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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 10:57 am 
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Thank you markjia for your response. (and of course thank you Edward also for the info about Raid)

The more I think about it the more I like it (but the risk is high). I think that probably I will end up getting the CPU cooler and PSU from Nexus... Do you have any personal experience about the Nexus PSU?

Regarding your question markjia, I am not concerned about copying large files... that will only happen from time to time (i.e. DV camera to create DVD for family about holidays... and this kind of things). I will mainly use it for Games, Music, Video (connected to Optoma H30 and Harman Kardon 1005 + Kef 2005.2 speakers) and business (one monitor to check stocks, the other to check emails, create docs...), not many times to edit images or videos. Also for VOIP....

I think I am not forgetting anything :D


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 11:06 am 
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As I said; of the ones you listed, I've only tried the two I said. The Nexus are simply suped up Fortrons, and I use two Fortrons in my own systems, but I simply replace the fan myself.

If the Nexus 120mm fan is as good as Mike indicates in his updated list, then the Nexus PSU should be the best choice of all; however...

One thing that we tend to recommend, to prevent ramping of PSU fan, is to duct the PSU so it has its own, separate, cold air source. The PSUs that feed from the bottom (for example, PSUs with 120mm bottom intakes) are much, much harder to duct than the ones with a closed bottom.

I'm getting the feeling that you're not particularly inclined to make so much as a duct though, so it's really not that big a deal. Anyway, with a Raptor and a higher powered CPU like the higher speed Athlon 64, you're probably better off letting the PSU help evacuate heat, than letting the PSU breathe on its own.

-Ed

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 11:41 am 
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While I absolutely adore Nexus fans and have heard very good things about the Nexus 3000 and the Nexus 4090 PSUs, the same did not happen for the coolers. You'd better do some more research on the cooler.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 3:16 pm 
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I have the 300W Nexus PSU and am very pleased with it. You will probably need the 4090, and I've only heard good things about it.

I agree that you will not need to do any drive intensive tasks often. That's why I think you should be more concerned about the Raptor's idle noise. However, you implied that you were focusing on the noise of the drive during high activity in your previous comment:
Quote:
The noise can not be so bad... only when it reads or write large files but remember that the large files will go to the Simpoint (even for this one, from what I read I may not even suspend it). For the OS+Apps usage I would guess that should not make noise so frequent (barely)

Even the idle noise of the raptors are very loud from what I've read.

I know you think the birdcage idea is rather ludicrous for you, but with drives this loud, it almost defeats the point of a quiet system. You will probably not be satisfied, regardless of how quiet the rest of the components are (you won't hear them over the HD).


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 3:45 pm 
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You are scaring me.... is it really so loud even when idle???

By the way, I found the perfect Heatsink for the CPU AMD 64... in case you are interested...

http://www.3dxtreme.net/index.php?id=TTSilentBoost1

About the PSU I am still not convinced... I keep researching... (Nexus is just branding many things... I am afraid.... with their name but they are not really producers I believe... and this worries me... also the distribution is not so good...) I have been looking at quietpc.com and found some PSU but still not convinced...

Still worried about the Raptor (what a cool name!!!) I just want a ultra fast HD for the OS so I dont have to keep waiting to start it or start apps.



(latest news: I just found what could be my potential PSU (following advices I am not going for a fanless... this one has a 12cm fan... and maybe by luck... but it looks the same as the Nexus... this page is worth looking at;;
http://www.thermaltake.com/purepower/w003032Polo.htm )


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 4:34 pm 
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Silent Boost?!@!#@% :shock:

AAAAAAAAAARGH#&$%^*$^$^*& :x

Please, no. Anything but that. Please! :cry:

When are you going to build this machine? I've got a Cooler Master Ultra Vortex review that I should have done within a few weeks; just from the looks of it alone, and the fact that it's a Cooler Master, already has me quite confident it's better than Silent Boost. Hell, even Vortex Dream is better; the problem is it's designed for 70mm fans and the stock fan is bad. Ultra Vortex uses 80mm.

