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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:30 am 
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What happened to the hybrid drives we were supposed to be seeing about now?

In theory they sound great, especially if they could avoid spinning up at all when the machine is powered on.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 11:26 am 
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Well, I know Microsoft killed them for netbooks. They won't sell XP licenses for machines that have both kinds of storage...

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 3:31 pm 
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XP doesn't support them properly anyway. Windows 7 is supposed to have a lot of stuff for flash drives, like supporting the TRIM command.

Anyway, drives like this one are the way forward. The price is similar to normal HDDs, so the money you save is not offset by higher initial purchase cost as it is with ITX systems and the like. Sure, I want to be as green as the next guy, but I'm not rich so it has to make economic sense too.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 4:29 pm 
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MikeC wrote:
Right now, that 2.5" HDD is the loudest thing in the room. I'm quite sure a Samsung HD520HI would be significantly quieter. I have another coming in this week, will let you know whether this is true.

will it be going into the smartdrive?
that would be very interesting- i expect alot of people would like to know how a big a difference an enclosure makes to an already very quiet drive.

my pc is actually pretty similar to your audio pc:
antec nsk3400
x2 3600+, undervolted
antec su380, fan swapped to coolermaster sleeve bearing ~760rpm
glacialtech silentblade, 120mm enter bearing exhaust ~460rpm
wd6400aacs, in an sqd on foam

now the scythe quiet drive was only purchased recently (a little over 20aud, go ebay!), it made a difference, but i'm not too sure how much.
what i do is dial down the fan to match the noise coming from the hdd, a bit dodgy since the hdd kind of hums while the fan makes a whoosh, but this can give you an idea how loud/quiet the hdd is- the glacialtech isn't the best fan but it's half decent. before the sqd, the exhaust spun at ~560rpm, so i decreased the speed by ~100rpm.

on a side note, my hdd temps have actually dropped 3-4C, i think the cooling of the sqd works, but it's weak- which is why a faster drive will get hotter in it, and a lower powered drive gets cooler.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 5:46 pm 
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porkchop wrote:
will it be going into the smartdrive?

Not sure if it needs to, we'll see after it goes in.

Quote:
my pc is actually pretty similar to your audio pc:

antec nsk3400
x2 3600+, undervolted
antec su380, fan swapped to coolermaster sleeve bearing ~760rpm
glacialtech silentblade, 120mm enter bearing exhaust ~460rpm
wd6400aacs, in an sqd on foam

The big difference is there's only one fan - a scythe of some kind @500rpm on the CPU heatsink, blowing out towards the fan opening in the back.

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 Post subject: Re: SpeedQ
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 11:35 pm 
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MikeC wrote:
Thomas wrote:
However, I would like to compare the speed numbers to my Hitachi 5K160 in order to relate to something well known. If the Samsung F2 is much faster than my current 5K160, the F2 is the obvious choise for me :wink:

No contest. The Samsung kills it for every performance spec. Maybe even noise.

edit -- kill might be too strong, as access time is only marginally faster, but transfer speed has to be nearly double. The 5k160 areal density is 80gb per platter; the HD502HI's is 500gb/platter. This has a direct bearing on transfer speed. In HD Tach write speed of the Samsung was 87mb/s. Storagereview reported write speed of their 5k160 sample as 47.5mb/s.


Super, thanks.

Still in doubt about HD502HI or WD Caviar SE16 640GB WD6400AAKS, though. I'm running disk intensive applications like Pinnacle Studio (video editing) and Nikon NX2 (photo editing).

I recently told I dont use the sound recordings, but it seems here's a relevant situation 8)

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 Post subject: Re: SpeedQ
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 5:28 am 
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Thomas wrote:
Still in doubt about HD502HI or WD Caviar SE16 640GB WD6400AAKS, though. I'm running disk intensive applications like Pinnacle Studio (video editing) and Nikon NX2 (photo editing).

