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About KCComp

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  1. I'm looking for a secure disk erase that will boot from a CD and erase partitionless (raw) drives. Everything I've found so far either requires a floppy or only erases existing partitions. I have a ton of ex-RAID disks that need erasing before disposal (resale). WinPE-based would be ideal because many of my systems won't boot generic Linux. Any recommendations?
  2. KCComp

    Has WD bit off own hand?

    All else being equal, if you put the same amount of data on two drives with the same areal density, the drive with 2 platters will have better access time than the drive with 1 platter because the data will occupy half the width of the platters* on the 2 platter drive. If you are concerned primarily with access time (which is, after all, the primary predictor of storage performance), a single drive will perform better than 2 in RAID 0. RAID 0 slightly increases access time because you can incur rotational latency waiting for the stripe to come around. KC (access time fanatic who runs 2x Seagate 15K.6 300GB SAS in RAID 0 -- eat my dust, SSDs) * "half the width" metaphorically speaking, since we are talking about circular tracks
  3. I need a test-bench setup to verify that various boards work with LSI & Adaptec PCI-E x4 adapters at full x4 speeds. For example, a lot of the Asus X38/X48 boards erroneously switch the third PCI-E x16 slot to x1 if you put a network card in the first x1 slot. I never noticed this until I built arrays with drives fast enough to give over 250MBps in RAID0. For a test-bench setup though, I don't want to spend a ton. The best I can think of so far is 3 Caviar Black 500GB @ $75 ea ($200) or 3 SuperTalent 16GB SATA SSDs @ $91 ($273) which is more expensive but easier to work with (no mounting, just tape the 3 SSDs together). Theoretically the SSDs do 150MBps each but that isn't real-world performance and I need to positively verify that the slot is significantly over 250MBps. Any ideas?
  4. Hopefully this also means someone will come out with an asymmetric 3.5" adapter that will allow the drive to work in 3.5" hot-swap bays. There are plenty of computers with built-in 3.5" hot-swap bays that cannot be changed or removed, such as the HP Blackbird, Apple Mac Pro, etc. Currently those machines cannot use Velociraptors.
  5. In the case of the 300GB 2.5", it's true 2.5" form factor without the 3.5" conversion heat sink assembly. Removal of the heatsink on the retail drive version voids the warranty. A true 2.5" drive allows use in things like a nifty 4-drive-in-single-5.25"HH-bay hot-swap unit. e.g. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16816101189 KC
  6. KCComp

    Best driver for a single drive

    There are power management benefits to running in AHCI mode but that wouldn't be of much benefit on a desktop PC. The performance difference is negligible. If you decide to change drivers, consult this KB article first: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922976/en-us and make sure you're running Vista SP1. Never use an Intel-sourced storage driver if you can help it. Intel makes great chips but they can't code their way out of a paper bag. KC
  7. The Intel Matrix Storage driver (iastor.sys is not fully baked for Vista. If you read the release notes on Intel's site for the 8/2/2007 release, there are a ton of really nasty serious issues they fixed -- which means there are still more nasty issues to be fixed. I wouldn't touch them until a release where the "resolved issues" list contained pretty minor items, rather than system lockup and data loss items. The Intel RAID driver that ships inbox with Vista (iastorV.sys) is more stable in the near-term, although south bridge RAID is a pretty bad idea in general. iastorV.sys supports ICH6R through ICH8R but not ICH9R. I vote for sticking with AHCI mode and using the inbox msahci.sys driver. KC
  8. KCComp

    RAID0 or not?

    The NVRAID is only capable of 32-bit DMA so on an x64 OS if you have more than 4GB of RAM (or just 4GB and BIOS Remapping) the OS will have to double-buffer all transfers...
  9. That's a 5-platter drive, just like their infamous 75GXP. IBM said they'd never do another 5-platter drive after the 75GXP debacle, but Hitachi's done it twice since taking over the line.
  10. KCComp

    Does my pc support SATA2?

