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New build, HDD questions, RAID?

novacheck

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#1
I am building a new system in the next couple of weeks.

Spec's on it will be:
Mobo. MSI Neo2-FR
Proc. Intel E2140
Ram. 3GB's DDR2-667


Here is a list of the hardware I can use:
2x Western Digital WD3200AAJS-22RYA0 SATA HDD
1x Western Digital WD800BB-53CAA0 IDE HDD
1x Toshiba/Samsung TS-H652D IDE DVD-R/W
1x Lite-On LH-16W1P IDE DVD-R/W

I don't have to install both of the DVD drives. If this board will let me install an optical drive, and an IDE hdd on the same cable(I don't see why not, but you never know)I will ditch the other drive in favor of the 80 gig hdd.

I have 59 gb's of music, and 112 gb's of movies. Also, with all my games installed, that = 53.6 gb's. I have heard that having your windows install seperate from games, that you can help your games. I don't really use my PC for watching movies, they get streamed to the 360's. Even my music gets streamed, but I do listen to it on the rare occurance. The way I had planned on setting it up, was to stripe the 2 320's, and install XP on the 80 gig ide. And have my music, movies, and games on the RAID setup. I don't have to have supreme performance just using windows, but I would like to help my games as much as possible. I don't have enough room on my 80 for my movies, but I could fit my music on it. Now, keep in mind I have a "Downloads" folder for my file sharing, and that takes up a good 80-150 gigs. And I have noticed, that when I have my downloads folder on the same drive as XP, my performance drops substantially. How would you recommend I setup my system?

Also, on a side note, how much does using raid improve upon performance?
 
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#2
Mobo looks fine, but hop up to an e2180 if you can. The 10x multi will definitely help out if you're gonna overclock. Instead of 3gb of DDR2-667, grab 2gb of DDR2-800. RAM is pretty cheap now, so you don't want to skimp on that. Anyways, 2gb of DDR2-800 in dual channel will be faster than 3gb of DDR2-667.

Having your windows install on a separate partition will definitely help out, and having it on a completely different drive will be even better for performance. Using a mirroring array on RAID gives a pretty healthy boost to speed, although if you're mainly streaming your media over the network the network itself will be the more limiting factor. But if it's hardwired and on gigabit, then the RAID 0 will help. Just fool with it to see what best works for you. Keeping Windows off your media drives is something you should do though.
 

novacheck

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#3
Yeah, I agree on the hardware upgrades. But, I already have the processor and ram, I am picking up the mobo in a week or so. But for now, I just wanted to know the best way to set up the HDD's, to fit my needs.
 
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#5
Oh, sorry I didn't see that. Main thing you should do is keep Windows on it's own drive, especially since you're streaming media all the time. Another thing you can do to help out performance would be to overclock your e2160. There's a lot of potential in those things!
 

novacheck

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#6
I plan to. I am just trying to use what I have for now. As it is right now, I only have 72 gigs free of almost 700. I just want to fastest performance for what I have. I have already spent my budget on the mobo and case. I will upgrade everything later.
 

novacheck

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#7
Yeah, I do plan on getting the 2140 at least to 3.0 ghz. I have a good cooler lined up just for that.
 
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#9
You could partition 80gigs to each of those 320's and stripe the 3 drives, leaving 480 on the other two drives free for storage.

Striping storage drives is like strapping rockets to a wheelchair. That shit ain't goin anywhere, just let it sit.

Yet another alternate option is all :)
 

novacheck

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#10
I didn't know you could stripe between IDE and SATA. Huh, that is good to know.
 

novacheck

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#11
The way I have it setup right now, (and I know it may not be the best, but it works) each 320 has a 40 gig partition for my OS's. I run Vista on one, and XP Pro on the other. I only game on XP, so my game and download partion is on my Vista drive, while my music and videos are on the XP drive. I know I could get away with less space for my OS's, but I like to give myself a little leeway.
 

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#12
If you want to set up a Raid array then go for it, but for your usage it is not very useful.
Put all your music and videos and shared stuff on one drive so you can back it up easily.
Put your games on one drive you can manage mods and patches easily and back those up too.
Put the OS on the IDE drive.

Remember, if one of the drives in a RAID0 fails, everything goes bye bye.
 

novacheck

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#13
Remember, if one of the drives in a RAID0 fails, everything goes bye bye.
I did know about that, but I guess it never crossed my mind. I would hate to lose that much stuff. I guess I can split one of the 320's in half as my Games, and Sharing. Then use the other as my Media drive.
 
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#14
I didn't know you could stripe between IDE and SATA. Huh, that is good to know.
Heh, ever see a HD actually USE 3gb/s?

I didn't think it would be an issue to stripe between IDE and SATA... theoretically neither of them are using the full bandwidth when transferring data, and the RAID controller would be in charge of allocating space. 1 big piece cut into 3 small pieces, 1 gets thrown down a hallway (IDE) the other 2 get thrown down a train tunnel (SATA).

