Best drive configuration?

Posted on 2004-11-30
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-08-05
My system is XP Pro SP2 running on an old Abit BX6R2 motherboard (bios version QR). I have 785 M RAM and a P3 850 processor. I currently have my drives set up as follows:

2 Seagate 80 G harddrives running on an ATA133 add-on card, both on primary channel of card (not RAIDed). First drive is system, second is storage and backups.

Memorex CDR drive and Maddog DVD/CDR drive running on the motherboard's built in secondary IDE controller (ATA66 I believe). Built in Primary IDE controller is disabled.

What, if any, changes should I make to the way I have my drives set up and why? Looking for best blend of performance and reliability and I need to retain the ability to boot from CD without making internal changes (that's why the ATAPI devices are not on the add-on controller).

Thanks for advice!
Question by:capttom
  • 4
  • 3

Accepted Solution

dmox earned 1000 total points
ID: 12707251
Make the drives on differnet controllers.  It will always be faster for the PC to communicate on two seperate buses then one.  Put the slower devices on the Onboad controller (CDROM, DVDROM, whatever).  If you're looking for great performance, but no redundancy then set your Hard drives as Raid 0.  This will allow you computers to use both drives as one hard drive and double the performance.  However, since it's acting as one drive if you lose one you will lose all your data.

There's lots of things you can do on the software side to, like updated drivers for your chipset, video card and network adapter.  Making sure that there's no spyware running and keeping the startup as clean as possible (Disable MSN Messanger for example and load it when you need it).  

Hope that helps!

Author Comment

ID: 12707739
So you think I should put each drive on its own controller? Something like this:

First drive on Primary channel of card
Second drive on Secondary channel of card
CDR on onboard primary
DVD on onboard secondary

Makes for a lot of cables. You think that would offer noticable performance increases?

I don't want to RAID the HDs, I need the redundancy above all.

Expert Comment

ID: 12707801
For best performance, yes.  Putting each device on it's own controller would give the best throughput.  However, it's usually not the BEST option because of the lack of upgradability and the clutter in the case.  It should be fine to cascade the DVD and CDROM drives on the same channel.  If you're doing CD to CD copies you'll get a performance increase if they are on sepearte channels though.
Free Backup Tool for VMware and Hyper-V

Restore full virtual machine or individual guest files from 19 common file systems directly from the backup file. Schedule VM backups with PowerShell scripts. Set desired time, lean back and let the script to notify you via email upon completion.  


Author Comment

ID: 12709011
OK, so your recomendation is to put the harddrives on the card on seperate channels and leave the ATAPI devices as they are?  I don't do much CD copying so that's not an issue.

Is there any difference if they are on the primary or secondary onboard connector?

Expert Comment

ID: 12709048
Yes, that would work just fine.  Personally, when I setup my own home PC, I put the Hard drives on the primary controller and the CDRom on the secondary.  Usually, I just have the HDD on it's own controller by itself to get the most performance out of it.  You're talking nano seconds, but it's enough to give it an extra kick.  

As for the CD Roms you should put them on the primary of the Onboard.  It doesn't really matter which, but it's cleaner if they are on the primary.

Expert Comment

ID: 12711799
Well I cant deny that having the drives on a seperate bus may speed transfer of data between them, when you are simultaniously reading or writing to one or other of the drives using a seperate process.  Moving files while your p2p comes in is not an unusual scenario but the performance increases are so small its hardly worth the time thinking about it, never mind actually re-wiring it all.

My main worry is that poor old 6.2s pci bus and the potential saturation that may occur at full tilt, I had one, they are great boards but only were made with udma33 (which is why you have an add in card of course) but unless you have a specific need that its not being satisfied by your current setup then why change at all? Its perfectly fine as it is, especially when you answer yourself that you are not doing much cd copying.

Your just getting bored with it eh? :)

Author Comment

ID: 12715784
Yea, I really need a new mobo but funds just don't allow that right now. Its been a great board though, ran my 850 rock solid at 1 G for 4 years, from Win 98 through XP Pro. Only problem was a RAM stick that went out about a month ago.

I'm going to go ahead and accept DMOZ's answer. I have the drives set up that way now and it seems to be working well.

Thanks for your time guys!

Expert Comment

ID: 12726152
Why change it at all?  Video games!  In video games nano seconds count!  In a computer that uses Microsoft Word and Email all day, then yes I would say don't bother.  But for video games every nano second of performance you can gain is a life saver.

Featured Post

Get quick recovery of individual SharePoint items

Free tool – Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SharePoint, enables fast, easy restores of SharePoint sites, documents, libraries and lists — all with no agents to manage and no additional licenses to buy.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

This is about my first experience with programming Arduino.
A clone is a duplicate copy. Sheep have been cloned and maybe someday even people will be cloned, but disk cloning (performed by the hard drive cloning software) is a vital tool used to manage and protect data. Let’s look at what hard drive cloning …
Screencast - Getting to Know the Pipeline
Whether it be Exchange Server Crash Issues, Dirty Shutdown Errors or Failed to mount error, Stellar Phoenix Mailbox Exchange Recovery has always got your back. With the help of its easy to understand user interface and 3 simple steps recovery proced…
Suggested Courses

807 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question