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About grnmyeyes

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  1. "Generally speaking" (i.e. I realize it will vary by drive and controller) what is the rate of decrease in efficiency as one adds drives to a RAID 0 array? By efficiency I mean "ratio of actual bandwidth to theoretical max bandwidth". In other words, if I have two disks with 120 MB/s transfer rates in a RAID 0 setup, and the resulting streaming bandwidth is 200 MB/s, then the efficiency is (200 / 240) = 0.83. The efficiency is going going to decrease as more disks are added to the array; I'm just curious how quickly it tails off.
  2. Is it possible, using a standard desktop motherboard, to simultaneously support two separate RAID 0 arrays? Or does it depend on the motherboard? The primary use case is to do streaming reads from one array and streaming writes to the other. Imagine a massive copy operation and you're not far off. With four disks, I'm assuming it would be better to use two separate 2-disk arrays (one for reading and one for writing) instead of a single 4-disk array used for both reading and writing. Is that correct?
  3. Since the Seagate 1TB 7200.11 is missing from the performance database, how does it stack up vs. the WD1001FALS, Samsung F1 and Hitachi 7K1000? This is the ST31000340AS, to be absolutely specific.
  4. grnmyeyes

    Hitachi 7200rpm 80GB SATA II - 7K80

    I think the 160GB Seagate 7200.9 also features one platter, at higher density.
  5. grnmyeyes

    Budget system with P4 2.4 GHz

    I think you're full of crap on this one. We're looking at what, a Duron 1300 vs. a 3.2ghz Celeron D? No way.
  6. grnmyeyes

    Budget system with P4 2.4 GHz

    Good catch. I realized what I did wrong- when I did my search at newegg, I looked for s478 motherboards that had "Prescott" in the description. Apparently support for Prescott is so widespread that they don't even feel the need to mention it. So, my search generated very few results. Based on what I now know, I'd recommend this Aopen, based on Intel's 865G. (I generally trust Intel chipsets more than Via/etc.) Aopen, $79. (Has SATA, dual-channel ram support, video, sound, 10/100 lan) If he *knows* he's never going to want to add in a separate graphics card, he could get an Intel 865GV based motherboard (like the Asus you mentioned) at newegg for $62. Only difference between 865G and 865GV is AGP support, which the 865GV lacks. So, nix the graphics card, get the Asus mobo w/ video, then spend the extra cash on more ram and/or a faster/bigger HDD.
  7. grnmyeyes

    Budget system with P4 2.4 GHz

    If he has zero interest in gaming, maybe skip the graphics card, find a motherboard with integrated graphics, then pick up a full gig of ram (approx. $40 extra, compared to 512M) and a slightly bigger/better hard drive (approx. $35-60 more than the 80gig WD drive). For ram, this would work: For a bigger/faster HDD, I'd try to get one that incorporates a 16MB cache. That means you're looking at a 200GB Maxtor Diamondmax 10 (~$90), 250GB Maxtor Maxline Plus III (~$105), or a 250GB Western Digital WD2500KS (~$115). I'm not 100% sure, but I strongly suspect no socket478 Prescott motherboard will support dual channel. Don't quote me on that, though.
  8. grnmyeyes

