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Thread: Please reccomend me a HDD for OS/Apps and a PSU

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    Please reccomend me a HDD for OS/Apps and a PSU

    Hi all,

    I'm still ruminating about upgrades, and one thing that came out of my last thread was that my OS and Apps HDD was very old and slow.

    What do people think is a good choice nowdays? I was considering 2 of these:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/250-G...MB-Cache-85-ms

    in RAID 0 - sound sensible? I'll need at least 100GB of space so an SSD is out for the moment I'm afraid - I could maybe add a 64GB one later for scratch when prices come down. I'm a huge Seagate fan - their customer service has been excellent in the past, but if I should be going elsewhere then that's ok. I thought that 500GB drives were faster due to larger platters, but does that only apply if there's more than one platter used in the drive? How does £100 odd for this? Is the RAID 0 provided by my mobo likely to be of sufficient quality, or am I better off using just one of those drives and putting the other £50 aside into the SSD fund?

    I'll also need a new PSU - having sung the praises of my old one in the last thread it turns out the fan is now on the way out... What do you guys reccomend to power a Phenom 9550 BE, 8GB pC5300, 9400GT with passive HS, potentially 5 HDDs and 2 DVD burners and a few 120mm fans? 450W? Could you make me a reccomendation for something fairly cheap but that will last - I quite like the looks of the modular PSU. Below £50 would be lovely!
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    Re: Please reccomend me a HDD for OS/Apps and a PSU

    I tend to prefer Samsung or Western Digital hard drives TBH. The consumer Samsung F3 and Western Digital Caviar Black are worth a look. OTH,it maybe worth a look at the Western Digital RE3 and RE4 hard drives and their Samsung equivalents which are made for more commercial uses.

    Regarding the PSU I would have a look at this one:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/152009


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    Re: Please reccomend me a HDD for OS/Apps and a PSU

    Hi Cat.

    F3s and Caviar Blacks are fine, but I can't find them under 1TB and I'd be paying £40 more for the extra space if I RAIDed 2 of them which is unnecessary. My storage solution is taken care of for the moment - this is solely for the OS + Apps so I really don't need more than 250GB - I'm doing fine on 150 atm.

    I don't want a Raptor and I can't afford an SSD so those Seagates caught my eye as they're latest release (V12), all on one platter, the right size, have 32mb cache and low access times. They sound like thoroughly modern but small drives - I just can't find any info on them.

    Is a pair of them RAIDed going to be a vastly inferior solution compared to a single 1TB f3?

    I also have good history with Seagate - they sent me a whole series of plugs and adaptors for free after I imported a load of external drives from China.

    PSU looks good - are you saying that 500W is ample for my machine? Could I even go down to 450 or 400?

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    Re: Please reccomend me a HDD for OS/Apps and a PSU

    The HX450W would have been ideal and there is also a 425W modular Enermax but these are very hard to find as they have been both discontinued IIRC and are pricier than the OCZ one.

    Even a decent 400W would be fine for your system but you won't find a modular one AFAIK.

    Also a 500W PSU will give you some more leeway if you intend to upgrade your system at some point.

    The Samsung F3 500GB is a single platter consumer drive and is relatively cheap too:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/500Gb...-Cache-8ms-OEM

    There is also this single platter Samsung F1 320GB too:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/320-G...MB-Cache-89-ms


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    Re: Please reccomend me a HDD for OS/Apps and a PSU

    Those 2 look great. So you'd take those drives over the Seagates I linked above - even though the Seagates come with 2x the cache? And you'd reccomend a pair of them in RAID 0, even though I won't be using a special controller - simply the onboard solution?

    Fair enough on the PSU - although I'll get something from Scan so I can use the free shipping offer.

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    Re: Please reccomend me a HDD for OS/Apps and a PSU

    I was looking at PSUs recently, and this Enermax series seems to get good reviews at silentpcreview. Wait for them to appear on Today Only!

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/350W-...ready!-24-740C - £40.24
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/400W-...ready!-24-740C - £49.44
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/500W-...ready!-24-740C - £63.24

    I went for a higher-spec (and supposedly quieter) modular Enermax MODU82+ at about £73...have yet to fit it so can't provide feedback yet.

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    Re: Please reccomend me a HDD for OS/Apps and a PSU

    Quote Originally Posted by brammers View Post
    Those 2 look great. So you'd take those drives over the Seagates I linked above - even though the Seagates come with 2x the cache? And you'd reccomend a pair of them in RAID 0, even though I won't be using a special controller - simply the onboard solution?
    I would say save your money, just get one drive of the correct capacity - RAID really won't make much of a noticeable difference in typical usage.

