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Old March 10, 2009, 10:36 AM
philmar's Avatar
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Default questions about a 5 HD build

OK, it isn't a new build, just an ONGOING build but I didn't see an Upgrade forum, just this one. So my apologies if it is not to be posted here.

I am not a computer whiz....my passion is photos, not bits and bytes
I have 64 bit Vista that I have been holding on to waiting for it to 'mature' as an OS. Now I'd like to give it a whirl. I don't want to commit to it yet and would still like to have the option to boot with XP as I get better acquainted with Vista.

My current pc with XP installed has:
Antec P180 aluminum mid-tower case
Intel D975XBX2 motherboard
Intel Core2 Duo E6600
3 Hard Drives:
2 x WD Caviar 320GB (data)
1 x WD Raptor 36GB (for XP/apps)
Antec TRUEPOWER TRIO 550W power supply

This is my plan...tell me if anything is wrong with it:
I am considering buying a 1 TB WD Black caviar hard drive for my RAWs and photos and another 150 GB Raptor for my Vista. So I'll have a 5 HD rig.
I'd like to install Vista on a new 150GB Raptor and use the new 1 TB caviar black drive for data. Iíd keep my existing Raptor as is, for XP. And use the 2 existing 320 GB WD HDs for CS3 and Windows file page (and maybe backup for my jpgs). I already have external HDs that I use for backup.
I'd like to know anything that I may be overlooking, i.e. my power supply is not up to a 5 HD system, the case won't support that many HDs, it is impossible to set it up this way, the set up is wasteful, excessive ect.
What problems will I encounter?
Is my rig up to the task of handling Vista and 5 HDs? Or would 4 HDs be more sensible? Should I opt for the 1 TB Green instead due to power/heat constraints.

As you can see computers aren't my forte - so thanks for the help/tips/advice/warnings...

--
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Phil M. - Toronto, Canada
Please view my photos: Flickr: Phil Marion's Photostream
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Old March 10, 2009, 10:58 AM
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First off its you system so I am not going to tell you what not to do.

I don't see any ram mentioned\listed? for Vista 64 bit .........if you are playing with picutres aka editing.. you may want 4 gigs?

Actually Most people wouldn't know 64 bit from 32 bit in everyday use.

I have Ultimate with both intall dics 32\64 bit and don't bother with 64 bit.
Maybe on '7 I will

Or bored try Ultimate Vista 64 bit

Don't know if everything is go on 64 but somene here who runs it will.

I don't know whether there is any real or perceived advantage to a page file on a separate hd

I certainly don't ever bother nor plan to,been there done that....but who am I )...but hey its your system.

I've seen many proclaim differing viewpoints each way.

Power supply calculator? there are many online ones

How many opticals have you got onboard for cd dvd 's burning playing......none 1 or 2?

You need to figure ALL devices including usb devices for power needs AND allow a safety factor Especially if\or going to overclocking.
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Last edited by tyreman; March 10, 2009 at 11:06 AM.
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Old March 10, 2009, 11:20 AM
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My System Specs

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I would say that "loading up" the Rig with up to 5 HD's is going to have some challenges:
1. PSU
2. How are these all being connected to your MOBO....?......via SATA?
Do you really need all those HD's....?
I would tend to reduce the quantity by increasing the size of each, just to reduce the potential for "problems"....

Anyhow...good luck!
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Old March 10, 2009, 12:09 PM
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Honestly I wouldnt go with one of the raptors, for that price your not going to see much real world difference over a say WD 640 black with windows short stroked. Like its been said its hard to tell what to tell you without knowing what other specs your running as in video card and ram. Is the Q6600 overclocked? if your running a low power video card with a stock clocked Q6600 I would think youd have enough power for 5 HDDs, but if your running some sort of gaming video card say an 8800GT or more then alot of that 550w is going to be used up. If it where me, id just go with the 1 raptor you already have and 3 640 blacks in raid 5 if your motherboard can handle that. This is all speculation of course...
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Old March 10, 2009, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tyreman View Post
First off its you system so I am not going to tell you what not to do.
Awwww, that's why I'm here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tyreman View Post
I don't see any ram mentioned\listed? for Vista 64 bit .........if you are playing with picutres aka editing.. you may want 4 gigs?

Actually Most people wouldn't know 64 bit from 32 bit in everyday use.
Sorry, my bad. I have 4 GBs of RAM. The rig is used for digital processing - converting Canon RAW files in to jpg files. This process is very RAM intensive... Going to 64 Bit Vista will allow me to utilize the full 4 GBs of RAM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tyreman View Post
I don't know whether there is any real or perceived advantage to a page file on a separate hd
For processing large batches of RAW files - or one large multi-layered photo file in Photoshop the process is slowed down by constraints on the RAM. It isn't the video card or the CPU. Photo rendering is rather easy - manipulation of pixels is a simple mathematical task for the CPU. What limits the system is the RAM becaue these files can be rather large. A digital processing rig is optimised differently than say a gamer's rig. 64 bit OS will allow me to use more of my RAM. When RAM maxes out my understanding is the I/O forces the stuff on to the OS file page or disk designated by Photoshop. Using a dedicated disk that is defragged regularly speeds up this process.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tyreman View Post
Power supply calculator? there are many online ones

How many opticals have you got onboard for cd dvd 's burning playing......none 1 or 2?