I recently told I dont use the sound recordings, but it seems here's a relevant situation 8)

Also, my response to porkchop at the bottom of the previous page should make it obvious -- the WD640 is WAY louder, and it does not have any speed advantage except for random access.

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 Post subject: Re: SpeedQ
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:35 am 
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MikeC wrote:
Also, my response to porkchop at the bottom of the previous page should make it obvious -- the WD640 is WAY louder, and it does not have any speed advantage except for random access.


Isn't random access really important though; especially random writes?

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 Post subject: Re: SpeedQ
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 7:22 am 
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Ch0z3n wrote:
MikeC wrote:
Also, my response to porkchop at the bottom of the previous page should make it obvious -- the WD640 is WAY louder, and it does not have any speed advantage except for random access.


Isn't random access really important though; especially random writes?

Access times make a big difference in things like booting your OS, loading games or just generally if your HDD is too fragmented. Unfortunetly slow access times are impossible to avoid with 5400rpm drives, you just cant get around it.

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 Post subject: Re: SpeedQ
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:00 am 
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FartingBob wrote:
Ch0z3n wrote:
Isn't random access really important though; especially random writes?

Access times make a big difference in things like booting your OS, loading games or just generally if your HDD is too fragmented. Unfortunetly slow access times are impossible to avoid with 5400rpm drives, you just cant get around it.

That's not borne out by experience -- boot time is all about how fast the OS can load stuff from the drive into RAM -- this is simple throughput -- and in this regard, new high areal density 5400rpm drives are faster than many 7200rpm drives w/ lower areal density.

I use a Velociraptor on my main PC, but it's difficult to say whether this PC feels much faster (due solely to the drive) compared to a couple others that we run with 5400rpm drives -- and the many test systems we build routinely using 5400rpm drives. It certainly does not boot as fast -- way much more software.

This is going to be the main differentiator between system A and system B with only a HDD difference: How many programs you have loaded on each will make more difference in boot speed than the HDD speeds themselves.


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 Post subject: Re: SpeedQ
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:26 am 
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FartingBob wrote:
Ch0z3n wrote:
MikeC wrote:
Also, my response to porkchop at the bottom of the previous page should make it obvious -- the WD640 is WAY louder, and it does not have any speed advantage except for random access.


Isn't random access really important though; especially random writes?

Access times make a big difference in things like booting your OS, loading games or just generally if your HDD is too fragmented. Unfortunately slow access times are impossible to avoid with 5400rpm drives, you just cant get around it.


Not quite true. You can do something about it if you aren't hurting for space. There is a concept called "short stroking". If you notice in the HDtune/HDtach screenshot the drive is constantly faster in the first third.

Format that 500GB drive as a 150GB drive and see how the access times change (note you won't be able to use the same tools to do so as HD Tune / HD Tach only do full drive tests (or at least in the free versions I'm using)). If you have a way to test on a per partition basis you should see random access times improve and sustained reads and writes won't suffer from the drop off of the slower parts of the drive.

Again this is only good for people that don't care about capacity. If you aren't using the drive as storage. It's just a boot drive. No DVR usage, no torrents filling up the drive, etcetera.

Say you have a work PC and tons of servers. The average work PC won't have 40GB used after several years use (assuming the drive isn't wiped or replaced during that usage and assuming that system restore is disabled for performance/security reasons). All the real data is on the network. So when you setup a work PC it doesn't matter if the drive is 160GB, 300GB, or 500GB you'll never use the space. So format the 500GB drive to about 1/3 its true capacity and you get faster access times and transfer rates in real world usage.

You can do the same with your 7200 RPM drives as well and yes the 5400 RPM drives won't keep up (7200 is faster than 5400 last time I checked) but I wouldn't say there is nothing you can do about access times on a 5400 RPM drive.

oh and for the record don't use the other unformatted space on the drive if you care about performance. http://forums.storagereview.net/index.p ... opic=27569 gives you a recent thread with a decent explanation why you don't want to stuff files on a secondary partition if you are short stroking for performance reasons.

