Computer Set Up Questions--3 Final Questions

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Thanks again to each of the people who took the time to respond to each of
my earlier posts.  You really have been of great help in steering me in the
right direction--and saving me some expensive mistakes.  I really appreciate

I had two final questions, if anyone has the time:

1.  While I plan on running 2 Western Digital Raptors (WD740GD 74 GB) in
Raid 0 for games, and other programs that I want to operate at the best
possible speed, can I also have another hard drive for simple data storage
of things like pictures, documents, etc.?

2.  Can you recommend a good quality DVD/CD ROM for the system previously
mentioned.  I was looking at a internal Plextor PX-716SA, 6X Dual Layer (8.6
GB ), DVD+R/RW/CD-R/RW SATA,  Below is a link to the site that gives specs:

Again, I really wanted to say thanks to each of you that have been so kind
in lending a hand with this project.  I really have appreciated your time
and guidance--skip
Skip Retzlaff
403 Rene Levy
San Antonio, TX 78227
Comm:  HP 210-645-4372
             WP 210-292-0413

Re: Computer Set Up Questions--3 Final Questions

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Sure.  On my old ASUS board I had two plain old WDs raided and several
other HDs.

None of my HDs raided on my AMD 64 board. Anandtech has a test of the
two raptors raided and came to the conclusion there was virtually no
gain in performance and he even did game loading tests the one area
which some thing there may be a benefit -- nope.  Of course there was
no effect on actual game play. He advises not to use raid cause theres
a higher chance of losing your data cause as they always say over and
over again if one fails you lose everything and since you are using
two HDs the odds are increased. And of course Raptors are really
expensive and puny in size. In fact in a recent test of some 7200 rpm
larger disks at Anandtech I was surpised to see some comments where he
says the Raptors are now only marginally faster than some newer
drives. Havent checked to see if thats true but its a change from the
gushing early reviews of the Raptors Id read from most of the review
sites when I read them a while ago.

You can get huge HDs for dirt cheap nowadays so if the performance
really is marginal than it maybe much more worth it to get a huge HD

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Well there have always been Pioneer and Plextor fans. They tend to
cost more than the extremely popular NEC though. The NEC is great ---
lots of people use it and I have the older dual layer 2500a and its
been working great. I had another NEC before that the 4x.

Re: Computer Set Up Questions--3 Final Questions

Gald i could be of help

DVD burners are out of league(thinking of buying one at then minute) but for
stuff like that i tend to go for the fastest/cheapest/recognisible brand.

concerning the hard drives, the previous reply was quite right if the raid 0
setup fails your screwed so.....

you can do the following

create a 0+1 raid
have the two striped drives(raptors in raid 0) mirrored to another disk in
raid . Because the raptors are only 148 gb total a simple 160gb drive would
do. BUT the problem is your motherboard only has two sata slots and doesn't
support ide raid, so the only choice to do this is to choose a different
motherboard, But as i'm sure you put alot of research into your current one
only do that if your prepared to start the "hunt" again.

Buy another hdd
all of your sata ports will be taken up with the raptors, so just buy
another ide hdd and put it on the spare ide channel, what ever size you
like, either go for western digital or seagate, those tend to be the popular

Another thing i just notice that your current motherboard uses the k8t880
chipset, i'm not sure but i think this means it doesn't support sata
natively, which means you gotta install the raid drivers, if you can find a
similar motherboard with an nforce 4 chipset it might make life slightly
easier, but its not really a problem just an option.

so just in case you didn't get that

can you have another harddrive? yes, buy an ide HDD of your choice
Can a recommend a good quality dvd etc.? not really, but i tend to stick
with the big names. (sony, samsung etc.)
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Re: Computer Set Up Questions--3 Final Questions

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See heres a thing by Anandtech in which he implies raptors arent way
ahead of the pack anymore . Once again I havent done a search to
confirm this and compared the test results to see how difference there
is but he clearly implies other HDs are close in performance.  

From a test back in JUNE on a 250 gig Maxtor sata HD with NCQ :

With the MaXLine III, Maxtor has given users a good in-between point
for those who want the capacity of a 7200RPM drive, but with the
performance of Western Digital's 10,000RPM Raptor.

Weighing in at 250 or 300GB, a single MaXLine III drive should be more
than enough for any desktop user and finally, such a large capacity
can be had without a performance tradeoff.

The MaXLine III performs just as well as any of the fastest desktop
hard drives available today, but when used with an NCQ-enabling
controller, the performance potential is improved tremendously.
Although we could only show it in one of our three multitasking tests,
NCQ can have some pretty serious performance implications for those
users who are running a lot of applications simultaneously.


This is the test I mentioned where he seems excited about NCQ on the
newer board and HDs.  Note he says it only made a big difference in
one of the 3 test he did.

Another thing is theres been a lot of bashing of maxtors --- saying
they virtually all fail within a few weeks or months. I havent had
that experience but I just wanted to let you know. Ive posted however
similar posts Ive come across on WD and Seagate. Most people seem to
like seagates right now because of their 5 year warranty in general
but their 300 and 400 gig HDs - their external models if you look them
up on Amazon the reviews are vritually 100 % horrendous --- REAL
claims of failures within days and weeks on them so Im not
recommending any brands. However Ive recently purchased yet another
maxtor a few months ago Ive bought maybe 30-40 of them over the last
few years with no problems ,  a 200 gig WD 3 months ago and a 160 gig
seagate a few weeks ago.

I had a small problem with the WD (actually some may say large ) but
it seems OK now -- clicking , failure to boot and flakiness. Since
reformatting etc and reinstalling the WD seems OK now though.
Strangely enough Im having a slight strangeness since installing the
seagate too ---- I thought and it still maybe only the nvidia drivers,
the new ones.  However Ive installed the old ones again nvidia drivers
for my nforce4 board and it just rebooted again spontaneously though
no where near as much as it did last week when I first tried the new
nforce drivers. I suspect though the nvidia drivers (especially the
one for IDE) possibly corrupted some data which may have caused the
reboot and other instability problems despite me using the old ones

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