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Old 24th Nov 2003, 08:11 PM   #1
ChubbyCharley
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Question is a faster hard drive worth it?

i have a 30 gig hdd, not sure of speed, i'm thinking something like 3000rpm, but it is getting kind of old, like almost two years now.

it takes WinXP about 35 seconds to get to the desktop from sign in and another 30-35 seconds for all the icons to load. when i click the start menu, it takes about 5 seconds for it to get fully loaded(the icons and whatnot), also programs like mozilla load slow and when i go to my computer and even just opening any files takes a while on this POS hdd.

would it be faster, on my AMD AthlonXP 2400+ w/ 512MB PC2700 RAM, to get a better hdd? i was thinking like 5600rpm, unless the 7200's are not too expensive? what do you think?
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Old 24th Nov 2003, 08:26 PM   #2
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yes. Buy a 7200rpm Seagate drive, and you will love yourself until the day you die!
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Old 24th Nov 2003, 09:43 PM   #3
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Your 30GB hard drive is likely to be a 5400RPM already; that was the slowest they come. So yeah, like Sir_Brizz said, get yourself a 7200RPM (or if you can afford it, a 10000RPM SCSI drive and controller). You'll see the performance almost immediately!
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Old 25th Nov 2003, 02:54 PM   #4
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yeah scumgrief, newegg is great

what about SATA? my mobo (Chaintech 7NJS nForce2) can handle it, but is it worth the slight up in price?
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Old 26th Nov 2003, 04:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scumgrief
It depends on who you ask. Some of the higher end rigs are using SATA, but IMO it's still a young technology. I've read a few reports that some SATA drives experience a lot of vibration & heat. Mostly heat... so unless you have a good cooling case or HD fans, I'd stay away from SATA for the time being.

Price... I think atm you'll get more bang for your buck outta a good 7200RPM drive w/a large cache. SATA just isn't in that "sweet spot" yet IMO. If you wait another year, SATA should become a little more mature, have wider mobo support, & get lots cheaper.
Could you explain what harddrive cache is, what does it do for the user, ect...
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Old 26th Nov 2003, 04:39 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PureByte
Could you explain what harddrive cache is, what does it do for the user, ect...
All modern hard drives have at least 2MB of memory to serve as a data buffer; many these days have 8MB. The buffer can improve disk read performance by, for example, storing the most-often-read data, or performing a predictive read-ahead and storing that data in the buffer so it is instantly available for transfer when the system requests it. There's much more to it than this, but this is the general idea.

By the way, Welcome to BuF, PureByte!
Be sure to check out the various forums we have in store for you, and especially drop by the Off Topic forum sometime. Have fun and enjoy!
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Old 26th Nov 2003, 07:31 AM   #7
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Just to be sure, I'd open up your case and get the model # off your HD and look it up to see if it's 5400rpm or 7200rpm. If it's 7200rpm, then you might try upgrading other things to make your computer faster.
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Old 26th Nov 2003, 10:12 AM   #8
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Is a faster hard drive worth it? One word........YES!

My setup isn't too dissimilar (specs in sig), and from power on to being able to run apps takes around 40 seconds for me. I'll vouch for the Western Digital drives too, my WD800JB churns out the same kind of scores as SATA150 drives in Sandra (not bad for a ATA100 drive ).

On the subject of SATA drives, the majority are exactly the same as their ATA counterparts, just with a different controller. As Scum says, they're still quite immature tech and I know of many people who've had enless problems with them.

My advice would be to go and pick up either a 120GB or 2x80GB WD drives, oh, and it might be worth you taking a look at M$'s BootVis tool too.

HTH
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Old 26th Nov 2003, 11:01 AM   #9
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WD and Seagate will both never die. The only difference is that the noise output of a WD is about double that of any other drive available on the market today. Seagate's SATA drives are modded SCSI drives, so they are wonderful performers. Don't mind the nay-sayers in here if you want your drive almost twice as fast as it would be on a normal IDE line. If no-one switches over to SATA then the technology will never move forward
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Old 6th Dec 2003, 06:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChubbyCharley
i have a 30 gig hdd, not sure of speed, i'm thinking something like 3000rpm, but it is getting kind of old, like almost two years now.

it takes WinXP about 35 seconds to get to the desktop from sign in and another 30-35 seconds for all the icons to load. when i click the start menu, it takes about 5 seconds for it to get fully loaded(the icons and whatnot), also programs like mozilla load slow and when i go to my computer and even just opening any files takes a while on this POS hdd.

would it be faster, on my AMD AthlonXP 2400+ w/ 512MB PC2700 RAM, to get a better hdd? i was thinking like 5600rpm, unless the 7200's are not too expensive? what do you think?
I have a 15,000 RPM SCSI HD and a RAID 0 array made up of two WD 120GB disks each with an eight mb cache. My boot time is about two minutes. Of course, I'm booting off a 120GB IBM deskstar (7200 RPM). Typically, the first time I boot, not all of the services/system tray utilities load. So I log off and back on. Booting from this point takes only a few seconds because most of the HD data is cached.

Boot times are always going to take a short while. Upgrading to a larger HD running at 7200 RPM may help, but only by a few seconds. Of course, the HD is two years old, so getting a replacement probably be a wise move.
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Old 6th Dec 2003, 09:57 AM   #11
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Yeah, I've got a 7200RPM w/ 8MB cache hard-drive and the results are really noticable.
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