I currently have two 160Gb drives in an array which recently became full, I moved some of the stuff to DVD and an external drive but am considering either adding more drives to the array or starting another one from scratch. Also is there going to be a sharp improvement in hard drive performance/capacity anytime soon? In which case I might try to put off an upgrade for a but longer.
need more info…
PATA or SATA?
RAID 0,1,0+1, 5?
mobo port availability?
there are SATA II drives out if you mobo can take advantage of it (and even if it can’t they’re backwards compatible and will be ready for your next mobo upgrade).
I have two SATA 160Gb Seagate drives in a RAID 0 array. I can’t remember whether my motherboard supports SATA II or not but seeing as it only supports two drives I would probably get a seperate RAID card anyway.
Rather than add a raid card I would get the two 400GB drives.
I would go with this also for the time being…
Hitachi’s new vertically oriented media will increase HD density by a factor of 4 this year and by a factor of 10 within two years. Seagate has announced new products based on this technology and expect to be shipping products by September. I would buy what you feel you need at the moment and not plan on utilizing it too much farther in the future. Technology slows down for no one.
We can do anything now that scientists have invented magic. /.
Technology slows down for no one.
it defintely outruns my wallet.
Because your wallet isn’t light enough yet.
My problem? I was perfectly gruntled, until some numbnuts came by and dissed me. /.
Because your wallet isn’t light enough yet.
RAID is not faster for gaming, actually slower. SATA is not really faster than ATA and I have had many problems with the connections. The Seagates are fast and cheap and have a 5 year warranty. Get a couple of 160 Gigs; around $100 after rebate for the pair. I still remember the $1500 ESDI drive (a whopping 150 meg), and the 40k floppy for $150 in 1973 $. Storage is so cheap these days.
The only current drives that will give you a faster feel are the WD Raptors. But they will not help your space problem. So, unless you want to re-design and go with Raptors, get whatever gives the most GB per $. Also note that the 2-platter drives are generally slower and noisier than single platter.
RAID 0 IS faster for loading levels in games…just thought i’d mention that.
Faster than what?
The only time you will see higher transfer speeds with RAID-0 is when sending a large file to another RAID-0 or faster volume. Any operation that involves seeking and accessing multiple addresses in a volume will be slower on RAID-0 than non-RAID. Also, RAID controllers do not support write-cache as a rule, so small file read and writes are much slower.
One other example of a situation where RAID 0 might improve performance substantially is in certain games. Usually, first person shooters are not part of this list.
So, how do you tell what games might benefit significantly? It isn’'t easy unless you have some knowledge of how the game works internally. For example, Interplay’s “Baldur’s Gate” series, as well as games based on the same engine (Planescape: Torment, Icewind Dale to name a few) benefit from RAID 0 because the levels that they load are essentially huge bitmaps. Because the hard drive is reading one large data file in a linear fashion (as opposed to the heads having to move rapidly back and forth to access many different files), sequential transfer rate is all but the only factor effecting loading speeds. Some other games benefit to a lesser degree.
As stated above, first person shooters rarely benefit from RAID 0.__ Frame rates will almost certainly not improve, as they are determined by your video card and processor above all else. In fact, theoretically your FPS frame rate may decrease, since many low-cost RAID controllers (anything made by Highpoint at the tiem of this writing, and most cards from Promise) implement RAID in software, so the process of splitting and combining data across your drives is done by your CPU, which could better be utilized by your game. That said, the CPU overhead of RAID0 is minimal on high-performance processors.
granted it’s a minimal increase in speed and only in certain scenarios (i.e. certain games), but my statement isn’t false.
edit: it’s a hot topic for debate actually, and some empirical evidence points in one direciton and some points in the other. there’s also the subjective inference by many who run RAID 0 after running single drives. regardless, it’s a marginal increase in most circumstances, but i still hold that my statement isn’t necessarily false.
edit 2: more links to read up on and make your own decision…just to show i’m not a stubborn fool…
Your own link confirms what I originally said. For games, RAID is not the way to go.
But, of course, for anyone who just wants an extra drive, go ahead. My variety of burners can hardly be called necessary. Sometimes the hardware is just fun for its own sake.
that’s just one of the links… and as i said, empirical/synthetic data exists to support both arguments.
SATA is not really faster than ATA
Not to start an argument but I believe my S ATA is faster than my ATA 133’s and in looking at the data base of HD Tach the average ATA 133 has an average burst rate of 95 so my 133’s are higher than average but still don’t make 133 and the S ATA doesn’t make 150 but S ATA does look faster than ATA. IMHO.
I don’t think anyone said it is. Oh, now I see. YOU say it is. Sorry, burst rate doesn’t count in the real world and your average read for SATA is actually slower.
But I really don’t want to start a war over a few bits per second. I have both and neither are in my system because one was faster than the other. If I wanted speed I would go for 10,000 RPM.
Personally I use SATA drives not because they are better or faster but because it free’s up my IDE channels for more optical drives.