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Harddrive slowing me down?

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February 23, 2004 9:34:25 PM

I have a P4 2.4ghz fsb533.
MSI mobo with sis655 chipset.
256 ddr400 kingston hyperx 1 stick
20g seagate =) getting a new one soon
Ti4200 128Mb chaintech
onboard sound

with this, am i suppose to lag if i play games like Medal of Honor: Breakthrough?


or is a case of harddrive lagging me?
This is a repost from the graphic card section as i don know whats the problem.

spamming is an internet crime.

Did i just commit a crime?

More about : harddrive slowing

February 24, 2004 5:58:50 AM

What kind of problems do you have? It's not like a slow harddrive will give you lower fps. If your harddrive is slow you will mostly notice it during 'scene' change and not gameplay.
If you suspect the HD to be the problem, try running some HD benchmarks to troubleshoot further.

<i><b>Engineering is the fine art of making what you want from things you can get</b></i>
February 24, 2004 11:48:04 AM

At first glance at your system specs I would suggest more RAM...but if this lagging you are talking about is happening when you play online it may not be your machine at all.

....WW (4.0)
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February 24, 2004 11:06:28 PM

Run Perfmon during gameplay. Monitor processor, memory, pagefile and hard disk access. I'm betting what's happening is you're runing out of free memory and the computer is writing to a pagefile on your slow hard disk. Best thing you can do is get another 256MB memory, at least.

<A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/myanandtech.html?member=114979" target="_new">My PCs</A> :cool:
February 25, 2004 1:12:50 AM

Just don't make the mistake of thinking a "Special Edition" Western Digital 8MB Cache 7200rpm Hard drive will fix it. It won't. Stay away from the 'Tick' Monster. If you want a decent HDD a Western Digital Protege will do you just fine. They're cheap too. A 40 GB will run you $60. Quite a good drive and quiet too. I compared the two by replacing the protege with a "Special Edition" I got lower scores from the "Special Edition". Proceed with caution.
Protege is quiter and the 12.5 access time is no big deal.
Get a WD 400EB (40 GB 5400rpm) to beat the Seagate 20 gig.
I returned the 80Gig JB laughing, thinking how they've done an IBM Deskstar fiasco by selling these faulty "SE" drives that are failing.
Mine ticked out of the box.
My protege doesn't tick beyond it's workload. The JB was stressed.

AM37 2200+XP Thoro
WD 40.00 54
640mb Kingston
PNY(MSI)GeForce 4 Ti4600 128mb
Xtacy ATI Radeon 9100 64mb(mothballed)
February 25, 2004 2:02:51 PM

due to certain constrains i'll be buying a new hardrive rather than more ram

im now looking at

-SAMSUNG SpinPoint 120GB 7200RPM Ultra-ata ATA133 8MB Cache
-Seagate ST3120026AS 120GB Serial ATA 7200rpm 8MB
-WD1200jb
-NEW HITACHI 120GB UDMA-100 7200RPM 8.5MS 2MB CACHE DESKSTAR 7K250 (not exactly enchanted by the 2mb cache)

my budget is 80-90.

tell me wat u guys think?
price and reliabiliy is of most concern



spamming is an internet crime.

Did i just commit a crime? <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by jiaruigoh on 02/25/04 04:30 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
February 25, 2004 6:14:56 PM

I wouldnt go with the samsung drive if I were you, I dont know much about the new hitachi drives so I cant really comment. Have you looked at the WD or Seagate 120GB drives?

[Insert witty comment here]
February 25, 2004 7:31:59 PM

there, I added the dashes.

what about the samsung?

spamming is an internet crime.

Did i just commit a crime?
February 25, 2004 9:04:12 PM

Lol, sorry I scimmed through the post quickly and didnt see the drives I mentioned listened. I have used a 80GB WD specail edition and 2x120GB seagate 7200.7's. The have all been quality drives. I dont know much about the samsung drives, but not many people i know of use them, and also I think they are quite new to the hard drive market (dont quote me on that I could be wrong).

[Insert witty comment here]
February 25, 2004 9:04:24 PM

Lol, sorry I scimmed through the post quickly and didnt see the drives I mentioned listened. I have used a 80GB WD specail edition and 2x120GB seagate 7200.7's. The have all been quality drives. I dont know much about the samsung drives, but not many people i know of use them, and also I think they are quite new to the hard drive market (dont quote me on that I could be wrong).

[Insert witty comment here]
February 25, 2004 9:04:44 PM

Lol, sorry I scimmed through the post quickly and didnt see the drives I mentioned listened. I have used a 80GB WD specail edition and 2x120GB seagate 7200.7's. The have all been quality drives. I dont know much about the samsung drives, but not many people i know of use them, and also I think they are quite new to the hard drive market (dont quote me on that I could be wrong).

[Insert witty comment here]
February 25, 2004 9:05:43 PM

Lol, sorry I skimmed through the post quickly and didnt see the drives I mentioned listened. I have used a 80GB WD specail edition and 2x120GB seagate 7200.7's. The have all been quality drives. I dont know much about the samsung drives, but not many people i know of use them, and also I think they are quite new to the hard drive market (dont quote me on that I could be wrong).

