Hard drive configuration - Opinions, please


J

Jack R

I've got an i7 2600k machine with 8GB RAM, and am looking for the best hard
drive configuration.
Which configuration should give the best performance for everyday computing,
ie. no heavy gaming/video editing/photoshopping/etc.:
A. Two 7200rpm drives in RAID 0 config.
B. one 10,000rpm raptor drive.
C/D: option A or B with an Intel SSD as a front-end cache, using Intel's
Rapid Storage technology.

I've tried option A, with and without the SSD cache, and I can say I didn't
see much difference (but it is fast)

Thanks,

Jack R
 
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P

Paul

Jack said:
I've got an i7 2600k machine with 8GB RAM, and am looking for the best
hard drive configuration.
Which configuration should give the best performance for everyday
computing, ie. no heavy gaming/video editing/photoshopping/etc.:
A. Two 7200rpm drives in RAID 0 config.
B. one 10,000rpm raptor drive.
C/D: option A or B with an Intel SSD as a front-end cache, using Intel's
Rapid Storage technology.

I've tried option A, with and without the SSD cache, and I can say I
didn't see much difference (but it is fast)

Thanks,

Jack R

When the cache is involved, it isn't as big as the hard drives. There
is a limit to the cache size.

On a cache miss, you'll still be "seeing" the performance of the
drives. It's only a winner, when things are in the cache. Do
an extended operation, larger than the cache, and go back
to hard drive speed again.

*******

Just use the SSD as a drive, not as a cache, to enjoy fast
performance at all times (although, with less total capacity
of course). I don't own one, but if I did, the OS would go
on the SSD, and my collection of large virtual machine images
would go on a hard drive of some sort. Or similarly, if you
have a movie collection, that can sit on an ordinary hard
drive. Using an SSD for the OS, will speed up Windows Update,
AV scanning, Indexing and so on.

Paul
 
B

Bug Dout

Paul said:
Just use the SSD as a drive, not as a cache, to enjoy fast
performance at all times (although, with less total capacity
of course). I don't own one, but if I did, the OS would go
on the SSD, and my collection of large virtual machine images
would go on a hard drive of some sort.

I second this. In fact I did this last year on my 2-core desktop PC: SSD
for drive C: which stores only Win7x64 and added programs; and a 3-disk
RAID0 for drive D: for all the data (photos, music, docs...). Works a
treat.

Though at work we have 4-core machines, newer than my home PC, with only
a 2-disk RAID0 for everything, which is also very speedy. I think the
two HDs in the office machines are faster (rpms and other metrics) than
my 3 HDs at home.
 
J

Jack R

"Jack R" wrote in message
I've got an i7 2600k machine with 8GB RAM, and am looking for the best hard
drive configuration.
Which configuration should give the best performance for everyday computing,
ie. no heavy gaming/video editing/photoshopping/etc.:
A. Two 7200rpm drives in RAID 0 config.
B. one 10,000rpm raptor drive.
C/D: option A or B with an Intel SSD as a front-end cache, using Intel's
Rapid Storage technology.

I've tried option A, with and without the SSD cache, and I can say I didn't
see much difference (but it is fast)

Thanks,

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks for the comments.
However, my SSD is only 40GB; large enough for a cache, but not big enough
for my C: drive.
Jack R
 
P

Paul

Jack said:
"Jack R" wrote in message
I've got an i7 2600k machine with 8GB RAM, and am looking for the best hard
drive configuration.
Which configuration should give the best performance for everyday
computing,
ie. no heavy gaming/video editing/photoshopping/etc.:
A. Two 7200rpm drives in RAID 0 config.
B. one 10,000rpm raptor drive.
C/D: option A or B with an Intel SSD as a front-end cache, using Intel's
Rapid Storage technology.

I've tried option A, with and without the SSD cache, and I can say I didn't
see much difference (but it is fast)

Thanks,

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------


Thanks for the comments.
However, my SSD is only 40GB; large enough for a cache, but not big
enough for my C: drive.
Jack R

I have Windows 7 in a 40GB C: partition, with 10GB currently free.
System Restore is turned off. At least things like Indexing, the
output files of indexing can be stored on another drive. And doing
a system image (creates .vhd files which perfectly copy C: etc),
that can be stored on a separate hard drive as well.

I tried to move VSSCache to a separate disk, but Windows 7 lacks
VSSCache transport, to make it possible to move more of the crap
off to a second drive. If that had worked, perhaps even the
restore points could have been moved to another disk, and I could
have turned System Restore back on again. 10GB free space is
really too small to leave a decent sized space for it.

Paul
 
C

Charlie Hoffpauir

I've got an i7 2600k machine with 8GB RAM, and am looking for the best hard
drive configuration.
Which configuration should give the best performance for everyday computing,
ie. no heavy gaming/video editing/photoshopping/etc.:
A. Two 7200rpm drives in RAID 0 config.
B. one 10,000rpm raptor drive.
C/D: option A or B with an Intel SSD as a front-end cache, using Intel's
Rapid Storage technology.

