120 gb is the Largest hard drive I can put in my 4550?

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Suzeann Loomis, Dec 4, 2003.

  1. Suzeann Loomis

    derek / nul Guest

    I would not expect any bottlenecks at 1 hit every 3 seconds, any IDE could
    handle that.
    SCSI comes in handy at 30 hits per second
    derek / nul, Dec 6, 2003
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  2. Windows XP Pro, Service Pack One. One gigabyte of ram. Thanks for all
    your answers, everyone. No, I didn't contact Dell because the answers
    here in this forum seem adequate. I had suspected that I was being
    given false advice about the limitation, which is why I posted here.

    I had a chance to buy Western Digital Caviar 200 gb drives, with the 8
    mb cache, on a post-Thanksgiving day sale for $99 each, but passed
    them up because I was uncertain, as in my original post, A nephew has
    a 4550 computer and he also was uncertain if the BIOS would support
    such a large drive.

    Currently I use a 120 gb drive, and I have an identical 120 gb drive
    (both partitioned into four partitions) in a slideout drawer (Computer
    Geeks, about $7, I've used these for years). I use Karen's Replicator
    (outstanding freeware) to backup the non-system partitions, and
    Windows' own ASR backup for the system partition. That duplicate drive
    sits in bubble wrap, in a large plastic baggie, under my car seat. It
    simply plugs into and out of a drawer in a 5" bay.

    I also do a second backup of data and photos into an 80 mb drive that
    I put into a Plumax USB2 case. That goes elsewhere, outside my house.

    Thanks again. There will be more sales after Christmas.

    By the way, how soon will these Serial ATA hard drives be a regular
    feature and will there really be any advantage to them? (I do mostly
    photo work, with larger photos, more than 10 mb., and documents. No
    games or spreadsheets.)

    Suzeann Loomis, Dec 6, 2003
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  3. Suzeann Loomis

    Leythos Guest

    But you are showing your lack of experience and understanding again -
    anyone that runs a web farm that can tell you the total hits per day
    also knows that those hit are NOT evenly spread out around the 24 hour
    period. It could be 1000 hits in a minute and then nothing for 20

    Let me give you a real world example of a MS SQL Server

    Server 1: Compaq Dual Xeon P4 - Raid Controller setup like this:
    Drive 0/1 20GB UW320 Set for C Partition (Hardware Mirror)
    Drive 2/3 80GB UW320 Set for D Partition (Hardware Mirror)
    D = Database Log Files
    Drive 4,5,6,7,8 UW320 Set for E Partition (Hardware R5)
    E = Database Data Files
    Drive 9 Single UW320 Set for F partition (no raid)
    F = Simple online backup temp storage

    Server 2: No-Name, Single Xeon P4 - RX6000 Raid Controller
    Drive 0/1 60GB IDE on internal IDE controller
    6GB Partition - C, 51GB Partition - D
    D = Database Log Files
    Drive 2,3,4,5,6,7 IDE Drives on RX6000 RAID 5
    E = Database Data files

    Both servers are running Windows 2000 Standard, 3GB RAM, and only run MS
    SQL 2000. Both servers have the exact same database. Both controllers
    have 128MB of cache on them. Tests were run with Hyper-Threading enabled
    and disabled to determine any difference in performance - HT made no
    significant difference in these tests.

    When running the same stored proc, after clearing the cache each time,
    the IDE system out-performs the UW320 system by about 30% each time.

    I was very surprised at this and can repeat the results on every process
    running that hits the drives hard.

    Now, show us an example, in real life, where your experience with IDE
    RAID controllers (that have cache) perform significantly slower than
    SCSI controllers. You could also attempt to show us the same on
    controllers that have under 64MB of cache.
    Leythos, Dec 6, 2003
  4. Suzeann Loomis

    Tom Scales Guest


    I had a great laugh. All these people were giving you silly answers and
    acting very condescending and you're a knowledgeable power user. Karen's
    tools are great stuff -- my wife is a big fan too. I think your approach
    (which is similar to mine) works great. My storage needs (over a terabyte in
    the house) are identical to yours. I'm an amateur photographer and do all my
    'darkroom' work on the computer. I recently upgraded to a decent digital SLR
    (Nikon D100). Every image is about 25MB. Those are small compared to the
    120MB images from my 4000dpi film scanner.

    The storage adds up fast.

    I have a DVD burner, but at 60 cents a gigabyte for disk storage, fine just
    adding storage to be a better approach. I also use a Maxtor 200GB
    USB2/Firewire drive which is very handy, but am going to look into the
    drawer you mention. The downside is I have two drives in the open bays so
    I'd have to give one up.

    Run down to Circuit City if you have one and buy the 250GB drive for $149.
    8MB cache and very quiet. Great deal!

    Have fun.

    Tom Scales, Dec 6, 2003
  5. Now I am really confused.. 20 Mb/s sounds measly, IDE drives can burst 100+
    (150 on SATA) and they DO that, cause I tested.. Also they can supply
    sustained at 50 MB+ and they do that, measured from the speed of "ghosting"
    a drive on an other one.

    While I understand the concept of multiplexing, it seems to me that the
    numbers you presented do not quite add up..

