Hard Drive Changeout Decision

Discussion in 'hardware' started by TheKid7, Nov 9, 2010.

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  1. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    My 4 year old PC has a 320 GB SATA300 hard drive (non perpendicular recording model) which contains the Windows System Partition. This hard drive is working fine.

    However, recently I ordered 2 Samsung 5400 RPM 2 GB SATA 300 hard drives because it was a really good deal that I could not pass up ($59.99 each). From user feedback, it appears that this Samsung hard drive will probably load Windows much faster than my current Seagate. One user actually said that the Samsung had faster benchmarks than a Western Digital 1 TB Black SATA 300 hard drive.

    Decision Needed: Should I restore an image of my System Partition to one of the new Samsung hard drives and use it as my main System Partition Drive? In other words, is possible performance increase worth the little bit of time and effort needed to change hard drives?

    Thanks in Advance.
     
  2. Fiat_Lux

    Fiat_Lux Registered Member

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    Personally I would not have gone with Samsung despite the price, I would rather have paid a little extra for my favourite brand, and model.

    Your question :
    Windows boot time depends upon the drives speed.
    Check you different drives properties by running a benchmark yourself : use CrystalDiskMark .


    P.S.
    Personally I seriously question that a 5400 RPM Samsung drive should be faster than a WD Black Caviar (7200 RPM). (and .b.t.w. Black Caviar new models have gone SATA 600/SATA 3 by now and does not cost much more than the SATA 300 models where I live)
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2010
  3. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    You will only know that answer by testing it yourself. Remove your current system drive, put image on the Samsung and use it. Record times or whatever. You cannot look at specs and know for sure which one will be better when you compare older technology to newer. Well, within reason anyway.

    You should also study all aspects of the drives and determine which factors have the most weight for you. For example, one drive might write data faster, or read data faster, or non-sequentially (random) read/write faster. One might boot faster or shut down faster or load applications faster (real world tangible evidence). I might choose a drive that opens and displays a directory with many files (such as sys32) very quickly over one that writes a bit faster - reason is simple, I can wait a minute to copy, but I normally want instant reading of directory structures.

    Sul.
     
  4. Fiat_Lux

    Fiat_Lux Registered Member

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    You are right about "real world" numbers rather than synthetic numbers but CrystalDiskMark is a rather useful tool anyway. I would say it the other way around by saying that, within reason, you can compare technology if you got the experience. Like that it is very unlikely that a 5400 RPM Samsung drive will be will nearly as fast as a WD Caviar Black. I have real-world testet both Samsung against WD Caviar Black and different WD Caviar Black drive sizes plus I ran synthetic benchmark (4 times) on the all the things also , so trust me when I tell you that I did not leave it to random. All this were in connection with fixing a problem on a relatively small formfactor mediacenter PC that I also had to "custom-make" by doing inside metal works to allow for fans and a whopping 5 (five) X 3.5 inch full size harddrives inside that small thing (+ 1 X 2.5 inch drive, not connected).
    I real world tested 5 drives (at that time 4 X 3.5 inch drives & 1 X 2.5 inch drive) by copying both ways between all drives twice. Once both ways by using a directory with a lot of small files plus once both ways by using a directory with only very large files, plus I ran synthetic benchmark (4 times) on all the drives also. So I think I do my testing thoroughly , do you test this thoroughly?
    Actually the Samsung 750 GB (7200 RPM) were slightly faster on some of the synthetic benchmark but also around 20% slower on "Sequential Read" and somewhat slower on the "Sequential Writing" both compared to the WD Caviar Black 640 GB (SATA 300) which is faster than the 1TB model WD (except for a little slower on synthetic benchmark "Buffered Reading" & "Random Reading") .
    No matter what I made the decision to put in the Caviar Black 640 GB as boot drive as I believed it to be a better quality drive than the Samsung drive , meaning that it would hopefully last longer , and also the Samsung drive were not faster in everyting).
    Before you ask me to post my tests made then I before hand can tell you that it is going to be a no, most of it is written in non-english and I am not going to translate it all just so I can post it here....

    Anyway , "Some likes the mother and some likes the daughter" , so opinions differ .
    With kind regards
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2010
  5. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    lol, I don't want to see your results. I have been down that route many times. Besides, unless testbeds are identical they are only a broad based example of what will "probably" happen.

    Regarding quality of samsung vs wd, you cannot simply look at a drive or what brand it has and say it is 'better'. You can look at a specific drive model or a specific run of drives and possibly say that though. I have had drives of all makes die without warning, and drives of all makes still going when I thought for sure they would puke.