I've tried option A, with and without the SSD cache, and I can say I didn't
see much difference (but it is fast)

Thanks,

Jack R

Jack,

Best performance for everyday computing must of course include a
reliable backup system. Here's my setup:

120 GB SSD for drive C (includes OS and "most" installed programs.
2 1 TB 7200 RPM drives in RAID 0 set up as 2 volumes, 1 @ 1.4 TB and
several data partitions, and 1 @ .6 TB in one partition.
One additional 1.5 TB 7200 drive as a "backup", Batch files set up to
do autobackups of "critical" data 2x daily to the .6 TB drive, and all
data 1 x daily to the 1.5 TB backup drive.

Backups are for data only. C drive backups are done "externally" to a
500 GB 7200 drive by "cloning" drive C about once a month, rotating
backups between 2 separate 500 GB drives.

Additional "safety" backups are made to external eSATA drives every 10
days (when I remember to do them).

I have not tried using a SSD as cache.... I really didn't know it
could be done. But my tests show that the SSD is quite a bit faster
than 2 7200 drives in RAID 0, primarily due to the incredibly fast
access time. Transfer rates are really about the same, with the SSD a
bit faster. I can post some performance graphs somewhere if you're
interested.
 
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F

Flasherly

I have not tried using a SSD as cache.... I really didn't know it
could be done. But my tests show that the SSD is quite a bit faster
than 2 7200 drives in RAID 0, primarily due to the incredibly fast
access time. Transfer rates are really about the same, with the SSD a
bit faster. I can post some performance graphs somewhere if you're
interested.

Might mention to do the research before RAID-ing. Besides an abstract
layer for direct [un]recovery without precautions, all drives may not
be physically suited imposing half their data synchronized into shared
configs;- even mirrored, the same reason holds a disparity factor from
intent. Unless the drive is "beefed," tested, designed, and presented
by the manuf. for RAID placement, then its going to be more or less
skewed off from intended usage for an engineered standpoint. More or
less, as have at least some drives been promoted for their
adaptability to a RAID environ, however that factors as integral to
wow-campaigns and marketing horseshit. Me, my experience with RAID is
limited, aside from hosing data, to mixing very close but dissimilar
model numbers from same-manuf model HDs, which may have contributed to
early, unacceptable failure rates. Hard to really say, as I was
buying from a spate of discounted 1-yr warrantee, CompUSA and BestBuy
were lowballing. Only drives I've owned that left a distasteful
impression, as if chipped or time-stamped for failure. Likely Western
Digital or Maxtor.

As for SSDs, I'd like to sit down for an idea or representation
overall of comparative failures to traditional platters;- what would
seem a non sequitur is to say given QC construction solid state memory
ought last forever, apart from they post when their SSD breaks -- why,
being a subject of interest.
 
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J

Jack R

"Charlie Hoffpauir" wrote in message

I've got an i7 2600k machine with 8GB RAM, and am looking for the best hard
drive configuration.
Which configuration should give the best performance for everyday
computing,
ie. no heavy gaming/video editing/photoshopping/etc.:
A. Two 7200rpm drives in RAID 0 config.
B. one 10,000rpm raptor drive.
C/D: option A or B with an Intel SSD as a front-end cache, using Intel's
Rapid Storage technology.

I've tried option A, with and without the SSD cache, and I can say I didn't
see much difference (but it is fast)

Thanks,

Jack R

Jack,

Best performance for everyday computing must of course include a
reliable backup system. Here's my setup:

120 GB SSD for drive C (includes OS and "most" installed programs.
2 1 TB 7200 RPM drives in RAID 0 set up as 2 volumes, 1 @ 1.4 TB and
several data partitions, and 1 @ .6 TB in one partition.
One additional 1.5 TB 7200 drive as a "backup", Batch files set up to
do autobackups of "critical" data 2x daily to the .6 TB drive, and all
data 1 x daily to the 1.5 TB backup drive.

Backups are for data only. C drive backups are done "externally" to a
500 GB 7200 drive by "cloning" drive C about once a month, rotating
backups between 2 separate 500 GB drives.

Additional "safety" backups are made to external eSATA drives every 10
days (when I remember to do them).

I have not tried using a SSD as cache.... I really didn't know it
could be done. But my tests show that the SSD is quite a bit faster
than 2 7200 drives in RAID 0, primarily due to the incredibly fast
access time. Transfer rates are really about the same, with the SSD a
bit faster. I can post some performance graphs somewhere if you're
interested.
------------------------------
Thanks for the detailed reply.
That's a very nice backup strategy you have.
I would like to see your performance graphs, as I'm sure others would as
well.
Check out the Intel site for their tools for using a small SSD as a HD
cache.
Jack R
 

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