Still batting around replacing my hard drives.

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by deusexaethera, Mar 8, 2010.

  1. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    I have 5GB of space left on my RAID array.

    - For $450 I can pick up 3x 150GB VelociRaptors and get 2x my current storage capacity.

    - For $180 I can pick up 3x 250GB WD RE3's and get 3.3x the capacity, but I'll take a hit from the increased latency.

    - For $140 I can pick up 2x 320GB WD RE3's and get 2.1x the capacity, but I'll take two hits from the increased latency and from lower throughput. I'll also have an empty hot-swap bay, which doesn't really matter, but I feel like I should be using it since I have it.

    I was really happy with the Raptors back when I got them, but I was stupid and I didn't provide them with any cooling at all, so now when I run a disk check I can hear the heads bouncing all over the place reading substitute sectors because a bunch of the primary sectors near the beginning of the disk have gone bad. That is eating into my bootup times something terrible.

    I don't really know how much "normal" hard drives have improved since I got the Raptors; the access times are pretty much set in stone, since the speed of the platters hasn't changed any, but maybe that doesn't tell the whole story. One thing that could mitigate the decreased speeds from the slower drives is that I have an IDE FLASH card being used to cache frequently-accessed files, and during a bootup simulation it shows the cache-assisted transfer speed is ~4x faster than with the hard drives working alone. But...cache-assisted transfers with fast drives is even better than cache-assisted transfers with regular drives.

    I don't want to spend money on this computer at this point, but I can't bring myself to replace it either. I've got it set up just the way I want, and it does everything I need. Replacing the hard drives should kick it back up a notch, because it will actually boot up quickly again, so that would be nice, and I've got cooling on the RAID array now so it won't go bad again.

    What do you think? Go balls-out and get the best hard drives on the market, or just go one-ball-out and get decent hard drives that will do the job without the bling factor? Even $450 is better than $2000 to build a whole new computer.
     
  2. freshie

    freshie New Member

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    i'd go for the decent hard drives, it'd be nice to bling it out, but theres some point you gotta just say enough
     
  3. Graham

    Graham OT Supporter

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    I had bad luck with Raptors. 3 out of 4 of the 150gb drives died, and two of them with no warning.
    For now, i'm gonna run normal sata drives until ssd's come down some.
    Especially since I haven't noticed a difference in speed from the Raptors to the big Seagates and Samsungs i'm currently running.
     
  4. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Well I finally broke down and went with the 3x 250GB WD RE3s. Spent the evening yesterday backing up the old array, installing Windows on the new array, and restoring the backed-up files.

    It's nice to have a half-terabyte of storage at my disposal now, which was the primary reason to do the upgrade, but it's also remarkable how much cooler and quieter the RE3s are compared to the Raptors I used to have. It doesn't seem like an extra 2800rpm should make so much more heat and noise, but I guess it does.
     
  5. 5Gen_Prelude

    5Gen_Prelude There might not be an "I" in the word "Team", but

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    How come you didn't just replace one drive at a time instead of reinstalling?
     
  6. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    My card doesn't support dynamic array expansion as far as I know (though the documentation doesn't say it can stand-up an existing array without re-initializing, and I know it can do that from experience, so...:dunno:), and anyway rebuilding 3 disks would've taken just as long as backing up and restoring. The whole thing, not including chasing down drivers for my SATA DVD drive, took about 4.5 hours. Besides, even though Raptors and RE3s are both RAID-optimized, I didn't know if the controller would get confused trying to rebuild the second disk from one Raptor and one RE3 and fail the operation, and I didn't want to find out the hard way. It was safer to just swap all the disks at once.
     
  7. dissonance

    dissonance reset OT Supporter

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    You still going with RAID-3 or moving to RAID-5 this time?
     
  8. CodeX

    CodeX Guest

    How the hell have you been living with only 200gb for this long?

