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rhinomonkey
07-17-2007, 07:45 AM
How much does the hard drive effect performance? I have a pretty good system but the weakest part of it are the hard drives they are quite old and only about 40gigs each. My primary drive is 90% full and i run all my games off another drive which is reaching capacity! should i bite the bullit and fork out for a new one? will it imporve the performace of the actual games when they are running or is it just a space thing?

Any recomendations for good hard drives?

Thanks

rhinomonkey
07-17-2007, 07:45 AM
How much does the hard drive effect performance? I have a pretty good system but the weakest part of it are the hard drives they are quite old and only about 40gigs each. My primary drive is 90% full and i run all my games off another drive which is reaching capacity! should i bite the bullit and fork out for a new one? will it imporve the performace of the actual games when they are running or is it just a space thing?

Any recomendations for good hard drives?

Thanks

p-11.cAce
07-17-2007, 08:19 AM
HD choice has significant impact on computing performance. I think Raptors are the best but that is my personal choice. What it really comes down to is how fast can the HD locate the information it needs. High RPM and headspeed are important. Also don't get all crazy and buy some monster 300gig main drive...over a certain size you lose speed.

Scrapmaster87
07-17-2007, 09:12 AM
A faster hard drive will have absolutely no effect on in game performance, unless your computer is running out of ram while playing, you will see no difference.

A larger hard drive is by no means slower, however, the more stuff you have on a hard drive, the slower it will become.

The only performance aspect related to a hard drive is the load speed, the faster your drive(s), the faster an application will launch.

Now is an excellent time to get a hard drive, gigs are cheap. Keep in mind that going to a store to buy a hard drive is much more expensive than getting one online, the only drawback is that you have to wait a few days to get it and you don't get the pretty box.

As for recommendations, Western Digital, Seagate, and Samsung are all reputable companies. Seagate is the only company of those three that offers 5 year warranties on all of their drives though.

www.newegg.com (http://www.newegg.com) is a very popular and easy to use site for system builders, a 160 gig drive should run in the $50 range.

if you want to be a nit picker, go to www.tomshardware.com (http://www.tomshardware.com) and find their hard drive comparison chart (they try to benchmark everything out there and provide in depth reviews)

I hope I've pointed you in the right direction and good luck!

Xiolablu3
07-17-2007, 09:20 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by rhinomonkey:
How much does the hard drive effect performance? I have a pretty good system but the weakest part of it are the hard drives they are quite old and only about 40gigs each. My primary drive is 90% full and i run all my games off another drive which is reaching capacity! should i bite the bullit and fork out for a new one? will it imporve the performace of the actual games when they are running or is it just a space thing?

Any recomendations for good hard drives?

Thanks </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


It doesnt have much impact on gaming, only on loading levels.

How much ram do you have? If your HD light is blinking a lot while you are playing, get some more memory.

WOLFMondo
07-17-2007, 09:38 AM
If a game streams data it has a huge impact, using something like RAID 0 on 2 SATA300 drives is extremely noticable. You have double the chance of failure though but I've never had a single disk fail on me let alone a RAID 0 array in a home PC.

Xiolablu3
07-17-2007, 09:50 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by WOLFMondo:
If a game streams data it has a huge impact, using something like RAID 0 on 2 SATA300 drives is extremely noticable. You have double the chance of failure though but I've never had a single disk fail on me let alone a RAID 0 array in a home PC. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I agree with this, but if you have a good bit of RAM, the streaming data should not be too noticable on a 'standard' HD.

I played Stalker on this computer which has only ATA 100, and 1.25gb PC3200 RAM, that game streams data as you go through the levels, it was barely noticable when I hit a 'load point'. A micro pause as it loaded.

A good tip to do this at low cost, is to have at least 2 slower hard drives with a page file on each. That way if one drive is being loaded from, then it can use the other as the page file.

I have 3 slower drives (ATA 100 and ATA133) with a page file on each. WIndows is on one of them and the games on the other 2. That way it can use 2 drives at the same time with much less slowdown.

DOnt bother with partitions on a single drive, tho. The disc write head can only read at one place at a time, so it doesnt speed things up at all.

rhinomonkey
07-17-2007, 09:57 AM
ive got a P4 3.2 gig and 3gigs of ram so not short on processing. Was just wondering if my 6year old drives would be slowing things down at all. Also my games run on a different drive to the operating system so there shouldnt be any slowdown due to trying to read from two places at once

R_Target
07-17-2007, 09:58 AM
As the others said, as long as you have enough RAM, it's just a question of how quick you want the game to load. In my experience, a large cache (16MB) pays off more than high platter speed.

K_Freddie
07-17-2007, 10:30 AM
Only the loading time usually is affected by a slow drive. What you might find happening is that the system performance, thus your game is effected by your drive being 90% full, as the system will start doing a lot of data swopping in your virtual memory, ie your drive. here is will drastically slow your game down as the system is waiting for a slow drive.

Virtual memory exists on your drive so managing this correctly will help things. Having a decent graphics card with lots of vram helps as well, as most games run 95% on the graphics card with loading data from the drive a lower percentage.

Upgrade your disks.. they're cheap http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

TgD Thunderbolt56
07-17-2007, 11:14 AM
YES...


There, now go right out and pick up a shiny new Raptor 150...you'll be glad you did.

Xiolablu3
07-17-2007, 01:56 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by rhinomonkey:
ive got a P4 3.2 gig and 3gigs of ram so not short on processing. Was just wondering if my 6year old drives would be slowing things down at all. Also my games run on a different drive to the operating system so there shouldnt be any slowdown due to trying to read from two places at once </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

WIth 3 gigs of RAm, your computer should not be using the page file very much, however everyhitng makes a difference.

As Tbolt says, if you can get a fast drive cheap, then by all means get it, but try and keep your old one and hook them both up with a page file on each.

I am not sure if you can use one SATA and one ATA drive together on a single comp, does anyone know if its OK? If so then you would be fine.

The fact is that the Hardrive and DVD/CD player are always going to be far slower than the other data transfer going on in your comp. I wouldnt spend a large amount on this part as its never going to be super fast. You are always going to have to wait for levels to load etc. You have already done the best thing to improve smoothness by getting a lot of RAM.

A good video card with alot of RAM will help too.

Think of your hardrive as the last thing you should upgrade for a performance boost, CPU/RAM and Vid card come first. If you can upgrade it for a fair price then by all means do it.

Personally I would go for best bang for buck, which is probably two of the cheaper SATA drives. I would say its better to have 2 drives of 80gb than one of 160gb. That was your computer can be reading froim one and using a page file on the other, or whatever the tasks are at the time.

B16Enk
07-17-2007, 02:03 PM
SATA and ATA will co-exist happily.

If re-installing windows when building/installing it is a good idea to take the slower drive off-line (pull the power cable on it) so that windows doesn't put it's bootloader there.

Once windows is installed re-power the drive (turn PC off first of course).

Airmail109
07-17-2007, 02:10 PM
Im getting a smallish Solid State Drive 32 GB, Im gonna load XP and IL2 onto it and a few applications, everything else can go on the hardrive.

Im an impatient bugger, I cannot stand load times or micro pauses. It should cut all load times down to a bare minimum, and Ill be able to truly make use of multitasking apps.