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 Post subject: Re: SpeedQ
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:44 am 
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Ch0z3n wrote:
MikeC wrote:
Also, my response to porkchop at the bottom of the previous page should make it obvious -- the WD640 is WAY louder, and it does not have any speed advantage except for random access.


Isn't random access really important though; especially random writes?

Random writes aren't bad on traditional hard drives with low RPMs because the MBs of cache hide the true write speed from the user and traditional hard drives without that cache would still handle random writes better than a SSD with no cache would. In general write speeds on a hard drive are within a few percent of read speeds.

On a hard drive that isn't in a RAID array a write is just a write.

On a SSD that isn't in a RAID array a write can be as much as read, merge new data into old, erase, then finally write see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_memory#Block_erasure

or
[quote="http://www.storagesearch.com/easyco-flashperformance-art.pdf"]Flash SSD Write Performance

It is with write performance that Flash SSDs become problematic. The issue here is the internal structure used within the Flash storage array. This structure includes a collection of bytes called an “erase blockâ€

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 Post subject: Re: SpeedQ
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 9:22 am 
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dhanson865 wrote:
Random writes aren't bad on traditional hard drives with low RPMs because the MBs of cache hide the true write speed from the user and traditional hard drives without that cache would still handle random writes better than a SSD with no cache would. In general write speeds on a hard drive are within a few percent of read speeds.


On a practical level what is the advantage for 7200 rpm drives vs 5400.

Assuming a hard drive identical in every way except the rpm would one be able to notice a difference for everyday computing (internet, spreadsheets, photo editing (Gimp) etc)?

How about the same question for a HTPC (TV watching, DVR, streaming HULU, MythTV, etc)?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 10:59 am 
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HDD speed does have a noticeable impact on general PC use. In fact, upgrading to a larger and faster HDD is probably one of the cheapest and most effective upgrades possible, especially once you get beyond a couple of gigabytes of RAM.

Windows 7 could offer a nice solution. If they really have sorted out all the issues with SSDs, then an SSD for the OS and a large 5400 RPM HDD for data storage could be a good way to go.

For HTPC stuff 5400 is fine in most cases. Maybe if you use the video editing functions a lot it might make a difference, but not for playback and recording.

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 Post subject: Re: SpeedQ
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:20 pm 
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northbear wrote:
dhanson865 wrote:
Random writes aren't bad on traditional hard drives with low RPMs because the MBs of cache hide the true write speed from the user and traditional hard drives without that cache would still handle random writes better than a SSD with no cache would. In general write speeds on a hard drive are within a few percent of read speeds.

On a practical level what is the advantage for 7200 rpm drives vs 5400?

The dry answer is http://www.storagereview.com/guide/posLatency.html

The short answer is I don't know if it matters anymore.

I ordered a HD502HI and I plan to test it when I get it but I'll tell you how I'm thinking if you want the long answer.


Raptor drives are 10,000 RPM but they get updated to new platters rarely. If you buy one just after an update you have the fastest drive on the market in every way.

If you buy a raptor now it may be slower than some of the new 500GB platter drives in some ways just because it can't keep up in sustained reads/writes due to the lower density.

The developmental refresh difference between 7200 and 5400 is less pronounced but it shows up in other ways. WD has shown recently that they are optimizing their single platter drives for quiet/lower power draw and optimizing the two platter drives for speed.

I don't follow all the drive manufacturers as closely so I don't know if that translates to Samsung.

The reality to me is that once you know your sustained read is above x MB per minute you no longer have to worry about certain scenarios.

At work we have a scheduled antivirus scan that runs once a week. On a slower hard drive the machine becomes practically unusable during the scan (think an old 40GB drive of practically any variety). On a drive that is fast enough you don't notice the scan running. Where the dividing line is depends on your CPU, RAM, and AV software but http://www.av-comparatives.org/images/s ... port21.pdf shows on page 23 that it only takes an extra 20 MB/s to handle a virus scan without slowing you down. Since the HD502HI is playing around the 100 MB/s rate it's faster than the dividing line for sure and faster than most of the drives I've ever physically touched in my entire life.

