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  • Hard Drive Situation

    Ok, Im going to get a new hard drive set up and I want some opinions. Im starting out with a Western Digital 5000AAKS 500 GB drive. I have 3 options. One is to get a good 1Tb drive so i have lots of room for my programs and etc. My second option is to get a 64 GB SSD drive for windows and 1 or 2 of my best games. My third option is getting another 5000AAKS and run RAID 0 on it. Im leaning towards RAID 0 because I will get performance and it will be cheap. But I have heard some very good things about SSD drives. What do you guys think?
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    Proud to have been an Irregular, HeadHunter, and a Siege Corps Engineers!

  • #2
    Re: Hard Drive Situation

    I love my SSD! They've come way down in price, so I think they're worth having as a boot drive. Another interesting option are the hybrid drives. You get the capacity AND the speed benefits. I would do that in a laptop for sure. In a desktop setup, however, I'll probably stick with the SSD boot drive + massive storage drive, since it's worked so well for me.
    "Common sense is not so common." -Voltaire

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    • #3
      Re: Hard Drive Situation

      I've not seen a significant performance boost from my SSD, disappointingly (OCZ Vertex 64GB). On top of that, small-capacity SSDs don't play nice with Steam: The install drive for all your Steam games must be the same, which means it's an all or nothing deal; no splitting drive- or CPU-intensive games off and putting them on the SSD.

      If I were doing this over, I'd probably go with something like a Velociraptor, or the new hybrid drives.




      Who needs a life when you can have a heavy bolter?
      --BlackMirror
      <23:03:38> "|TG|Smachin<BF Admin>" was kicked from the server by "|TG-70th| Zhohar" (UNDERAGE ban.)
      Anything over $600, and it would be pointless to try and reason with Grandma
      --Blackraven93

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      • #4
        Re: Hard Drive Situation

        If you can stomach the cost, go for a SSD.

        However, I'd recommend a hybrid drive instead, like the Seagate Momentus XT ones. They still cost about double what a traditional platter drive costs, but offer some benefits offered by NAND flash memory (what SSDs are made of). A pair of these could offer lots of storage space and with RAID 0 could easily perform most SSDs.

        Primarily where you'll see performance gains are in loading programs (games, etc) and loading time of Windows from a cold boot (or from sleep). Overall, performance in these two areas improve until a point where they flatten out (so say after the 4th run, it would be at the best performance time).

        As Cheb suggested, a high RPM drive might be something to consider (10k rpm or higher). They offer better overall performance than traditional 7,200 rpm drives, but again cost more.

        Lastly, you still have the cheaper option of going with traditional hard drives and save quite a few bucks if you are going to RAID 0 them.

        I would get another HDD to act as a storage drive in case a hard drive in the array fails. That way you don't lose all of your data. You can save everything to the storage drive and whatever you are going to work on (or games) can be copied/installed to the RAIDed drives.
        |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
        TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
        Former 9th & 13th

        Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
        Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





        SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

        TG Primer and Rules

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        • #5
          Re: Hard Drive Situation

          Acreo, can you elaborate on the advantages/disadvantages of going with a RAID 0 and a backup drive vs. going with a RAID 10 or RAID 01 setup?

          As an added note, Vin, I strongly urge you to not go with a straight-out RAID 0 setup without at least some sort of backup. At the very least, RAID 0 doubles your chances of catastrophic hardware failure.




          Who needs a life when you can have a heavy bolter?
          --BlackMirror
          <23:03:38> "|TG|Smachin<BF Admin>" was kicked from the server by "|TG-70th| Zhohar" (UNDERAGE ban.)
          Anything over $600, and it would be pointless to try and reason with Grandma
          --Blackraven93

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          • #6
            Re: Hard Drive Situation

            RAID 0 + a storage drive is just that. The storage drive does not automatically backup any data on the array, hence why I said he should store files and games there and then whatever is going to be worked on (files) or used (games) should be installed to the array drives.

            Downside here is if a drive in the RAID 0 array dies, you'll have to reinstall everything from the beginning. Hence why I recommend having a third HDD in there as storage.