I haven't seen a heatsink worth even considering from Thermaltake since the Volcano 7+. Back then, there wasn't significant competition. Beginning with Volcano 9, Tt has only managed to embarass themselves more and more with each new heatsink they produce.

-Ed

EDIT: OMFG the Silent PurePower$%^#$%^ :shock:
NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!#@$#%#$^#$^&$%& :evil: :evil: :evil:

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 5:18 pm 
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Whoops, didn't realize the s939 mb I mentioned had a NB fan on it, that sucks. Would probably still choose it myself but would probably need to replace the hsf. And yeah, you wouldn't save very much going with a 3400+ and socket 754 mb, the point is you CAN save like $200 by getting a 3000 or 3200+. :) I think slower s939 CPUs won't be around until December or so. It's just that the 3000/3200+ (and for some setups, even a 2800+) can overclock quite well (assuming you care, and if you don't, why bother with a 3500+ then). Being that they're all essentially the same CPU, if you were to water cool them all 4 or 5 CPUs would likely max out surprisingly close to each other, but I'm getting ahead of myself here.

saiyajin wrote:
which x800 are you considering?


I already have a Sapphire x800 Pro VIVO, it's great. If you go to http://forums.silentpcreview.com/viewtopic.php?t=14151 and scroll to the bottom, I referenced a few articles there. Not sure what you consider comparable to the x800 pro, but it uses far and away less power than a 6800U, and almost certainly still less than a 6800GT. I know next to nothing about the regular 6800, but wouldn't consider it myself because it's not even the same GPU as the GT/Ultra... and if you're spending tons of cash on everything else, skimping on video is probably as silly as skimping on a PSU, unless you're building a headless server. :P
It may get "hotter", I don't really know, but I'd guess they're about the same as far as actual temperature goes, with stock cooling... keep in mind all the new cards can easily tolerate 80-90C anyways.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 5:29 pm 
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Straker, is that Pro VIVO the Pro-speed, 16-pipe X800? If it is, then by my guess it will draw similar power to the X800 Pro (only 12 pipes) but a little more due to the extra 4 pipes being active...

Looking at this page, we can see that the X800 Pro (with 12 pipes) is quite close to the 6800GT in draw, and the 4 extra pipes will likely even things out; I cannot definitively say that a 16-pipe, Pro-speed R420 will draw more, or less, power than a 6800GT. Of course you're right on it drawing less than an Ultra.

The regular 6800 is still the same core as 6800GT/Ultra, but it has had 4 pipes knocked out in the software, runs with standard DDR SDRAM (as opposed to the GDDR3 installed on GT/Ultra cards) and runs even lower clockrates.

-Ed

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 7:43 pm 
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Yeah, just saw the xbitlabs article, was going to go edit my post but someone caught me I see. :P
I was under the impression the 6800 was a different GPU entirely but I guess not, odd that nVidia didn't bother with GDDR3 on it though.

And yeah, my card's softmodded so of course it'll be a bit above normal, I just meant Pros in general. Interesting that the ATI cards still use far less power percentage-wise in 2D.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2004 12:13 am 
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S#@T I thought Thermaltake was going to be a good option... for PSU and Heatsink... I will wait for your review... (maybe you can review also one of the PSUs from my list that is not reviewed yet ... :D )

Straker, the Sapphire x800 Pro VIVO does not have Dual DVIs and I need that. In terms of power consumption, the 6800 consumes less power. In terms of performance, I read that is from 60-70% the same performance as the 6800GT (which I think will be enough to play Doom 3, Half Life 2, Shadows of Chernobil, Battlefield 2, FarCry... after all I would be playing on TFTs or a projector, both with resolutions aroud mid 1000s)

On a different topic... is there any alternative to the Raptor to work fast with OS/Apps?


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2004 5:31 am 
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saiyajin wrote:
On a different topic... is there any alternative to the Raptor to work fast with OS/Apps?