    Regarding speed of drives, I would think it possible for a new 5400 rpm drive to be as fast as an older 7200 rpm drive. Why would you dismiss newer technology not being able to trump older technology? One does not know unless they test themselves, but still, it depends on the technology differences.

    Also, benchmarks are fine and can be of help. But they are not always the standard by which the goals should be set. This applies to any hardware benchmarking. How many here have ever bought a 'better' product and either not seen a performance benefit or actually thought the 'lesser' product was better? Same goes with benchmarks. You can put them through every test imaginable, getting results down to the nano-second or bit, but that will not change what you "feel" happening. I have some drives that are faster than others. I know they are. Tests show they are, specs say they are. But whether or not one drive beats another is dependent many times upon what the use is. In my example, I use the 'slower' drive as my system drive because for some reason it operates the OS better - faster reading of directories, faster loading of OS tools like snap-ins. The 'faster' drive is to my human senses, perceptively slower. It is faster, but only physically manifests itself to my flesh if it is used as a data drive where all it does is move/store/read larger chunks of data. (lol, no I won't produce the data, you'll just have to trust me on this ;) )

    It might also come down to drivers and other hardware combinations or even how one might tweak thier OS. The fact of the matter is, to me anyway, all the tests in the world still might not tell you what your physical senses will percieve. They might, or they might not. If there is one thing I have learned about hardware over the years, it is that I can research and research and research, make the best choise possible based on all data at hand, but in the end, unless I can test the lesser against the better, there is just no way of telling.

    In this case the OP has the luxury of actually having both of the components to test. Usually you make the best choise using what infos you have and you never know because you don't buy both to see which is best. I say to the OP, give each a test drive. Do what you normally do. Ignore (in part) which one you "think" will be better and see which one "feels" better.

    If you are still in doubt after all of this, my simplest rule of thumb regarding harddrives is this: use the newest one as it stands the least chance of going bad.

    Sul.
     
  6. Fiat_Lux

    Fiat_Lux Registered Member

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    Well, well , well, quite a rebuttal there... But perhaps if you spend a little less time laughing (l.o.l.) at people (for no apparent reason) and a little more time reading what people actually wrote then perhaps discussing with you would be a little more fruitful...
    And let's see : Did I at any point suggest in my first post that "CrystalDiskMark" should be more than a useful tool ? , no I think not !
    And did my second post not deal exactly with "real world" numbers/performance also , YES I think it did. So why you think that you are in a position to lecture me, with respect to the importance of "real world" performance, that would completely escape me.
    The case back then were actually that another "Mr. know it all" had told someone close to me that his Media Center PC, that the someone close to me had bought from the other person, were much better of running with the 2.5 inch drive than with a regular size harddrive (2.5 inch drive size could soon become regular size when SSHD drives takes over), and I had to battle not only the "original" PC builders taste for noiceless over performance but also that the buyer had been told that the 2.5 inch drive would be/were (just nearly) well performing, what it was not. So I had to demonstrate both that the noice level would not be annoying when the Media Center PC were standing in a quiet living room but also I had to prove the huge gain in performance by replacing the 2.5 inch drive with a high performance drive.
    Hence all that mattered were the "real world" performance, and though the buyer, the someone close to me, chose to stay with the, at that point second class CPU (though I suggested an upgrade - I had to replace the M.B. anyway), and I installed a 64BIT O.S., then I still managed to cut boot time down to half by mounting the 7200 rpm WD Caviar Black drive as boot drive, and this I actually had to demonstrate repeatedly, and also I had demonstrate how much more responsive the PC had become when Windows were up and running.
    Had you read my post a little closer and perhaps with a little more intelligence you might both have noticed and wondered that I even left in the 2.5 inch drive un-connected inside the PC together with the 5 full size drives, but it was a simple matter that I installed the whole thing onto the WD Caviar Black drive and then when totally finished I then copied the whole thing onto the 2.5 inch drive that it were ready to boot and run, and we actually alternated boot drive repatedly just swapping the cable before turning on the PC for testing, and then leaving the user always with the alternative to go back to the 2.5 inch drive.
    This doesn't make you sound very intelligent. Both common sense and knowledge of drive technology would dictate that because of the faster rotational speed, 5400 rpm versus 7200 rpm and the fact that the WD Caviar Black drives performs very well for drives their price class then I think that there is no way that a 5400 rpm Samsung drive would be better or faster at booting than a 7200 rpm WD Caviar Black drive. Boot time is a question of both transfer speed, access time and so on, but while I might find it slightly plausible that a 5400 rpm Samsung drive might have a high transfer speed then there is no way that I woud find it plausible that the time to get files would be fast for the 5400 rpm Samsung drive. The difference in drive rotational speed alone would suggest it impossible for a Samsung 5400 rpm drive to keep up accessing data compared to a 7200 rpm WD Caviar Black drive, but you perhaps do not understand drive technology sufficiently. With respect to all your speak about "technology differences" then I am not aware that there have been any "evolutionary jumps" in technology that would allow the Samsung 5400 rpm drive to break the law of physics.
    If you had any ability to read at all you might have read that I wrote "it is very unlikely that a 5400 RPM Samsung drive will be will nearly as fast as a WD Caviar Black" and that the "OP", as you expresses it, in the starting post tells that :
    "One user actually said that the Samsung had faster benchmarks than a Western Digital 1 TB Black SATA 300 hard drive."
    and then asks :
    "Decision Needed: Should I restore an image of my System Partition to one of the new Samsung hard drives and use it as my main System Partition Drive? In other words, is possible performance increase worth the little bit of time and effort needed to change hard drives? "
    So while busy making fun of people you completely ignored some of the point of my post, as my point were not only with respect to the so called "OP's" current equipment but I was also questioning the information that the "OP" had been given with respect to the Samsung 5400 rpm drive versus the 7200 rpm WD Caviar Black drive.
    You failed my point miserably when you wrote :
    In this case the OP has the luxury of actually having both of the components to test.
    as the "OP" does not have a 7200 rpm WD Caviar Black drive . (The "OP's" present drive is a "320 GB SATA300" and "WD Caviar Black drives" has not been manufactured with less capacity than 500GB)
    You thus indirectly totally ignore that both my previous posts has pointed to the issue regarding what the user had been told. (I am aware that the "OP" has both old and new drives at hand, but that situation was not my only point, was it.....)
    Yeah! , like I am going to present you with all my experience and enter into a discussion with you about the technicalities of building a durable computer/PC.
    I did write in my second post "that I did not leave it to random" and I think that I more than sufficiently proved that I support going with your own experience and "real world" performance and impressions rather than just synthetic numbers, so I can't see that I, besides pointing to the issue regarding 5400 RPM Samsung versus WD Caviar Black, then have written anything that could lead people to get the impression that I would not recommend the going with your own experience and "real world" performance and impressions rather than just synthetic numbers.......
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2010
  7. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    Dude, you seriously need to calm down.