    There is no such thing as SATA2. There are various features that were defined by committe known as the SATA II organization. There is no "SATA2" or "SATAII" specification. So a more proper question would be, "Does my motherboard support SATA 300MBps" or "does my motherboard support NCQ". The answers to those questions are Yes, and Yes but only in AHCI or RAID mode, respectively. However, there is no drive in existence that exceeds SATA 150MBps speeds from the platter, and NCQ has been demonstrated to actually slightly slow single-user performance in most cases (see SR's own benchmarks) so neither of these technologies are highly relevant. I suspect what you're REALLY asking is, "Can I attach one of these drives that the reseller incorrectly calls a SATA2 device in my existing PC" and the answer to that is definitely Yes, because any SATA drive will work on any SATA controller, all features are backward compatible. KC
  11. KCComp

    PCI Express Controller Options?

    On the other hand, there are plenty of PCI-E SAS & SATA RAID adapters. That's one reason the Parallel SCSI stuff is getting cheap. Make Model Type Bus Adaptec 4805SAS SAS RAID PCI-E x8 Areca ARC-1210 SATA II RAID PCI-E x8 Areca ARC-1220 SATA II RAID PCI-E x8 Areca ARC-1230ML SATA II RAID PCI-E x8 LSI MegaRAID SATA 300-8ELP SATA II RAID PCI-E x8 LSI MegaRAID SAS 8308E SAS RAID PCI-E x8 LSI MegaRAID SAS 8408E SAS RAID PCI-E x8 LSI LSISAS3041E-R SAS HBA PCI-E x4 3Ware 9590SE-8ML SATA II RAID PCI-E x4 Promise SuperTrak EX8350 SATA II RAID PCI-E x4 Promise SuperTrak EX4350 SATA II RAID PCI-E x4 Highpoint RocketRAID 2320 SATA II RAID PCI-E x4 Highpoint RocketRAID 2310 SATA II RAID PCI-E x4 HP Smart Array E200 409180-B21 SAS HBA PCI-E x4 The LSI 3041E-R is hardware-assisted RAID 0/1 and is very reasonably priced, but doesn't seem to be widely available yet since Dell is apparently eating up all of their production. LSI and Adaptec have Vista in-box drivers. KC
  12. I'm not pleased with the performance of writing to 2 drives simultaneously under my current config, but I have a 4-drive overall limit and it's hard to figure out the optimum setup. Any opinions appreciated. My current drive config is as follows: 100 GB on WD1500ADFD Raptor - Windows & Applications 360 GB on WD4000YR Caviar RE2 - Scratch drive for large video creation/editing 300 GB on WD4000YR Caviar RE2 - Data storage The scratch drive performance is the biggest problem. Drives perform best when about half full, so I need something like 600 GB for that volume, but I can only do 4 drives max (for cooling & noise reasons). Cost isn't a huge object so I'd go SAS but it doesn't look like the 300 GB 15K drives are out yet and the Maxtor Atlas 10K V SAS has pretty mediocre performance for $900 (that's pushing $3K for the adapter and 2 drives). If only there were 300 GB Raptors! My current fallback thinking is: WD1500ADFD - Windows & Applications 2x Hitachi 7K500 RAID 0 - Scratch drive Seagate 750GB - Data storage Then there's the question of which RAID adapter to use, it needs to be PCI-E and work in an x16 slot that is electrically x4. I notice that virtually no SATA RAID adapters have Windows Vista beta drivers available, which is a problem. KC
  13. KCComp

    Next Generation Raptor?

    OK, I just finished installing my Raptor 150 (WD1500ADFD), here are my transfer rate results. Unfortunately since I haven't run WB99 for years, I didn't remember to check the "save bitmap" box so I don't have the chart to post. WB99 Transfer Rate Disk Transfer Rate Begin: 88800 Disk Transfer Rate End: 60400 HDTach Everything here is perfectly in line with the StorageReview tests, which showed 88.3 begin and 60.2 end. Test system: Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe v1.02 BIOS 1016 AMD Athlon64 X2 FX-60 2GB Corsair TWINX2048-3500LLPRO WD740GD (current boot) WD4000YR x2 (data drives) Windows XP SP2 nVidia Platform Drivers 6.70 The drive version is WD1500ADFD-00NLR0 and I partitioned, formatted but left completely blank for the tests. SR's testbed uses a Sil3124 SATA card, and I'm using nForce4... perhaps there is a throughput issue with Intel ICH? KC
  14. KCComp

    Next Generation Raptor?

    All drives ship with a very small number of bad sectors that have been remapped. That narrow spike just means you hit a remapped area. It's nothing to be concerned about. KC
  15. KCComp

    Next Generation Raptor?

    What other 10K SATA makers? There are none.