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Help me spend £750/$1300 on hard drives!

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  • Hard Drives
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
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December 7, 2003 8:07:45 PM

Ok, odd situation, but I've got that much cash to spend on just hard/drives and controllers. I'm primarily concerned with speed - noise isn't a big factor (my case is noisy as hell already). I have about 30gb of mp3s and am likely to be expanding it past 120gb when I get the space.

I currently have a 40gb WD400JB (full system specs below). I'm currently leaning towards getting a fast (Raptor or suchlike) drive for the OS and apps, a 250gb WD or Hitachi 7K250 for file storage, and a controller card to get them all in with a DVD and CDRW (though I don't know anything about cards in all honesty).

Any suggestions/modifications? Should I drop the whole idea and go SCSI (which I know sod all about)?

------------------------------------------------
PIV 2.4, 533FSB MSI GNBMax (MS6565, Intel E7205), 1024mb DDR 266, Radeon 9700 Pro,
SonicFury 5.1, Western Digital WD400JB, Yamaha CRW-F1 CDR-W, DVD Drive,
Enermax EG465AX-VE(G) PSU, Coolermaster ATC210cAX-1, 19" Iiyama 1451
Visionmaster, Altec Lansing 5100, Fujitsu FDX310 ADSL Modem.

More about : spend 750 1300 hard drives

December 7, 2003 9:04:58 PM

Ok, currently considering another option. How about two raptors for the os/apps in a SATA RAID 0 config? It seems my mobo will support this (http://www.msi.com.tw/program/products/mainboard/mbd/pr...).

Another quick question. Can I utilise SATA connections in addition to the normal IDE channels for more than 4 devices?
December 7, 2003 9:25:28 PM

I'd go for the SATA raid 0 config if I were you, it would be damn fast. But im not sure if it would be entirly worth it, what do you use your computer for?
I wouldnt go SCSI for a desktop system if i were you, they just arnt worth the money for home use.
If you really wanna go nuts you could get a hardware SATA controller cards and use 4 raptors in a RAID 0 array. 4 times the speed...but not cheap.

Why use windows when you can use doors?
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December 7, 2003 9:28:50 PM

I really would rather spend the cash on other stuff, but (don't ask) it's just not possible). 4 raptors would set me back about £400, and a 250gb drive about another £200. Leaves about £150 for a controller, any suggestions?

Mainly using the computer for games, office and graphics (for web design). Other than that idle surfing and mp3s.
December 7, 2003 9:38:59 PM

I'm not really sure what MSI is talking about saying they can only use 2 SATA devices and 1 ATA/133 channel at once; if I were you, I'd contact MSI and find out. I'll draw out two situations for you to use that $1300. Just a question, but can you use it on anything else?

Scenario 1 (2 SATA devices, 2 ATA/133 channels):

2x 74GB Raptors, RAID 0, on the SATA channels. ~$600
2x 250GB Hitachi IDE 7k250s as masters on the PATA channels. ~$600
Whatever your optical devices as slaves on the PATA channels. ~$000
Total: ~$1200.

Scenario 2 (2 SATA devices, 1 ATA/133 channel):

1x 74GB Raptor, SATA connector 0. ~$300.
1x 250GB Hitachi SATA 7k250, SATA connector 1. ~$315.
Whatever your optical devices are on the PATA channel. ~$000.
Total: ~$625.

Scenario 3 (2 SATA devices, 1 ATA/133 channel, using as much money as possible):

Promise SX4 4-port SATA PCI controller card with RAID5. ~$175.
4x 36.7GB Raptor, RAID 5 on the 4 PCI SATA ports. ~$500.
2x 250GB Hitachi SATA 7k250, non-RAIDed on the mobo's 2 SATA ports: ~$630.
Total: ~$1305. Less if you find a slightly lower price on pretty much anything, since I raised the prices from www.newegg.com to find a price that you can find anywhere.

Hope this helped. I would go with Scenario 3, personally, but it is more complex, and the most expensive.

Damn Rambus.
December 7, 2003 9:52:11 PM

Quote:
I really would rather spend the cash on other stuff, but (don't ask) it's just not possible

I know what you're talking about...I'm kinda in the same situation (ironically, I'm making a HDD configuration very similar to what you are planning in the coming weeks [parents wouldn't let me do it over Thanksgiving break, saying that there wasn't enough time, so I have to wait another week or so to start building {it's about time, too, I've gone too long without reinstalling Windows}, I just hope they don't make it into a Christmas present...] because I'm running out of space on my 280GB arrangement of HDDs, and the performance is a MAJOR bottleneck to content creation and photoshop-like work).

