I am planning to build a PC (running Windows 7) for image editing (using Photoshop) and for general purpose uses, with three main design criteria:
- Data security - including running a continuous backup on an internal HDD (probably using Oops!Backup), supplemented by monthly offline backups.
- Power - Core i7 3770 processor and Sapphire Ultimate Radeon HD 7750 graphics card
- Quietness - passively CPU cooler, Seasonic Platinum Fanless PSU and Nofan CS-80 case
My current plan is to have 3 drives:
- a Plextor PX-256M5P SSD for system files, programs and general data
- a 1T SATA 6.0Gbps HDD of some kind for storing images
- a Western Digital 2TB Caviar Green WD20EARS for the continuous backup of the other 2 drives
In the case of the 1T SATA 6.0Gbps HDD for storing images, I'm struggling to find a solution that strikes an appropriate balance between data security (= reliability), power (= speed) and quietness.
My current thoughts are:
- A second Western Digital Caviar Green would meet the quietness criterion and would be reasonably reliable, but would be slow when loading and moving the large image files.
- WD RE4 drives seem to be the most reliable, but they are optimised for RAID operation and servers. Since I don't intend to use RAID, I should avoid them.
- WD VelociRaptors would meet the reliability and speed criteria extremely well, but would smash the "quietness" criterion.
- A WD Caviar Black would be a possible compromise solution.
I will be using the drive only for short bursts - transferring files from the camera's CF card onto the computer, moving large numbers of files in one operation, and loading individual files into RAM for editing. Presumably the drive will spin down and be silent when I am not carrying out these operations. If it is possible to set the drive to spin down after not being accessed for (say) 2 minutes, I would be tempted to go for a Velociraptor - happy to put up with the short bursts of noise whilst performing these operations, and enjoying the silence when working on the images that I've loaded and when not working on image processing. But I would need to be confident that neither Win 7 nor the continuous backup software would not frequently access the drive for some reason, causing it to keep spinning up again. And while this might be a suitable means of taming the Velociraptor, I don't know of any way to apply different spin-down times to different drives, and a very short spin-down time would not be good for the HDD performing the continuous backup.
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
Edited by Ubtree, 29 December 2012 - 07:58 AM.