    Budget system with P4 2.4 GHz

    Depending on what your brother wants to do with this system, I don't think you made as big a mistake buying the P4 as the other posters do. You probably could have gotten something for a little less money that would have performed equally well, but that won't blow your budget. $90 for a CPU is pretty cheap. You could only realistically expect to spend $20-30 less, if we're talking about buying stuff new. So don't sweat it. I generally recommend buying from They have a large selection, near the best prices, excellent service, and their website actually shows pictures of what you're buying. I find that extremely handy since I'm picky about stuff like whether motherboards have fans on the northbridge, etc. They also have a nice search facility for each "type" of hardware (motherboard, video card, cpu, etc.). Unfortunately, socket-478 Prescott is such old hardware that they don't have a very good selection. One thing you need to clarify is whether your brother wants to play 3D games on this machine. If he doesn't, then you can save money by getting a motherboard with integrated graphics. If he does, then integrated video is so poor that you'd be better off buying a separate card. You're not going to get a great card with that budget, but you can certainly get something that will outperform any integrated solution found on a socket478 board. I'll assume for now that he wants to leave open the option of gaming. This mobo might fit the bill: Supports SATA too, which isn't always the case for motherboards this old. You're going to spend about $55-65 on a 80GB hard drive. Within that range, take your pick. Hitachi Deskstar 7K80, Western Digital WD800JD, Maxtor DiamondMax 10 6L080M0, Seagate Barracuda 7200.9. All of these have SATA models. Some support the newer 3.0G/s standard, but that won't matter since your motherboard will only support SATA150. Here's the WD, for $55: Get DDR400. I'd recommend 512M as an absolute minimum. A full gig is preferable, but on your budget I don't think you'll be able to afford it. I tend to avoid off-brand memory, and stick with companies like Crucial, Kingston, Corsair. Don't bother spending extra money on low-latency RAM- tweaking your system that way is pretty low on the "bang for your buck" scale. This should work: You still need a video card. Here's what you've spent so far: CPU $90 Mobo $45 HDD $55 RAM $40 That leaves approx. $70 for a video card. If you could spend a tad more, say in the $100-110 range, you could pick up a ATI X700 or Geforce 6600. Limiting ourselves to $70, though, you're looking at an ATI 9550/9600/9600Pro or a Geforce FX5500. Here's a FX500 w/ 256M for $60 ($45 after rebate): Here's a 9550 w/ 256M for $60: There are also 9550's and 9600's available with only a heatsink (no fan), if you're interested in cutting down on system noise.
  9. Just nominating it for a review. 15K SCSI w/ a 16MB cache.
  10. It might be useful to state explicitly in the review that single-user benchmarks were performed with TCQ disabled. This is actually sort of unfair to the SCSI drives, which (as far as I know) have something analagous to command queueing enabled by default. If you compare the Fujitsu and Maxtor to the Raptor with TCQ enabled, the two SCSI drives trounce it pretty soundly. Of course, they're also more expensive and noisier. Personally, I'd like to see WD release a "Raptor 2" with a 147GB capacity, SATA 3.0G/s and 16MB cache.
  11. grnmyeyes

    Good video card for new system

    If your primary objective is video capture, I'd suggest spending the bulk of your money on a high-end capture card rather than your video card. Something with hardware encoding, etc. I admit that I'm not the most informed on this topic, but I can't see why you'd need a video card primarily designed to play 3D games in order to capture and encode video.
  12. If there is a significant difference in performance, then the lack of test data for smaller drives would seem to be a big gap in the valuable service SR provides to the community. Say I'm in the market for a 250GB drive. I can get numbers for a WD2500KS, but then what am I to compare it to? I can compare it to the performance of a 500GB Seagate 7200.9, but then that's not really fair if the 250GB Seagate is going to perform significantly worse. Maybe there could be an extra category on the leaderboard for "budget" drives, based on some floating price measure. I'm guessing most non-enthusiast consumers aren't going to shell out $350 for a 500GB 7K500 or 7200.9, esp. when there are 250GB parts available for less than $100. Just an idea.
  13. This topic is in reference to the fact that SR typically reviews only the top-capacity model in a given drive's model line. For instance, the performance numbers for the Seagate 7200.9 come from the 500GB flagship model, while there exist many smaller capacity models. This post isn't a complaint, but rather a question: how much do the performance numbers for a drive's "flagship" model typically differ from the performance numbers of lower-capacity models, all else being held equal? For instance, the 7200.9 review states that all models 300GB and up ship with a 16MB cache, just like the 500GB flagship. Presumably they also have the same per platter density. Is it safe to assume that their performance will be comparable to that of the 500GB version?
  14. Regarding the Toshiba drives, I'll add my voice to the list of folks whining for a review. I'm curious to see how a 5400rpm drive with 16MB cache compares to the Hitachi and Seagate 7200rpm models, both of which have an 8MB cache.