Yes I can benchmark it and notice access time differences but throughput is beyond my daily needs.

Of course I'll always take faster. I like faster. But at this price of $50 or less shipped to my door? I'm not sure if there is a 7200 RPM drive that competes at this price/performance level. Take this exchange

MikeC wrote:
Thomas wrote:
Still in doubt about HD502HI or WD Caviar SE16 640GB WD6400AAKS, though.

the WD640 is WAY louder, and it does not have any speed advantage except for random access.

That surprises me as I consider the WK6400AAKS a reasonably quiet drive so the HD502HI must be beyond my expectations when it comes to noise.

To make it clear the price shipped to my door is almost $50 for the Samsung HD502HI and almost $70 for the WD6400AAKS. I don't see the access time difference or the 140GB as being worth $20 extra to me and the noise difference is a non issue (for me at least). The WD5001AALS is the performance option next up and it is the same price (just under $70 shipped to me) but has a 5 year warranty and 32MB cache but then you don't know if it is one platter or two platters and that would matter if you are concerned if it is faster than the HD502HI. You could be sure by buying the WD6401AALS (just over $80) that you are getting the 2 platter drive but that isn't much comfort when you know that it is 320GB per platter vs 500GB platters in the HD502HI and knowing you payed $33 extra for the 140GB, 32MB, and 5 year warranty.

Price, performance, noise, capacity, power draw (power=heat), pick 2 or 3, you can have some of them but not all.

Recap on models and pricing
$50 Samsung HD502HI (Green)
$70 WD6400AAKS (Blue)
$70 WD5001AALS (Black)
$83 WD6401AALS (Black)

If someone wants to educate me on the model number for the 500GB platter 7200 RPM Samsung drive I'd appreciate it.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 3:22 pm 
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just want to point out that the wd6400aacs is a gp drive, 5400rpm, 2 platters.

edit: i believe the new 500gb single platter wd is the wd5000aads- the wd website shows that it has 32mb cache, so presumably it wont be hard to differentiate the single platter version.


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 Post subject: Re: SpeedQ
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:33 am 
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dhanson865 wrote:
MikeC wrote:
Thomas wrote:
Still in doubt about HD502HI or WD Caviar SE16 640GB WD6400AAKS, though.

the WD640 is WAY louder, and it does not have any speed advantage except for random access.

That surprises me as I consider the WK6400AAKS a reasonably quiet drive so the HD502HI must be beyond my expectations when it comes to noise.


That surprises me too...

In my own machine I have my two 5K160 in Scythe Quiet Drives, and mounted with the supplied silicone grommets in my P180. One of my 5K160 is 80 GB, the other is 160 GB. The last one is the noisiest.

So, I'd most likely put a F2 in a Scythe Quiet Drive too...

Anyway, I'm still wondering how much average seeks means in practical use... I definately find my 5K160 slow, and since the F2 is in the same ballpark regarding average seeks...

Faster boot wont hurt, but that's not the goal with a faster disk.

Loading programs and large files like pictures (10 MB) and video files (10GB) is my goal. And I now my picture editor rely on heavy use of temp files.

Further, Internet Explorer also uses temp files a lot, and those are often quite small - is this a situation where faster seeks would help?

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 Post subject: Re: SpeedQ
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 5:07 am 
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dhanson865 wrote:
MikeC wrote:
Thomas wrote:
Still in doubt about HD502HI or WD Caviar SE16 640GB WD6400AAKS, though.

the WD640 is WAY louder, and it does not have any speed advantage except for random access.

That surprises me as I consider the WK6400AAKS a reasonably quiet drive so the HD502HI must be beyond my expectations when it comes to noise.

