what's a good hard drive for running an OS on?

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slickmarty
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what's a good hard drive for running an OS on?

Post by slickmarty » Sat Feb 13, 2010 6:28 pm

i'm going from xp home 32bit to win7 64 bit and want to know what would be a good hard drive to have the OS on. SATA of course, 7200rpm probably, 32mb cache i guess, desktop computer. i was thinking of something small enough for just the OS as i have other drives for storage, like maybe 500gb or 320gb or something like that. ( ha. that's small these days) what would be good for performance for a 64bit system yet be reliable??

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Re: what's a good hard drive for running an OS on?

Post by stopthekilling77 » Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:16 pm

I'm not quite sure what you're concerned about here, but I have had great luck with the Western Digital Black series drives and Seagates 7200.12 drives as well. Just pick the capacity you want and read the reviews before you buy. I'd take a drive with 32 MB cache over 16 MB as you can find similarly-priced drives around the same capacity within the same price point!
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Re: what's a good hard drive for running an OS on?

Post by DMB2000uk » Sun Feb 14, 2010 4:42 pm

Samsung F3 500GB is as far as I know is the speediest drive in that capacity range.

Else a WD Black (320GB or 640GB) drive is a good close match alternative.

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Re: what's a good hard drive for running an OS on?

Post by smack323 » Sun Feb 14, 2010 5:00 pm

I was going to be doing the same thing soon. I was thinking a SSD drive for the OS. Wouldnt that give me the best performance?
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Re: what's a good hard drive for running an OS on?

Post by DMB2000uk » Sun Feb 14, 2010 5:08 pm

It would 8)

But that's kind of a tangent to the OP's question :axe:

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Re: what's a good hard drive for running an OS on?

Post by smack323 » Mon Feb 15, 2010 1:00 pm

well he was asking about a good hard drive for running an OS on.. I was going to say an SSD drive but then since nobody else had I was second guessing myself.
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Re: what's a good hard drive for running an OS on?

Post by nhlfan_19 » Mon Feb 15, 2010 1:05 pm

i'd wait for the technology to mature a bit and become mainstream before opting for an ssd

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Re: what's a good hard drive for running an OS on?

Post by Apoptosis » Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:42 am

SSDs are ready to jump into now that TRIM is enabled.

SSD's were invented in 1978 and started to gain popularity in the mid 1980's. Calling them 'new' or saying you want to wait for them to mature is a bit funny ;)

They are in their prime right now.
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Re: what's a good hard drive for running an OS on?

Post by crowTrobot » Tue Feb 16, 2010 12:35 pm

I am looking for a new HD as well. I have recently built an i7 system and I didn't realize how much of a bottleneck HD is. I am using a 2.5inch 5400RPM SATA HD pulled from a dead laptop temporarily and the bottleneck is too obvious as I can barely multi-task. How much of an improvement will I get once I switch to a WD Caviar Black? Are Caviar Blues fast enough or should I spring 15 bucks more for the Caviar Black's for speed? I was thinking of getting SSDs as an OS drive but I think it will ruin my Fermi savings. lol.

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Re: what's a good hard drive for running an OS on?

Post by nhlfan_19 » Tue Feb 16, 2010 12:42 pm

I agree the technology is in its prime however from a price point of view they're hard to justify, even with the added performance increase. They are good for running an OS off of but for storage they aren't practical.

I guess when i said mature i was being pretty vague. I didn't mean it from a technology perspective but from a market share perspective. SSD's are gaining popularity but until they make the jump from the enterprise/enthusiast market to the mainstream consumer market the price of an SSD will stay relatively high (at least until a new technology emerges)

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Re: what's a good hard drive for running an OS on?

Post by Apoptosis » Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:34 am

I've said this a ton here on the forums, but an SSD for your boot drive and then a hard drive for storage is the way to go.

I have an Intel 160GB Gen 2 X25-M SSD as my boot drive with the latest TRIM firmware as my boot drive and then a 2TB WD Black as my storage drive on my office PC with Windows 7 and is screams thanks to that and a Core i7 965 overclocked to 4GHz.

The new LR test systems use 40GB Intel Gen 2 X25-M SSDs for the boot drive and those too scream. With 40GB and 60GB 'boot drives' now under $100 and with TRIM it makes them the easy choice over an SSD. Just curious have you ever even tried an SSD out before in person? If you lived close I'd let you try mine. It's night and day difference if you use applications on a regular basis.

This OCZ 60GB Agility SSD is $129 after rebate, which is more than some of this size after sale/rebate, but it is a great drive.
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Re: what's a good hard drive for running an OS on?

Post by nhlfan_19 » Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:05 am

Unfortunately I haven't been able to try out that kind of setup ( lack of funds :( ) although I've been dying to try it out since LR started reviewing SSD's. As much as I'd love to take you up on your offer I'm thinking Montreal isn't exactly close by :p Thanks for the offer though :)

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Re: what's a good hard drive for running an OS on?

