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7200 RPM vs. 2 x 5400 RPM

newtekie1

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#1
A friend just came to me with a very odd question, that I honestly had no answer to, so here I am asking you smart folks:

He is building a media server/HTPC/gaming machine that will be hooked up in his living room to his HDTV running 24/7(the computer, not the TV).

The machine is a pretty standard Micro-ATX build, nothing major. However, he tends to think a little outside of the box sometimes, and like to be unigue in some way when building machines. So he has two options for the HDD setup:

He can buy one 7200RPM 1TB Seagate Drive: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148373

or

He can buy two 5400RPM 500GB Seagate Drives and put them in RAID 0: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148371

Price isn't a factor, but he can only pick from one of those options. Now his questions to me, which are my questions to you, are:

1.) Which one would give better transfer rates?(I'm not really sure one this one. Would the RAID make the 5400RPM drives fast enough to best the single 7200RPM drive?)
2.) Which would have better latencies?(I'm guessing the 7200RPM Drive, as the RAID wouldn't really help the slower latencies.)
3.) Which would produce more heat?(I'm guessing the 7200RPM.)
4.) Which would use more power?(I'm guessing the 7200RPM here also.)
5.) If the 5400RPM RAID 0 combo would be slower, would it really be noticeable?
6.) Overall, which do you think would be better?
 
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#2

newtekie1

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#3
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#4
you will be better with the single 1tb drive as the two 500gb drives will use twice the power and create twice the head that can be a problem with a small case. the 2x 500gb drives will be faster in a raid 0 array but you could always add another 1tb drive later on.
 

newtekie1

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#5
With them being laptop drives, are you sure they would use more power and produce more heat? I always thought the laptop drives used a lot less power than a standard desktop drive.
 
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#6
i didnt relise they were laptop drives. but i would still go with the tb drive due to the cost of 2 laptop drives
 
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#7
I think the laptop drives in raid would produce better results, but not by a whole lot. I know some people are anti raid 0 but I have 3 drives in raid 0 and never had any problems.
 
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#8
i would use smaller drives in raid0 arrays for performance. but for long term storage i would stick with the single drive or get 3 drives and go raid 5.
 
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#9
i would get the single drive. Two drives = two times the chance of one get broke
 
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#10
what about 2x 7200 rpm 2.5" 80gb drives in raid 0 for the OS and the 1tb drive for storage
 
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#11
that is a tough call. i myself have experienced the alrge improvement of a 7200rpm laptop hdd over an older 5400rpm one, however, i'm not sure if the raid of the 5400s would out-do the lower seek time of the 7200...

i would almost say get the 7200 becuase of the faster seek time. if the system is on 24/7 it won't need to boot up or load things very fast, especially if its simply a media center and/or server and not primarily gaming. so, i think the seek time would be the most desirable...
 
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#12
Tell "your friend",

1.) Which one would give better transfer rates? The RAID 0 array would be significantly faster

2.) Which would have better latencies? Latencies (do you mean seek times?) are driven by the movement of the arm, not the RPM so much, so they should be equal, assuming the arm mechanics are similar. On 2.5" drives there is less distance to go, so they should be faster, but then at the slower RPM, the shorter arm movement is offset by the lower RPM. It is a hard guess to do without benchmarking, and I bet different tools will give you different results.

3.) Which would produce more heat?(I'm guessing the 7200RPM.). Per drive, the 7200, but in total, the heat is directly proportional to total power consumption, therefore it depends on Q4.

4.) Which would use more power?(I'm guessing the 7200RPM here also.) I think you can rely on the spec sheets for this information. Just add up to average Watts and that would be indicative. If they were all 3.5" drives, obbiously the RAID would be the bigger power consumer, but with the RAID being 2.5" I would also guess they are pretty close

5.) If the 5400RPM RAID 0 combo would be slower, would it really be noticeable? It wont be slower

6.) Overall, which do you think would be better?
RAID 0. BUT it might be NOISIER!!! Maybe important for HTPC. Two drives doing exactly the same thing is more than double the noise due to resonance. 2.5" drives are quieter than 3.5" drives, but depending on which models you get, 2.5" can be noisey, and 3.5" can be quiet
Answers in bold. HOWEVER, you have not chosen a good 5400rpm drive. It has a tiny cache. Get a 5400 drive with a 16mb or 32mb cache. Otherwise all your performance and benchmarking is going to be cache constrained. Comparing a 32mb drive vs. 8mb drive is unfair/trick question.
 
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#13
that is a tough call. i myself have experienced the alrge improvement of a 7200rpm laptop hdd over an older 5400rpm one, however, i'm not sure if the raid of the 5400s would out-do the lower seek time of the 7200...

i would almost say get the 7200 becuase of the faster seek time. if the system is on 24/7 it won't need to boot up or load things very fast, especially if its simply a media center and/or server and not primarily gaming. so, i think the seek time would be the most desirable...
You need to state your HDD models. I believe the SIGNIFICANT MAJORITY of your performance gains are from:
1./ Modern drive with faster arm and bigger cache
2./ Much larger drive with higher data density

You are kidding yourself if you think your gains are due to 5400 to 7200 alone.
 