The WD6400AAKS was tested in the anechoic chamber along with several other drives when the first official HDD review done in the chamber (of the WD Caviar Black 1TB) was posted in Jan. The big comparison table on this pageshows the WD6400AAKS at 16 dBA/1m at idle, up to 16-17 dBA in AAM seek. Not even close to the Samsung at 12 dBA idle, 15 dBA AAM seek.

This tallies with my subjective impressions -- the HD502HI is the quietest, lowest vibration drive I've heard, including all the 2.5" drives except the 4200 Fujitsu which turned me on to them in the first place, and maybe the 40gb PATA Samsungs from way back.

Another interesting aspect is the HD Tach data on the Caviar Black 1TB on the following page: w/o AAM, random seek is 12.3ms; w/ AAM, it worsens to 16.3ms. Remember, the HD Tach data I posted showing 16.7ms was w/ AAM engaged -- and similar results were obtained by forum members reporting on the Samsung in the other big Samsung thread.

This suggests that random access performance is much closer between the Samsung HD502HI and WD 7200rpm drives (when both are set to min. noise) than previously thought.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:37 am 
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Confirmation of what some of us had been suspecting for a while... Samsung HD502HI is a champion. What is left to be seen is whether reliability holds up. I hope so.

I'm currently using a Samsung HM160HI 2.5" 5400RPM. The quietest drive I have used, but has the annoying park feature. I wish the HD502HI had been available at the time. I personally prefer the 3.5" drives.

Like Thomas, I use my computer for everyday tasks but want to run photo, audio and video editing software. I too am concerned whether 5400 drives are suitable in this respect. 7200 drives are too loud for me for everyday use, but if the extra speed helps performance noticeably, I may have to sacrifice some silence for it.

I have a WD6400AAKS in reserve. I used it as a backup/storage drive but am thinking of using it as an OS + apps + storage drive. But going back to that after using the 2.5" Samsung may be hard to bear.

I find 5400 to be fine for everyday use. But for those disk intensive applications and boot load up times, there is still a question mark.

Perhaps a variable speed drive, if it works, would be a good solution. But for now, at least there is another (and better) option than WD Green.

Well done Samsung and thank you SPCR for the review.


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 Post subject: Re: SpeedQ
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:23 am 
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Thanks for your responses / information I found it helpful.

dhanson865 wrote:

If someone wants to educate me on the model number for the 500GB platter 7200 RPM Samsung drive I'd appreciate it.


I do not believe Samsung has a 500GB platter at 7200rpm on the market currently.


Last edited by northbear on Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:33 am 
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Shamgar wrote:
I find 5400 to be fine for everyday use. But for those disk intensive applications and boot load up times, there is still a question mark.


What to people consider "disk intensive applications"? I think of things like photo, audio and video editing, cad software, and current 3d games.

Does a DVR fall in the "disk intensive" category? I know recording HDTV on a HTPC takes a lot of storage space as MoJo said above a "fast" drive is not necessary? Some people seem to have a concern if the OS and storage are on the same hard disk.

What other "disk intensive applications" am I not thinking of?

I probably shouldn't worry about it as my computer now is several years old and I am sure any of these hard drives would be much faster! But I am always wanting to make the best use of my money! :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:18 am 
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northbear wrote:
What to people consider "disk intensive applications"? I think of things like photo, audio and video editing, cad software, and current 3d games.


It depends how much RAM you have. If you have loads of RAM Windows will page data to the HDD a lot less. Since RAM is dirt cheap now it's worth having 3+ GB of it.

Keep in mind though at to use more than 3GB RAM you need a 64 bit OS.

Photo and audio editing isn't very disk intensive. Cad software and 3D games are not too heavy either. Video editing is though.

HDD speed also affects overall system speed, like the time it takes to load apps and files, the delays you get when opening your browser history and things like that. Again, having a lot of RAM really helps.

