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Thread: looking at a new purchase: SATA drives




  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
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    hey guys, time has come again to get some more bits and pieces.
    i am running out of space (1x 80gb wd 8mb and a 40gb wd 2mb), and since i have a SATA raid controller onboard i was thinking of getting 2x SATA instead of 2x PATA and a controller card.

    current setup:
    Primary Master: 80gb Western Digital 8mb 7200
    Primary Slave: 80gb Western Digital 2mb 7200
    Secondary Master: Liteon 40x12x48
    Secondary Slave: Sony 16x DVD tray.

    ok im kinda new to the SATA scene so here are some HDD combinations:

    2x 120gb WD 8mb, setup in Raid 0 or 1.
    or
    1x Raptor 36gb, and a 120gb WB 8mb, no raid.

    i was thinking the Raptor to use as my windows/programs/games etc, for speed? would it be worth it or not? the 120gb's are about $155 AU and the raptor 36gb is about $170AU. i am willing to spend that little extra to get a raptor but im not sure if its worth it. im also planning on getting some rounded ATA cables to free up some airflow; replacing the ribbon ones. ($20 for rounded)...have i got the right idea here? or any others?
    i do alot of photo editing, movies encoding sometimes and constantly moving stuff around. Another thing is if i do get 2x WD 120gbs in Raid 0, is it likely that they will fail? i do not want to lose 240gb worth of files.....i move my comp around probably 20 times/yr.

    :cheers:
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  2. #2
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    1x Raptor 36gb, and a 120gb WB 8mb, no raid.

    That would be the wisest combo, but in my opinion, you will not see the difference in a raptor to make the tremendous drop in size worth while. I'd go with 2 120's NOT in raid, or you might consider 1 250 GB which will own a raptor in all regards with the exception of a slight hit in seek time, but you are certain to never know the difference.

    Unless you need seek time, the bigger the drive, the faster the drive, at the same RPM speed. The raptor does spin faster, but not enough to outrun a blazing 250 GB drive.

    So I take that back, I'd suggest a 250 GB drive, with a 40 GB OS partition. The only way I would do two WD 120's is if I had some really important stuff that I couldn't keep backed up, and if that is the case I would go with the 120's just to distribute the risk of losing the one drive. It is almost impossible to have two drives fail at the same time.
    "In their capacity as a tool, computers will be but a ripple on the surface of our culture. In their capacity as intellectual challenge, they are without precedent in the cultural history of mankind." - Edsger Dijkstra

  3. #3
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    Jan 2003
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    Dude, what are you smoking? :smokin:

    First, the bigger the drive is, usually the slower it is, as it has more space to go through to find your data, especially if its fragmented. Also, two WD drives in RAID 0 will spank a raptor, especially if you're loading a big file. I favor Seagate SATA drives over WD drives (cheaper and quieter, same performance). I personally would go with two 80GB in RAID 0, but if you need more space two 120GB in RAID 0 are good too. Use that RAID 0 array as your C: Drive, and windows, games, w/e will run insanely fast. Then, to save cash, I'd use that 80GB drive with the 8mb cache as a secondary storage drive, as its still pretty fast. Anyways, that set up is the same price as a raptor and a 120GB, but will be much faster.
    In the meantime, if its possible, you might want to take that 2MB cache WD off as primary slave, because its slowing down your 80GB with 8MB cache to 2MB cache.
    Anyways, that should get you into HDD bliss, have fun with your new drives, : peace2: Mista K6
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  4. #4
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    First, the bigger the drive is, usually the slower it is, as it has more space to go through to find your data
    That is absolutely False. If that was true, we'd all be using 1 GB drives for the OS install drive, and my 200 GB drive would be the size of a shoe box ! See, its not the size of the drive that increases, the data is simply stored in a much more condesnsed manor, which means, at the same RPM, the drive can cover more ground...

    It's like reading words typed on the groud from a bike.... if you are riding at the same speed, and reading 100 point Font... you will might read 10 sentances in 1 minute... IN THAT SAME Minute, you could have read 200 sentances IF the font size was 5 Point !!! In that way, the bigger the drive, the faster the drive. Thats how it works...

    Also, two WD drives in RAID 0 will spank a raptor, especially if you're loading a big file.
    Nope... Raid 0 does not increase read speed, and therefore the comparrison is barely different than comparing 1 WD 120 GB to 1 Raptor. I'm not sure which comes on top, but it is close.

    Proof

    He keeps a 40 GB drive in the mix for reference... the 200 GB drive wins a few, the raptor wins a few, but they are all very close with the exception that since the raptor is spinning 50% faster, (and has smaller platters) it wins in the seek time competition... but ALL RELATED READ and Storage benchmarks it is only just SLIGHTLY better or Slightly worse than your run of the mill 200 GB drive....

    And the 200 GB drive is quieter, cheaper, stays cooler, and not even using the advantages of S-ATA !!! (in this benchmark at least)

    200+ GB drives > Raptor

    More Proof
    "In their capacity as a tool, computers will be but a ripple on the surface of our culture. In their capacity as intellectual challenge, they are without precedent in the cultural history of mankind." - Edsger Dijkstra

  5. #5
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    And here's proof backing up what I was saying about RAID...

    The top two graphs are all that are relevant here...
    http://www.hardware-one.com/reviews.asp?aid=204&page=6

    The first graph is a single drive, the second is two drives in RAID0

    They indicate a 6% increase in READ speed, and a 30% increase in WRITE speed....

