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Raptor 36gb, 74gb, Ibm, Which Is Best For Gaming?

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I currently have the following system ...

ABIT NF7-S nForce2 (ordered replacement, DFI nForce2 Ultra Infinity)

AMD 2500+ XP AQZEA @ 2.4 GHz

Mushkin PC3500 BH-5 512 DDR x 2

WD Raptor 36GB

Radeon 9500, softmod to 9700 @ 425/331

I'm thinking whether or not to upgrade my HDD to ...

1. 2x new revisions of 36GB raptors

2. 74GB raptor

3. 2x IBM (whatever the fast ones are)

4. open to other suggestions

I want gaming performance, basically looking for faster load times, I was wondering if getting the new revision of the 36GB would do anything. Or if RAID would do anything at all for a gaming system.

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Hitachi Deskstar 7K250 (250 GB)

A few questions ...

- I've had experience with about a dozen Deskstars (yes, Deathstars) before, every single one of them died, except for a lucky friend of mine (whose is still running), has the problems been fixed in the new line of Desktars?

- Is the 250 GB faster than the 120 GB version? Don't know too much about storage, I'm trying to read up.

- Will games load quicker on 2 x 120 GB 7K250's RAID 0 setup compared to a single Raptor 74 GB drive?

* It's mainly because I can get 2 x 120 GB 7K250's for cheaper price than 1 Raptor 74GB, and I get 3x the storage.

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two 36GB Raptor would be faster to load

1 for OS and 1 for games would be preferable

remember the Raptor has a faster seek and will get your data faster

games usually have a container file that point to other files

but remember, who cares after the game loads into memory?

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2 x 36GB costs quite a bit more, I'm waiting for the "second generation" 36 GB to be released. I hope they will be the same price at the time of release.

2 x 36 GB raptor = 170 x 2 = $340 CAD

2 x 80 GB 7K250 = 110 x 2 = $220 CAD

1 x 74 GB raptor = $350 CAD

Does anyone know how long the Desktar 7K250's last? Will they be like the previous deskstar's and just die and click?

Is 2 x 7K250 in RAID 0 faster than a single 36 GB raptor?

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Is 2 x 7K250 in RAID 0 faster than a single 36 GB raptor?

in RAID0 probably no (or it will be the same), but two single 7k250´s will be faster then 37GB Raptor...

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Did some reading and figured out that RAID 0 isn't always the best thing to do. Not for a gaming rig at least, I think I'll stick with my Raptor 36GB, I'll upgrade when the next-gen 36GB Raptor is released.

Speaking of which, does anyone know when this will be?

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If you want fast load times, I'd guess RAID 0 is your best bet. WRT to the IBM drives, I haven't seen an inordinate number of people claiming to have a dead one. I suspect they are just fine.

WRT RAID 0 in terms of reliability: the reliability of your data is reduced by using RAID 0. If you use it, make sure you are assiduous with your backups.

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Reliability is not important, I have a laptop to do important work and I can backup critical things onto FTP.

RAID 0 is not as reliable but I format my computer every 4 months. I don't dowload MP3's or movies, I just read hardware reviews all day, code and play games. Question is, how long does RAID 0 last under these circumstances?

I'm thinking about getting 2 x Hitachi 7K250 120 GB drives in RAID 0.

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If you want fast load times, I'd guess RAID 0 is your best bet

:/

i dunno...

most modern games would proably like 2 drives better

games have container files and some largefiles, but I think seek and I/O would be more important for most games

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I believe that Windows itself does very little file I/O on its own when running a resource-intensive game, other than paging if available memory is not sufficient. If this is a problem, the purchase of more memory would probably be a better bet.

While a small number of games definitely benefit from RAID0, the opinion of many on this board is that in most situations, RAID0 makes for little gain, and is occasionally counterproductive to performance.

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I have 1 GB of memory, which is decent for now. I'm leaning towards a 74 GB Raptor for the space now.

UT2004 takes up 5.5 GB I believe. Then there's Dungeon Siege 2, Deus Ex 2, Doom 3, and everyhthing else.

So back to my choices ...