Consider that most laptops use 5400 RPM drives. If you are happy with laptop performance then you should be fine with a desktop 5400 RPM drive too.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 2:44 pm 
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MoJo wrote:
Photo and audio editing isn't very disk intensive. Cad software and 3D games are not too heavy either. Video editing is though.
That's what you think, but I bet you've never worked with an audio project hosting 256-tracks full of independent audio samples? HDD usage with my HD322HJ is steady at around 50%, peaking at times even 73%.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 5:10 pm 
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northbear wrote:
Shamgar wrote:
Does a DVR fall in the "disk intensive" category? I know recording HDTV on a HTPC takes a lot of storage space as MoJo said above a "fast" drive is not necessary? Some people seem to have a concern if the OS and storage are on the same hard disk.


AFAIK DVR doesn't impose a huge load on the HDD - it's mostly streaming video (10's of MB/s?) which is well within the capabilities of modern 5400rpm drives. Seagates wonky 5900rpm Pipeline drive is specifically billed as a DVR drive.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:59 pm 
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MoJo wrote:
northbear wrote:
What to people consider "disk intensive applications"? I think of things like photo, audio and video editing, cad software, and current 3d games.


Photo and audio editing isn't very disk intensive.


I guess you havent tried converting 100 RAW files to JPG - or to TIFF, where each photo easily exceeds 50 MB... :wink:

It'll depends a lot of which format you're using, though, and the tool you're using. For common JPG and red-eye removeval in a few photos, no, it's not disk intensive. But the more advanced photo editors uses a lot of disk cache...

In still in doubt of how much average seeks impact performance. Can someone give me a clue? Or a link to some kind of explanation?

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 11:14 pm 
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Average seek alone does not directly affect access time. It is the sum of the average seek, rotational delay and data transfer rate that makes up the access time for the HDD. Theoretical average latency difference between 7200RPM and 5400RPM HDD is less than 1.5ms. In practice such a small latency will go unnoticed in general desktop usage.

By the way, nice double strike from me and you :D MoJo is pissed off now for sure ;)

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:22 am 
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northbear wrote:
Shamgar wrote:
I find 5400 to be fine for everyday use. But for those disk intensive applications and boot load up times, there is still a question mark.


What to people consider "disk intensive applications"? I think of things like photo, audio and video editing, cad software, and current 3d games.

...

What other "disk intensive applications" am I not thinking of?

I probably shouldn't worry about it as my computer now is several years old and I am sure any of these hard drives would be much faster! But I am always wanting to make the best use of my money! :wink:


Lots of computer activity can be considered "disk intensive" at times, but I was specifically referring to higher end consumer (prosumer) photo, video and audio creation/editing software; not your simple resize photo, record/watch/listen to sound and video clip.

That is where I have a question mark regarding the suitability of these new generation 5400 drives. Silence, low power, "no" vibration--all these are great--and I will probably end up getting the F2 HD502HI, at least as a backup/storage drive. But I too want to make the most of my investments, especially when I eventually get to use those applications I mentioned earlier. But yes, compared to several years old drives like my recently retired Seagate Barracuda ATA IV 7200RPM, this Samsung blows it out of the water.

Especially in pro digital audio work, you want fast drives, preferably separate individual drives for system, scratch disk, recordings respectively. The same would be true for higher end photo and video work.

LodeHacker wrote:
By the way, nice double strike from me and you :D MoJo is pissed off now for sure :wink:


"Atmosphere is electric here in the SPCR Silencers Stadium. A Friendly match but a local derby too. Colleagues from the SPCR community are pitted against each other today. There's a buzz around the stands. PSUs are making a lot of noise back there in the terraces. Loud fans from FC OC are outside wanting to make a racket. SPCR Security will want to stop them from entering... there could be trouble. Hard drives are keeping calm and quiet however. You would barely know they're there. We've had a new generation who've made their way to SPCR Stadium amidst all kinds of adversities. Samsung F2 Ecogreen HD502HI being one. Let's hope it's a sign of things to come."

