Cheap SWAP drive?  

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tarnis
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Cheap SWAP drive?

by tarnis » Sat Jun 20, 2009 8:20 pm

Been looking around for something without too much luck. Was kind of hoping to find some Very cheap small 40gig? SATA drives...maybe 3 or 4 to make a raid0 disk to use as scratch. I don't think I'd trust any hard drive to use RAID0 as permanent storage and 500gig's is a bit excessive for this purpose.

Alternative two is maybe some way of building a RAM Disk. I have 8gigs on board...not sure I got any performance boost or anything over 4gigs even in a 64bit environment. However not sure if splitting 4gigs off would be enough. or does anyone else make something like this? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815168001 I don't see any other products around of this type.


Any suggestions?
Last edited by tarnis on Sat Jun 20, 2009 8:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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mediavets
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by mediavets » Sat Jun 20, 2009 9:15 pm

tarnis wrote:Alternative two is maybe some way of building a RAM Disk. I have 8gigs on board...not sure I got any performance boost or anything over 4gigs even in a 64bit environment. However not sure if splitting 4gigs off would be enough. or does anyone else make something like this? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815168001 I don't see any other products around of this type.


Any suggestions?

For Windows:
http://www.superspeed.com/desktop/ramdisk.php
Andrew Stephens
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Nikon D5100 and D40, Sigma 8mm f3.5 FE, Nikon 10.5mm FE, 35mm, 50mm, 18-55mm, 70-210mm. Promote control.

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by tarnis » Sat Jun 20, 2009 9:24 pm

How does that compare with this one I just found?

http://www.mydigitallife.info/2007/05/27/free-ramdisk-for-windows-vista-xp-2000-and-2003-server/

Not to say this is doing anything for me... I'm rendering and noticing there is NOTHING going into the temp drive. C: drive is chugging, but I checked the default temp dir and don't see anything happening in there either.

Show hidden folders is turned on in windows explorer.

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by hankkarl » Sat Jun 20, 2009 11:29 pm

IMO, don't make a RAID out of small, cheap drives.

They use older technology, and you either have software RAID (which may slow things down) or you have to buy a RAID controller.

Look into either a 10K RPM disk (e.g. WD Raptor) or one of the WD "black" series. Larger disks usually fit more bits into a cylinder, so you don't have as much head movement. And newer drives have larger buffers.

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by tarnis » Sun Jun 21, 2009 12:09 am

So are you saying don't use a RAID, use a really fast disk? Of course a RAID would probably be faster but as an alternative...

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by hankkarl » Sun Jun 21, 2009 1:00 am

There's no simple answer. You have to look at each disk, and how you do the RAID.

A 15K RPM SAS disk may outperform a bunch of older disks used as a RAID. Even a 10K SATA disk may do this. And there is a world of difference between HDDs--for example, WD offers a "Green" and a "Black" drive series. The Green saves power, but it spins at 5400 to 7200 RPM. The Black series has two controllers on it, spins at 7200 RPM, and has bearings at both ends of the spindle, and has a 5 year guarantee. Both Black and Green drives are normally sold as 7200 RPM drives, but the Black is significantly faster. But it may be that both the black and green series significantly outperform drives from 4 or 5 years ago.

Also, we've asked Kolor to allow multiple disks for temp storage in the future, so you can get the benefits of a RAID without the expense or other issues.

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by tarnis » Sun Jun 21, 2009 2:27 am

Right now I'm primarily looking at a pair of these:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148395&nm_mc=AFC-Bensbargains&cm_mmc=AFC-Bensbargains-_-NA-_-NA-_-NA

otherwise I had seen this deal pop up, but the drives I'm hearing may not be so great(the drive that started this thread though)
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?sku=A2574112&cs=19&c=us&l=en&dgc=CJ&cid=24471&lid=566643&acd=10495476-404255-
can be had for $200 after coupon.

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by hankkarl » Sun Jun 21, 2009 2:51 am

The Seagate Baracuda is a fine drive, both of the ones you mentioned are fairly modern.

You'd have to google the drives to find out how good they are/what the performance is, etc.

