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Thread: Master/Slave HD configurations

  1. #1
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    Master/Slave HD configurations

    Hi ! My first post here

    I am planning on building a new PC with two hard drives. I need some help deciding how I should set up these hard drives for optimal performance.

    My current configuration is as follows:

    Hard drive #1 = 30 Gb Maxtor 7200 rpm
    Hard drive #2 = 80 Gb Maxtor 7200 rpm
    CD-RW = Plextor 52x32x52

    IDE1
    Master - Hard drive #1 (OS/Swap File)
    Slave - Hard drive #2 (Programs)

    IDE2
    Master - CD-RW
    Slave - unused

    From various sources on the net I have heard that data transfer rates between drives on the same channel is less efficient than transfers between channels. Therefore, an alternate configuration would be:

    IDE1
    Master - Hard drive #1(OS/Swap File)
    Slave - unused

    IDE2
    Master - Hard drive #2 (Programs)
    Slave - CD-RW

    It's my understanding that having two hard drives set as 'Master' on separate IDE channels allows data from each drive to be read simultaneously rather than sequentially. On the face of it this seems like a better configuration for overall performance. However, I am aware that setting two hard drives as 'Master' in this manner can result in various issues, the nature of which I am not sure. I know ideally both drives should run at the same speed. I am also slightly worried about having the CD-ROM on the same IDE channel as Hard drive #2. Could this potentially impede hard drive access? Would this depend on (i) whether the CD-ROM was in use (ii) the data access rate of the CD-ROM?

    The next question concerns the swap file. In both my examples it is located the same drive as the OS. The rationale behind this was to minimize the amount of 'background' hard drive usage on the drive my programs were located for faster access. Does this sound correct?


    Any input would be much appreciated !


  2. #2
    Senior Member joshwa's Avatar
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    I personally don't think it makes too much difference. I think in setup 2 you would have faster copying if copying from drive 1 to 2 - but how often would you do this for it to actually matter?

    I used to have 2 drives on channel 1 and 2 cd-drives on channel 2, just because the cabling works out easier.

  3. #3
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    Re: Master/Slave HD configurations

    hello and welcome

    From various sources on the net I have heard that data transfer rates between drives on the same channel is less efficient than transfers between channels. Therefore, an alternate configuration would be
    Thats right it can only read or write from one device at a time so it would read some data then write some date in turns and goes until it has finnished.

    like josh says its prob better to have both drives hdd's on same channel/cable and cd-roms on the same channel/cable makes cabling easyer and tidyer.
    Last edited by johnyhy1; 15-10-2003 at 02:44 PM.

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