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Single vs multi hdd system

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  • Hard Drives
  • Seagate
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
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August 24, 2004 2:55:29 PM

hi there!

I'm a fan of THG and since i didn't know the answers to a few questions i thought to ask u and hoped to recive an answer.The post is a bit long so please bear with me ...

So.. decided to buy new storage.Found a good deal for the 7200.7 8MB series from seagate (SATA) plus 5 years warranty.
Based on this and the fact that these are decent 7200 rpm drives i decided that these were it.

1)Am i wrong?Are these hdd not to be trusted?

2)what should I buy?A 160 GB seagate or two 80 GB hdd?These will be the only HDDs in the system

3)If i decide in favor of the 2 hdd solution is RAID 0 worth it? (gaming pc on intel's ICH5R)

4)where should i keep my swap file? same hdd with OS or not?

5)How about games and other such apps?same drive with OS , different drive or different hdd?

Thanks 4 helping ...

More about : single multi hdd system

August 24, 2004 3:26:30 PM

Seagate makes decent stuff, if its a good deal, go ahead. I personally prefer Western Digital, and have never had a WD drive fail on me.

There is no real gain from RAID 0 for gaming, the only thing RAID 0 helps for, is continous file read/write speeds. Plus you are at extra risk when using RAID 0, as you have two hard drives, if one of them goes bad, you lose all your data, not just half.

The other downside to have two hard drives is the fact that your have two things creating heat in your case, vs. just one thing creating heat.

Are you running Windows? Or is this for a Linux based system?

In the end I think I would lean more towards one drive, over two, for best performance, I would make a small partition on the drive, 40 gig or so, for OS and games, use the rest of the space for data and backup.

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August 24, 2004 3:53:29 PM

it's a win xp system and i wouldn't worry about heat because i think that i have a good air flow in there (case 5 fans and PSU 2 fans) also noise doesn't bother me because i love headphones so the fan noise doesn't get trough.
i would also say that games aren't the only thing that i'll be running(camcorder data backup to hdd comes in mind)
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August 24, 2004 4:52:18 PM

1) There is no single manufacturer with a bad record at the moment. Historically, IBM got a bad record and subsequently had to give up their hard drive buisness altogether. I'm sure all the other manufacturer's are well aware of IBM's failure and work avidly to keep failure rates as reasonable as possible.

2) Two 80GBs (see 4)

3) No, not for gaming, the increase in r/w performance isn't necessary

4) On the second hard disk. The reason is simple, whenever windows wants to use the pagefile it's because it wants to load something else into memory. So it's got numerous I/Os to carry out. Putting the pagefile onto the other hard disk will split up the process and make you system much smoother.

5) Same disk as the OS.

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August 24, 2004 5:57:19 PM

First of all thanks for helping.

I understand that RAID 0 won't increase my fps but what i'm interested in is load times for games , levels and OS , will they decrease by a significant margin? (20-30% ?)

How about the games , same hdd as the os , does the partition matter (same as the OS or not) ?

I see that lots of people on this forum are pro WD.
Are WD HDDs so reliable?I've owned only Seagate, is the WD 80GB Caviar JD SATA a better choice than the 7200.7 Seagate (same size) ?
<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Tbog on 08/24/04 03:44 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
August 24, 2004 10:35:24 PM

The problem is finding people that actually own both. I own WD and Maxtor and definitely think the WD is better.

Check storagereview.com for a solid answer but I definitely recommend the WD drives. I've had a lot of them over the years and have seen one die with old age but that I can live with.

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August 25, 2004 2:55:16 AM

Stick with the Seagates. I've run probably minimum of 20 plus of every brand(including ones like JTS that most now have never even heard of), and hundreds of the main brands, and Seagates in my experience, have the lowest failure rates by far.
August 25, 2004 3:08:04 AM

Quote:
I understand that RAID 0 won't increase my fps but what i'm interested in is load times for games , levels and OS , will they decrease by a significant margin? (20-30% ?)

On some of the newer games that load a lot into memory, yes they may load a little faster, a significant margin? Probably not 20%-30%

I would just install games to the boot drive, I don't see an advantage to installing them to another drive.

Yes alot of people here are Pro WD, they do seem to be good drives. I am also pro WD, for some unknown reason though, my Maxtor drive kicks my WD's butt speed wise. I can't figure out why, I think it is just a fluke.

Western Digital drives have served me well in the past, as I have never had one die (knock on wood), however like someone said above most drives today are pretty good.

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August 25, 2004 9:23:46 PM

I've had a few WD drives fail, about average. But EVERY replacement drive I got from WD was refurbished, a previously failed and repaired unit, and EVERY one of them failed within 6 months of my receiving them EXCEPT the 1 drive I sold right away so I wouldn't have to go through that.

What I'm saying is that WD drives are OK but their REPLACEMENT drives are particularly troublesome, so if you do have to use the warranty, you'd better have a way to get rid of the replacement!

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August 28, 2004 5:09:26 PM

Personal recommondation from personal experience: I suggest getting the two drives and an external enclosure, OR get one drive and an external HDD. You'll pay a little more for the external HDD, but it's worth it. Or just get an external enclosure and put the second HDD in it - just make sure you get the right kind. The reason I say this is because I had a PSU go nuts on me and fry BOTH my internal HDD's. I now use one drive inside my case for OS, Apps, Games, and Personal files, and I use my external drive for backup. Nice and safe. My external drive is also SATA, so no speed loss either. That's my two cents, anyway.

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August 29, 2004 10:25:35 PM

With two drives in a system a non-RAID setup can be very benificial. Make sure each is on Primary controller for best performance.
1: Install os on one, and data on the other. This way when having to reinstall os and reformat, data drive is not affected.
2: Move paging file and swap files on second drive, so when accessing os functions, swap files can be accessed at same time, increasing performance.
This method is better compared to a RAID 0, since complexity is kept to a minimum, the performance gains in real world applications are minimal at best with RAID 0, and in case of a motherboard system swap, there is no problem transfering drives as with RAID systems.


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August 30, 2004 2:56:28 AM

I'm with RichPLS. Except you can just partition the first drive and get the same results - as far as reformatting or reinstalling windows. Just make a smaller partition for windows and leave the other, larger, partition for personal junk. Then use the complete second drive for backup. My harddrives are as such:

1st HDD = 120GB SATA HDD
40GB Windows, Appz, & Games partition
80GB personal junk partition.

2nd HDD = 120GB SATA HDD (in external enclosure)
120GB Backup & Paging file partition


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August 30, 2004 4:43:44 AM

Putting the pagefile in its own partition is totally pointless. That way the drive head has to swap from where its at in the other partition, move to the partition table of the first partition, consult the MFT, find the swap file and then begin r/w. If your pagefile is right bang in the middle of your data partition it just has to perform a track-to-track seek which is about as fast as you can get.

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August 30, 2004 9:17:33 PM

I have my page file on an entirely different drive - not a seperate partition on my main drive. I've read a handful of articles that say putting the page file on a completely different drive is beneficial, along with making the size of it static, rather than variable.

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August 31, 2004 3:30:34 AM

It's true that having it on a separate disk is beneficial.

Linux uses a dedicated swap partition which you can have wherever you like.

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