- 2 x 7K250 120 GB drives running indivdually

- single 74 GB Raptor

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To answer your question directly,

For your use, buy one drive, put everything on it. You'll be happy with any modern, contemporary hard drive. If you want the best, and have money to burn, get a Raptor. Otherwise I would recommend a 7K250 or Samsung P80 (reliable, quiet, does the job with more style). Both will offer nearly identical performance to the Raptor.

Here's why,

Hard drive performance has virtually nothing to do with most games. You start the game, and then it is in RAM. The hard drive is no longer important. Just because a game is 5.5GB doesn't mean it needs anywhere near that amount of RAM or that a faster hard drive will help it. Hard drive performance may limit some games for a couple seconds out of every hour of play.

On the subject of multiple disks striped or not,

I invariably recommend people use multiple disks, if they've got them, independently rather than in a striped set, but this only matters for serious multitasking (which is the only way I've found to reduce responsiveness on a modern system from storage-related issues). Most contemporary hard drives will handle everything involved in most peoples day (even enthusiastic gamer's days) with barely a hiccup. For gaming performance there is no real benefit since you're not doing more than one thing at a time.

Back on your issue,

Some people think an 8 second map load is traumatic. If you're one of them spend double your money, stripe the disks and pray neither of them fail. The map may load in 6 seconds. Map loads in online games are usually at least partly (if not entirely) server limited.

Most importantly,

If you're concerned about gaming performance, never worry about hard drives. Worry about CPUs and Video cards. Every once in a while, worry about RAM. These are things that actually affect your game every second of every hour that you play it.

I hope this helps you in the right direction.

Do well.

Jonathan Guilbault.

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Thank you kindly for the very informative reply Gilbo! You're right, I don't think a 2 second load time makes too much of a difference as long as my frames are up to speed.

Sorry to mislead, but I was trying to imply that I needed some storage space in my decision, cause all the new games are so big and by keeping my 36 GB Raptor I will eventually run out of space.

Even though a single Raptor 74 GB is the fastest, it still sounds like a better choice to trade the 2 seconds of loading time for whooping 176 GB.

Games are only going to get bigger, so I'll get a 7K250 250 GB when I save up enough cash (I just bought an ATI 9800 Pro and an Ultra Infinity), hopefully it will be cheaper later.

I was just wondering, no one has really given me a definate answer yet, but are these "Desktars" (I had a dozen of 60GXP drives fail on me) reliable? I am REALLY afraid they will break down again. How long have they been released? Everyone said the 60GXP's were fast and all, but it wasn't until later, later, that people start having problems.

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There is no evidence to suggest that 7K250 drives have below normal reliability. They have that strange miaow sound, but that's not a sign of imminent doom.

The drives have been out for around 5 months - any problem of the scale of the 75GXP would probably have shown up by now.

In short, a 7K250 is not a risky purchase compared with other Brands/models of hard drive. See the FAQ on reliability (FAQ button is at the top of this page) for more information on what drive reliability really depends on.

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On the reliability of the 7K250,

If anything the financial incentive for Hitachi to produce reliable drives is currently greater than that for any other hard drive manufacturer. One thing you can always trust is that companies follow the money...

Additionally, I have not seen an unusual number of reports of failures of 7K250's. Like Spod said,

The drives have been out for around 5 months - any problem of the scale of the 75GXP would probably have shown up by now.

Personally,

If I was going to get a SATA drive right now, it would be the 7K250.

Do well.

Jonathan Guilbault.

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Back on your issue,

Some people think an 8 second map load is traumatic. If you're one of them spend double your money, stripe the disks and pray neither of them fail. The map may load in 6 seconds. Map loads in online games are usually at least partly (if not entirely) server limited.

8 seconds? It takes me 20+ seconds to load a Special Forces map in America's Army. And that's most HDD, since the older maps take about 8-10 seconds.

I personally still don't feel that the gain is worth doubling my money and halving my reliability, but the gain may not always be as insignificant as 2 seconds.

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I've had a 80gb hitachi for 4 months now...and its great. It does sometimes make weird sounds, but in normal operating environments this drive is so quiet I don't think its an issue. In my opinion its the fastest 7200RPM drive out there, much faster than WD or Seagate. The Samsung drive is also very good and a little cheaper than the Hitachi and runs at cooler temps.

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My decision has come to getting 2 x 120 GB 7K250's, I just can't afford the 250 at the moment.

I'm looking at the Samsung drives, anyone have good links to reviews of them?

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