    I don't really know what you are talking about.

    The OP said he has an older 7200 drive, non-perpendicular. He said he has a new 5400 drive. We don't know exactly how old or exactly how new. We don't even know what the motherboard or the chipset is. It is quite possible that the new drive, even at a slower speed, could out-perform the older drive.

    My points being, you can benchmark and compare specs all day, but at the end of the day, what feels fastest may be different that what specs and tests show.

    The OP has the luxury of being able to test each, so I encouraged this.

    You make claims that a WD is better than a Samsung, or whatever. That is called an opinion. I didn't ridicule you about that, I simply stated you can't make that sort of broad based comparison because it isn't true. You have to make a such a claim in a much narrower scope, which is impossible because we don't know the model and revisions in this case.

    OP, do what you like and just ignore us. If it were me, I would test them each out as an OS drive and a data drive if you are using images. Use whichever feels the fastest or just play the odds and use the newer drive for the most sensitive data.

    Sul.
     
  8. Fiat_Lux

    Fiat_Lux Registered Member

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    Sounds about right to me...
     
  9. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    I just changed out the hard drive. I replaced the 4+ years old Seagate 320 GB 7200 rpm SATA 300 hard drive with the new Samsung 2.0 TB 5400 rpm SATA 300 hard drive. There was no decrease in performance with the new Samsung hard drive. However, any improvements in performance could not be clearly detected. The NOD32 splash screen is definitely faster with the new Samsung drive, but I could clearly quantify any other improvements.

    Oh well, it is nice to have a new hard drive. It also gave me more experience restoring images.
     
  10. Warlockz

    Warlockz Registered Member

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    CrystalDiskMark gives to many mixed results, which in turn makes it an unreliable Benchmark tool, at least that was the case when I tried it:thumbd:
     
  11. Fiat_Lux

    Fiat_Lux Registered Member

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    You are right that CrystalDiskMark benchmark output may vary , that's why I ran the CrystalDiskMark benchmark tool 4 times on each drive (plus CrystalDiskMark itself performs multiple benchmark each time itself and gives an average - as far as I remember) to get what I considered a reasonably reliable synthetic performance estimate ...
     
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