Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: [1] 2 »   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: Hard Drive question  (Read 5345 times)
Chris_T
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 541


« on: September 16, 2005, 08:05:11 AM »
ReplyReply

I need to add a 200 to 300gb hard drive to my WinXP machine (with EIDE, Ultra ATA133, USB2.0 and Firewire), and can use some suggestions, such as:

- will an external enclosure impact the hd performance and/or cooling?

- if installed internally, should it be on a separate EIDE, or chained with another hd?

- any brand/model/size to recommend or avoid?

Thanks.
Logged
jani
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1604



WWW
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2005, 08:52:48 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote
I need to add a 200 to 300gb hard drive to my WinXP machine (with EIDE, Ultra ATA133, USB2.0 and Firewire), and can use some suggestions, such as:

- will an external enclosure impact the hd performance and/or cooling?
Yes, depending on how the enclosure is built.

Some enclosures don't take well to hot drives, and technically they require ample open space around them and a cool-running drive, such as some Seagate or Samsung Spinpoint models.

See http://www.storagereview.com for reviews of drives and how warm they are.

I have no similar links to enclosure tests, sorry.

Quote
- if installed internally, should it be on a separate EIDE, or chained with another hd?
That depends on the use.

Technically, for best possible performance, a separate IDE channel is recommended, since the master/slave configuration of an IDE channel means that one of the drives (the slave, obviously) will have a lower priority.

If your second drive is only going to be an "archive", where you put images after you've completed editing, it doesn't matter much.


Quote
- any brand/model/size to recommend or avoid?
We use a lot of disks at work.

Of current-generation hard drives, Western Digital (WD) 250 GB drives have a spectacularly high failure rate.

I currently consider Seagate 250 GB drives to be a safer buy. Samsung are probably okay, too, since they run cool.

I'm unsure about Hitachi, though our 500 GB drives seem to be holding up nicely (*knock on wood*).

Maxtor is a brand I have an ambivalent relationship with. The older 540x/740x series seemed to work well for a couple of years, but then they all started failing after approximately the same amount of time.

But don't just take my word, check Storage Review's drive reliability survey, the results there may differ. To use it, you will have to enter your experiences with at least one harddisk first, if I recall correctly.
Logged

Jan
Jonathan Wienke
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5759



WWW
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2005, 08:53:24 AM »
ReplyReply

External enclosures generally run cooler than internally installed drives. With most enclosures, drive performance is the limiting factor, not the enclosure.

Chaining will reduce performance, avoid it if at all possible.

I've had good results with Western Digital and Seagate, and had 4 Maxtor drives fail within a 24-hour period at a former job. They were replaced with Western Digital drives, and after 3 years of continuous use are still going strong.
Logged

Chris_T
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 541


« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2005, 06:54:40 AM »
ReplyReply

Jan: Roughly how many drives are your statistics based on? Dozens or hundreds? Are the 250gb drives more mature and stable than the 300gb drives?

I currently have two 80gb drives each on its own IDE. One has the OS and programs, and the other is for PS files and scratch disk space. There is a third IDE open for the new drive, which will be used for PS files and scratch disk. Seems like that's the way to go? The new drive will probably have higher performance than the two existing drives (16mb cache). Should I copy everything from the old drives to the new drive? Is the process easy and safe?

Jonathan: How much performance degradation will the external enclosure introduce? I have no current need for an external enclosure, but thought it may come in handy later, or if it does not impact the performance or cooling.
Logged
Chris_T
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 541


« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2005, 07:08:43 AM »
ReplyReply

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applica....oMapp=0

Jan: Got this from the storage review site. Is this the Seagate drive you were referring to? Can't beat that price.
Logged
Jonathan Wienke
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5759



WWW
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2005, 09:44:12 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote
Jonathan: How much performance degradation will the external enclosure introduce? I have no current need for an external enclosure, but thought it may come in handy later, or if it does not impact the performance or cooling.
None, in mose cases. The drive itself is the bottleneck, not the enclosure. And enclosures tend to run cooler, as the drive is isolated from all the other heat-generating components inside the CPU box.
Logged

davidr805
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 102


« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2005, 04:39:28 PM »
ReplyReply

don't know much about HD .. but I am getting one of this http://www.g-technology.com/Products/Products.cfm
Logged
Jonathan Wienke
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5759