That's noticeably faster than anything else IDE/SATA? Not a chance. If you want to avoid the increased noise of Raptor, just go with a Samsung SpinPoint; it's the most balanced drive, in terms of performance under varying situations (except for server access patterns), and just happens to be quieter than any other in its class. The big wildcard is Seagate's soon to be released 7200.8 series drives, which may or may not be out within the time frame of your machine build (particularly if you wait for K8 with PCI-Express, which will be out within a few months).

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2004 5:42 am 
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I know it doesn't have dual DVI and I know that's what you wanted, but you asked. :P I figured you were asking about mine since you asked what I was considering after my post. Was also just making sure you meant the regular 6800 and not a GT, and yeah, it does use a little less power, only under load though.

As far as drives go, about half the seek latency comes from the head mechanism, and only about half comes from the drive rpm. Sustained read/write speed is almost purely a function of areal/linear density and rpm. There's nothing cheap that's as fast as a Raptor, but aside from that, at any given time I'd expect the largest 7200rpm drive to perform the best overall (assuming both drives compared had the same number of platters). Some people used to partition and only use the outside part of their drive, I haven't bothered trying lately but it could be worth considering.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2004 5:58 am 
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Straker wrote:
Some people used to partition and only use the outside part of their drive,...


Another good point by Straker. While this is something I do intuitively with modern drives (Why stick your OS and apps, which only take from 2-12GB, onto a single 80GB partition and drive yourself nuts wading through it all for your MP3s etc?) due to their capacity and for the sake of staying organized, it definitely yields a two-fold benefit in performance. Those two reasons?

A: Because the drive's head need only seek within the outside edge of the platters, rather than anywhere on the platter (assuming pure OS/app file access at the given time), you will rarely, "endure," full-stroke seek times and noise levels.

B: Because this data is on the very outside of the platter, it receives the section with the highest sustained transfer rates.

Another interesting way to look at it is that if you want to have the highest STR section for your MP3s and videos, but still want to optimize access time while working in your OS or in apps, a theoretically advantageous way to organize your drive is to, for example, on a 120GB drive, make the first partition, C:, 100GB, and then make the second partition, D:, the remaining space (under 20GB because of how hard drive capacity works), and then install Windows to D:\WINDOWS, and all your software and applications to D:\Program Files\*, you will retain optimized access times for accessing the many small OS/apps files on the disk (as long as you're seeks are the same distance, the time is the same) and you can stick your larger files like music, videos and images onto the larger portion of the platter on the outside, to take advantage of the higher sustained transfer rate.

Come to think of it, maybe this is how I will be configuring my own drives from now on!

-Ed

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2004 7:36 am 
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Interesting idea... So you say that the last part of the partition is the external and therefore is faster for OS and Apps???

Also what I read was that after installing the OS you should defrag, then everytime you install the apps at the defrag... install, defrag, install, defrag... and once you install all the apps make a copy with Ghost... (of course turning off Indexing services and a few other services... i.e. themes...) I have not tried as it seems a lot of work.. do you think it will dramatically imrpove the speed?

Regarding the PCI MBs, I saw this week a review on The Screen Savers (it is a Tech TV progam)... these guys are quite good... at the moment it seems not a good investment... On the other side... the 7.200 may be a good investment... and from what you say it will be less noisy than the Raptor (although not as good as the Simpoint)


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2004 8:01 am 
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No, geeeeez.....

The later the partition in the drive, the farther in it is; the farther in it is, the lower the sustained transfer rate. This is why I left the outside partition for the larger files, for which transfer rate is more important. I then squeezed the OS/apps onto the small inside partition so that it doesn't have to perform long stroke seeks, because with the OS/apps, the seek time is critical, not the transfer rate. What differenceis there between reading a 12KB file at 60MB/s and at 35Mb/s? Now imagine your seek time is 4ms vs. 9ms and you need to seek across 80 separate files. Of course the access time is more important than transfer rate for OS/apps. On the converse, on your MP3 collection, you need one seek every 3-6 minutes (everage length of songs), but a single file can be 3-hundreds of megabytes in size (for videos). At that rate, there's a huge difference between 35MB/s and 60MB/s, but the access time hardly matters.

