Help!  I need the best buy for the money 500 GB Hard Drive as main drive to boot Win 7 Ultimate off of!

Posted on 2011-02-21
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I need to make a fast, very fast decision on a replacement OS drive that crashed.  I only need 500GB, but could go smaller, and want the drive to be inexspensive, dependable, and FAST.

I have a gigabyte UD3R motherboard.  
24 Gigs Corsaid 1066 1333 Dominator RAM
i7 920 CPU  o'c' from 2.6 to 3.4

Someone said I should go fo the Hitachi Deskstar?
I've already been warned not to fall for Sata II or Sata III hype, but I'm not sure about cache size?  16, 32, 64.  And I was told the density of the disk in ration to the RPMs is most important.  

So I've got four hours before I MUST BUY for overnight delivery!  

Thanks, guys (and gals)

Question by:AFTerry

Expert Comment

ID: 34946366
Video (AV) disks are the fastest and most durable. SATA II is adequate for basic use. Do not buy 5400 RPM disks. They are cheap but access times are poor.
LVL 78

Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 34946561
for an o/s only hd i'd recommend a ssd i.e.ntel SSD XM-25 II 80 GB then whatever you want as a data hard drive.

Expert Comment

ID: 34946639
SSDs are super fast but very poor in $/GB ratio and you must not put your pagefile on an SSD drive.

Author Comment

ID: 34947000
Okay!  I've checked out the Video (AV) disks and are they look very good.  I will be using Lightroom, Photoshop, and MOSTLY Dragon Dictate.  I'll be running these programs off of the drive.  Is the AV disk a good choice?  Over the SATA IIs?

The two 500 GB AV drives I've just looked at are WD and Seagate.  Which is better?  Both are 7200 RPM.

I looked at the SSD's and the same questions above apply.  I'd get an 84? GB SSD 2.5 inch.  I'm guessing I simply need an adapter for installation.  (no big deal).  But will I see a sigificant increase in write/read over a 500GB AV drive.

And what is the pagefile that CAN'T be on the SSD?  I'm assuming that is critical to the O.S. loading.

Points ready to be given.  Just need this clarification.

Author Comment

ID: 34947038
I just saw that the AV-GP drives come in PATA or SATA?  Which for me?
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Expert Comment

ID: 34947145
Your MB has SATA II storage chip so use SATA.

Author Comment

ID: 34947161
SSD and pagefile?  Is that the only thing ruling out an SSD.  Aren't SSDs used on laptops?

Expert Comment

ID: 34947201
AV disk means that it is designed for sustained data transfers and therefore they need to be more reliable and faster than ordinary disks. "SATA II" is the data transfer architecture, not a disk type as "AV" is.

It really doesn't matter if you have WD or Seagate. There are differences in power consuption and noise level only.

SSD is very much faster than disks with moving parts. However, the memory chips have limited amount of times they can be written to before they fail.

OS writes all the time to page file so page file on SSD drive will cause extra fast wear on SSD. You can start your computer without a page file but some software requires that you have a page file. Also, if you want to make a crash dump, you must have a page file.
LVL 47

Assisted Solution

dlethe earned 180 total points
ID: 34947293
With a sample size of one, don't worry about reliability.  I've seen half-million dollar RAID subsystems die more than I care to discuss, as well as $39.00 SATA disks bought on sale.  The fact is that 100% of disk drives die .. eventually.

(If you want data protection, go RAID1 and use an offsite backup -- but even commercial remote backup vendors are not infallible).

You should read this paper, you are going about this the wrong way.

Accepted Solution

Toxacon earned 320 total points
ID: 34947333
@dlethe, whatever your arguments are, some disks last longer than other. AV disks consume 50% less power than ordinary and because of that they produce less heat. Heat causes the bearings and electronics to deteriorate and the disk fails sooner.

Yes, every disk fail sooner or later, but it does matter if it fails in two years or six years.

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