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Author Topic: will a new 7200rpm HDD give me any benefit?  (Read 2595 times)

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STC

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will a new 7200rpm HDD give me any benefit?
« on: July 03, 2014, 10:38:47 AM »
I Currently have a 7200rpm WDC 750GB HDD, i went the SSD route but not only did I run out of room quick but it started freezing up after 2 years, so want to stick to HDD.

my current HDD is 5 years old, so if I got a newer HDD will it be any faster or worth having? or do all 7200rpm HDDs perform the same?
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DaveLembke



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Re: will a new 7200rpm HDD give me any benefit?
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2014, 01:48:54 PM »
As far as HDD's go 7200 is just the rpms of the platter. While the platter rotation speed does affect performance where say a 5400 is slower because the data bits are read at at slower stream, there are other features that affect performance such as how much internal on board cache the drive has as well as how well the on board controller card is at seeking the data and sending it on to the system.

This is why if you took say a Western Digital 7200 rpm 32mb cache drive and a Seagate 7200 rpm 32mb cache drive and performed benchmark testing one will be slightly better than the other, although performance overall should be very close to each other.

Going backwards to a HDD from a SSD you will notice a difference, but if you are fine with the speed of a HDD then your good to go.

Also lastly depending on the system specs, mainly the CPU and RAM, you might not notice that much difference because the system itself might be a bottleneck on itself. One such example is a netbook I had with Intel Atom 1.66Ghz processor and 2GB RAM. The upgrade to SSD from the 7200rpm drive was not as great as my desktop computers Athlon II x4 2600Mhz quadcores ability to utilize the full potential of the SSD's instant data on demand. So if your CPU and RAM is limited, the performance gain of a SSD vs HDD is not as great.

So if you already have a 7200 rpm healthy HDD, I wouldnt bother buying a new 7200rpm drive unless you need greater capacity than the one you currently have. The cache differences while they might show up on a benchmark result as better than another, you might only be shaving 1 to 3 seconds off of loading an application, and that might not be worth the investment if you already have a 7200 rpm drive to use.


Salmon Trout

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Re: will a new 7200rpm HDD give me any benefit?
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2014, 11:38:44 AM »
I ran my Shuttle for 3 years using a Seagate 7200 RPM 500 GB SATA 2 hard drive, with a 16 MB cache, then recently I got an OCZ SSD which was a complete eye opener and I soon got used to the speed. It failed after 3 weeks (!) and I got a full refund. I restored Windows from a backup image onto the Seagate and it seemed that Windows now ran like a stone dog. I have now got a Samsung EVO 120 GB SSD with a 3 year warranty and if it should ever fail I will just buy another SSD. They are getting cheaper and cheaper, in particular the new Crucial MX100 drives are interesting - the 128 GB model is $74.99 in US money at Newegg, and the 256 GB is $114. My opinion is that compared to SSDs, all spinning hard drives are slow, whichever spindle speed you look at.

Quote from: DaveLembke
if you already have a 7200 rpm healthy HDD, I wouldnt bother buying a new 7200rpm drive unless you need greater capacity than the one you currently have.
Absolutely.


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Re: will a new 7200rpm HDD give me any benefit?
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2014, 12:44:30 PM »
One last thing. A very large HDD will show faster access than  a smaller drive; other factors being equal.

patio

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Re: will a new 7200rpm HDD give me any benefit?
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2014, 01:23:16 PM »
HuH ? ?
" Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined. "

Salmon Trout

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Re: will a new 7200rpm HDD give me any benefit?
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2014, 01:36:07 PM »
HuH ? ?

Well might you say that. You could say for example that given two hard drives with all else being equal the drive with greater data density will outperform the one with lower data density. However, that innocent little phrase "all else being equal" robs the statement of practically all meaning. Geek said "A very large HDD will show faster access than  a smaller drive; other factors being equal.". But the "other factors" (whatever they are) are highly unlikely to be "equal".

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Re: will a new 7200rpm HDD give me any benefit?
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2014, 01:37:31 PM »
HuH ? ?
Do you really want an explanation? 
Say you stereo 400 GB on a 2 TB drive. 
An you put 400 GB on a 800 GB drive.
The larger drive has more free space. Real access time is lower.

Salmon Trout

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Re: will a new 7200rpm HDD give me any benefit?
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2014, 01:39:11 PM »
Do you really want an explanation? 
Say you stereo 400 GB on a 2 TB drive. 
An you put 400 GB on a 800 GB drive.
The larger drive has more free space. Real access time is lower.

Are you sure about this?

DaveLembke



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Re: will a new 7200rpm HDD give me any benefit?
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2014, 01:46:48 PM »
Quote
One last thing. A very large HDD will show faster access than  a smaller drive; other factors being equal.

In relation to Geeks statement on increasing performance by capacity ( higher data density drive ), I have also seen performance increased by splitting a larger drive say 1 TB drive into 80GB primary & 920GB secondary partition, because while you have the higher data density of the 1TB drive platters, allocating 2 partitions to be isolated from each other forces the data to be read from a "shorter sweep of the read head". The performance gain is not like having a SSD, but those who want to optimize a HDD I have seen split large drives into multiple partitions to get a noticable performance gain. The smaller the first partition though the better the performance gain for data accessed in that first partition, although there is a limit to how much gain you will get. But still, this is no wheres near as fast as a SSD, its just a speed drive optimization trick to force say the OS and swap to be within say the first 80GB and the rest of the drive to work in the slower larger sweep portion of the drive.