You need to figure ALL devices including usb devices for power needs AND allow a safety factor Especially if\or going to overclocking.
Thanks - I will research for PS calculators -thanks for your info!!! FWIW I have 1 optical drive that is RARELY used. I don't burn or listen to CDs/DVDs.
What would be a prudent safety factor to use? I do NOT overclock.
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Old March 10, 2009, 12:24 PM
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I'd add 20 25 %.
I use canon stuff 5d type but shoot only jpegs.
As other typed I agree to...cut down on hard drives especially one for page file
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MSI Z77 M Power/Bios17.13b1
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Old March 10, 2009, 01:20 PM
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Default ok - HERE'S the full specs

ok - HERE'S the full specs

My current pc with XP installed has:
Antec P180 aluminum mid-tower case
Intel D975XBX2 motherboard
Intel Core2 Duo E6600
3 Hard Drives:
2 x WD Caviar 320GB (data)
1 x WD Raptor 36GB (for XP/apps)
Antec TRUEPOWER TRIO 550W power supply

AND:

BFG e-GeForce 7600GT nVidia GeForce 256 MB PCI-E
4 x 1.0 gb OCZ 800 RAM
1 LG GSA-H22N DVD RW 18x
Microsoft Basic Keyboard & Microsoft Wheel Mouse Optical Black
Zalman NPS-9500-Cu-LED CPU cooler
Vantec Stealth 120 mm fan
1 TB WD external drive with separate power supply for backup (plugged in ONLY whenever I download new photo files that need backing up)
Use wireless USB antennae
Use USB receiver for wireless mouse and keyboard


Why 64 bit Vista? For a digital photo processing PC the real bottleneck is the amount of RAM one has. Often the files (if large batches of files are being processed simultaneously) force CS3 to use the hard drive scratch disk to transfer memory when the RAM is used up. So having a multi HD set up speeds things up if you have the program, Windows file page and CS3 scratch disk allocated to separate drive, This will speed things up more than an even more powerful CPU. CS3 professionals are adamant that a better video card beyond a 128 mb card has no additional effect on CS3 workflow. The bottleneck is the RAM memory, not vid card or the CPU. There is no high speed changing of video buffer modes with a 2D photo - just a massive large RAW file that requires simple mathematical operations done on it's pixel arrays.
The swapping of info from page file/scratch disk to RAM could be quickened with a SATA array but I am too new to computers to set one of these up. And don't know how to set up a good recovery strategy - yet.
The Raptor's would definitely speed things up -no doubt. Yes, my previous research indicates they are not a cost effective way of improving performance but cost be damned. Well Ė letís be truthful, I donít know what Windows short stroking is.
I guess I can do without the 5th HD Ė that IS why I am asking for your advice. I was hoping to use them since I already paid for them. If the 550 watt PSU is not up to the task, can I just upgrade that as well? Or is this a firetrap waiting to happen? Arenít the Intel boards designed as multi-HD servers?

Last edited by philmar; March 10, 2009 at 01:29 PM.
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Old March 10, 2009, 01:24 PM
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The Raptor's would definitely speed things up -no doubt



Nope don't think soNot for the price vs benefits

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Cambridge,ON
MSI Z77 M Power/Bios17.13b1
3770K@4.5ghz
Mushkin #997007
Noctua NH-D14
Gigabyte GTX 660
Seasonic X-660
Corsair 540 Cube
Noctua case fans
Intel Speed Demon x 2

using Prime 95 27.9


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Old March 10, 2009, 02:36 PM
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Windows short stroking is basically putting the boot partition of windows and the most used utilities in the first low % of the hard drive platters. say for my 640 black for instance, I partitioned the first 40gb to use for windows and utilities, this first 40gb is the first 20gbs I believe of each of the 2 platters in the hard drive (the first 20 gbs from the outside in). Doing this means the hard drives dont have to travel as far to get the most important information and there for windows will respond quite a bit faster. there are also other benefits to this, I can defrag windows much faster being installed in only 40gbs, I also have my games/less used utilites installed in a 120gb partition and the rest of the space is partitioned into some 400gbs at the end for storage where I dont really care to much how fast I accsess it. The process for short stroking is much easier with vista then it was with XP as you have the option of doing this right at the first install of vista on a new hard drive or within vista itself on the fly.
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Old March 10, 2009, 02:42 PM
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And price vs performance your looking at atleast $240 for the single raptor where as Im pretty sure 2 stripped 640s ($160 give or take) would out perform a single raptor and would give quite a bit more space available. Thats just how I look at it, Id never spend $240 on a Vraptor, your not looking at much performance gain if any by going with them unless you can run them in a raid. the black edition dual proc hard drives out perform the older series of raptors and are quite a bit quieter not sure what rev raptor 36gb you have but im going to say a WD black would be near or faster then it.
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