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About ehurtley

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  • Location
    Portland, OR, USA
  • Interests
    Computers, duh..

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  1. ehurtley

    SSD drive in PIO 4 mode?

    I tried checking the DMA box but it doesn't hold, goes back to PIO 4 mode. I have the same type of SATA cables for all three SSDs, and port 2 is in Ultra DMA 6. There is something odd here because ports 0 and 1 show up twice--look at the picture. Why should there be duplicate listings when only one of the two has a drive connected? I have one drive in each port 0,1, and 2. What motherboard is this? It looks to me like the motherboard has six SATA ports, and one PATA port. So you're seeing two "Channel 0" and "Channel 1" because you're seeing one of each for the two PATA channels (on one physical plug,) and two for your first two SATA ports. It could be a compatibility issue. For best performance in Vista or above, set your BIOS to "SATA Native" (not "Legacy" or "Compatibility" and/or "AHCI" mode (it depends on exactly what your BIOS calls the various options.) However, you *MAY* need to install storage drivers first, depending on your chipset. (Based on your screenshot, I'm guessing it's not an Intel-chipset board.)
  2. ehurtley

    Storage Review Site Update

    Glad to hear. I've been a reader since 1998. (And during my first stint working for Intel in '99-'00, when I was working in the Enterprise Server Group, we used SR's reviews religiously when picking our our drives.) I was going to give this site until Jan 27th before I gave up for good and deleted it from my bookmarks. (I basically gave up on the forums a couple years ago, other than the very occasional post.) Why Jan 27th? Because at that point, the 'news' posting frequency would be exactly one per year. (i.e. only one post in the prior 365 days.) Obviously, the review rate had dropped below that, even. Hopefully this site will return to its former prominence. Good luck!
  3. ehurtley

    USB drive beats old ThinkPad's internal drive 100-0?!

    What it means is that you have an old, slow-as-dirt internal hard drive; and an external USB drive that is faster than the USB interface can handle. You woudl be best served by buying a new internal drive for the ThinkPad. But, if it's the choice between the internal and the external; the difference is so large that the external will likely win. I can guarantee that the external drive is connected over USB 2.0, though; not USB 1.1. USB 1.1 would top out at about 1 MB/s, not 30. That said, if you plug in even one other high-speed USB device, your USB drive will have to share bandwidth (well, most likely; most notebooks have only a single high-speed port internally.)
  4. ehurtley

    Oldest drive still in use

    Define "in use"... The oldest in 'active daily use' would likely be the circa 2001 Western Digital 80 GB drive in a FireWire drive cage attached to my server; along with the Maxtor 60 GB drive inside said server. The oldest in 'occasional, but regular' use would be the original-circa-1988 (Quantum?) in my Macintosh SE; still used once a week or so for reading email in the mornings.
  5. Nope. Worst case scenario, you have two identical drives. Vista has ICH10R-compatible RAID drivers built-in. No extra drivers 'required', although installing the Intel INF drivers (which really just tells Device Manager the proper names of things,) is recommended. IMSM (Intel Matrix Storage Manager,) is a good idea, but not by any means required. If you plug it in to another ICH9+ machine set in AHCI or RAID mode, it will know that the disk is a member of a RAID; and if you have IMSM loaded, it will warn you; but it will also let you use it. If you plug it in to a system that isn't an ICH9+ system in AHCI or RAID mode (which includes an ICH9+ system in "IDE compatibility" mode,) it will see it as just a lone drive. Won't even warn you that it was part of a (now-broken) RAID. Note that Intel now has a "Rapid Recovery RAID" option in ICH10 that is basically a RAID-1 setup that specifically specifies a 'master' and 'slave' drive. You can even tell it to not be a 'true' RAID-1, but only to update when you tell it to. (It's main purpose is for notebooks or SFF-desktops that only have room for one internal drive; so you can have an eSATA drive as the 'backup' RAID drive. The nice thing is that since it's handled at the hardware level, it's OS independent if you have "constant" backup turned on.)
  6. ehurtley

    AHCI, enable or leave disabled?