If you keep your hard drive properly defragmented, you won't ever feel the performance loss of fragmentation. Users, such as myself, who defrag on a very regular basis, maintain high performance and don't notice the difference. If you install your OS and apps and run the machine for a few months and NEVER EVER defrag, and then finally do it, the improvement in performance will be tremendous, but it's because you let it get so incredibly fragged that you were killing yourself for the several months before the defrag. It's not about speeding up, it's about preventing slow down.

-Ed

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2004 11:16 am 
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I still dont get it... maybe I am trying to look too deeply.... I always partition my drives, and I always put my OS/Apps in the first partition (by default the letter C:) and the large files (as well as the Temporary Internet Files and the My Documents folder) that I download/upload in the other partition (which is much larger).

Is that what you mean? From your example I understood that it was the opposite what I should do: Large partition for large files in C: (i.e. in a 120gb drive it will be from 0 to 100 more or less) and then the OS/Apps in D: (the partition drive D from 100 to 120).

Can you clarify? Also if you put the OS in D (from my experience) there are installation programs that you can not control and end up installing files in C:

BTW, THANKS FOR THE TIP about the Ultra Vortex KCC-V91 Heatsink! It looks amazing!


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2004 11:52 am 
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Perhaps I can have better luck clarifying...

The first partition you create will be on the outer rim of the drive platter. This means that it will have the highest linear speed when rotated, and hence will be able to give the highest sustained transfer rate. This is good for large files.

The last partition will be close to the inside of the platter. This will give you the SLOWEST sustained transfer rate. But, when it comes the apps and OS, high transfer rate is not a big deal because the files are pretty small. What really helps performance in this area is low seek time.

Now, according to Ed, the inner tracks will give faster seek time, so if you put the OS/Apps in the inner platter, you will get better performance.

Although, I'm not sure about this. True, putting all the files in close physical proximity to each other will improve seek time. However, per rotation, the head will cover much more data on the outer tracks than the inner ones. In the end, it's guarenteed that the head does not need to move as far to read all the required files. Given the high rotation speed compared to the relatively slow movement of the head plus the effects of caching, I don't know how much faster the seek really is (or what the end result will be). If I recall correctly, the difference in seek times on a drive differ by only a couple ms.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2004 12:20 pm 
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Ok. Thanks. I understand now but then... my OS/Apps will be in the D: partitioned drive (which is problematic when some software install files in C: without letting you choose).

By the way, I have been reading the HD forum. In case you are interested, people are recommending the Simpoint (NIDEC motor) over the Seagate 7200.7 (considering noise/speed balance)


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2004 12:59 pm 
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The second partition does not have to be drive D. Drive letters are just representative. They don't define the physical ordering on the disk. Just use software like partition magic to define the drive letters before you install the OS (i don't know if fdisk is able to do it). Then, just install to drive C as usual. Windows doesn't know the difference.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2004 5:07 pm 
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Close, but not quite the cigar, markjia...

No matter where on the platter you're seeking to or from, so long as it's the same distance for the head to travel, the seek time is the same. In other words, the head could travel inward from the edge or outward toward the edge, but if it travels the same distance, seek time is essentially the same.

On the other hand, and you got this perfectly correct, the outer edges have higher sustained transfer rates. For this reason, as you highlighted, we're putting the large files on the outside partition; because this is the primary partition and thus carries the boot image, it will be Drive C:. Now, as we all know, our storage volume always needs to be larger.

Next point I have, which was also made earlier, and that Straker pointed to, is that whenever you install an OS or app to a particular partition, its files will only go to that partition (duh). Now, let's say that the installer of the OS or application sort of throws files all over that partition. If that partition itself is only a very small portion of the drive, then it only covers a very small portion of the platter. In other words, for OS or apps, which require short access times to perform quickly, and not much on transfer rate, installing them to a much smaller partition will yield the best performance improvement.