Quote:
4 raptors would set me back about £400, and a 250gb drive about another £200. Leaves about £150 for a controller, any suggestions?

Wow, you have really high prices. Anyway, check my other post, it gives my perspective on what you could do, all prices are based on www.newegg.com prices (I know, they won't ship to you, so I raised the prices a little [still in dollars] to account for newegg's great prices). The approximate prices that I list are what you should try to aim for when you shop.

Damn Rambus.
December 7, 2003 10:24:51 PM

I like the scenario 3 (just need to check wtf raid 5 is in the raid faq, but I'm assuming same as 0 but just with more drives for more speed). However, in addition to being restricted to only spending on h/d's I'm also restricted to one supplier, who more than likely will be at the prices I listed.... so unfortunately that's just the way it is....

Still, I could do scenario 3 with just one 250gb on the mobo SATA i guess, and add another later if so desired, right?

Know what you mean about photoshop work and windows reinstallation, just reinstalled xp for the nth time... thank god for partitions and ghost.

[Edit: dumb mistake]<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by arkus on 12/07/03 07:31 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
December 7, 2003 10:34:17 PM

Oh, and yes... generally much higer prices in the UK 'fraid, though there are a *few* decent supppliers, generally you can do a straight $10 = £10 conversion even though the currency conversion should really be more like $17 <sigh>
December 7, 2003 10:45:55 PM

Quote:
(just need to check wtf raid 5 is in the raid faq, but I'm assuming same as 0 but just with more drives for more speed)

Not really RAID 0, but it has some elements of it (striping), but also has parity (backup/duplicate information) (e.g., one drives goes down, you will still be able to use your computer, albeit slowly until the RAID array is rebuilt). If you respect that it is very fast and secure, but don't worry too much about how it works, you'll still be fine.

I just tried to max out the $1300 (I don't know how to make a British Pounds sign, so I'll keep it in USD). Going with only 1 250GB drive is not a problem at all, especially since my Scenario 3 didn't involve RAID. Adding one later would be cake, so no worries.

Good luck with the HDD configuration upgrade.

Damn Rambus.
December 7, 2003 10:47:33 PM

Wow, that is a really bad conversion rate, does look like you will have to go with only 1 250GB drive.

Damn Rambus.
December 8, 2003 2:03:55 AM

Quote:
I'm not really sure what MSI is talking about saying they can only use 2 SATA devices and 1 ATA/133 channel at once; if I were you, I'd contact MSI and find out.

If it's like my LanParty when I connect SATA I lose Primary IDE (they're the same channel). I can still use secondary ide though.


<A HREF="http://forums.btvillarin.com/index.php?showtopic=421" target="_new">Psyko's Puter</A>
December 8, 2003 12:12:19 PM

Ok, excuse my ignorance about RAID...

Would RAID 1+0 or 0+1 give better performance (I'm talking speed, not security or reliability, I'm only putting the OS and apps on these, not data that I consider 'valuable') than RAID 5? I've read that RAID 5's write performance can deteriorate. Or am I going too far? After all, we are still talking 10krpm Raptors here.

Another thing, given what I've said (it's not a big deal if a drive fails) maybe I'd be better just going RAID 0 and avoiding having to buy a controller? And about that controller (Promise SX-4)... it seems It seems it comes w/o DIMM. Umm, so I have to buy memory for it too then I guess.
December 8, 2003 3:56:57 PM

If you want absolute raw performance, go with 4x Raptor RAID0. With that you can also save some money by buying the TX4+, not the SX4 (both by Promise). Then you could also save money by not buying RAM (forgot about that before).

I think I'm going to throw up.
December 8, 2003 6:33:21 PM

Ignore all these people talking about 4x raptors in RAID0, that's just cockstroking crap to put in your sig. Your original post has the right idea. The main burden on a system drive is random I/Os and RAID0 doesn't excel in that, mainly in continuous read/write which you don't need.
Get a single 74GB raptor. That has tagged command queing and awsome random I/O access, that should take care of all your system drive needs.

For storage you need to decide if you are going to be copying huge amounts of data, like ISOs etc. where you need good continuous read/write, then get a couple of large drives in a RAID0. If you need security consider a RAID1 or 0+1 for the best of both worlds (speed and security). Alternatively if you have money and huge write operations are not going to feature much, get 3 drives and a nice RAID5 capable controller, such as a Promise SX4000

<A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/myanandtech.html?member=114979" target="_new">My PCs</A> :cool:
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