            RAID 10/RAID 01 setups automatically make a mirror of whatever is on the main array drives. There are differences between RAID 10 (1+0) and RAID 01 (0+1). With RAID 10, you mirror then stripe. RAID 01 stripes, then mirrors. Unlike above, here you'd usually have drives in pairs (RAID 01 is a exception as the bare minimum to build this is 3 drives, first two are the stripe array drives, the third drive is the mirror drive). So 2 drives, 4 drives, etc. Typically, people start at 4 drives and go up from there.

            Typically, you don't want more than 1 drive in a pair failing at once. Especially with larger RAIDs, if a pair fails, your data is usually gone and irrecoverable. These RAID levels are usually found in server farms and used heavily for databases.

            RAID 0 + storage drive would be the way I'd do it simply because RAID 10 (and RAID 01) is much more costly, more complex, and if a pair of drives fail, you're screwed. Given that normal hard drives are only rated for about 2-3 years of heavy use, it would get pretty expensive to replace all that lost data and equipment later on if and when those drives fail.

            Anyways, I'd recommend using a green drive (5400 rpm) for the storage drive. They generally run cooler (around 30 C), last longer, and cheaper per GB than 7200 rpm drives. You don't need the performance of a 7200 drive for the storage drive since most disk operations are going to be performed on the RAIDed drives.


            Forgot to mention: a perceived major downside with SSDs is that those chips have far few write/read cycles than typical platter drives. I say perceived since there have been NAND memory improvements, but to what extent and how long today's SSDs can survive under a heavy workload is to be seen.
            |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
            TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
            Former 9th & 13th

            Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
            Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





            SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

            TG Primer and Rules

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            • #7
              Re: Hard Drive Situation

              I was actually wondering about performance and hardware management differences, AA :)

              But also, check my math, will ya?

              First of all, let's say the probability of any one drive failing *and eating all your data* on any given day is 0.1 (which is ludicrously high, but it makes the math simpler). In a standard setup, that's all you're dealing with. Once you switch to a RAID 0 setup, losing *either* of the two drives will cause you to lose all your data, so your effective chance of data loss is 0.1*2=0.2. It's actually a tad higher than this, since your RAID controller failing can also cause catastrophic data loss, but the risk there is lower.

              A RAID 10 setup uses 4 drives: First each drive is mirrored on a second drive, then the two mirrored sets are striped. This means that to lose your data, you'll have to see two drives *on the same half* of the RAID fail.

              Your chance of catastrophic failure is then 0.1*0.1=0.01, twenty times lower than the risk in a RAID 0, and 10 times in a single-drive scenario


              A RAID 01 setup also uses 4 drives, but these are first striped, and then the entire striped set is mirrored. To lose data in this setup, you'd need to lose one drive each on both sides of the RAID (though it doesn't matter which one).

              Your chance of catastrophic failure is the same as with RAID 10.

              Now, what about RAID 0+backup?
              You're back to a 0.2 chance of the RAID 0 itself failing, but to actually lose your data, you'll need to simultaneously lose not just the RAID but also the backup drive. So that's 0.1*2=0.2 for the RAID and 0.1 for the backup. So 0.2*0.1=0.02. Twice as high as for a RAID 10 or 01, but still ten times lower than for a straight-out RAID 0.

              One advantage I see to RAID 10 an 01 is that a single drive failing won't necessarily take you offline: You can simply fail over to the functional drives, and replace the failed drive. Mind you, any time spent running with a partly-functional RAID is a time spent waking up with cold sweats, listening for the grinding noise of another drive failing.

              Finally, manually-executed backup schedules are a pain: Use Crash Plan. I use it for offsite backup, but it will do onsite backup to another drive for free. There are other backup solutions out there, but I can't offer any opinion on them except "stay the hell away from Carbonite."




              Who needs a life when you can have a heavy bolter?
              --BlackMirror
              <23:03:38> "|TG|Smachin<BF Admin>" was kicked from the server by "|TG-70th| Zhohar" (UNDERAGE ban.)
              Anything over $600, and it would be pointless to try and reason with Grandma
              --Blackraven93

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Hard Drive Situation

                I'm going to simplify this thread a little bit. Just don't bother with a RAID 01 or 10 or any other form of RAID that requires 4 or more drives for redundancy. It's just not necessary for most users and, like Acreo said, it's complicated, expensive, and I would question how well it would perform off of the standard Intel ICH10R chipset. The other thing people often fail to mention is how long it takes to rebuild a RAID array that has lost a drive. I've heard stories of 24+ hours.