    Well, the big benefits of AHCI are that it allows a lot more of the 'drive control' to be handled by both the controller chip and the drive itself than with "legacy IDE" mode. Among the benefits are better power control, (although most modern OSes do a decent job of it in software to make handling it in hardware moot,) NCQ, and hot-plug. If you're not going with a RAID, or with a data disk you may want to swap out semi-regularly, then the hot-plug doesn't really matter. NCQ is a bit of a tossup with most 'desktop computer' uses. So choosing AHCI is more about 'wanting to be legacy free' than anything else in your case. Theoretically, one can get higher performance and/or lower CPU usage in AHCI, but I haven't seen any quantitative analysis of this.
  7. Windows XP can be *REALLY* flaky with regard to switching drive controllers. If the storage controller for what you're wanting to boot from didn't have its drivers loaded *AT INSTALL TIME*, you might be out of luck. For example, even switching from "AHCI" mode to "RAID" mode on an Intel ICH SATA controller can cause havoc if drivers are not installed properly up front.
  8. It's 15mm tall according to TR, and since most laptops only take a 9.5mm drive, a handful are 12.5mm.............. that could be an issue. Yeah, the last picture on that linked page shows that the VelociRaptor is, indeed, a very tall monster. Essentially no chance of fitting in any reasonable notebook. (Dang, I was hoping, power-and-heat-be-damned, to put one in my MacBook Pro. (The entire bottom enclosure of the MacBook Pro is only 15mm, so I'd have to make quite a bulge to fit this in.) I wonder if they'll make a single-platter, 150 GB version that I could cram in? (Although that would probably still be 12.5mm, which is still too tall.) P.S. Way to go, Eugene, on getting a review posted on the day of announcement! Looks like SR is finally back in serious business! Let's hope you can keep the momentum going.
  9. ehurtley

    Any Vista Business users?

    I think he's specifically asking about Business because Business doesn't have all the 'media' features that Home or Ultimate have. He is wondering if DVDShrink requires some of the 'media' features. I can say that I found out that Handbrake doesn't work on 64-bit Ultimate.
  10. ehurtley

    Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000

    FINALLY! Excellent review, by the way. But I do have one question about another front page news item. The mention that the Atlases got tested, but "never quite got the go-ahead from the manufacturer for a formal review." Uh, they sent it to a review site, the drives are out in the wild, so any NDA will have expired. Even if you got them direct from Maxtor, unless to get them you signed an NDA with no end date (which aren't even enforceable,) then you're clear to publish the review. And if you got them from a public source (like a distributor,) and never signed ANYTHING with the manufacturer, then you're well within your rights to publish a review.
  11. ehurtley

    Seagate Barracuda ES

    This article has been up for almost 5 months now. Maybe it's time to remove the 'new' tag from the SR home page for it now?
  12. ehurtley

    Inkjet Printer cost per page

    Yeah, all manufacturer announcements of print cost are based on using their ink and paper, and printing in draft mode. If you print in 'reasonable quality' normal mode, and use third-party (i.e. really cheap,) ink, it will still cost less than the manufacturer's quoted price. I've been happy with my HP OfficeJet 7310, good quality, even on 'Fast Normal' setting, and cheap enough with third party inks. The new OfficeJets with individual ink tanks should be an even better value. If I want high-quality photo prints, though, it gets expensive fast, since for that, I use HP's special 'photo' ink cartridges.
  13. I would say your best bets would be either a Core Solo mini for future software compatibility, or an early G4 mini if you don't mind the fact that it will likely be dropped from support by 10.6 and iLife '08 or '09. Yeah, you can use older, ~$100 computers that can be upgraded to run OS X well, but if you just want to experience OS X as it was meant to be, just go buy a mini. (I am successfully running 10.3 on an original 233 MHz iMac with 96 MB RAM; and have 10.4 running on a Blue & White G3 upgraded to 500 MHz G4 with 512 MB RAM. It's marginally usable on the iMac, and decently usable on the Power Mac, but I can't do any 'modern' things on it like video editing. Even iTunes-Store-purchased videos are unplayable on the Power Mac.)
  14. ehurtley

    Vista Installation

    I can't find it now, but there was an interview a few months ago with one of the Vista managers, and he touted one of the new features is that the Vista equivalent of the OEM preload kit is included with EVERY copy of Vista; and slipstreaming is much easier, and officially allowed. (They may not provide tech support for it, but it is no longer considered gray territory like it was before.)
  15. When comparing four-core systems, Vista will give a huge speed boost to AMD's '4x4' platform (a high-end desktop two-socket platform.) This is because Vista properly supports NUMA, which is what AMD's multi-socket systems use. Although it should only boost speed to what it SHOULD be in the first place. Again, this won't have a 4x4 system beat Core 2 Quad, it will just allow 4x4 to use its full speed. *NUMA stands for "Non-Unified Memory Architecture", meaning each processor socket has its own set of memory. When a piece of information is in the memory for socket A, and a processor in socket B wants it, it has to pass through the socket A processor. When the OS knows about this, it can cache things better. When the OS doesn't know about it, the memory controllers have to do all the work, which is inefficient. Because all AMD processors have onboard memory controllers, if you have more than one socket, you have multiple memory controllers. On Intel systems, even multiple socket systems, there is one memory controller for all sockets. This means that on a massively-parallel system, AMD's system would probably be better, but even up to 4 sockets, a single memory controller will probably do better. (So AMD really should start sponsoring more supercomputing matrices.)