WWW
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2005, 06:42:29 PM »
ReplyReply

Please note that RAID 0 means if any of the drives in the enclosure fail, you lose all of the data on all of the drives in the array.
Logged

61Dynamic
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1442


WWW
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2005, 01:30:29 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote
Quote
Jonathan: How much performance degradation will the external enclosure introduce? I have no current need for an external enclosure, but thought it may come in handy later, or if it does not impact the performance or cooling.
None, in mose cases. The drive itself is the bottleneck, not the enclosure. And enclosures tend to run cooler, as the drive is isolated from all the other heat-generating components inside the CPU box.
The bottleneck is actually in the interface (USB 2.0/FireWire) more than the drive. No external drive will perform at the levels of an internal device. Only FireWire 800 (800 megabits (mb/s)) connected drives can come close to the real-world performance abilities of an internal SATA drive.

How much this will be noticeable will depend on what you do and how large the files you work with will be as well as the hardware.

Even though the USB 2.0/FireWire specs are close to what internal drives actually perform, other items come into play such as the quality of the interface controller inside the enclosure, the drive itself, your computer hardware and the operating system. In real-world use, externals are not as fast as an internal drive. Some newer drives come close enough where the difference is not an issue but in general, externals can be quite a bit slower.

Just for kicks I did a quick test of my setup. I have an External 250GB Lacie USB 2.0 drive and inside my 2.3 Dual G5 is the included 250GB SATA drive and a 250GB SATA Seagate Barracuda. The data was a 980MB zip file.

Duplicating the file on my Seagate took 36 sec.
Copying from the Seagate to the other internal took 27 sec.
Copying to the External took 2:19
Duplicating on the external took 3:35

Granted my external is a bit slow despite being USB 2.0. I've seen external drive tests on MacWorld recently that showed most newer external drives performed the same transfer test twice as quickly but none of those were faster than 45 seconds. Basically, your results can vary quite a bit depending upon a wide range of factors.

The best way to find out if it'll be fast enough for you or not is to put the drive in an inclosure and test it out. If it's too slow for you your external will make for a nice backup drive.

An internal RAID solution or even just adding a new non-RAID controller will net you the best performance.

Quote
I currently have two 80gb drives each on its own IDE. One has the OS and programs, and the other is for PS files and scratch disk space. There is a third IDE open for the new drive, which will be used for PS files and scratch disk.

Most likely that open channel is shared with your optical drive in which case do not stick a HD there. Optical drives are much slower and you can se a significant drop in HD performance each time the CD drive is accessed.
Logged
jani
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1604



WWW
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2005, 05:08:30 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote
Jan: Roughly how many drives are your statistics based on? Dozens or hundreds? Are the 250gb drives more mature and stable than the 300gb drives?
We've had disks in the number of dozens from these manufacturers.

We haven't tested 300 GB drives -- there's too little gain in size from the 250 GB drives -- but we've tried some 400 GB drives.

Quote
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applica....oMapp=0

Jan: Got this from the storage review site. Is this the Seagate drive you were referring to? Can't beat that price.
I think that's one, yes.

Quote
I currently have two 80gb drives each on its own IDE. One has the OS and programs, and the other is for PS files and scratch disk space. There is a third IDE open for the new drive, which will be used for PS files and scratch disk. Seems like that's the way to go?
Keep in mind what Daniel wrote.

If the harddisk is the master drive, though, the optical drive will be the one that's forced to wait. This may be bad if you're e.g. burning a DVD from a drive on the same channel.

Typically, the configuration of IDE/ATA drives should be something like this:

IDE master: Work disk/scratch disk/swap disk, CD burner, DVD burner
IDE slave: Data/backup disk, CD reader, DVD reader


Quote
The new drive will probably have higher performance than the two existing drives (16mb cache). Should I copy everything from the old drives to the new drive? Is the process easy and safe?
If you by "everything" mean "all my data", yes, the process is easy and safe.

Copying the operating system and programs is another matter entirely, and depends on the operating system and programs installed. With Windows versions from the past 10 years, that is, Windows versions where programs have installation and configuration information in the Windows Registry, are somewhat tricky to copy to a new disk.