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by wjh31 » Sun Jun 21, 2009 12:12 pm

toms hardware might help for performance benchmarks (http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/hard-drives,3.html)

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by hankkarl » Sun Jun 21, 2009 8:44 pm

Be careful. The charts list some Raptors as slower than 7200 RPM drives (but those Raptors are SATA-150, not SATA-300).
Last edited by hankkarl on Sun Jun 21, 2009 8:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by tived » Mon Jun 22, 2009 2:36 am

Hi Tarnis,

have you thought of getting a small, SSD drive like the PQI S525 32gb approx US$95 and if you want to expand on this, get two :-) alternatively get an Intel :-) they appear to be the cream of the cake 200+mb/s transfer

Raptors - the original 34 and 74Gb were Sata 150, the later models are SATA-II, all 10000rpm. However, they don;t shine in everything, so when you look at benchmark test on some web sites is makes good sense to read up regarding what the benchmark is trying to tell you, eg what tasks it is emulating. And, take benchmarks with a grain of salt, they are an indicator of expected performance, in a given set of conditions.

Some of the new bigger disks are very fast, and their throughput is very good, for a desktop system. If you are seeking real performance you need to look at SAS drives, there everything is fast, and are made to be fast for a long time :-) ...in other words they are made to last.

SSD drives, are not new, they have just become affordable. These, or some of them, can produce throughput many times faster then SAS drives even in raid configurations, but come at a price too. There are also some concerns regarding their lifespan, but it is still up in the air. if you do get one, have a look at SDD Tweaker, a little software, helping the SSD disk live longer :-)

good luck - I will be moving to SSD as soon as the funds permits - cheapest form of upgrade to a performance system, and could solve the biggest bottleneck in your system

Henrik

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by [bo] » Mon Jun 22, 2009 8:00 am

I'd go with SSD myself too, if I wanted small and fast RAID0 solution that keeps no important data...
Some of my panoramas, posted in the Autopano Pro flickr group.

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by tarnis » Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:37 pm

My drives arrived today, never ran a RAID before so I suppose I should ask before I start actually copying files to it since I didn't think what I'm doing was possible.

I have two disks, the Intel Matrix Manager allowed me to make more then one volume for the two drives...much to my surprise it allowed me to make one Raid0, and the other Raid1(500gigs raid0, 250gigs raid1). Is there any reason this would be a bad idea? I thought the whole thing needed to be one or another. Kind of prefer the idea of this.

Thanks,
Matt

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by tarnis » Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:03 am

Brain is starting to process a flaw in my plan...will say I don't plan on using both the raid1 and raid0 drives at the same time as that would obviously cause a performance hit.

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by DrSlony » Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:16 am

"Is there any reason this would be a bad idea?"
This depends on what you plan to use your RAID1 for, because this, in turn, dictates when you will be using it. Using either of your two disks for anything other than RAID0 at the same time as you use your RAID0 would beat the purpose of spending all that cash. On the other hand, I don't see why you shouldn't be able to use the RAID0 as swap space for APG and then, once you finish postprocessing your panos, copy their finished versions to RAID1 for safe storage...

... more dots ...

...then again, RAM is so cheap, that unless you shoot gigapixel panos, you'd be better off with getting 8 or 16GB RAM, creating a RAM disk, and enjoying a ~1000 times faster stitch. Well not literally a 1000x faster stitch since there are other bottlenecks when you have that fast read/write, but RAM is generally said to be 1000 times faster than HDD. With a 10GB RAM disk you should be able to stitch panos between 200-400 megapixels and save as 16bit TIFF.

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by tarnis » Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:09 am

Doing gigapixel pano's

Just seems like a waste to dedicate 1gig to swap space, figured half should be enough then use the other 250gigs for RAID1 but upon some more looking around mixxing isn't all its cracked up to be. More then one person complaining they lose both volumes when the HD died, and couldn't recover the RAID1 space so going with all RAID0. I'll pick up an external 1gig drive to back it up to I suppose.

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by purduephotog » Sat Oct 24, 2009 1:10 am

I have had very good success at using 320gb Maxtor/seagate drives for RAID-0 applications. Fast, reliable, and pretty cheap.

Now adays however even 500gb is cheap- under 50$ easily- so don't be afraid to upgrade to them to use.

Don't be afraid of the size factor. Use the first 1/3 of the drive (called short-stroking) to keep your speeds high and take advantage of what technology brings.


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