has it that IBM has posted a warning about 24/7 operation of 120GXP. Unfortunately I can't provide a link to IBM website stating so. Anyone?

    As for games, I'd say HD have extremely little do with gaming performance. Depends a little on the games you play, of course, and HD certainly affects loading times. But usually CPU/GPU intensive games (should) avoid HD usage like plague. Maintaining a marginally steady minimum frame rate is simply too much of a nightmare when accessing a HD. In the ultimate worst case, you would have to wait for a HD in power saving mode to spin up in order to access some critical component of a game...

    Anyway, if a game absolutely <i>must</i> access some of its files during gameplay, you'll definitely want the game to be on the faster drive. In this case, said faster drive would be the 1200JB.

    So, for gaming performance, IMO the first thing is to have enough DRAM to run the game without swapping. 512MB should do it, with room to spare.

    In order to get back on track, keep your games/data on the 1200JB drive. Load times should be faster than from the IBM drive. And if the 120GXP goes sour, all your data is on the 1200JB drive. You'll need to reinstall OS/apps/games of course, but chances are that the really important things (savegames, documents, etc) are still safe on the 1200JB.

    <font color=green><i>Word for the wise: it's time to retire from your boxing career when your promoter starts placing ads on your shoesoles.</i></font color=green>
  3. Wow. with that much capacity i wouldnt bother spreading data over both drives.
    I would partition the JB 2 or 3 ways. 10Gb for the OS, swap and programs, then split the rest50/50 games and whatever else.

    Then use the 120GXP as a backup drive. Personally i don trust IBM much anymore after the disasters they had with their 75gxp and 60gxp's.

    <b>LHGPooBaa + Evil Hamster Sidekick: Serving Toms Hardware community for 2 years as of the 11th of November</b>
  4. I've been using a 120gxp 60gig for a while. I don't run it 24/7 with the drive in constant access, but I leave it on for several days straight.

    If you are absolutely concerned about having a mission-critical drive, don't use the IBM for your system drive. But either way, whichever drive is the fastest, use that one for your system. I think the 1200jb's are faster than the 120gxp.

    That said, if it was me, I'd go with performance.

    60gig is more than enough for my purposes. I'd stripe raid them. Raid 0.

    But no matter what, I'd make my system partition as small as possible. Normally, I use 3gig for winxp. 1.5gig goes to all my programs and os, then 512 to 768meg goes to a swap file. Everything stays on the EXTREME outter edge of the disk, which makes it as absolutely fast as possible. This is noticable on startup.

    And there's no point in worrying about where the swap file is; whether it's the beginning or the end of the partition, it's only going to make about a 200k/s difference.

    If it's a game that loads levels, then you'll see a speed boost during the level load. Diablo2, Baldur's Gate 2, Unreal Tournament 2003, Medal of Honor. It takes processor time to decompress the information, but your hard disk access will give you a boost as well.

    Bottom Line: Keep your system partition with about 33% free space (maximum) after you have all your programs your're ever going to use, loaded. And make it the very first partition on your drive.

    "I personally think filesystems should be rewritten from scratch every 5 years..." --- Hans Reiser
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