Tagged: hard drive
December 22, 2008 at 1:26 pm #28415
I am building a computer and would like to get everyone’s opinion on whether it is better to have, for example, 2 500gb hard drives or one teribite hard drive with partitions.
I have 2 x 500gb in my computer now, however I have ended up partitioning them anyway. So therefore I am wondering what is the point? Why not just go the full hog and get a huge harddrive and partition it. (500gb hard drives are really cheap in Australia…under $60)
The only benefit I see to having two hard drives is that if one does really die, then you would have your data backed up on the other.
What do you think?December 22, 2008 at 6:12 pm #30537
If I were building this for myself then I would do neither.
A terabyte of capacity, though it sounds impressive, is like hitting an ant with a hammer. It’s highly unlikely that you would ever need such a huge capacity in anything less than a commercial operation.
Why not get 4 x 300G hard drives for about $70 each, and create a RAID 0+1 array.
RAID0 will use 2 of your drives as one, splitting parts of your info in each drive simultaneously. The bottleneck in any modern PC is the transfer rate of the hard drive.. processors can now work far faster than hard drives, and have to wait continually while files are written to and recovered from the hard drive. By splitting the info into parts and using 2 drives at the same time, transfer rates, particularly for large files such as in video editing, are hugely improved. You are taking advantage of modern processor power to write to both drives at full speed simultaneously. This makes a great improvement in the overall performance of the computer.
RAID1 is mirroring, and as the name implies, it creates a mirror image. As you use your RAID0 array at amazing speeds, it is also written simultaneously to the second pair of drives using RAID1, creating an exact copy. This is your backup! If any one of your 4 drives develops a problem, all info is recoverable from the other set!
Of course, since half of your drives are devoted to backing up the other half, you have now reduced your capacity from 4x300G to 2x300G(x2). Refer to my original point.. 600G is a heck of a lot of storage!! I am using exactly this setup, and I doubt I will ever need more space than I currently have.
If you still wish to partition, you can still do this within the RAID0 array, but as you have a complete backup via RAID1, it becomes un-necessary. If you want a sharing drive, simply share some folders instead.
The end result as you look at your computer, is a single virtual 600G drive that runs at far faster speed than a normal setup would, and which is automatically written as an exact copy to a backup drive instantly.
Of course, if you still think you need more space.. then buy larger drives… just make sure they are all the same model and size to avoid any possible conflicts.
December 23, 2008 at 11:10 am #30540
Most modern motherboards should have at least 4 SATA connectors, and inbuilt RAID. Depending on the brand and model of the motherboard, the procedure will be similar to below. Of course, before doing anything of medium difficulty like this, you should read the manual The manual will also be able to tell you how many SATA connectors you have available, and also whether the motherboard supports RAID. Be aware when buying a motherboard.. some motherboards will support RAID1 but not RAID0.. or not both. Select a motherboard that supports RAID0+1 if you want both..You can do the same with older motherboards, but you will need addon parts then.. a SATA controller is likely as modern large drives are all SATA, and a RAID controller. Its likely that these will come combined in a single addon PCI card, if you need them. My personal preference would be to buy a new motherboard rather than the addons.. the simplicity of installation alone would be worth it, and you will find a board capable of the job for under 100 bucks. The addon card alone to upgrade the old motherboard could be 50 bucks, the old motherboard will be much more limited than the new in every other respect as well, and the RAID installation will become a lot more complicated using an addon card !Fit the hard drives into the case and plug them in. First you will need to enable SATA and RAID in the BIOS. I will assume you have sufficient knowledge to find these options, but of course if you read the manual, you will have step by step instructions 🙂Now, while posting the system, you will see prompts to offer to enter the RAID controller.. in the same way as you would normally enter the BIOS. With my system, I would hit the delete key to enter BIOS or tab key to enter RAID.The RAID wizard will now open, showing you all of the drives on your system, and offering configuration options. Set the RAID arrays up as you wish, following the instructions. Again, its very advisable to read the manual before, during and after this procedure. Setting up a RAID array will destroy all data currently on the hard drives!! Only do this on drives which are new or you dont mind wiping clean. Also, its advisable to use identical hard drives.. 4 brand new ones of the same model and size in a perfect world. Its possible to mix and match drives, but I dont recommend it.Ok so now you have a RAID array, which is controlled by your onboard RAID controller. However, windows doesnt know how to use this controller. You need to make a floppy disk with the RAID drivers for your motherboard on it. Your manual will have full instructions on how to do this, and where to find the drivers (usually somewhere on the motherboard disc.)Now, boot into your Windows setup disc. As setup begins, you will see a prompt at the bottom saying 'press f6 if you need to install raid drivers'
March 19, 2009 at 5:27 am #30541
I totally disagree, i have a single 500 gig, as my other one died, and i have filled it 3 or 4 times in the last 2 months, and decided that instead of picking and choosing what apps i wanted, i just reinstalled.Now, as for the size of the drive, a 500 gig can be as cheap as about 60 bucks, why waste money getting anything less?March 19, 2009 at 5:38 am #30542DSTMParticipant
I have 160 GIG C Drive and 500 GIG secondary Hard Drive.I just transfer whatever to the 500,instead of burning Back up Discs, all the time.So what if every so often you reinstall Windows.It's really a good thing,as you start off again,with a clean system.Over time you pick up a lot of rubbish,and I think by reinstalling now and again,is a good habit to get into. 🙂March 19, 2009 at 5:41 am #30543
yup, and if you do any editing, movies, pic, music, or you like to have that, a bigger hard drive is the way to goMarch 19, 2009 at 5:53 am #30544
I'm impressed that you have managed to fill a 500G drive several times in the last few months! In your case, obviously bigger is going to be better. I'll stand by my statement that a terabyte of capacity is like hitting an ant with a hammer for the average user though.However, hard drive prices are dropping continually, even in the few short months since I made that post. If you can afford it, then larger is always going to be better. I am a great fan of futureproofing.At the time of writing my last post, the user would have saved about AU$170 by setting up 4x300G hard drives instead of 4x500G.Now, the difference is more like AU$70, so obviously it may now be worth it, just from a futureproofing standpoint.I'll still maintain that the mirrored 600G array that the 300G drives provided is more than enough for the average user though, if they wanted to save the money.
March 19, 2009 at 5:56 am #30545
something like that, but the average user couldnt set up or maintain an array that was acting up, and might spend even more money 😛March 19, 2009 at 6:09 am #30546
Yes, an average user would have trouble maintaining a RAID array should problems occur, good point. I agree with you, from my point of view, and given that the prices have come down, that I would buy the larger drives. There are many users who do have the skills to run RAID though, but dont have a use for the extra space. I'd be one of those! I'd only buy them now because the price difference is so small anyway.Again though, a few months ago there was a much larger price difference for the 500G drives, and it was a worthwhile saving at the time of posting. Your space requirements are exceptionally large for ANY user, and most users would not have got any benefit from the additional space. Always good to futureproof, but it didnt make sense to add 15% to the cost of the computer when it simply isnt necessary for most people.
March 19, 2009 at 6:10 am #30547
and i would say yes, it entirely has to depend on your preferences and how skilled you are…and i think most of us know thatDecember 28, 2012 at 11:41 am #30548Nyle RemeParticipant
Indeed it will be a good idea to have separated hard disk it will isolate your work and will increase its functionality.
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