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Hardware > System Trouble > Optimal Hard Drive Setup For PS

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AuthorSubject: Optimal Hard Drive Setup For PS   [Go to Bottom of Page]
Howard Grill
Posted on Tue Sep 30, 2003 6:38 PM

I am currently planning to build a new PC for myself and would like it to be optimized for PS usage. I plan to base it on an Intel P4 3.0Ghz CPU and a motherboard that supports both RAID and SATA (up to 4 drives, one pair with a Promise controller and one pair with an Intel controller)and allows RAID usage with SATA drives. I have thought of a few possible options and would like to get some help with what would be the best setup for PS. Also, if there is a better choice than these options please let me know also. I am willing to buy two of the 10000RPM Western Digital SATA drives which, unfortunately at this point, are only 36 GB in size as well as one larger SATA drive that would be 7200RPM. I know the 10000 RPM discs are going to be coming out as 72 GB, but that is not until Nov and at an unknown cost.

Some possibilities I have thought of:

1) Two 10000RPM SATA drives (non-RAID) with the OS and PS on separate partitions on one of the drives and the scratch disc and other non-PS applications on the other 10000RPM drive and a third 7200RPM drive for long term storage of images. In this situation would putting the PS program itself on the slower of the SATA drives improve performance by putting the OS and PS and scratch all on physically distinct discs, or do you lose that edge by using a slower disc?

2) Two 10000RPM SATA drives in a RAID 0 array with the third slower drive as a non-RAID SATA drive. Arrange the partitions on the RAID discs as in number 1. In this setup the OS sees the RAID array as one large disc. What I am uncertain of in this setup is what happens when you partition the RAID system in terms of the scratch disc. The partition would, as I understand it, span both discs with writing of files to both discs essentially simultaneously. So ,in a sense, part of PS, the OS and the scratch discs will physically reside in part on both discs. Does that negate the benefit you get from having physically different discs for the PS program and the scratch disc? I suppose that conceivably I could set up 2 distinct RAID 0 arrays as the board has two chips that each control a pair of SATA drives and that I could have 2 RAID 0 arrays with PS and OS on one and scratch and apps and files on the other...but then things start to get complicated! (especially for a first time computer builder).

So with all options being open what is the best way to configure a system to optimise PS??? It does get confusing!

Howard Grill


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