New SATA2 disk, 8Mb or 16Mb buffer size?

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Andrés, Sep 3, 2007.

  1. Andrés

    Andrés Ancient Guru

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    Hello people,
    I'm about to buy a secondary disk for my computer. I will buy a Western Digital 250Gb SATA2 drive, but they come in two "flavors": with a buffer size of 8Mb and with 16Mb. The difference between them is U$S 13, not much really, but if I can avoid spending them, the better :). So I wonder if there's a real performance difference between both models, considering that my PC is not a server and generally the highest activity on the hard drive is when I defragment it. Our mutual friend Google didn't answer this for me, so I need your help and experience on this ;)

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. InGen

    InGen Master Guru

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    To be honest if youd prefer to save some money then go for the 8MB. Your not going to see any difference between the two anyway.
     
  3. mdsharpe

    mdsharpe Active Member

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    $13 doesn't sound like much for twice the buffer size. personally I would get the better one.
     
  4. Pat the Cat

    Pat the Cat Ancient Guru

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    There is a difference but you usually need a microscope to see it. Depends on the size of files you load and save (do you load and save many files bigger than 8MB?)

    Personally I would spend the extra - slightly faster loading and saving times.

    Put it another way - is $13 a lot to you?

    It's a lot to me, but so is my lifespan. ;)
     

  5. gunman127

    gunman127 Master Guru

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    I have the 16MB 250GB Western Digital drive, and it gives 55.6MB/s bandwidth.

    It is a sweet drive, but I recently enabled AHCI, and realised it doesn't support NCQ or Hot Plugging.

    I'd recommend a 500GB Samsung Spinpoint T drive, they're very fast and very quiet.
     
  6. RandyB

    RandyB Banned

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  7. Andrés

    Andrés Ancient Guru

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    Okay, I finally got the 8Mb version. I don't really care because as several noted, I couldn't tell the difference :). Thanks everybody!
     
  8. guardz

    guardz Master Guru

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    Amazing. I was just gonna post a RAID 0 thread on the WD or Seagate 250 8 or 16 mb !

    Anyway on that, is it 'easy' to create a RAID 0 your self as a Do it yourself instead of taking it to a shop to do.. very hard?
     
  9. Andrés

    Andrés Ancient Guru

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    It is fairly easy to do if you inform yourself enough first :). But I wouldn't recommend you to make a RAID 0 anyway: you double the amount of available space and have improved read/write performance, but if one of the hard disks fails, you lose ALL the data. RAID 1 on the other hand acts like a single disk and is slower, but if one fails, you have an exact copy on the other one. Many people use RAID for home environments where unless they have three hard disks or more it is useless.
     
  10. guardz

    guardz Master Guru

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    Is Raid 1 faster than a good HDD single drive then?
     

  11. Andrés

    Andrés Ancient Guru

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    Every write operation is made on both drives at the same time, so the CPU has a little more workload unless there's a dedicated RAID controller. But if you use SATA drives you shouldn't notice the difference because each drive has its own channel. If you use IDE drives, you will because they will share the same channel.
     
  12. guardz

    guardz Master Guru

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    So two HDD sata's in raid 1 will not be any faster than a good HDD sata by itself (same rpm's of course)
    ?
     
  13. Pill Monster

    Pill Monster Banned

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    I agree. You're only really going to see abig difference if the HDD is being read constantly AFAIK.
     
  14. Pill Monster

    Pill Monster Banned

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    Raid 1 in SATA is faster because your OS reads from both disks at once.

    In IDE it's slower. I think that was mentioned already, sorry if it was.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2007
  15. Norvekh

    Norvekh Ancient Guru

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    The higher cache is only slightly noticable on primary disks (ones you have your various OS installs on) as the cache can help (albeit not nearly as much a difference as when we went from 512k to 2M). And it's noticable mainly because the disk is always being accessed. Higher cache is more noticable on larger, faster, drives as well. The new 1TB drive with 32MB of cache is wicked fast, almost as fast as a Raptor, and only operates at 7200RPM. But, that's mainly because of the platter density and other optomizations rather than the cache size.
     

  16. guardz

    guardz Master Guru

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    call me thick then, sorry, I dont get this^ to what youve said Pillmonster..

    Andrescm says I wouldnt notice a difference, -> frm what I said ('using one good sata hdd'!) so it sounds like Raid 1 wouldnt make much diff as compared to ONE HDD sata. No?
     
  17. Pill Monster

    Pill Monster Banned

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    Ok now I'm confused lol. Here is a link to an article that explains the differences between raid 1 and 0 and pro's and cons of raid.

    You will see faster load times for a start, in raid 1


    http://www.overclockercafe.com/Articles/RAID/index.htm
     
  18. guardz

    guardz Master Guru

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    Nice link.


    Edit///: So after reading that page/s, theres no real speed benifit in-game with Riad-0! Load times were almost the same for this. I might just flag RAID altogether and install a larger disk just for storage of non-game stuff. I dont fancy having my disk space halved either in RAID-1.

    Quote of that link: "As far as gaming is concerned, there is no real statistically significant improvement. Actually, the results are a dead heat. You don't lose anything by running RAID 0. Two 80 gb hard drives equal 160 gigs here where in RAID 1 they equal 80 gb of storage."
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2007

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