[Insert witty comment here]
February 26, 2004 7:27:59 AM

By all means get a new drive with a larger capacity etc, but you need to ramp up that RAM. Friend of mine was complaining that BF1942 was laggy to hell on his rig. He had 256Mb. He installed another stick and the game just flew.

Seriously, you will not believe how much the performance will improve by doubling the RAM.

<font color=blue>"It's my duty, as a total and utter bastard." - Arnold J Rimmer</font color=blue>
February 26, 2004 1:37:39 PM

The problem here is a new stick of ram cost as much as a new harddrive. and I have trouble with 20gb.

Was wondering if anyone had experiences with the harddrives I mentioned.

From what I gathered at tomshardware,
samsung is cheap and normal
seagate is uber queit
wd value for money but use mechanical bearing so noisier
deskstar cldnt find any info but the stats look ok

spamming is an internet crime.

Did i just commit a crime?
February 26, 2004 2:29:49 PM

Im sure any one of these drives will be fine, there wont be a whole lot of performance difference between them as the newer ones all have 8mb cache and spin at 7200RPM. If you want quiet go with the seagate ones.

[Insert witty comment here]
February 27, 2004 7:05:22 AM

You can't go wrong with either the Seagate or WD drives.

Maybe get the RAM next month then?

<font color=blue>"It's my duty, as a total and utter bastard." - Arnold J Rimmer</font color=blue>
February 27, 2004 3:47:16 PM

hmm... Actually I was kind of attracted by the FDB of the other drives.

Was attracted to wd1200jb becoz of tom's review plus its ok price.

Samsung is the only one to offer U-ata at 133 but i know everyone say thats not worth the money right now.

looking at 80-90usd, can and would anyone reccommend a S-ATA? (jammy i read all abt ur anti-sata stuff already)

and I dont really understand this S-ata controlling stuff, I have a MSI 655 mobo, do I need to get extra stuff to use a S-ATA hd?

thanks in advance



spamming is an internet crime.

Did i just commit a crime?
February 27, 2004 3:55:14 PM

Lol, Im not anti-SATA at all I own two SATA drives. Its just i dont personnally think you will notice any difference in speed between a PATA drive and a SATA one(unless you are using a raptor, in which case the interface has nothing to do with the performance increase anyway). But the cables are much nicer to work with. If you get a SATA seagate drive you will need a power supply that supports SATA or a SATA power adaptor (will only cost a few squid).
Your board has an onboard promise SATA controller, so that wont be a problem. You will be able to boot from SATA.

[Insert witty comment here]
February 28, 2004 12:57:57 AM

Just going to throw this idea out there for you. Maybe you can get your hands on a reasonably priced refurbished drive and still have enough funds to get some RAM...?

....WW (4.0)
March 15, 2004 5:13:40 PM

WTF???? I am sure I replied to this post twice already and twice it didnt show up.

sheesh.. i said previously does anyone have experience with refurbished harddrive esp since lifetime is such a factor with them, and if yes any recommendations.


and also, i visited another forum at storagereview.com and they highly recommended the sp80 from saumsung.. any idea why?

spamming is an internet crime.

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March 16, 2004 12:23:22 AM

I've been using a refurbished WD 40Gb Caviar for over a month now. It's what they sent me when I returned a faulty drive to them 11 days before the warranty was up. :)  Punching in the serial number on their website informs me that it has a 6 month warranty...fair enough for me 'cause I picked up three of them at once during a special sale way back when.

....WW (4.0)
March 16, 2004 2:06:53 AM

I just arrived to this thread...

Why are you considering that a new HDD would speed up your games? There should not be any HD access at all except during level changes, unless you don't have enough RAM. And it really, really looks like you don't have enough RAM.

Most games nowadays, including Medal Of Honor, require 512MB or RAM. My computer across the room that has only 256 megs in it is constantly thrashing the hard drive, just from running arcade emulators and simple games. This really sounds like insufficient ram to me.

A new HDD or a RAID array will drastically speed up your level loading, and that's all. Even with the fastest RAID-0 drive ever, if you have insufficient ram your game will suffer, because it takes tens of millions of wasted processor cycles to pull a bit of information off the hard drive if the game is forced to use virtual memory.

Just to be sure, the symptoms of insufficient RAM would be:
if you turn your view around or move such that new objects are displayed on screen that haven't been displayed in the last several seconds, your hard drive will crunch and the game will stutter.
Level loading will be unusually long, because part of the level loading will be loading from disk to RAM while also swapping things it already loaded back on to disk because the RAM ran out early.
Looking at a small area in the level, like a view that displays plenty of graphic detail but where you don't move into new areas you just view the scene from the same spot and direction, it should display full framerate (and only stutter when you move.)
March 16, 2004 1:52:36 PM

hmm.. i wasnt sure thats why i was asking in the very beginning. i concluded that it was the RAM more than the HD.

but due to my present HD being 20gig, i NEED to get a new 120gb HD and I dont have enough cash for both ram n hd =(

but games aside, i came to this conclusions:

-i don hav a sata controller on my southbridge so if i use sata it'll burden the pci bus
-by the time p-ata get phased out its time for a new set up

so now its come to p-ata, 120gb, 8mb cache, 7200rpm.
from the list i listed way above, does anyone hav any handson experience with them?

thank you all again

spamming is an internet crime.