    You could put that money towards something much more beneficial, like an SSD in 18 months time.

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    Re: Please reccomend me a HDD for OS/Apps and a PSU

    Thanks for that advice.

    I'm not sure I'd describe my usage as totally typical. I frequently edit huge graphics files - often getting up to a GB when saved as a TIF, and when open in PS with layers etc they can be enourmous - think stitched, layered, 16bit, 24mp files. This overwhelms my 8gb RAM, even on 64bit Win 7. It's for this reason that I'm after some fast HDD performance - sorry, all of that was in a previous thread and I should have reposted it.

    With that in mind, does RAID start to become useful?

    Thanks for the PSU advice Leggie - they look good.

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    Re: Please reccomend me a HDD for OS/Apps and a PSU

    Quote Originally Posted by brammers View Post
    Thanks for that advice.

    I'm not sure I'd describe my usage as totally typical. I frequently edit huge graphics files - often getting up to a GB when saved as a TIF, and when open in PS with layers etc they can be enourmous - think stitched, layered, 16bit, 24mp files. This overwhelms my 8gb RAM, even on 64bit Win 7. It's for this reason that I'm after some fast HDD performance - sorry, all of that was in a previous thread and I should have reposted it.

    With that in mind, does RAID start to become useful?

    Thanks for the PSU advice Leggie - they look good.
    Fair enough then - yes, I can see some benefit in that usage scenario. The main difference I noticed when I had RAID 0 (as you can see, I don't anymore) was that a single large file would transfer at around twice the speed than I see today with a non-RAID solution. In your scenario, that would almost certainly benefit you because it could be loaded into RAM at twice the speed.

    What it doesn't do is turn a bunch of normal hard drives into an SSD with great random reads and read access times - in your case, I don't think you're looking for that though.

    You should be looking for single-platter drives with the highest capacity possible - that way you've got maximum data density, and so more data goes past the needle per second. Consequently you'll get faster transfer speeds - and that is, after all, the main benefit of RAID 0. I would recommend the 500GB Samsung F3 as well, maximum data density you can get today, and for only a few quid more than the 320GB. When it comes to pairs of mechanical drives in RAID 0, a pair of those will probably give the fastest transfer speeds around.

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    Re: Please reccomend me a HDD for OS/Apps and a PSU

    Ok - I think I'm there.

    I'm getting the impression that the OS drive isn't actually all that important. I've got an external USB2 HDD which I'm not using very much at the moment - I could strip the 320gb drive out of that and use it to replace my OS drive. Should be a 'bit' faster.

    I could then RAID a paid of 500GB F3s together for a scratch drive, get myself an E-Sata DVD burner and add my current IDE burner to that for a bit more burning capability, get the case and PSU sorted, give the CPU a bit more of an overclock with the extra cooling from the case and have the whole lot come in under £200. If I wanted even more speed in the future I could add an SSD and drop a newer Phenom in there. If I wanted even more speed after that I'd be starting from scratch.

    Sound like a plan?

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    Re: Please reccomend me a HDD for OS/Apps and a PSU

    F3's get my vote, got a couple raided up with a 300gb(ish) primary partition. Nice and quick transfer times too

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    Re: Please reccomend me a HDD for OS/Apps and a PSU

    Good stuff.

    Final question, if I'm getting OEM drives and a DVD burner, are they going to come with SATA cables? I'm thinking not...

    Cheers everyone - been very helpful!

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    Re: Please reccomend me a HDD for OS/Apps and a PSU

    Quote Originally Posted by brammers View Post
    Good stuff.

    Final question, if I'm getting OEM drives and a DVD burner, are they going to come with SATA cables? I'm thinking not...

    Cheers everyone - been very helpful!
    I wouldn't have thought so normally, but the hard drives on Scan's Today Only are frequently advertised as coming with SATA latch cables...the 1.5TB Samsungs I bought did.

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    Re: Please reccomend me a HDD for OS/Apps and a PSU

    Quote Originally Posted by brammers View Post
    Good stuff.

    Final question, if I'm getting OEM drives and a DVD burner, are they going to come with SATA cables? I'm thinking not...

    Cheers everyone - been very helpful!
    OEM generally doesn't come with anything at all.

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    Re: Please reccomend me a HDD for OS/Apps and a PSU

    Quote Originally Posted by brammers View Post
    Good stuff.

    Final question, if I'm getting OEM drives and a DVD burner, are they going to come with SATA cables? I'm thinking not...

    Cheers everyone - been very helpful!
    The Samsung HD502HJ drives you were looking at earlier are now on Today Only at £34.49 each with SATA II latch connectors.

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