I went through all the trouble to maximize HDD performance in the past before SSD's where available. I even ran 2 hard drives in gaming systems and had my swap / paging area on a seperate drive to that of the drive that the game and OS was running on to increase performance.  But these days I go for very affordable SSD's and dont bother with HDD optimization for the small gain.

More info here: http://www.pcworld.com/article/255224/how_to_partition_your_hard_drive_to_optimize_performance.html

Lastly one neat trick if you have lots of RAM in your system is to create a RAM Disk. This allocates a portion of otherwise idle memory to act like a "Temporary" hard drive space. And you can upload from a HDD or SSD to this RAM Disk data that will be read and/or written to repeatedly and every time that the system accesses the RAM Disk, the data is lightning fast from RAM direct to CPU. There are pros and cons to this RAM Disk. With the primary Pro being the ultra fast speed of loading large files  more than once or reading and writing multiple times which otherwise would batter a SSD or HDD. The Cons for this usually outweigh the Pros to many people. The primary con is that data in RAM is unprotected from loss in *home computers. So if you have a power outage or a computer crash the data in RAM is gone. * In costly higher end servers that most people do not have, the RAM has a battery that allows for the system to pick up where it left off with the RAM holding all the data through a power outage called NVDIMM's http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NVDIMM

I have used the 4GB Freeware RamDisk Lite version listed at the bottom of the page at this site linked below, and it works VERY WELL for lightning fast read/writes. 4GB is pretty small for those who want to run most games that would benefit from the performance gain, however I had a script that worked with a non-commercial personal use MySQL database and while this script use to take about 5 minutes to update tables with updated info on a 500GB SATA II HDD 7200rpm, using the RAM Disk with DDR2-800Mhz made this a 38 second routine vs watching the HDD LED on solid for 5 minutes and battering the read/writes of a SSD or HDD. So the data is written to this RAM Disk at boot and then the RAM Disk gets a 1.5GB allocation from 4GB of physical RAM leaving 2.5GB for the Windows 7 64-bit system, setting up the drive letter as Z: for this space, and when the process is complete it writes the end result back to the C: drive so that the data is not lost on shutdown.

If someone had say 16GB of physical RAM, and allocated say 12GB of the space, leaving 4GB for the OS and game, then for a game install to replicate to this 12GB RAM Disk, and then launch the game from that RAM Disk at say the Z: drive, that game for any read/writes it required would be lightning fast. So large games that have large files that constantly load the game content as you move around in the game for textures, map info, etc would all be as fast as a snap of your finger when paired up with a good CPU system that maximizes gaming performance. However there is always the initial load from SSD or HDD to RAM Disk and then if you want to save any data from the game that is local data, you would have to write those changes back to the SSD or HDD in the end before shutdown. http://memory.dataram.com/products-and-services/software/ramdisk

[recovering disk space, attachment deleted by admin]

patio

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Re: will a new 7200rpm HDD give me any benefit?
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2014, 02:29:46 PM »
I predict this Topic running 5 pages...

And i still disagree with the notion that the amount of free space increases performance...think about it.
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Re: will a new 7200rpm HDD give me any benefit?
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2014, 09:51:27 PM »
I predict this Topic running 5 pages...

And i still disagree with the notion that the amount of free space increases performance...think about it.
It is predicated on the idea that you don't use a lot of the space anyway. For home users it is rare to be using the whole drive frequently. For a web or LAN server it is very different. A server will use all the space for a large group  of users.

At home or in a small business the desktop PC is just doing one thing. Unless the user has the thing loaded with desperate background tasks the need the whole disc.

Here is the scheme. The first partition is big enough for the OS and the day to day things the single  user needs. The partition would be about 50 to 70 per cent used. The remainder of the very large drive is devoted to occasional backups and archive that are seldom needed. And not indexed or included in the restore.

In that case there is a measurable improvement  in performance. But not enough to ever replace a SSD.  But it is a trick home users can use to up performance by getting a huge disc and breaking in into two or more partitions. Huge HD prices have come down, perhaps from the SSD market pressure.
Somebody said:
Quote
SDs Make HDDs an Endangered Species.
Sooner or later the HDD has to drop in price. So a hobbyist on a budget will have to decide which way to go.  Invest in a good SSD or a huge cheap HDD?

Salmon Trout

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Re: will a new 7200rpm HDD give me any benefit?
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2014, 12:44:52 AM »
Here is the scheme. The first partition is big enough for the OS and the day to day things the single  user needs. The partition would be about 50 to 70 per cent used. The remainder of the very large drive is devoted to occasional backups and archive that are seldom needed. And not indexed or included in the restore.

All of this has been my scheme for some years, but I did it for convenience when making OS image backups (on another drive) rather than performance. It has been my habit to have 2 internal drives and at one time I even went as far as having the Windows page file a fixed size in its own partition on the second drive, the first partition on the disk (nearest the edge of the platters, where the linear velocity is greatest). When such a second disk started failing I got some very odd freezes and after I reverted to a system managed  page file in the OS volume I didn't notice any degradation so I decided I was being hardware-*censored* (this is something that some people are prone to). All such twiddles pale into insignificance when you get an SSD.

« Last Edit: July 05, 2014, 12:57:05 AM by Salmon Trout »