                The best disk configuration for almost all users is to have Windows + applications on one, physical drive and all your other storage needs on another drive. Any files that you save and don't want to lose, i.e. MP3s, movies, documents, pictures etc should always be stored on a separate, physical hard drive. If your OS + apps hard drive were to die, or if you had to reinstall Windows, or if you had to migrate to a new PC, it would be a much simpler process to transport your files because they're all on a different drive. Now ideally, you're going to also backup this storage drive to another location (online backup site, external hard drive, etc) so you'd be able to recover the data in the event of a hard drive failure.

                For your original question I would say that if you cannot afford to get a good, 120GB or larger SSD, then you would be better off going with a mechanical hard drive. 64GB or less for an SSD would be a pain to manage and would involve some file manager sorcery to get certain Steam games installed to the SSD with other games installed to another drive. I've heard good things about the Seagate Momentus XT drive, but I've never used one so I can't speak to that. I have used a RAID 0 array extensively and I can say that it does a great job in mimicking the performance of an older SSD while giving you the benefits of larger capacity. The only thing is, if you do go with RAID 0, you absolutely have to get a third hard drive for storage.
                "Looking for brahs to come fight crime with me" - Unload



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                • #9
                  Re: Hard Drive Situation

                  Thanks for all the help guys! But to save money and time im just going to get a good traditional drive. I would've gone RAID 0 (and a backup) if it wasn't for that my drive was a green drive and running RAID on a green drive is highly not recommended because the drive shuts down to a slower rate when it is not working as hard. And the last thing I want is for my drive to shut down to save energy when the other drive needs its contents, then there goes my whole drive.
                  sigpic


                  Proud to have been an Irregular, HeadHunter, and a Siege Corps Engineers!

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                  • #10
                    Re: Hard Drive Situation

                    Vinman, since you'd have needed to get two additional drives anyway, why not just get two standard 7200 drives for the RAID0 and make the current drive the backup?




                    Who needs a life when you can have a heavy bolter?
                    --BlackMirror
                    <23:03:38> "|TG|Smachin<BF Admin>" was kicked from the server by "|TG-70th| Zhohar" (UNDERAGE ban.)
                    Anything over $600, and it would be pointless to try and reason with Grandma
                    --Blackraven93

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Hard Drive Situation

                      Originally posted by Cheburash View Post
                      Vinman, since you'd have needed to get two additional drives anyway, why not just get two standard 7200 drives for the RAID0 and make the current drive the backup?
                      I don't have the money saved up and the only reason I'm getting a new hard drive is because I'm upgrading my CPU, OS, and RAM. So I'm trying to save money.
                      sigpic


                      Proud to have been an Irregular, HeadHunter, and a Siege Corps Engineers!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Hard Drive Situation

                        I agree completely with VoodooIT, particularly in regards to choosing an SSD greater than 64GB. I had Win7, MS Office and Steam on my 64GB SSD and eventually ran out of room. I ended up deleting Steam and reinstalling on the HD, which does result in noticeably longer load times for game maps.
                        |TG|Melee
                        Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose!

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                        • #13
                          Re: Hard Drive Situation

                          I love my SSD! It's a 80GB Intel drive and I have around 20GB free with Win7/programs and 2-3 games from Steam moved onto the SSD (Arma2, BFBC2 and another).
                          Booting Windows and starting programs is a joy! For the games it really helps with level/map loading times.

                          There is an easy to use tool to move Steam games from and to your SSD: http://www.stefanjones.ca/steam/

                          If you consider a SSD, you should also read this: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/201...ive-scale.html
                          Solid state hard drives fail. A lot.
                          So if you can spare the money, go for a SSD > 64GB as system drive. You can move Steam games easily. And as always: implement a backup solution for your system drive and critical data.
                          former TacticalGamer European Division



                          A Tactical Gamer since 2005 (the glorious days of BF2)

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                          • #14
                            Re: Hard Drive Situation

                            Originally posted by dawolf View Post
                            There is an easy to use tool to move Steam games from and to your SSD: http://www.stefanjones.ca/steam/

                            If you consider a SSD, you should also read this: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/201...ive-scale.html
                            Hmm, good read. At least now we know how reliable they are. Scratching those expensive beasts off my list. At least I know platter drives last longer.
                            |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                            TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                            Former 9th & 13th

                            Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                            Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





                            SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

                            TG Primer and Rules

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