Building a new spec OS Disk(s) Conundrum

Associate
Joined
22 Nov 2004
Posts
348
Location
London
Hello!

I've been lurking in the forums for a bit trying to make my mind up about my new build.

I'm currently re-thinking my decision to go with a Raptor as my OS disk.

I'm designing a system mainly for gaming (and I like to multitask). I really, really want to avoid a system that churns its disk. Instead I want to build a system that's smoother than a baby's bottom.

Originally, I was going to go for a big (150Gb) Raptor as the OS disk (ie. to hold Windows, Office and the swapfile) as well as a storage disk (Seagate Barracuda 7200.10, as recommended by Semi-Pro Waster) to hold games and the like.

I've noticed that two Seagate Barracuda 7200.10s cost LESS than a big Raptor, and each have more storage to boot. Plus the buffer is bigger and they're almost as fast. They're also SATA-II.

So I was thinking of buying three, putting two of them in a RAID1 array and using the third as a storage disk.

So my questions are:

1] Is that a good idea for performance etc.?
2] What's the optimal way to configure the storage of swap files, game files, office etc?
3] Is there anything I should be wary of?

Thanks in advance!
 
Soldato
Joined
18 Dec 2004
Posts
6,568
Location
London/Kent
Performance wise: RAID1 writes about half the speed of a single disk (as it has to mirror to the two drives). Reads are improved usually by about 3-5% as you have two disks to read from but this won't be noticable.

Optimum storage of swapfile etc - Windows/games/programs (separate partition of a size you think is needed) on one disk, swapfile right at the beginning of a second disk in its own partition (3GB should be enough). Or just buy 2GB RAM and don't worry about the swapfile.

Nothing to be overly wary of as RAID1 is excellent for reliability. Just remember though that if the data is corrupted, it corrupts on both.
 
Soldato
Joined
1 Sep 2005
Posts
10,001
Location
Scottish Highlands
What I would persoanlly do is get 2 x 36Gb 16mb cache raptors and put them in RAID0 for the OS drive, and use a 7200.10 for storage. If you put 2 x 7200.10s in RAID1, the read speed will be a bit faster than a single drive, but write performance may be slower. RAID1 is intended more for redundancy than performance. You could put 2 x 7200.10's in RAID0, but that would mean a somewhat exessively large OS/Programs drive.
 
Associate
OP
Joined
22 Nov 2004
Posts
348
Location
London
messiah khan said:
What I would persoanlly do is get 2 x 36Gb 16mb cache raptors and put them in RAID0 for the OS drive, and use a 7200.10 for storage. If you put 2 x 7200.10s in RAID1, the read speed will be a bit faster than a single drive, but write performance may be slower. RAID1 is intended more for redundancy than performance. You could put 2 x 7200.10's in RAID0, but that would mean a somewhat exessively large OS/Programs drive.

That seems pretty reasonable:

1] You don't think SATA-II makes a big difference, then?
2] Does anyone know if Vista will need a bigger OS Disk than 36Gb?

Thanks!
 
Soldato
Joined
18 Dec 2004
Posts
6,568
Location
London/Kent
See my sticky at the top of the HDU forum - short answer, not really HOWEVER some features are present in most SATA-II drives which do really improve performance e.g. NCQ when multi-accessing the disk.

Vista needs 15GB I think (or is it 10GB) so a 36GB raptor is fine.
 
Soldato
Joined
18 Oct 2002
Posts
12,050
Location
Manchester
I was reading up on SATA-II the other day and came across an article comparing the Seagate against the Maxtor. The Maxtor was:

Quicker - in every way possible!
Quieter,
Bigger, - i.e. same size but after formatting windows showed it as 200mb bigger
Cheaper,
Used less power,
Ran cooler

Basically it just beat the Seagate at absolutely everything...

Oh and I wouldn't buy the Raptors. The performance increase is barely noticable and certainly not worth the extra noise and cost.

Just make sure you buy a hard drive with the longest warranty ;)
 
Soldato
Joined
18 Dec 2004
Posts
6,568
Location
London/Kent
Chong Warrior said:
I was reading up on SATA-II the other day and came across an article comparing the Seagate against the Maxtor. The Maxtor was:

Quicker - in every way possible!
Quieter,
Bigger, - i.e. same size but after formatting windows showed it as 200mb bigger
Cheaper,
Used less power,
Ran cooler

Basically it just beat the Seagate at absolutely everything...

Oh and I wouldn't buy the Raptors. The performance increase is barely noticable and certainly not worth the extra noise and cost.

Just make sure you buy a hard drive with the longest warranty ;)
What are you talking about? You have a link to this review? Have you ever owned a raptor? What exact drives were used? The 7200.10 is the best 7200rpm drive out there at the moment so I very much doubt it was one of these. Maxtors have bad reliability of late - seagate are renowned for reliability.

One bit of evidence: Seagate 7200.10 hits 65Mb/s average read, at least 5-10MB/s more than any other 7200rpm longitudinal HDU. This is a limitation of the recording methods.
 
Last edited:
Soldato
Joined
18 Oct 2002
Posts
12,050
Location
Manchester
Chill out... you sound like I've just made a personal attack on you or something :rolleyes:

I'll have a dig around in my history and see if I can find the review later, as I said I just came across it I wasn't actually looking for a comparison.

EDIT - and yes I've owned a Raptor, sold it and bought a drive about 8 times bigger with the same money. Only difference is it's a lot bigger and quieter :D
 
Last edited:
Soldato
Joined
18 Dec 2004
Posts
6,568
Location
London/Kent
I don't take anything personally - I don't like people being misled though and I advise to the best of my knowledge. Unresearched advice is never a good thing so I was merely seeking to ensure that any readers of this thread have a full picture.

EDIT: I commented on the 36GB raptor in the other thread ;) :).
 
Soldato
Joined
18 Dec 2004
Posts
6,568
Location
London/Kent
Oh don't get me wrong - a lot of posters don't intend to say something which might be true for a certain case e.g. if it was a 7200.9 seagate vs a maxtor, but not for another e.g. when it comes to the drives listed above, there is a totally different picture.

Seagates before the 7200.10 were known as being slow, but quiet and reliable.

Now they are fastest, quiet and reliable - hence the best 7200rpm.
 
Soldato
Joined
18 Oct 2002
Posts
12,050
Location
Manchester
I've just had a look at a review of these Seagate 7200.10 drives and they look very good:) I think I might invest in one of those 320gb drives, just found somewhere that sells them well cheap :)

Having read the review, I doubt it was the 7200.10 model to be honest. As i said I wasn't looking for drive models was just looking around to see if SATA-II offered an improvement over SATA-I and came across a review of large capacity SATA drives, Seagate v Maxtor. The Seagate was poor...
 
Soldato
Joined
18 Dec 2004
Posts
6,568
Location
London/Kent
I've got the 320GB myself - I have to say it's really quiet and very fast. I love the drive. It's only used as storage but it does its job well. I would buy more but I'm saving up for a PCIe Hardware RAID card (looking at £180+ :().

I think the 320 is the best value of the range and yes, you can pick them up very cheap!

If you do find the link to the review, I can probably worm it into my sticky at the top of the HDU forum... I did say that there is little difference except in RAID configs but then again, it's not the drives that limit there either, it's the controller.
 
Back
Top Bottom