Hard Drive Upgrade

Posted by: Waragainstsleep

Hard Drive Upgrade - 02/26/06 07:56 AM

Hi all.

Just about to buy a new hard drive to go in my MDD. Its about time I got some proper reliable storage, to supplement my pile of old well-used drives.
I'm looking at something in the 300GB sort of area. I have basiclaly narrowed it down to two options:

A 320GB WD Caviar 7200rpm with 8MB buffer, or a 300GB Maxtor Diamondmax 7200rpm with 16MB buffer for about 5(~$9) less.

Just wondering how much difference (if any) the buffer is likely to make in an MDD FW800. I plan to use this a the boot drive, since it will be faster and more reliable than any of my other drives. I would prefer the drive to be as fast as possible, but if the bottleneck is the bus rather than the drive, I will go for the slightly bigger one.

What do we think?
Posted by: Waragainstsleep

Hard Drive Upgrade - 02/26/06 08:23 AM

Looks like the 320 is ATA100 with a seek time of 8.9ms.
The 300 is ATA133 with a seek time of 9ms.
The bus is ATA100, so I'm guessing the 320 is the way to go. Will the buffer size make any difference in this case?
Posted by: krusher117

Hard Drive Upgrade - 02/26/06 09:30 AM

I've owned WD and Maxtor drives without noticing any problems with either one. I'd go for the lower priced drive. It's just a bonus that you can get double the buffer RAM for less. I've only had 8MB buffer so I can't say whether you'll "notice" the difference. I really don't understand how that kind of memory works anyways. If I have a 250GB HD what good does a 8MB buffer do for me?
Posted by: Waragainstsleep

Hard Drive Upgrade - 02/26/06 10:02 AM

Thanks for the reply.

Some benchmarks posted here are making me think its worth going for the 16MB buffer:

http://www.overclock.net/hard-drives-storage/70774-16mb-vs-8mb-cache-hd.html

That extra 20GB is tempting me though....
Posted by: maestro

Hard Drive Upgrade - 02/26/06 10:37 AM

Maxtor makes the fastest hard drives you can buy. Yeah, they are.....72mbs for sata II. That is WD Ratpor territory for A LOT less and A LOT more room. I own drives from Hitachi, Seagate, Western Digital and of course Maxtor. Unless I find a deal that I cannot turn down, I always buy Maxtor. The Diamondmaxs are the same as the MXIII but with a shorter warrenty. I buy MXIIIs and suggest you do the same. For the price of a 150gb Raptor you can Raid two 300gb MXIIIs for speeds that bring hd throughput out of the dark ages!
Posted by: anil8tor

Disk Cache or buffer - 02/26/06 11:59 AM

The Buffer works just like the cache on your cpu, the drive tries to anticipate what the next data is that you will need read, and loads it into the cache. If it gets the right data then the access time is reduced significantly. This makes the drive appear faster. The greater the buffer the better the chance of loading the correct data for the next read.
Posted by: Waragainstsleep

Hard Drive Upgrade - 02/26/06 01:21 PM

RAID is not really an issue until I finish building my Xserve. This drive will just give me room to play with until then. Thats where the real storage is going.
I just want to know if the difference in buffer will be such a difference on an ATA100 bus.

If the speed was going to be the same, I would go with the 320. But if it will make things noticeably snappier, I will go with the 300.

Apparently the 300GB Maxtor has NCQ as well. Is that likely to make much difference?

Anyone?
Posted by: Waragainstsleep

Hard Drive Upgrade - 02/26/06 01:43 PM

Hell with it, I'll go for the Maxtor. It better be fast, or I'm holding you all responsible.
smile
Posted by: maestro

Hard Drive Upgrade - 02/26/06 02:16 PM

Yeah its fast, dont worry about that. Itll be good even on the ata100 bus. The cache in several cases does increase speed.
Posted by: krusher117

Hard Drive Upgrade - 02/26/06 02:58 PM

good decision!