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Thread: Cheap Good Performance Hard Drive

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    jim
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    Cheap Good Performance Hard Drive

    I'm about transfer my files off my desktop onto a dedicated server, but that means all of my Spinpoint F1 drives will be moving out of my PC.

    I have the option of using a 500GB Western Digital Green drive with 16MB cache, but I reckon that the slow spindle speed in combination with the small cache won't spell good news for the performance side of things. As a result, I reckon I'll probably sell that drive on and buy a better performing drive for my desktop needs.

    I imagine I only need about 120GB or so - I'd love an SSD but I don't have nearly enough cash to consider it - so what would be my best option? My main concerns - above all - are good performance and low price.

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    Re: Cheap Good Performance Hard Drive

    What kind of budget are we talking?

    I'd imagine a 150GB velociraptor would be a good choice if you can stretch £120 or so. Or the 300GB model for about £160, which will give you extra headroom for installing a bunch of games, and better performance.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
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    Re: Cheap Good Performance Hard Drive

    I can second the Velociraptor suggestion if you really want something now, though it may be worth thinking if you can hang on to the Green Drive for a while. I'd be surprised if you can get more than £25 delivered for it, given prices of HD nowadays, so you would still need to shell out £100 for a Velociraptor.

    While the Velociraptor pretty much stomps all 7.2k (and 5.4k) drives, I am more happy than I thought I would be (keeping in mind that I've been used to Raptor/SCSI drive from previous builds) using a Samsung F2 for my latest build, while I wait for SSD prices to drop/mature.

    A second option is the Caviar Black. I don't think that it comes in capacity less than 500GB, but it's less than half the cost of a 150GB Velo, while being possibly the fastest 7.2k drive.
    Last edited by TooNice; 27-06-2009 at 06:29 PM.

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    Re: Cheap Good Performance Hard Drive

    Yeah, I'm not sure really. I hadn't considered the Velociraptors purely on the basis that at around £1/GB they're a bit too close to the G.Skill Falcon SSD at £2/GB - and I'm not sure I could justify that to myself when I'm holding out for an SSD. I could probably stretch to £120, but it is a little bit tight so maybe something a bit cheaper would be a better option.

    Taking the Caviar Black as an example, would it be worth it even if virtually all of the space will remain unused? My OS install is currently 100GB plus 10GB Pagefile partition, so 500GB seems a bit over the top.

    Just throwing a few ideas around really, any suggestions are more than welcome

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    Re: Cheap Good Performance Hard Drive

    320GB single platter WD AAKS would do. Nowhere near as fast of course, but still plenty reasonable.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    ...every time Creative bring out a new card range their advertising makes it sound like they have discovered a way to insert a thousand Chuck Norris super dwarfs in your ears...

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    Re: Cheap Good Performance Hard Drive

    Are they all single platters then, the 320GB WDs?

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    Re: Cheap Good Performance Hard Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by snootyjim View Post
    Are they all single platters then, the 320GB WDs?
    I'd imagine they would be at this point. It wouldn't make sense for WD to produce different platter densities, costs less to streamline platter production and cap off any extended blocks in the firmware.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    ...every time Creative bring out a new card range their advertising makes it sound like they have discovered a way to insert a thousand Chuck Norris super dwarfs in your ears...

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    Re: Cheap Good Performance Hard Drive

    Okay, thanks for the help - I'll probably end up getting one of them then for now, and hopefully in a year's time the market might just be a bit more enticing.

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    Re: Cheap Good Performance Hard Drive

    I'm not sure (not done any comparisons) how much individual drive performance varies in practice. There are lots of other factors, such as the drive cachem the OS setup, available RAM and the files being accessed and how fragmented the disk is.

    Writing data is buffered by the OS and by the drive, so that is likely to have a greater effect on performance than the drive type, unless you are doing a lot of writes so the buffers are overloaded. Obviously with a faster f=drive, that will happen later (as the buffers are being emptied faster, but that again depends on what else the CPU is doing.

    Reading is harder to determine, and a drive with better burst read is likely to be better for mall files, but for large files where sustained transfer speeds are important, again factors such as buffer size and useage become important.

    Velociraptors have a good spec, but in terms of cost/byte, is the possible performance improvement (on a server that is likely to be running 24x7) worth it? Probably a slightly slower, less expensive and lower power consumption may be the best value for money, with a slight performance hit.

    It is always difficult to say what the effects are without doing comparative tests, but there are other aspects of a drive's specification to consider apart from the raw read/write figures.
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    Re: Cheap Good Performance Hard Drive

    I've always found Western Digital and Samsung drives to be pretty fast. Currently have two 500 GB AAKS drives in my PC. One is coming up for its second birthday and the other is only a few months old. They are fine drives, oddly enough the newer one was faster than the older one.

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  15. #11
    jim
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    Re: Cheap Good Performance Hard Drive

    Yeah when I first built this PC I had two 5000AAKS drives in RAID 0 and a 4000AAKS for backup, but ironically I sold them on eBay about a year or so ago.

    Scan had an 320GB F1 Spinpoint for pretty cheap, so hopefully once I flog the 5000AACS GP drive I should recoup most of that cost, and as I said previously I'll hold off a while until it's SSD party-time

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