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Everything posted by ehurtley

  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.)
  16. One other note. Core 2 processors do better with 'matched' memory speeds (i.e. the DDR claimed MHz half the processor bus claimed MHz, so for a 1066 MHz bus processor, 533 MHz memory would be best.) But if you happen to be running an old Pentium 4, Pentium D, or Pentium Extreme Edition, the faster the memory, the better. It's all based on the memory prefetching of the two architectures. Either way, having lower CAS, RAS, etc, numbers at a given MHz memory speed will improve performance a slight amount. Atamido has a good plan, find real world benchmarks that show what increase YOUR workload will see, and see if it's worth the money.
  17. ehurtley

    Here's my .002 cents

    Heh... That is nucking futs. I hear about it a week or so ago, and think it's amazing. These people just are not willing to accept the math. The best explanation I can come up with is that they have a number on their screen, $71.79. So when the caller talks them through the math, which comes up with "71.786," they see that it matches their value, so their brain turns off. They don't realize that the MATH is coming up with a value in cents. The other thing is this built-in expectation that when talking about money, 0.xx means cents. But since it's less than one cent, they can't make the leap that $ .002 equals "point two cents". They know it's 'cents', so they just read the whole thing as cents. "point zero zero two cents." They're just poor telephone billing support, and they aren't asked to actually do math that often.
  18. Apple. Not much use for what you're looking for, but I have a collection of 50 old Macs (1986-1996 vintage,) and only one has a bad motherboard. All of the others still work perfectly. As for PC motherboards, I'm a little biased because I used to work for Intel's motherboard division in a support capacity. (So I have seen from a manufacturer's perspective the various hardware problems.) That said, I rarely ever saw a manufacturer's defect that made it to a customer other than DOAs. For non-Intel brands, my only other experience has been with Abit and Asus. Both brands have been reasonably well behaved for me, but I have always retired them after less than 3 years of use, so I don't know about true LONG term reliability. Back to Intel, when working there, I had one customer call in to complain that the latest server tools update was forcing him to reboot. He was running NT 3.5 Server, and the server had been up and running continuously for over five years.
  19. ehurtley

    how high a fall could one survive into water?

    Sorry to wander off topic, but Chewy and bfg's comments brought it to mind: In the scene in The Abyss where they show the rat being placed into the perfluorocarbon, it's real. That was real perfluorocarbon, with a real rat. The entire sequence was real. They would have used a longer single-camera show of it, but the rat, uh, 'spoiled' the fluid, so they had to use different cuts that didn't make that obvious. Right before the movie opened, the rat died of natural old age. The actor that was the 'keeper of the rat' said in an interview that reporters were very dubious of the rat's actual demise. "Yeah, sure he just died last week...." The actual fluid isn't pink (like in the movie, where it was dyed pink so that it would be more visually obvious that it was 'different',) and the human actor didn't subject himself to it. (Because the fluid washes the protective mucus away from your lungs, which makes someone VERY prone to infection after having used it. For a rat, a couple days of antibiotics works, but a human takes months to fully recover.) All of this info comes from the DVD release's 'behind the scenes' special.
  20. ehurtley

    Compact flash raid

    The fastest CF card I've seen is "150x" means one hundred fifty times CD-Audio's rate (the same measure used in CD-ROM drives,) which means 150 times 150 kilobytes per second, or approximately 22 MB/sec. Even the slowest current notebook drive has a higher minimum speed than that. CF's biggest advantage is true random access. The access times are incredibly small. If you have a need for low access times, and 20 MB/s per drive is acceptable, go for it. But, yes, CF will be significantly more expensive, especially for the faster variety, than a hard drive. (Even the 10,000 RPM 2.5" SAS drive is cheaper per GB, $242 for a 36.4 GB IBM, according to Pricewatch, for $6.64 per GB. As opposed to the most cost-effective CF at $58.99 for 4 GB (8 GB cards are more than double the cost of 4 GB cards, and this price is for generic/slow.) which is $14.74 per GB. So to equal the capacity of the $242 SAS drive, you would be up to $531.)
  21. ehurtley

    Massive Recording

    I would imagine that the video is nearly incompressible. Most modern video codecs do the best possible job compressing as it is. And since the OP mentions that the data rate fluctuates with activity, it appears that it has an extremely aggressive compression scheme as it is. Don't count on being able to get any extra compression. So figure 4 TB. That means for a minimum multiple-failure system, you would need 8 750 GB drives (For a 7-drive RAID 5 with one hot spare,) or for a GOOD multiple-failure system, 10 drives (two 4-drive RAID 5s with one hot spare each, then RAID-0ed.) Or you could go all out and go for a RAID 6E, which would require 9 drives (6 'data', 2 'parity', and 1 'spare', although all three functions are spread across all disks.) But a RAID card that supports RAID 6E will be noticeably more expensive than one supporting RAID 50, and might even cost more than the cost of adding the one more drive to reach RAID 50.
  22. ehurtley

    Enough is Enough

    So... Would starting a thread/poll that said "Did you vote?" with a disclaimer to leave actual voting POSITIONS alone, to just say if you voted or not, be acceptable?
  23. ehurtley

    USB hdd average transfer rate

    USB sucks for fast mass storage. It's that simple. If you want to get closer to your max hard drive capability, use eSATA or FireWire 800 (aka 1394b.) eSATA is the best (since it is the exact same bus as used internally,) but if you can't do that for whatever reason, go for FireWire 800.
  24. ehurtley

    how high a fall could one survive into water?

    Excellent set of rules. But I must ask... Is #5 from personal experience?
  25. ehurtley

    Fastest laptop harddrive?

    I have the Hitachi 7K100 at 60 GB (not the 7K60, mind you...) And the Seagate 7200.1 at 100 GB. Unfortunately, my only bases for comparison are either a significantly older/slower COMPUTER (the Seagate was bought as a factory option in a MacBook Pro to replace an 867 MHz PowerBook G4 that had a 4200 RPM drive,) or replacing a significantly slower drive in another computer. (The Hitachi replaced a 4200 RPM Toshiba in my PC notebook. Major speed boost, but that's to be expected with that upgrade.) So, sorry, I can't give a good recommendation other than the fact that a 7200 RPM drive is noticably faster than a 4200 RPM drive.