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Thread: Advice on Hard Drives

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    Advice on Hard Drives

    Hi!

    I'm looking to buy 2 new hard drives (in raid 0 configuration), for speed and performance, for about £50 ish per drive, to put into an ASUS P5Q iP45 motherboard.

    I was looking at the Western Digital Caviar Black/Blue 500gb/640gb drives, and was wondering if:
    a) Is it worth getting the caviar blacks, for 32MB Cache instead of the Blue 16MB.
    b) Should I get the 640gb ones (as i've heard they are faster, and just generally better than 500gb)

    Also, a friend of mine mentioned the Seagate Drives were better? But you have to pay slightly more, and I heard sometimes they have firmware problems with some intel chipsets.

    They'll be used mostly for gaming, so wanting fast loading times etc. Not bothered about the size differences, only using 300gb currently anyway.

    Many thanks, in advance!

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    VTECmeous Vimeous's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on Hard Drives

    Over the last few years most hard drives manufacturers have issued the odd firmware patch. Treat them like your other core components and you'll be fine. Patches for hard drives remain rare however.
    Seagate recently issued a patch notice and I will have to patch one of our Dell servers as a result but Western Digital issued a similar update a few years back, for which 4 of my own drives had already been patched and Maxtor the same where I had 8 drives to sort out.

    Personnally I'm only buying Western Digital or Samsung at the minute. I don't trust Seagate enough TBH. I've had or seen plenty of failures over the years from different manufacturers and Seagate and what was IBM (Hitachi) are still off my perferred list.

    Speed wise you're right the 640Gb drives appear to have more performance than the 500's.

    Question: Will this RAID0 be you main OS drive or just for storage?
    I would always have a primary boot drive in addition to a RAID0.

    Regardless I would suggest a pair of F1 750Gb drives as they're quick and goodvalue. Then maybe a 320Gb Caviar green or F1 for boot purposes. TBH with F1 1Tb drives down to £60, knowing they're fast it'd difficult to resist

    BTW if you want reliability look for Samsung's RAID range or Western Digitals RE3's. Both are designed for the server market and should be more robust. Sadly the price can put peeps off.....
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    Re: Advice on Hard Drives

    Thanks,

    The RAID0 drives are gonna be my only drives, so for my OS and storage. Can just create a small partition for the OS.

    I think i'm just gonna get the 640gb WD caviar blacks, as there probably isn't much of a real world difference in speed between the different makes anyway.

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    Re: Advice on Hard Drives

    There is a myth that you get uber performance from Raid) - you don't, unless you are using certain applicatiobbns (like databases) and in fact the write performance can be worse. Also remember that if one drive fails, you will lose all the data on the two drives, so I hope yopu have a good back up strategy.
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    Re: Advice on Hard Drives

    Yea, I'm gonna put my current 400gb drive in (along with the 2 in RAID0), and transfer important things to that for backup. Would be a disaster if I lost my uni work.

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    Re: Advice on Hard Drives

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    There is a myth that you get uber performance from Raid) - you don't, unless you are using certain applicatiobbns (like databases) and in fact the write performance can be worse. Also remember that if one drive fails, you will lose all the data on the two drives, so I hope yopu have a good back up strategy.
    Performance benefits or restrictions depend heavily on the RAID controller. Some will happily split-data for writes but struggle when reassembling the same data when it's being read.

    It cannot be stated enough that RAID0 will not sustain a failure.

    While I understand the decision to use RAID0 for speed I suspect you really don't need 1.2Tb of gaming space!
    RAID0 is best used for scratch-space e.g. the processing area for video projects or large renders. In other words data that doesn't affect the running of your core system and can easily be regenerated.
    If you really want speed why not a single 160Gb VelociRaptor (£113.61 on Scan)? It'll eat games without needing RAID0.

    My own approach would be a pair of fast drives in RAID1 for redundancy to run my OS and main apps, a VelociRaptor or SSD for games and a 500Gb or similar for archive. Then add a 1Tb esata external drive for backup.
    Problem is that can get very expensive! LOL
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    Re: Advice on Hard Drives

    Or if you're willing to spend yet more, an SSD? As mentioned you probably won't notice much, if any, difference with RAID 0 on a desktop PC when used for everyday tasks/gaming and since gaming reads more than writes it might even be slower.

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    Re: Advice on Hard Drives

    Oh, I was under the impression that RAID0 would vastly increase read/write speeds. How wrong I was it seems. At the same time however, not sure If I really want to spend the amount needed for a velociraptor/SSD, as I was only wanting to spend about £100ish in total for the drives. So now you've got me into a bit of a pickle =/

    Shame the velociraptors have much smaller capacity, would be nice if i could have run everything from one of them alone.

    Plus it'll be a bit tideous organising all your stuff, separating onto raptor/normal drive, rather than putting it all nicely on the one RAID setup.
    Last edited by Sam1; 19-07-2009 at 07:11 PM.

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    Re: Advice on Hard Drives

    RAID0 is good, but like it was said: under certein applications. The benefits often outweigh the advantages. I often find I am doing Video Rendering and CAD, so a RAID0 array works for me perfectly (of course for the moment I have no backup *gulp* but that's due to lack of cash).

    As for your orignal question, yes the 640GB is slightly better than the 500GB WD Caviar Black/Blue, but not by much. And no, there will not be much difference between the 32MB and 16MB cache. The only performance boost you will notice with a large cache is you can maintain burst speeds for longer. Writes larger than the cache will take longer. Under Windows 7 you can expect about 50-60 MB/s on a single WD 640, and depending on your controler, between 50-80MB/s with 2 in RAID0.

    Read speeds will be around 60-70MB/s for a single, and again, depending on you control, 60-120MB/s for two in RAID0.

    But if perfomance if your concern, not large storage and manupliating large files, get an SSD.
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    Re: Advice on Hard Drives

    You could also try this on a standard drive - http://forums.hexus.net/hexus-hardwa...on-theory.html

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