    I am looking forward for the approval of my new server, it should have
    enough "variety" to be able to demonstrate proof on concept and benchmarking
    for the technology in discussion.. Again, I hope I do not screw up - grin

    Cristian Croitoru
    Cristian Croitoru, Dec 6, 2003
  6. Suzeann Loomis

    Miro Guest

    I think they mean multi-threading.

    There are Fibre Channel, SCSI, IDE drive controllers.
    Miro, Dec 6, 2003
  7. Suzeann Loomis

    RodP Guest

    What model system and controller?

    Backplane in simplex or duplex mode?

    RodP, Dec 7, 2003
  8. Suzeann Loomis

    Leythos Guest

    ML580, 7U rack mount
    Smart Array 5302 with 128MB RAM for drives 0/3
    Smart Array 5304 with 256MB RAM (for R5 drives)
    Drives are Pluggable U320 10K RPM

    I didn't set the server up, but that's as much as I have access to on
    that machine.
    Leythos, Dec 7, 2003
  9. Suzeann Loomis

    RodP Guest

    No such server. ML570 or DL580? G3 presumably?
    Also looks like it wasn't setup for optimal disk performance. Not
    surprising, very few servers I've seen actually are.

    RodP, Dec 7, 2003
  10. Suzeann Loomis

    Leythos Guest

    Sorry it was the ML570 - got to many servers on the brain right now.

    Yea, I didn't have any say in it, but still it was amazing that the IDE
    array could outperform the R5 in the SCSI system.
    Leythos, Dec 7, 2003
  11. Suzeann Loomis

    Ray Setzer Guest

    What in the world does the basic computer user need with Raid5? They are
    unlikely to have 250GB worth of data. Unless they are doing big time video
    editing, in which case they should be moving up from basic Dell's to
    workstation class machines.

    Don't just stick something in your machine because you can. Put it in
    becuase its what you need.
    Ray Setzer, Dec 9, 2003
  12. Suzeann Loomis

    Ray Setzer Guest

    Swappable drives are very handy. Lian-Li is one maker of these hand devices.
    It allows you to just keep buying HD's whenever they are on sale. This
    allows you to swap in whichever drive has the data you wish to work on.
    Ray Setzer, Dec 9, 2003
  13. Suzeann Loomis

    Tom Scales Guest

    True I suppose, but since my Dimension 4550 has 550GB I don't need to swap
    very much.

    Tom Scales, Dec 10, 2003
  14. Suzeann Loomis

    S.Lewis Guest

    You're just bragging now, Tommy. How many internal disks? externals?
    Controller card?

    S.Lewis, Dec 10, 2003
  15. Suzeann Loomis

    Tom Scales Guest

    Two internals, a 250GB boot drive on the motherboard controller. A 100GB on
    a separate controller (came free with the 250GB drive -- $149 total). 200GB
    External, either Firewire or USB2 depending on my mood.

    Big digital images (120MB each) take lots of space, particularly if you back
    them up.

    Tom Scales, Dec 10, 2003
  16. Suzeann Loomis

    S.Lewis Guest

    Very nice. So tell me, since I have neither toy yet (or the need for
    either), which external drive do you believe to be faster moving/accessing
    those large files? An anecdoctal answer is fine. I'm just curious.

    S.Lewis, Dec 10, 2003
  17. Suzeann Loomis

    Ray Setzer Guest

    An external drive is fast enough to capture video to, but I find them to be
    a real dog if I want to transfer that 20GB video file I'm working on to a
    different drive.

    I don't know that I could recommend a raid setup for the average user. Yes,
    its fast, its reliable, but if you have a conflict of any kind, it will be
    beyond the abilty of a basic user to do troubleshooting.

    If I were truly going to do RAID, I would do an external RAID, but then I
    don't have $2000 just lying about.
    Ray Setzer, Dec 10, 2003
  18. Suzeann Loomis

    Tom Scales Guest

    My Maxtor external does both and I've tried it both ways. I haven't
    benchmarked it, but to the user, the difference is not measurable.

    Tom Scales, Dec 10, 2003
  19. Suzeann Loomis

    Nick Guest

    I bought a couple of Maxtor USB2 external drives not too long ago for

    I don't remember the exact numbers any more, but when I researched I think
    the USB2 bus speed was a little faster than the Firewire speed.

    Also, (if I remember right) the USB2 speed was in between the UDMA-5 bus
    speed (the internal drive that came with this Dell) and the UDMA-2 bus speed
    (the internal drive I moved over from my previous Micron computer).

    As far as an 'anecdotal answer': backing up to the external drives is
    incredibly faster than backing up to my Seagate Travan tape drive was! :)
    Defragmenting the external drives takes longer than defragging the internal
    drives, but that's probably because of the extremely large files sizes: from
    ~400 Megs up to ~26 Gigs.
    Nick, Dec 11, 2003
  20. Suzeann Loomis

    S.Lewis Guest


    Tom/Nick -

    That's helpful information to have. Given the USB or 1394 connection, any
    problems partitioning the drive(s) during initial setup? I can see where
    formatting would be simple, but I was trying to imagine the smoothest way to
    fdisk such a drive.

    S.Lewis, Dec 11, 2003
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