Now, in order to keep yourself organized and not go bonkers dealing with a zillion partitions, one would likely set up two and two only; one for storage and one for OS/apps. If the one for large file storage is taking up the outer tracks, then the one for OS/Apps will take up the inner tracks, especially since sustained transfer rate is less important. Moreover, the storage volume will definitely be larger, since, as I said, OS & apps typically don't occupy nearly as much space, which is why I quoted 2-12GB (although with the size of modern games, maybe even 20GB isn't enough! :shock:). So long as the inner-platter partition is nice and small, it will keep seeks across it to minimum times.

Crystal clear yet? :lol:

-Ed

PS There's one caveat and that is that because of the shorter circumference of inner tracks, a partition of a certain size would occupy a wider diameter spread than the same size partition at the outer edge; oh, I better stop now before all confusion breaks loose, if it hasn't already...

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2004 5:47 pm 
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actually i think your PS might have been able to clear things up even more. :P obviously i knew what you were talking about in the first reply after mine but it took a second or third reading to make perfect sense to me.

Ed's not saying tracks on the inside seek faster or anything, it's simply a way of not wasting drive space. A full-stroke seek across an entire partition will take, say (pretend) 1.5ms for a partition that's 0.5" wide on the actual platter, no matter where it is between the outside edge and the spindle. If that partition is at the outer edge of the disk, that .5" wide stripe will represent a huge portion of the total capacity, maybe 3/4 or so (just guessing, didn't do the math or anything)? If that same (physical) width partition is instead on the inside of the disk, it of course covers way less area, leaving you with a reasonably-sized partition for just an OS + basic sw install (if you started with a big disk) and the access times are still good, just that the max/sustained transfer speed will be kind of crappy compared to the outer edge.

of course, that also means if you aren't fussy about sustained read/writes in other programs, you could also get awesome seek and transfer speeds by installing an OS on like a 20gb sliver on the outside of a 200gb drive. :P or just don't even use the very inner parts of drives if you can afford it... again, Ed was just describing a good use for the relatively not-as-nice inner part of the platters, since a boot partition doesn't need to be very large.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2004 5:51 pm 
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Bravo!

Clearly, when English is your third language, even if you went to school using it, and have been using it for some 19-odd years, it's still not on your list of mastered skills.

:lol:

-Ed

EDIT: Clarification--I never spoke, read or wrote a word of English until I started kindergarten. In my home, as a little kid, we only spoke Cantonese and Spanish. While I speak mostly English nowadays with my parents (since my grandmother passed away, bless her soul), neither of my parents speak English all that well; dad speaks Cantonese best and mom Spanish. That's not the most helpful thing in developing great English.

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Last edited by Edward Ng on Fri Aug 27, 2004 8:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2004 11:41 pm 
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Edward, I dont know if your comment above is supposed to be addressed to me. If it is, I will let it go as you have helped a lot. But understand that this has nothing to do with the language but with the lack of technical understanding of this new method of partitioning. The theory has been explained over and over again but it is the practice what I was asking about (as I trust your recommendations and do not necesarely need to understand them 100%). If you could guide me step by step, I would appreciate it, or just confirm this to save you work (for a 2 120HD).

1. Use Partition Magic
2. Create 2 Logical partitions: First From 0 to 100 the next one From 100 to 120.
3. Label the second partition as Drive C:

Final Result: First Physical drive partitioned in two virtual drives.
The second physical drive remains unpartitioned.

THANKS! Gracias, Merci, Danke, Domoo Arigatoo.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2004 5:22 am 
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:lol:

Yes and no--the point is that English is my third language, so sometimes my usage of it is not optimal. As you can see, our fellow readers were able to better explain the concepts in my head. :)

You do seem to have the right grasp of it, however.

-Ed

EDIT: i.e. I wasn't speaking of your English skills at all, I'm talking about mine. :wink:

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Last edited by Edward Ng on Fri Aug 27, 2004 8:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2004 8:30 am 
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Thanks Straker. I was under the impression that Ed was saying that the seek time would be faster on the inside of the platter.


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