"So the goal here at SPCR is silence. And let's hope there's lots of them today. Both sides have had good use of the ball so far. But, all of a sudden, MoJo's lost possession cheaply. He almost gave it away. The space has opened up for the home team. LodeHacker and Thomas counter MoJo with a lightning fast two-pronged attack from both wings. His defence is floundering! Thomas with a superb cross... Shamgar arriving in the 18 yard box from midfield... volleys into the top right corner! What a strike! It's 1-0 and we've played less than 5 minutes!" 8)


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 6:49 am 
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Shamgar wrote:
LodeHacker wrote:
By the way, nice double strike from me and you :D MoJo is pissed off now for sure :wink:


"Atmosphere is electric here in the SPCR Silencers Stadium. A Friendly match but a local derby too. Colleagues from the SPCR community are pitted against each other today. There's a buzz around the stands. PSUs are making a lot of noise back there in the terraces. Loud fans from FC OC are outside wanting to make a racket. SPCR Security will want to stop them from entering... there could be trouble. Hard drives are keeping calm and quiet however. You would barely know they're there. We've had a new generation who've made their way to SPCR Stadium amidst all kinds of adversities. Samsung F2 Ecogreen HD502HI being one. Let's hope it's a sign of things to come."

"So the goal here at SPCR is silence. And let's hope there's lots of them today. Both sides have had good use of the ball so far. But, all of a sudden, MoJo's lost possession cheaply. He almost gave it away. The space has opened up for the home team. LodeHacker and Thomas counter MoJo with a lightning fast two-pronged attack from both wings. His defence is floundering! Thomas with a superb cross... Shamgar arriving in the 18 yard box from midfield... volleys into the top right corner! What a strike! It's 1-0 and we've played less than 5 minutes!" 8)

Sweet! Very creative, my hat's off to you. :lol: 8)

Back to Random Access, please note my earlier post -- w/ AAM off on both drives, a WD640 (7200rpm) might be 2-2.5ms faster than the EcoGreen 500gb, but with AAM on, the difference is smaller, likely less than 1ms.

Storage Review says --
Quote:
Access time is the metric that represents the composite of all the other specifications reflecting random performance positioning in the hard disk. As such, it is the best figure for assessing overall positioning performance, and you'd expect it to be the specification most used by hard disk manufacturers and enthusiasts alike. Depending on your level of cynicism then, you will either be very surprised, or not surprised much at all, to learn that it is rarely even discussed. Ironically, in the world of CD-ROMs and other optical storage it is the figure that is universally used for comparing positioning speed. I am really not sure why this discrepancy exists.

Perhaps the problem is that access time is really a derived figure, comprised of the other positioning performance specifications. The most common definition is:

Access Time = Command Overhead Time + Seek Time + Settle Time + Latency

Unfortunately, this definition is not universal, and is made complicated by the fact that manufacturers refuse to standardize on even what access time's subcomponents mean. Some companies incorporate settle time into seek time, some don't, for example. And to make matters worse, some companies use the term "access time" to mean "seek time"! They really are not the same thing at all.

In the end though, when you are looking at the ability of a drive to randomly position, access time is the number you want to look at. Since command overhead and settle time are both relatively small and relatively similar between drives, that leaves the sum of seek time and latency as the defining characteristic between drives. Seek time and latency are a result of very different drive performance factors--seek time being primarily a matter of the actuator and latency the spindle motor--resulting in the possibility of some drives being better in one area and worse in another. In practice, high-end drives with faster spindles usually have better seek times as well since these drives are targeted to a performance-sensitive market that wouldn't buy a drive with slow seek time.

