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Hard drive question

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Old 09-08-2002, 01:31 PM
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Hard drive question

Not knowing much at all about computers, I have a question about hard drives. I'm considering buying a second hard drive, and I have 512 MB DDR Ram installed in my Dell computer. The Ram is listed as PC 2100. I've seen hard drives advertised as 5400 rpm and PC 133. There is another advertised as 7200 rpm and PC 100. I'm thinking that the faster the rpm, the faster the hard drive, but I'm also thinking that the PC 100 is capable of transferring 100 MB per second, and the PC 133 goes at 133 MB per second. Is that right??? If so, and I had to choose one or the other of the ones mentioned, which one would I be better off with? Would there be a noticeable difference? More questions to follow.

Ed
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Old 09-08-2002, 01:39 PM
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Ed, you definitely want to go for the rpms. The other numbers refer to the bus speed, and it doesn't matter how fast the bus speed is, the CPU will always have to wait for the hard drive to find the data. The faster the drive spins, the faster it can pass the data to the bus.

Remember, the hard disk is a mechanical device.

Luck...
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Old 09-08-2002, 01:40 PM
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In speed terms about the blink of an eye Ed. I do usually get the faster option but I'm probably wasting my money which is better spent on Ram.
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Old 09-08-2002, 02:06 PM
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I have never heard hard drive bus speed referred to as "PC 100"...am I just out of touch? I always heard "Mode 5, Ultra ATA" etc... as referring to transfer speed. Do these two terms refer to the same thing?
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Old 09-08-2002, 03:34 PM
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I think we're talking apples and oranges here.

Ultra ATA-133 refers to the maximum hard disk data transfer rate of 133 Mbytes/sec. Look for the seek times in the spec. sheet. The lower the seek time the faster the hard drive.

PC-2100 refers to the ram theoretical transfer rate.
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Old 09-08-2002, 04:09 PM
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Thanks for the replies folks. Now I know what to look for. Greg, I told you I knew little about computers . It was probably ATA 100, and ATA 133. (okay, what does "ATA" stand for?) Sorry for the mixup.

Ed
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Old 09-08-2002, 04:16 PM
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Two generalizations about hard drive speed (ie there are exceptions):

RPMs are directly proportional to noise. Slower drives are quieter.

RPMs are inversely proportional to reliability. Faster drives are much harder to keep cool, which means they have more early deaths.


I've used 10,000 rpm SCSI drives on my lab systems and found that they are noisy, and get very hot, even in a seperate case with extra fans. The new 15,000 rpm drives seem to be more of the same.

My own preference is for IBM 5400 rpm drives for the majority of my storage, since they run quiet and cool. If I had a bit more money, though I'd have one of the 15,000 rpm drives for a scratch disk...

--tks
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Old 09-08-2002, 04:26 PM
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Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA)

Also known as Ultra DMA, ATA is generally the least expensive hard drive interface; many computer motherboards include ATA controllers and cable connectors that typically control the "C" drive that contains the operating system.
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Old 09-08-2002, 05:12 PM
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Wow! Knowing something like that almost makes me a nerd! Thanks for the reply.

Ed
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Old 09-08-2002, 05:50 PM
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What do you hope to gain or do better or what problem(s) are you trying to solve?

The answers will affect shopping options.
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