At any rate, I haven't done it, I just don't know any reason why it couldn't be done.
 

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#15
Ummm novacheck, what video card do you plan on getting? Also, why the odd amount of ram?
 

novacheck

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#16
Ummm novacheck, what video card do you plan on getting? Also, why the odd amount of ram?
I plan on getting the 9600gt when funds allow it. The odd amount of ram is, when I recieved the current mobo, it came with 2x 512 ddr2 667. A friend then had 2x 1gb sticks for sale a couple months ago, so I bought them, and switched them out. The problem with this mobo, is it only has 2 slots for ram. And I figured 3 gb of uneven ram is still quicker than 2 gb of the same size. Correct me if I am wrong(it happens alot:D)
 

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#17
Hmmm, so 4 dimms 2x1 & 2x512 ? 2x1GB should suite you fine though. The extra 2 dimms may damper your overclocking, if you plan on it :D
 

novacheck

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#18
I didn't know if they would or not. They are the same ram, just different size. Same brand and same timings.
 
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#19
On my HTPC:

Raid0 with my two 500GB spinpoint samsung SATA2 drives, decreased my in game loading times alot. Raid0 is good for gaming. Just have your important stuff backed up or stored off the RAID0 array. If we are shooting for good gaming performance. I have never had a raid array get corrupted.

My OS is on my Raid0 array 128kb striped, and it doesn't slow it down any when its gaming or pulling Bluray video off the hard drive. Its uncompressed and super high bitrate.

PS. Blurays are so bulky, 50GB for a HD movie is awfully uncompressed. To bad HD DVD died lol.

You can always add another drive to your Raid array later, via the intel matrix storage utility. It works, because I have used it successfully. Intel chipset only though.
 

novacheck

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#20
I have enough hdd's laying around to backup all my good stuff. So, maybe I should try it both ways. I would like to avoid having to go back to the good old IDE days. I guess I was just worried about running games on the same drive that my os was on.

On a side note, hopefully I can get away with asking this, is there any way I can get away with reinstalling my vista on the new mobo? It came as an OEM with my gateway(well not "my", it was given to me. I have heard of people telling MS when they had to phone in to get the activation code, that they had upgraded some things, and MS gave it to them anyway. I guess I could always try. I (I know some of you can give me a hard time for this) like Vista, and really don't want to lose it. I really only use XP for gaming anymore. I use to prefer it, but after having Vista for the past year, I have kinda fallen in love. :banghead:
 
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#21
Vista is my favorite OS too. X86 and x64 Ultimate are really nice.

Efficient? Of course not, but computers are fast enough now that it shouldn't be something that deserves moaning about like it receives. There are always people reluctant to change. ;)

But I would only recommend vista for new hardware. Its not something to slap on an old Dell or HP lol. Thats what Linux is for! :D

Mac OSX and beyond is too fruity for me. :laugh:

Mac OS9 and before were alright but not that useful in my opinion.

Sorry! Back on topic:

I have never had to reinstall Vista for a motherboard change(even with Raid0!!!) you can migrate raid partitions with intel raid chipsets. ICH9R is on your new board so you can do it.

If you plug your hard drive into your new motherboard with respective parts installed make sure you already have your drivers sitting unpacked on your desktop and install them all.

Reboot and Voila!!!! :D

It works on XP sometimes too.
 
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novacheck

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#22
DaedalusHelios said:
I have never had to reinstall Vista for a motherboard change
You may have to walk me through that when the time comes. I have never been able to change motherboards, and not have to reinstall. :mad: Can I keep the current contents of my drive when switching to RAID, or does it wipe everything? I thought it wiped it all, but I really don't know much about it. Never had it, never had to research it.
 
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#23
You may have to walk me through that when the time comes. I have never been able to change motherboards, and not have to reinstall. :mad: Can I keep the current contents of my drive when switching to RAID, or does it wipe everything? I thought it wiped it all, but I really don't know much about it. Never had it, never had to research it.
Using Matrix storage manager by Intel, I was able to migrate a 500GB hard drive to spread between two 500GB drives after the install. You must enable AHCI though. I did it with the board you are receiving so you will have it. The safest way is to just do what I listed in the previous post because if you make one mistake during setup it could fail. Nvidia raid controllers cannot migrate existing boot partitions to raid. Only Intel Raid controllers can.


http://www.intel.com/technology/serialata/ahci.htm
 

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#24
My current board cofigures SATA as IDE, and there are no options in the bios to change it. So, what kind of difference will I see, if any, having them configured as SATA?
 
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#25
My current board cofigures SATA as IDE, and there are no options in the bios to change it. So, what kind of difference will I see, if any, having them configured as SATA?

Its just a formality.;)
Most boards with similar bios's, will say that in the bios. It still treats it as SATA when it comes to function. :)