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#14
you expect right but this for sure
1.) Which one would give better transfer rates?(I'm not really sure one this one. Would the RAID make the 5400RPM drives fast enough to best the single 7200RPM drive?)
answer is: 2x raid0 5400 is faster
2.) Which would have better latencies?(I'm guessing the 7200RPM Drive, as the RAID wouldn't really help the slower latencies.)
answer is: one 7200 have lower latebcies
3.) Which would produce more heat?(I'm guessing the 7200RPM.)
answer is: the 7200 cuz fast calender = more heat
4.) Which would use more power?(I'm guessing the 7200RPM here also.)
answer is: the one 7200 use less power in this state
5.) If the 5400RPM RAID 0 combo would be slower, would it really be noticeable?
answer is: no we say raid0 is faster
6.) Overall, which do you think would be better?
the answer is: you want built media server , that's mean this pc run effective with media and use HDD most times so here you need high speed and that's go for raid0 , other thing if this server pc idle for most times so go for 7200
welcome my friend
 
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aCid888*

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#16
I'd go for the single drive. More reliable, lower latencies. Throughput really doesn't matter that much.
+1.


Although, I do think the laptop drives would be slightly faster in RAID0, does anyone need more speed from an HTPC if your only watching p0rn and the PC will only be used for basic things?

I think not; get the cheaper of the two (single drive I expect unless you can get a good deal on the 2.5" drives) and be happy with it. :toast:
 

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#17
I feel some have failed to read the original post, there is a reason I typed all that out, I wasn't just doing it for my health.

i didnt relise they were laptop drives. but i would still go with the tb drive due to the cost of 2 laptop drives
Cost is not a factor, he is in a situation where he is getting the drives for essentially nothing.

i would use smaller drives in raid0 arrays for performance. but for long term storage i would stick with the single drive or get 3 drives and go raid 5.
I wish 3 drives was an option, as I would definitely tell him to go RAID 5 with them, but it isn't.

what about 2x 7200 rpm 2.5" 80gb drives in raid 0 for the OS and the 1tb drive for storage
Not an option, again he has to pick between those two options.

Answers in bold. HOWEVER, you have not chosen a good 5400rpm drive. It has a tiny cache. Get a 5400 drive with a 16mb or 32mb cache. Otherwise all your performance and benchmarking is going to be cache constrained. Comparing a 32mb drive vs. 8mb drive is unfair/trick question.
I've looked it up, and the 5400RPM drives do have higher latencies(seek times), the difference is about 1ms.

And all the 5400RPM drives have 8mb of cache, I have yet to come accross one that had more than that for retail sale. Not that it matters, as he only can get the drives I posted, but I would love to find some for my self with 16mb or even 32mb of cache.

+1.


Although, I do think the laptop drives would be slightly faster in RAID0, does anyone need more speed from an HTPC if your only watching p0rn and the PC will only be used for basic things?

I think not; get the cheaper of the two (single drive I expect unless you can get a good deal on the 2.5" drives) and be happy with it. :toast:
The drive will not be used for "basic" things. It will be a gaming PC, it just has to function as an HTPC and run 24/7 as a media server for the other computers in his house.

Thanks for all your help guys, I'll point him in the direction of this thread, so he can decide for himself.
 
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#18
You could be right... perhaps none of the manuf are putting more than 8MB in 5400 2.5" drives. 16Mb and 32Mb is readily available in the 7200 2.5" drives, and 32MB is available in 5400 3.5" drives.

Why are you considering only 5400 2.5" drives? The 7200 2.5" would be the best of both worlds. Faster and still lower power. Strange set of contraints.
 

newtekie1

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#19
You could be right... perhaps none of the manuf are putting more than 8MB in 5400 2.5" drives. 16Mb and 32Mb is readily available in the 7200 2.5" drives, and 32MB is available in 5400 3.5" drives.

Why are you considering only 5400 2.5" drives? The 7200 2.5" would be the best of both worlds. Faster and still lower power. Strange set of contraints.
Because he is making a huge trade with someone, a car and motocycle are involved, and the drives are part of the trade. The guy he is trading with has the three drives sitting around, and is throwing them into the deal to seal it.

Perhaps the 5400RPM drives don't really benefit from larger cache sizes, so the manufacturers aren't bothering to put them in...:confused:
 
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#20
Lol, have him toss an extra 65 or 70 dollars at the guy, get all the drives and then benchmark them. He can then resell the ones he doesn't keep.
 

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#21
my sister uses a 5400rpm drive as her os drive... Performance just sucks... she has a E7400 by the way... and my E2220 canes her pc for boot times and day to day computing...
so use 1 drive instead of 2.
 
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#22
You need to state your HDD models. I believe the SIGNIFICANT MAJORITY of your performance gains are from:
1./ Modern drive with faster arm and bigger cache
2./ Much larger drive with higher data density

You are kidding yourself if you think your gains are due to 5400 to 7200 alone.
it was an 80gb 5400rpm 8mb cache to a 7200rpm 16mb cache, in a laptop. obviouslly the rpm wasnt the only difference. i.e., clearly an I4 motor vs. a V6 will be mated to a different tranny.

some of you guys are taking this way to seriouslly. why can't you all just read the OP and make a suggestion? the two drive setups under question aren't negotiable, so that makes it a lot easier to decide...

haydermaster is the only one thats actually answered all the questions directly. gj.

i still think the single 7200rpm would be preferable. the only real gain of the raid 0 that i can see would be faster load times in games, because of the hgiher net transfer rate.
 
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#23
performance is not really noticeable. better get 1hdd.
 

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#24
I'd go for the single drive. More reliable, lower latencies. Throughput really doesn't matter that much.
I agree with dan and if one drive fails on that raid array then your screwed. (well not you but your friend)

The raid setup will be faster and use more power I'd think and would be warmer.
 
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Software Win 10 Pro
#25
Defintely go with that Seagate 1Tb. The 7200.11 1Tb's should now be the 2 platters so you'll get a little added performance compared to the previous 7200.11's 3 platter 1Tb and just sticking to one drive will be much better for critical data storage compared to a Raid 0 setup.