    So lets think about what that will get you...

    Half Life 2 now loads in 9.4 seconds as opposed to 10 seconds... (WOW !!)
    Doom3 now loads in 16 seconds as oppsed to 17 seconds !! (WOW!!)
    Copying files over the network occurs in EXACTLY THE SAME amount of time because the NETWORK can't even come close to maxing out EITHER configuration... !
    (and the only benefit) Storing those 12 Gigs of Video you just shot, now takes 5 minutes instead of 7 minutes (HOLY CRAP !!) *Note - this is only if you have USB 2.0 or Firewire, if you don't... NO BENEFIT ! : omg: : omg: : omg:

    And what are the down sides?

    Lose one drive, lose data on both
    One drive goes corrupt, lose all data
    Must own Raid mobo/card
    Must own two identicle drives
    Substantial reduction in flexibility of your drives (buddy needs to back up his stuff quick before his hard drive fails - YOU can't just take one drive out of your computer and drive to his house because they must stay as a pair)

    Raid is SUCH a giant headache, and for what! Nothing! I got fed up with my long ago, (and that was when there actually WAS some benefit in RAID : omg: )

    Anyways.... :2cents: :2cents: :2cents:
    "In their capacity as a tool, computers will be but a ripple on the surface of our culture. In their capacity as intellectual challenge, they are without precedent in the cultural history of mankind." - Edsger Dijkstra

  6. #6
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    Originally posted by zeradul
    So lets think about what that will get you...

    Half Life 2 now loads in 9.4 seconds as opposed to 10 seconds... (WOW !!)
    Doom3 now loads in 16 seconds as oppsed to 17 seconds !! (WOW!!)
    Copying files over the network occurs in EXACTLY THE SAME amount of time because the NETWORK can't even come close to maxing out EITHER configuration... !
    (and the only benefit) Storing those 12 Gigs of Video you just shot, now takes 5.5 minutes instead of 7 minutes (HOLY CRAP !!) *Note - this is only if you have USB 2.0 or Firewire, if you don't... NO BENEFIT ! : omg: : omg: : omg:
    Let me restate my original point... These Minor improvements are simply exceeded by just buying a faster drive (aka bigger drive)

    Raid0 is however feasable for people doing constant 100+ GB transfers either within their own computer, or between two computers on a Gigabit Ethernet.

    (edited to calm it down a bit... hehe sorry :) )
    "In their capacity as a tool, computers will be but a ripple on the surface of our culture. In their capacity as intellectual challenge, they are without precedent in the cultural history of mankind." - Edsger Dijkstra

  7. #7
    Beefy Guest

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    So much for the edit button. And I guess I fall into the n00b category then.

    Thoric, I'd personally go for the RAID 0. While I'm impressed by the Raptor drives, I personally can't see why someone would pay more money for less storage space, when the speed of a SATA RAID is much nicer.

    Plus, depending on your motherboard RAID controller, you might not actually be able to run the drives independantly (worth checking out before you decide).

  8. #8
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    Beefy, what size drives do you have in RAID? (am I correct in my recollection that they are dual 80 GB's ? )

    Do you maintain that you think a Dual 80 RAID0 is faster than a single 200 GB drive? (discounting seek times)

    I personally can't see why someone would pay more money for less storage space,
    I agree whole heartedly! Why on earth go with Raid?
    "In their capacity as a tool, computers will be but a ripple on the surface of our culture. In their capacity as intellectual challenge, they are without precedent in the cultural history of mankind." - Edsger Dijkstra

  9. #9
    Beefy Guest

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    2 x Maxtor 120GB SATA drives. It was actually <a href="http://www.hothardware.com/hh_files/Drives/diamondmaxplus9sata(4).shtml" target="_blank">this</a> benchmark that tipped the scale for me to do it...

    And, at the time of purchasing, I couldn't get a 200GB drive. If I remade my PC now, I'd probably get 2 x 250GB drives...

    But then again, I actually do use that added speed / storage of RAID in a lot of video capturing / editing that I do.

    Having actually thought about all this for a change, instead of being stubborn like I usually am, I'm inclined to agree with zeradul now. :) You're better off getting a single 160GB drive rather than 2 x 80GB in RAID. Unless you have the need to do a lot of work with large files.

  10. #10
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    That is a pretty impressive benchmark.

    If you have the money and time to burn go ahead, but I'd take single drives on cost...

    2 X 250 GB drives = $ 402
    S-ATA 150 Raid card = $ 50

    =====

    200 GB 8 meg cache drives cost 150$ each...

    so thats $450 for 600GB of individual drives that can be accessed separatly, extremely flexible, safer as far as data loss is concerned, and are 60-80% as fast.

    Or you could just get one 200 gig today, and get a terabyte drive next year with the money you save and totally own the 500 Gig Raid setup...

    Hee Hee, it is almost not fair... I have a friend who spent ALOT of money on his dual 40 gig Raid, and I just got one 40 at the time, and 8 months ago I got my 200 gig for $180, I not only have triple the space he does now, but mine is far more usable, faster, AND it cost the SAME amount.

    But if you don't care about cost, SPEND SPEND SPEND! There is certainly nothing wrong with that... :) :thumb: :thumb:
    "In their capacity as a tool, computers will be but a ripple on the surface of our culture. In their capacity as intellectual challenge, they are without precedent in the cultural history of mankind." - Edsger Dijkstra

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