Let's compare a high-end, mainstream IDE/ATA drive, the Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 40, to a high-end, mainstream SCSI drive, the IBM Ultrastar 72ZX. (When I say "high end" I mean that the drives are good performers, but neither drive is the fastest in its interface class at the time I write this.) The Maxtor is a 7200 RPM drive with a seek time spec of "< 9.0 ms", which to me means 9 ms. Its sum of its seek time and latency is about 13.2 ms. The IBM is a 10,000 RPM drive with a seek time spec of 5.3 ms. It's sum of seek time and latency is about 8.3 ms. This difference of 5 ms represents an enormous performance difference between these two drives, one that would be readily apparent to any serious user of the two drives.

As you can see, the Cheetah beats the DiamondMax on both scores, seek time and latency. When comparing drives of a given class, say, IDE/ATA 7200 RPM drives, they will all have the same latency, which means, of course that the only number to differentiate them is seek time. Comparing the Maxtor above to say, the Seagate Barracuda ATA II with its 8.2 ms seek time shows a difference of 0.8 ms, or around 10%. But the proper comparison includes the other components of access time. So the theoretical access time of the Maxtor drive is about 13.7 ms (including 0.5 ms for command overhead) and that of the Seagate Barracuda drive 12.9. The difference now is about 6%. Is that significant? Only you can judge, but you also have to remember that even access time is only one portion of the overall performance picture.

Remember that access time is an average figure, comprised of other averages. In fact, access time on any particular read or write can vary greatly.

Further...
Quote:
It is important to remember that access time and transfer rate measurements are mostly diagnostic in nature and not really measurements of "performance" per se. Assessing these two specs is quite similar to running a processor "benchmark" that confirms "yes, this processor really runs at 2.4 GHz and really does feature a 400 MHz FSB." Many additional factors combine to yield aggregate high-level hard disk performance above and beyond these two easily measured yet largely irrelevant metrics. In the end, drives, like all other PC components, should be evaluated via application-level performance.

It's instructive to read SR's review of the Hitachi Deskstar 7k1000 (a 7200rpm 1tb drive) which is extensively compared against the then speed king the WD Raptor 1500. The latter had a 2ms speed advantage but much lower areal density. In many of SR's extensive performance testing, the Hitachi came out ahead and in the end, "displaces WD's Raptor WD1500ADFD as the fastest drive around when it comes to single-user performance."

With that info as the backdrop, I doubt very much that a real user at a typical desktop could tell the difference between the Samsung EcoGreen 500gb and the WD640 as OS drives.

There's no question that multiple drives are needed for very high performance in Photoshop -- at min, a scratch drive. I recently built a custom high end Photoshop workstation for an old client -- i7-920, 12gb ram, Intel x80-m ssd, and TWO Raptor 1500s for scratch discs from the system I built him some 5 years ago.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:07 am 
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MikeC, that nails it, F2 is the drive for me. Thanks.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 9:15 am 
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Thomas wrote:
I guess you havent tried converting 100 RAW files to JPG - or to TIFF, where each photo easily exceeds 50 MB... :wink:


Okay, there are always times when it makes a big difference. I do a lot of development work and because most of my apps are small HDD speed is not really an issue, but sometimes I want to compile Firefox or something and it makes a huge difference.

It's the same age old argument - sacrifice some performance in some unusual situations for lower cost or noise. My camera is a Canon 8 megapixel model and does not support RAW, so like most consumers I don't have to deal with 50MB image files.

I store a lot of music and videos, and occasionally need to edit them. I could buy a WD Raptor for those two or three times a year I do it, but that doesn't make much sense to me.

You have to be realistic. Yes, a 5400RPM drive will be slower in some situations and I'm sure anyone who does deal with masses of 50MB photos will probably know that. The questioner was asking about general consumer level use though.

Quote:
In still in doubt of how much average seeks impact performance. Can someone give me a clue? Or a link to some kind of explanation?


I hesitate to say anything now in case you respond in the same pedantic manner as before, but I'll bite :wink:

Low seek times help things like OS and application loading, and databases. I'm talking about large databases. Probably the most common ones are the Firefox history and phishing/malware site lists, but they only just qualify. For things like video and audio editing it's not a big factor.

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