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About Graystar

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  1. Graystar

    Cluster size choices?

    Is that the Notes client, or servers running Domino as well? Where can I find out more? IBM's DeveloperWorks area seems to be down at the moment, so I don't have any links for you but you can search that area later. The recommendations are for Domino servers. However, the idea is based on the notion that, typically, Notes/Domino databases are large and few in number (usually just a few hundred) so the space wasted by the large cluster size is worth the performance advantage. So I don't see why it also wouldn't be true for the client. However, an end-user PC is usually doing a lot more than just Notes and you can end up wasting lots of space.
  2. Thanks for creating that category. It's nice to be able to quickly find the drive that gives the best value per GB. I personally think that hard disk will become the dominate form of backup in near future, especially if the HD-DVD people can't get their act together. 50 DVDs cost a lot less than a 250GB hard drive. However, when you consider the space requirements of 50 DVDs and the huge amount of time required to burn and keep track of them, the benefit of backing up to one small 3.5" x 1" tall device is pretty clear and easily worth the cost in terms of time saved. And with products like these: It's a real no-brainer to connect a drive to a PC for backup.
  3. Graystar

    Cluster size choices?

    Some tools, such as Microsoft's own defragger, won't work if the cluster size is larger than 4k. So check the tools you intend to use first to see if they support the larger cluster size. Certain database applications, such as Lotus Notes, benefit from a larger cluster size. Otherwise it's best to go with the default.
  4. Graystar

    Maxtor Maxline 3

    I would agree. I recently purchased the ATA133 version of this drive. The first one had to be sent back due to write errors. The second one has, so far, written hundreds of GBs without error, but is so loud you can hear it across the room when it seeks. I'm going to contact Maxtor about this, but in the mean time I would recommend that everyone stay far away from these drives.
  5. Graystar

    Cache vs RPM

    You are comparing apples to oranges.The new 16MB cache drives are nearly as fast as a Raptor only because they’re of a newer design, not just because they have a 16MB cache. The Raptor design is over two years old. However, it still beats all other SATA drives. So if you want the fastest SATA drive available then go with a Raptor. That said, you also have to consider disk size. If you need a lot of space then something like a Deskstar 7K500, which starts to approach the speed of a Raptor but also gives tons of space, might be a good compromise. Otherwise, for raw speed there's really nothing to consider...go Raptor.
  6. Graystar

    Are outer tracks faster today?

    On my first partition I keep the OS, installed software, and current work. On the second partition I keep completed work, downloaded software, and other static types of files. In that way I limit the heavy disk activity to the fastest part of the drive. When you're rebuilding database indexes across 2 GBs of data, it makes a difference.
  7. Graystar

    PageFile Question

    Not everyone has huge modern drives. Some of us are still making do with our 80GB WD JBs. They're quite a bit slower than today's top of the line drives and the dropoff in transfer speed when accessing the inner tracks is much larger relative to more modern drives. But it works, so I have no reason to get rid of it. I guess you can force the pagefile to be moved, but why would I go through such trouble for something I don't need anyways?? That's my point. Why keep something around if you don't need it? Because I *might* need it some time down the road *if* I decide to use some specific software that doesn't know how to play nice? I rather cross that bridge *if* I ever get there.
  8. Graystar

    PageFile Question

    Yep, they’re all pretty inconclusive. The main reason I argue against having a pagefile if you don’t need one is that Windows (Win2K at least) puts the pagefile at the beginning of the disk, consuming prime, high speed disk space. If I have enough memory where the pagefile really doesn't get used, I’d rather have that space filled with programs or data.
  9. Graystar

    PageFile Question

    Well, an OS is a complicated piece of software and that's the danger of oversimplified statements.The OS may decide to swap out small amounts of committed memory. My experience has been that these amounts are very small (10-30 MB) and OS related. My system never swaps out committed memory from applications I've loaded. I've read through several pagefile discussions here and found a few discussions about disabling the pagefile but no one has had anything bad to say about it. To what are you referring to?
  10. Graystar

    PageFile Question

    That's what I figured. What I'm trying to say is that by far the smoothest pagefile operation possible is to not have one. Unless you're editing video files or large Painter images or the like, you just might not need one.
  11. Graystar

    PageFile Question

    You have a lot of memory. Check Task Manager to see what your Mem Usage is. If it's far below your Physical Memory-Total then you're not even using the swap file. With Win XP Pro I think you can even disable the swap file by setting it to 0 meg. Windows will swap stuff out regardless of how much memory you have, but it's a small amount. On my system that tops out at about 30 megs. That's nothing. Even with my database development system open, IE, downloading stuff, and playing Unreal my memory usage tops out at about 700mb. So before you worry about it make sure it's actually a problem.
  12. Graystar

    Three questions...

    Performance depends on more than just the size of the cache. The JB series was the best ATA drive that WD made, and the 7K80 blows the platters off of it in sustained transfer rates. No matter how you look at it, buying a JB drive today is a mistake.I don't even understand why anyone would want a 40GB drive. Bigger drives are faster. For 56 bucks there no reason to look at anything but DiamondMax 10. But if you need to save every dollar possible, then the 7K80 fits the bill, and is EASILY worth the 2 bucks more it cost over a 40GB JB drive.
  13. Graystar

    Three questions...

    It's hard to find such small drives using the latest technology due to the nature of drive pricing. There’s just no point to selling drives that cost less than 50 bucks.My two suggestions would be the Hitachi Deskstar 7K80 (80 GB, $51.25 from Newegg) and the Maxtor DiamondMax 10 (80 GB, $56.75 from Newegg.) That’s probably the fastest and cheapest you’ll get in Ultra ATA133. I would go with the DiamondMax 10. It’s basically the same as the MAXLine III, which is a kick-ass drive. Actually, I personally wouldn’t go that route. If it were me I would get a 36GB Raptor and buy a cheap SATA card for 20 bucks.
  14. “You shouldn't be using swap much anyway.†THAT is exactly what I was thinking. I recently brought my computer up to 1 GB of RAM because I was consistently having over 512MB committed and I was swapping out. When I saw that I could get 1GB of RAM from Newegg for 75 bucks I knew that would be the least expensive way to improve the performance of my system. Sure enough, now that I have 1GB of RAM I never swap out. I even reduced the size of my swap file to gain back some disk space. So forget all that drive configuration garbage. One good drive and more RAM will take you much further. Oh...but that’s if you even NEED more RAM to avoid swapping! Check out your system RAM utilization. You may find that your concerns are without merit. Also, no matter what configuration you setup you will need to defrag your drive regularly. I personally subscribe to the notion of creating a single partition. I find multiple partitions don’t help me much. Your mileage may vary. RAID 1 is a good idea. You should be able to suffer a drive failure and keep on chuggin’, which is important if you work on your computer. However, RAID 1 is not is redundancy. There’s a big difference. Whatever happens to one drive happens to the other, so if you delete data or get hit by a virus, RAID 1 won’t do anything to help you recover. Backup to tape or DVD instead.