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Solid State Hard Drives

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January 27, 2004 9:43:27 PM

So here's the thing. I was just wondering, though I don't have anywhere near the extra funds at the moment, eventually I plan to have a few extra thousand bucks laying around. We're talkin hypothetical here :)  I was considering what are the components that would make the absolute Ultimate Gaming or otherwise uber power system. But still available to the general public. And I was curious about one piece of this. Solid State Hard Drives... I've been hearing about these for such a long time, and how amazingly fast they'd be, though unstable being that they are memory... I was wondering if Toms would be able to run some of their patented benchmark tests. Throw together a couple test rigs and run some benchmarks on some of the more intensive games out there. I wanna see how much of a slow down Hard Drives really are. Is there any chance of you guys doing that? Putting together a system with a 10-20 gig solid state Hard drive, and running solely off of it?
Or, are there solid state gaming benchmarks/grafic editing benchmarks.

- Rez
January 27, 2004 11:46:55 PM

Really big solid state drives cost $100k and up. I don't think Tom's will be buying one any time soon.

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February 3, 2004 9:19:39 PM

I wouldn't expect Tom's to shell out $100k to buy a Solid State Drive... Though with all the connections Tom's has, I'm sure some company out there would love to tout how well their Solid state drives run. At the very least I'm sure they could get a Loaner drive.

And as for a Ramdrive... Games these days average over a gig... I'd need at least 4 gig of ram to make a ramdrive big enough to install a game to... and that still wouldn't solve the problem of paging. I just think it would be nifty to see how well these drives actually run.
February 4, 2004 11:29:49 PM

Not sure how big a game these days is, C&C Generals is the biggest game I have I think, 4 CDs with zero hour. Still, 2G or so of RAM would be cheaper than a Solid State Hard Drive and the RAM interface is much faster than PCI-X even. You can solve the paging problem by simply swtiching off the pagefile or putting your pagefile on the RAM disk.

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February 11, 2004 9:30:45 PM

Ok, Theorhetically speaking, I spend a few hundred bucks for a few gig of ram, last I checked Windows maximum ramdrive size was only like 32MB/64MB or something like that... and you had to do it in config.sys autoexec.bat, how does one do this on Win XP?
February 13, 2004 8:52:17 PM

Honestly, if you want really fast level loading in games, a RAID-0 striped drive will really deliver. My slower computer with a 3-disk Raid-0 loads levels in about 1/3 the time that a faster computer with a single drive does. (all drives were 7200rpm.)

You'd want to install a single drive to boot from, and a RAID-0 drive with either two Raptors or four normal drives. To get really fast, you would want to use a faster type of PCI slot, like a 64-bit slot of some kind, so that you have plenty of PCI bandwidth to use for your hard drive access. I think a two-raptor or four-7200rpm drive stripe would take almost all of your PCI bandwidth, leaving your sound and network cards fighting for bus time. Might cause stability problems in level loads, where all three of those are happening at once.
February 14, 2004 3:43:06 PM

I've seen smaller drives - a few gigabytes, go for a couple grand. And that was two years ago.

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