If you feel absolutely certain that you understand the following procedure, then do this:

 - Temporarily disconnect your old drives
 - Install the new drive as the master on the primary IDE channel
 - Install Windows and your software to this new drive
 - Reconnect your old drives on the secondary IDE channel
 - Copy your data to the new drive

If you are uncertain about any point above, use the new drive as a secondary drive just for storing data on, or get someone who knows how to do this for you.

You may also be just as well off with an external firewire drive (not USB, external storage with reasonable or high performance was not a primary design goal for USB, as Daniel has hinted towards).
Logged

Jan
Chris_T
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 541


« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2005, 08:40:46 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote
The bottleneck is actually in the interface (USB 2.0/FireWire) more than the drive. No external drive will perform at the levels of an internal device. Only FireWire 800 (800 megabits (mb/s)) connected drives can come close to the real-world performance abilities of an internal SATA drive.
This is my suspicion, and thanks for confirming that. Since I don't have an immediate need for an enclosure, I'll go the internal route for now.

What is the pros and cons between PATA and SATA?
Logged
Chris_T
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 541


« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2005, 09:14:39 AM »
ReplyReply

Let me clarify what's on the IDEs currently. There are four IDE connectors on the MB with the following connections.

IDE1: cabled to hd, suspect this is the master.
IDE2: cabled to dvd drive.
IDE3: cabled to second hd.
IDE4: open with no cable.

The two hd and the dvd drive each has its own cable, and are not chained. My question is whether to use yet another cable on IDE4 for the new hd. In the MB manual, IDE1 and 2 are described as the vanilla "PIO and Bus Master". IDE3 and 4 are described as "Compatible with RAID, Ultra ATA 133/100, EIDE". The two old drives were set up as RAID, but I requested the previous owner to reinstall them as separate drives. I have WinXP and programs on one drive, and use the second drive for Photoshop files and scratch disk space. Neither are partitioned.

The new drive will be used for more PS files (what else?) and may be dvd data in the future. So I'm thinking about creating two partitions on the new drive. I may move all the data from the second drive over and ditch it to free up IDE3 for future use. But I suppose I can do that later when I need another IDE. Moving the OS and programs to the new drive is beyond my comfort zone, so I'll skip that for now.

More comments? Thanks.
Logged
jani
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1604



WWW
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2005, 12:16:58 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
Let me clarify what's on the IDEs currently. There are four IDE connectors on the MB with the following connections.

IDE1: cabled to hd, suspect this is the master.
IDE2: cabled to dvd drive.
IDE3: cabled to second hd.
IDE4: open with no cable.
Since you have four IDE connectors, those are most likely one IDE channel each, which your quote from the motherboard manual seems to support.

This means that you can, technically, have up to eight drives in your system.

Since the fourth channel is available, you should feel safe to connect a third harddrive there, there will be no contention on that particular IDE channel.

Note that this does not mean that you will see improved performance, or that you won't see worse performance. This depends quite a bit on the specifics of your motherboard and IDE controller drivers (that is, software running as a part of your operating system).
Logged

Jan
61Dynamic
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1442


WWW
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2005, 01:18:02 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
IDE1: cabled to hd, suspect this is the master.
IDE2: cabled to dvd drive.
IDE3: cabled to second hd.
IDE4: open with no cable.
Excellent. This makes it easy. You have several options. You can place the new drive on either IDE1 - Slave, IDE3 - Slave, or IDE4 Master and should have no issues either way.

Quote
What is the pros and cons between PATA and SATA?
SATA has easier to manage and thinner cables (which can allow for externally connected drives), a higher theoretical maximum transfer rate and it eliminates some of the performance limitations found in PATA.

Basically, it's an interface for future drives. Since your computer is PATA you would have to invest in a PCI expansion card SATA Controller to use it. With todays drives, there is little to no benefit in doing that.

Quote
The new drive will be used for more PS files (what else?) and may be dvd data in the future. So I'm thinking about creating two partitions on the new drive.

Unless you have to make a separate partition I'd recommend you just stick the DVD stuff in a separate folder. This way you can use that space for other things if need be and you won't have to deal with managing another partition.
Logged
Chris_T
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 541


« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2005, 06:52:27 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote
Note that this does not mean that you will see improved performance, or that you won't see worse performance. This depends quite a bit on the specifics of your motherboard and IDE controller drivers (that is, software running as a part of your operating system).
Jan and Daniel, thanks for confirming using IDE4.