Post by djpinc19 » Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:31 am

i do find the price of the ssd to be unjustifiable for budget and mainstream consumers since most people usually prioritize size>speed. altho i do laugh at people who claim there is no difference between an external usb2.0 hard drive and an internal sata drive apart from the mobility.i just say i know how to turn an internal drive into an external drive and more :)

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Re: what's a good hard drive for running an OS on?

Post by MarkJohnson » Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:10 am

Just chiming in on the SSD side. I know they are a little expensive, but it really is worth it if you can spare it.

The biggest differences are:

Twice the read speeds of most hard drives

and most importantly they have up to 100 times the write speeds. The average hard drive gets less than than 1 MB/s, while some SSDs can get over 50 MB/s.

My Intel 160GB X25-M G2 drive gets 48 MB/s 4k writes
My OCZ 60GB Vertex gets around 10 MB/s
My Seagte 250GB 7200.11 gets 1.25MB/s (it has that perpendicular tech that makes them a bit faster than std HDD)
My WD 36GB Raptor gets around 1.5 MB/s

and the 4k writes are the ones slowing everything down. My system starts up in 12seconds with all my software loaded, and shuts down in 4 seconds. I disable all system tray programs as they slow things down. If you don't use them all the time, then there is no need to preload them into memory.

So, if you can spare it, they are worth it. I can never go back to traditional HDDs ever again.
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Re: what's a good hard drive for running an OS on?

Post by taichi135 » Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:09 am

Is it really that noticeable? Startup, shutdown, and start up applications (games?)

I've been tempted to buy a SSD boot drive a little while now, but wasn't sure if I was ready for it...

Also, any programmers out there think it would impact linux kernel compile times much? (or any large compiles for that matter)
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Re: what's a good hard drive for running an OS on?

Post by MarkJohnson » Fri Apr 02, 2010 5:14 am

It depends on which SSD you buy, but even the slower ones run at the slowest a even 1:1 ratio on read speeds, but the write speeds will be much faster. atleast 10X faster and that is the biggest key. If you remeber my example of 4k write speeds. that is the defining factor because windows formats your hard drive in 4k blocks. So the writes are exactly what windows writes. even a USB stick which reads about 25MB/s it's write speeds are still much higher than a hard drive. That's why the speedboost windows uses is so useful for making windows faster by using a USB drive. It's not the read speed, but the write speed. although faster reads will be better as well, just writes are the lowest by far. the best hard drive can't even do 2MB/s.

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Re: what's a good hard drive for running an OS on?

Post by smack323 » Wed Apr 07, 2010 5:57 pm

taichi135 wrote:Is it really that noticeable? Startup, shutdown, and start up applications (games?)
yeah I can say it is by a lot. My boot up times went from around 1:30 to 24 seconds where I can be in a program ready to go. I never benched my shutdown but would say its under 10 seconds. It was only a 30gb SSD I have so I havent put any apps on that drive. I mostly wanted to just test it out and see how it was. On my next build I am going to use it as my boot drive.
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Re: what's a good hard drive for running an OS on?

Post by taichi135 » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:39 am

What kind of SSD was it?

Let me pose the question this way: Any value/cheapest/most economical SSD going to blow away your typical 7200rpm HD or even the latest VelociRaptor 10K rpm hard drives?

For an SSD boot drive, I'm only concerned about lowest pricest and highest performance. Size doesn't matter. (in this particular case :lol:)
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Re: what's a good hard drive for running an OS on?

Post by MarkJohnson » Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:28 pm

Yes, any SSD will blow away any HDD. Remember SSD drives are memory drives, not a mechanical hard drive that needs to wait to spin up to speed and having to wait for the disk to spin around before it can read/write the next sector, etc.. They use less power and produce less heat as well. Just make sure when buying an SSD that it supports the TRIM command. Most newer ones do, but older ones may not. The ones that don't lose speed over time as they need a special way to delete old files or they don't rewrite as fast. I know first hand OCZ and Intel drives support TRIM.

OCZ has a 30GB Vertex for $99 after rebate and free shipping:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820227393

Intel has a 40GB X25-V (Value drive) for $125 and free shipping:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820167025

There are cheaper drives, but you'll have to make sure they support TRIM. You may need to read a lot of reviews and visit their website's forums to see what support or addition custom setups they can help with to help gain speed.

OCZ is coming out with newer models, so look for their drive to be on sale often until they have been cleared out.

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Re: what's a good hard drive for running an OS on?

Post by hnzw_rui » Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:45 pm

taichi135 wrote:Is it really that noticeable? Startup, shutdown, and start up applications (games?)
Yep. Biggest difference for me is no seek times. Applications just start up instantly.

I wouldn't recommend any SSD. Iirc, some cheapy SSDs with JMicron controllers can be slower than mechanical HDDs after a while. A $100 Intel X25-V 40GB (Intel) or OCZ Vertex or Agility 30GB (Indilinx) should work fine, though. Between, the two, I'd go with Intel. It just seems more stable and reliable - even the Gen 1 without TRIM.
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