Some Hard disk questions/dilemmas!

  GaT7 21:30 26 Feb 04

Hi folks,

I'm using a 40Gb 5400rpm hard drive (Maxtor) which is divided into 3 partitions in the ratio of 5:2:1, with only 8Gb used overall.

Having read about the many benefits of a 2nd drive, I'm thinking of going in for a 20Gb 7200rpm one. Why 20Gb? Well, 1. for the cost - getting one for just over £20 incl. P+P, & 2. I don't really need extra space except for data/system backup.

My questions are:

1. Which of the two will perform faster? The 40Gb 5400 one, OR, the 20Gb 7200 one? [Both would run at ATA 66Mhz - motherboard constraint]. I plan to use the faster drive as my main drive and the other for data and system-image backups.

2. Would I be better off to link them together as master-slave, OR, link one to my DVD drive and the other to my CD-RW drive?

3. Would partitioning the 20Gb HD into two, if using as main, have an adverse effect on performance?

Note: My motherboard is rather dated so I don't think any form of RAID is possible (or required). Using Win 98SE, 512Mb RAM...

Any input/suggestions would be most welcome!

  Diodorus Siculus 22:02 26 Feb 04

Put the OS on the 7200 disk - not that you will notice any great difference in speed but it is newer and more efficient. Patition the 20GB as necessary - no problems.

Put the DVD drive as slave to it.

Put the old disk as slave to the CD-RW.

Don't bother with RAID.

click here for info re. backing up your data.

  GaT7 23:04 26 Feb 04

Thanks for your suggestions and the very useful link.

Interesting thoughts & not something I'd have thought about especially with the 'old disk as slave to the CD-RW.' Maybe just the reverse, I would've reckoned?! But I will give it a shot.

Another query - in your opinion would a 40Gb 7200 HD give better performance and/or come better recommended compared to a 20Gb 7200 one?

Thanks again. Regards, G

  woodchip 23:07 26 Feb 04

For me you will not see any difference in the speed of the drives

  JerryJay 00:54 27 Feb 04

HD, get as big as you can afford, but maybe it is time to upgrade mb, otherwise you would see any difference with fater HD.

  preditor 01:19 27 Feb 04

hard disks should be on one cable as master and slave cd and dvd should be on the other cable as master and slave if you mix hard disk and cd on the same cable the hard disk may only read and write data at the speed of the cd drive

  temp003 06:27 27 Feb 04

A 5400rpm hdd doesn't use up the potential of even ATA-66, so a 7200 rpm hdd on ATA-66 will still be faster.

Capacity of the hdds (20GB and 40GB) makes no difference to performance (all other things being equal).

I would also put the 2 hdds on one channel, the optical drives on the other. There are advantages and disadvantages either way, but putting the hdds together is perhaps more common.

Another option, if your computer has a free PCI slot, is to buy a plain ATA-100 or ATA-133 PCI adapter. Then your new ATA-100 hdd can be on its own channel (won't work much faster than ATA-66, but there will be a difference - yet probably not worth it).

  GaT7 14:14 27 Feb 04

Thanks ALL for your interest, thoughts, suggestions & opinions - much appreciated!

Yes, I really need to change a few components but the motherboard isn't the only thing that would need to go. If I upgrade one component I'd have to upgrade a few others as well - if you knew my PC's spec you'd be inclined to agree.

The dilemma for me is both monetary & technical I suppose. What I'm now trying is to eke out every last drop of performance from my ageing PC at the least possible cost before I'll have to ditch it for a new one.

Regards, G

  preditor 01:35 28 Feb 04

anywhere near birminhgam try a police auction at biddle and webb first tue in month ??? you might get a cheap pc

  GaT7 16:45 28 Feb 04

Thanks preditor. No, quite far away from Birmingham. Are there any online police auctions you've come across?

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