Is there any way to verify that the drives' hw and sw are installed and configured for optimal performance? I inherited this home built machine, and often wonder if things are set up properly.

With 1GB ram (75% for PS) and plenty of scratch space, edits in PS CS sometimes run much faster than on my older and less powerful machines, but sometimes much slower. Loading and saving gb size files can take a minute.

If I play an audio CD while editing in PS, the edits would crawl.

The clock is also off by an hour, and I have to reset it from time to time.

Something does not seem right with this machine.
Logged
Jonathan Wienke
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5759



WWW
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2005, 09:14:00 AM »
ReplyReply

1GB RAM is puny for PS. I have 3GB, and wouldn't mind 8GB. But I'd need a 64-bit machine for that. If your clock is resetting, you probably need to replace the CMOS battery on the motherboard, but the's a slight chance it could be a virus. Replace the battery first; you'll have to do this with the computer unplugged, and expect to reset your CMOS configuration, but long-term it should make the problem go away.
Logged

61Dynamic
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1442


WWW
« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2005, 10:33:33 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote
Is there any way to verify that the drives' hw and sw are installed and configured for optimal performance? I inherited this home built machine, and often wonder if things are set up properly.

HDs are plug and play so there is nothing you can do to boost a drives performance.

Defraging your drive regularly on a Windows system is about all that can be done.

Quote
With 1GB ram (75% for PS) and plenty of scratch space, edits in PS CS sometimes run much faster than on my older and less powerful machines, but sometimes much slower. Loading and saving gb size files can take a minute.

If you are working with files of that size an upgrade in Ram is a must. Photoshop will love you for it.

Quote
If I play an audio CD while editing in PS, the edits would crawl.

What CPU do you have and what media player are you using?
Logged
jani
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1604



WWW
« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2005, 11:59:11 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote
HDs are plug and play so there is nothing you can do to boost a drives performance.
That's not entirely accurate.

Depending on Windows version/service pack level, DMA may not be turned on by default. Unfortunately, I don't recall at what stage Microsoft decided to turn on DMA, it may have been in the first release of Windows XP.

However, write caching usually is turned on, and that's at least a bit of a performance boost. It's also means you risk losing files because of a power dip, brown- or black-out.

It's also important to note that Windows XP before service pack 2 cannot recognize drives as larger than 140 or so gigabytes. This means that if you want to install the OS to e.g. a 250 GB drive, you have to acquire install media for Windows XP SP 2, or partition the disk so that the main drive letter (sigh) has a capacity less than that.

So no, harddisks aren't entirely plug-and-play, but nearly so.
Logged

Jan
Chris_T
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 541


« Reply #18 on: September 22, 2005, 07:27:22 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote
Defraging your drive regularly on a Windows system is about all that can be done.

If you are working with files of that size an upgrade in Ram is a must. Photoshop will love you for it.

What CPU do you have and what media player are you using?
When and how often should I defrag? It takes a long time.

Yup. I'll add more rams.

I have a 2.4GHz P4, and uses MS' Media Player. Does the player makes a performance difference?
Logged
Chris_T
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 541


« Reply #19 on: September 22, 2005, 07:33:30 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote
Quote
HDs are plug and play so there is nothing you can do to boost a drives performance.
That's not entirely accurate.

Depending on Windows version/service pack level, DMA may not be turned on by default. Unfortunately, I don't recall at what stage Microsoft decided to turn on DMA, it may have been in the first release of Windows XP.

However, write caching usually is turned on, and that's at least a bit of a performance boost. It's also means you risk losing files because of a power dip, brown- or black-out.

It's also important to note that Windows XP before service pack 2 cannot recognize drives as larger than 140 or so gigabytes. This means that if you want to install the OS to e.g. a 250 GB drive, you have to acquire install media for Windows XP SP 2, or partition the disk so that the main drive letter (sigh) has a capacity less than that.

So no, harddisks aren't entirely plug-and-play, but nearly so.
I have yet to install Windows XP SP 2. But in the XP Device Manager, I can see that dma is enabled. Is that a sufficient verification?

I'll intall SP 2 before adding the new drive. Thanks for the heads up.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 »   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad