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About bobdavisnpf

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  1. bobdavisnpf

    When will Optical Drives go SATA?

    I think XP needs to go away before SATA optical really takes off. Lots of systems only have one optical drive, so you need to be able to boot and load the OS install from it. I've got the Plextor PX-716SA in my system and it runs great... but booting from it is another story. I've tried booting the XP install CDROM and it does fine... until it starts loading the IO device drivers! After all, the SiI chipset isn't on there. With my PATA CDROM I can get to "hit F6 to load a third party driver" message... with the SATA drive it BSODs on me before it gets to that message. I bet Vista fixes this, but I haven't tried it... waiting for the next beta before I start playing in that sandbox. Cheers, Bob [] Asus A8R32-MVP [] Athlon X2 4400+ [] Corsair Twin 1GB PC3200 [] Samsung SP2504C x2 RAID0 on ULi [] ATi X1900XTX [] Creative X-Fi Pro [] Plextor PX-716SA on SiI [] Adaptec AHA29160 [] Antec P150 [] Antec NeoHE 430 [] Nexus 120mm Fan x4 [] Arctic Cool Accelero X2 [] Hardcano 13 fan control [] 3DMark06=5641
  2. bobdavisnpf

    SR's 250 GB Drive Roundup

    All these drives are fast and reliable enough for me, so I focus on my biggest concern: noise. For a sub-1TB drive set, the Samsung 250 still seems to be the current leader. You can get several of these into a RAID5 or RAID0 set (I don't recommend RAID0, but it is what I am using for now... then again I back up to tape weekly). The noise penalty to run multiple drives is about 3-4 extra dB. In my quiet-pc case setup, this does not raise the noise level to an audible range. Seagate is occasionally bandied about as a good quiet-pc drive and for most users it's a good choice. But while they have a 500GB drive out now, its 4dB penalty is "pre-paid" as noted in the review tables. Doing a RAID set of 3 Seagate 500's would be louder than a set of 5 Samsung 250's. Seagate's real disadvantage in noise though is in the frequency range. The Samsung's sound pressure comes at an unusually low frequency. While this makes for a more omnidirectional noise, it also makes it much more likely to blend in with the ambient room noise and less likely to be noticed. Seagate's higher-frequency noise can be aimed away from the user, but will be more noticeable to most people as their ears pass through the PC soundfield's "focal points". These focal points will vary of course depending on the PC case build-up. For HTPC in the living room, the Samsung in as small a setup as possible would probably be best. For the HTPC librarian who wants 500 DVD's or a hundred hours of HDTV on-disk (2TB), noise shouldn't be a factor since it belongs in the closet or, better yet, in a LAN-based box in the basement. I'll be interested to see how Samsung's 400GB drive does. Common sense tells me that, with more platters, it will be louder. But it would be nice to hit do 4 of the 400's instead of 5 of the 250's... especially since my A8R32-MVP's main RAID chip has only 4 SATA ports! Cheers, Bob
  3. bobdavisnpf

    Quiet RAID: 3x 44dB or 5x 38dB disks?

    Shining, Thanks for the link! I'd forgotten about that site. Also for the info re: how to figure the added noise level for the number of drives. The spcr review's description of Seagate's high-pitch whine is a good alert for me. The 1500-2000Hz range is one that constantly sticks out to me, and the Seagate whine would bug me to no end. My 120-200Hz range perception is much less annoying for me. The odd number of drives is mainly just to get the most rudimentary protection level. I don't need the performance or continuous protection of RAID1 but I'm not quite rash enough to go for a straight RAID0 setup. I rely mainly on offsite tape backups for data protection, supplemented by CDROMs and offsite "cold" hard disks.
  4. Hi all, I'm looking at the Samsung Spinpoint 250GB vs the Seagate 7200.9 500GB disks for a 1TB RAID set. Which do you think would be quieter: 3 of the Seagates at 44dB each, or 5 of the Samsungs at 38dB each? Cheers, Bob
  5. bobdavisnpf

    Storage/Backup Plan

    I'd go with a rotating pair of USB2 data (or mirror) hard disks, an annual tape or DVD full backup, and an occasional tape or DVD incremental backup. You haven't really backed up your data until you've taken it offsite. Preferably on a media that is independent of the transport, head & controller. This is why tape has such survivability. Also the areal density and thickness of tape is about a thousand times "bigger" than disk: this translates into a far stronger, longer-lasting signal for backup. DVD's and CD-ROMs can also be used for offsite, "cold" storage but are far more expensive and clumsy due to their tiny capacities. Backing up 400GB to DVD's will feel an awful lot like the "bad old days" of backing up to floppies! Blu-ray (and/or HD-DVD) offers the best near-term hope for addressing, well, the number-of-disks issue (cost will still be a factor). Hard disks rely on rewrites to refresh the signal strength of their bits. Running a utility that will force rewrites once a year is advisable; doing so once every 3 years is imperative. If your data changes a lot, a defrag program will probably do it; for less-transient data, an occasional copy to another disk will allow you to reformat and copy back, thus forcing the rewrite. Cheers, Bob
  6. bobdavisnpf

    Samsung SpinPoint P120

    "... At any rate, the P120 did arrive... eventually. It arrived, in fact, AFTER the November 3rd publication of the 7K500 review. I broke normal protocol and prioritized it over projects that many SR regualrs know I've been working, on, such as array performance and notebook drives. The P120 received preferential treatment in this regard. ..." Thank you for getting this review out. As one who shops based first on time of need, second on noise and third on capacity, I would have missed this drive had the review been delayed or dropped. As a significantly quieter drive at a reasonable (over-220GB) capacity, this drive looks like a winner for most any quiet-pc enthusiast. Cheers, Bob