    I have 2tb almost full and am considering getting another 2... :rofl:
     
  9. dissonance

    dissonance reset OT Supporter

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    He uses 3D drive write/read technology so he gets 50% more usable space than anyone else :mamoru:


    sorry deus, I couldn't resist...
     
  10. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    I see you still don't get it. What a shame.

    Anyway, I'm still using RAID 3. Don't feel like replacing the controller in a computer this old.
     
  11. dissonance

    dissonance reset OT Supporter

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    I don't know shit about tapes, so I just skimmed that thread and your discussion.

    Makes sense, I didn't know your card doesn't support RAID-5. I thought you just chose to build a RAID-3.
     
  12. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Nope, no RAID 5. Not sure I'd really see the benefit from it anyway, in a home PC. I'm using an old NetCell PCI card, which still holds its own surprisingly well; I've got two other computers using them, one of them being a 64-bit PCI-X card, and they all hit 90MB/s sustained across the entire array -- no droop towards the end like with single hard drives. With the new drives installed in this machine, the burst speed and random speed are actually a little higher than they used to be with the Raptors, amazingly enough. I think these new drives are single-platter, whereas my old Raptors were double-platter.

    - - -

    Anyway, the thing I was trying to say about tapes in the other thread is, a single sliver of tape can hold a bunch of bits across its width (let's say 128 bits, that's a good number). When you stick those slivers of tape together and wind them onto a reel, the round side of the reel is comparable to a hard drive platter with a single bit exposed at each point -- but each "edge bit" has a bunch more bits hiding underneath it in the interior of the reel. Hard drive platters can't do that unless you stack lots and lots of platters into the same disk, but nobody makes 128-platter hard drives; I think the most I've ever seen is 10 platters, so that's 20 "stacked bits" at most if both sides of all the platters are used.

    Yes, you have to unwind the tape to read the bits in the interior of the reel, which is why it's slower, but when it's all wound up a reel of tape can store bits in a smaller package than a hard drive. (they also cost less since they don't include the I/O hardware in each tape.) Hence my recommendation for the guy in that thread to use tapes to store data that hasn't been used in a while, instead of taking up unnecessary extra space to store it all on hard drives when the older data doesn't need to be accessed instantly.
     
  13. 5Gen_Prelude

    5Gen_Prelude There might not be an "I" in the word "Team", but

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    [​IMG]

    :mamoru:

    No one is arguing the validity of using tapes for archival purposes, we were laughing at your inexplicable decision to base your comparison on 3D and 2D, which is not only inaccurate, but a completely pointless exercise since it doesn't take into consideration density of the written material or any of the other REAL measures of a good medium. You completely went off the deep end with your 2D vs 3D comparison. THAT'S why we were laughing.
     
  14. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    :dunno: I know how to make graphs in Excel too, that doesn't mean a whole lot.

    Actually my explanation DOES take into account the bit density of the medium, but I really don't feel like arguing about it, much less with people who have no visual-comprehension skills.
     
  15. 5Gen_Prelude

    5Gen_Prelude There might not be an "I" in the word "Team", but

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    Clearly it doesn't because by your own admission, you can fit more data onto the surface of platters than you can on the same size tape. In this example, an LTO4 which holds 800 Gigs:

    1/2" * 820m = 10.414 m^2

    Ignoring the spindle portion of the HD (and the fact they're not actually 3.5")
    (3.5"/2)^2 * pi = .0062 m^2 * 10 sides of platters = .062 m^2. You can achieve quite easily 2 TB, or 2.5 times the amount on .6% of the surface. Even the new LTO5 won't touch those specs.

    bit density what?

    There are inherent issues with tape - it's not nearly as efficient at storing as much data per square meter of medium as HD platters - hasn't been for some time. Besides, something I didn't correct you before about the coordinate system - again - HD, need to know where on the platter it is 2 (because it's not a record, it's not just one big track), and which platter, 3. Tapes have set number of tracks and track lengths - you just need to know which track, and where on the track.

    This isn't about you not being able to explain to us feeble minded idiots, it's you who have come up with a theory that isn't based on reality.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2010

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