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March 16, 2004 5:06:37 PM

I just got a 200GB PATA Western Digital drive from Sam's Club, for $150. Good deal. (fyi)

Quote:
hmm.. i wasnt sure thats why i was asking in the very beginning. i concluded that it was the RAM more than the HD.

I just jumped in, because I saw a bunch of people telling you to upgrade your HDD to fix your problems, and I couldn't figure out why. A new HDD would give you more storage, but leave you still having this crippling stuttering and long load times in games and applications.

I don't see any reason to worry about a SATA controller "burdening" the PCI bus. The PCI bus can handle about 3x the transfer rate you'd get out of a typical drive, and under normal operation of the computer you would never be sharing bandwidth between HD reads/writes and any other intensive IO operation. The graphics card has its own separate bus, so the only thing left to share with is sound and ethernet. The only bandwidth hog you'd share HDD access with would be video capture with local echo of the video and sound, which won't work very well without RAID anyway.

That, and your built-in PATA controller <b>is</b> part of the PCI bus. It connects just like any other PCI device, it's just hard-wired on the motherboard instead of going through a removable connector. So you're already "burdening" the PCI bus with hard drive reads/writes. And, also, getting more RAM would <i>reduce</i> this 'burden', because you will no longer be constantly swapping your memory between RAM and virtual-memory swapfile during normal operation of the PC.

I can tell you from experience that not switching to SATA now will mean you'll wish you had later. I'm having a really difficult time finding decent PATA controllers and hard drive enclosures for my RAID setup. If only I'd bought SATA components a year ago, I could build a much better RAID setup now, but now I have four PATA 200GB drives and three PATA 60GB drives and it's too expensive to switch over and ditch all those PATA drives. (unfortunately PATA->SATA converters won't fit inside hot-swap bays.)

You could get a SATA drive, and a SATA->PATA converter for it, and be ready to plug the drive into a SATA system when you have one.

I highly suggest you upgrade your RAM. It's very, very cheap to get a second 256 or 512 stick. It probably costs about the same as a week or two worth of gas for your car, and all your games, applications, email, internet, EVERYTHING will start performing better. No point in having a bunch of storage on a system that's crippled by its low ram, unless you pretty much spend your PC time doing email and web pages and listening to MP3s and nothing else.

Here's one attractive option that might solve both problems:
Recent shopping (2 months ago) led me to get 80GB Seagate drives for two computers where I had to keep costs at an <i>absolute MINIMUM</i> while still putting in good components. I got 80GB Seagates because they are reputed to be quiet (and they really are, I'd clap my hands in applause but it would ruin the silence) and the price of the 80GB Seagate drives was only $12 to $16 over the cost of the lowest price 40GB Maxtor or WD hard drives I could find. 80GB should be plenty of space for your type of computer use, and you should be able to get a second stick of RAM with the money you save off the larger drives. So I say go with one Seagate 80GB drive and one stick of RAM:

<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti..." target="_new">80GB Seagate</A> : $50

and one of:

<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductdesc.asp?descripti..." target="_new">Kingston 256MB PC3200 DDR</A> : $45
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductdesc.asp?descripti..." target="_new">Crucial 256MB PC3200 DDR</A> : $46
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductdesc.asp?descripti..." target="_new">Off-Brand 512MB PC3200 DDR</A> : $66
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductdesc.asp?descripti..." target="_new">Kingston 512MB PC3200 DDR</A> : $82
March 16, 2004 10:52:11 PM

many thanks

but my first stick of ram was this. having a cache latency of 2 and I have the dual ram thing so if I buy a second stick I'll be buying the same stick. The one u recommended was cl3. or is my assumption wrong anywhere?
http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti...

so a new stick of 256 will be $85 for me. =(

Im a college student, I cycle to class so no 'two weeks of gas' for me.

and I download a lot a lot of anime and shows off the internet so I need a big harddrive.

the plan was to get a new harddrive, den ram, den a dvd burner. by that time I should have graduated already :D 

plus im looking for an 8mb cache harddrive.

so for a 8mb cache, 120gb, sata, it narrows down to:

SP1213C at usd101 (samsung)
wd1200jd at usd 97.50 (western digital)
ST3120026AS at usd84 (seagate)

hmm.. now the seagate is reputed to be the queitest, and there is a lot of news abt the wd1200jb but not a lot abt the wd100jd. samsung is recommended by a lot of ppl though they never seem to be able to say why :) 

does anyone hav experience with these 3 harddrives?

thank you again


spamming is an internet crime.

Did i just commit a crime?
March 20, 2004 3:23:38 AM

k, additional research:
wd1200jd uses mechanical bearings. but isnt too noisy
seagate used fdb but has a slightly noisy idle noise
samsung is like the all rounder but also most expensive
!