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    Advice needed on upgrading PC (HDD, RAM).

    1 - Ok, I'm looking to buy a 500gb HDD.

    I want something very quiet and quick.

    I saw these two:

    amazon.co.uk/gp/…-21

    amazon.co.uk/Wes…e_2

    Very similar in price and spec so not sure which of the two are better, or if I should go for something else.

    Reason I am buying is my PC currently, my Seagate 80gb which is quite old is making a lot of noise, hissing sounds. I'm sick of it, it's giving me a headache so £35 or so for a huge upgrade isn't expensive!

    Does anyone have any advice?

    2 - Whilst am on the thread (and am gonna edit the title), I should probably upgrade my RAM. Currently have 2x1gb of PC2-6400 DDR2 RAM. Does anyone have any advice on what to look for for going from 2gb to 4gb and indeed, is it worth it?

    My motherboard is ASUS M2N-MX SE if that helps for any advice.

    I am also (still) using Windows XP Pro 32-bit. Considering going to Windows 7.

    Thanks.

    28 Comments

    Banned

    advice - put the thread in the right section

    Banned

    you sure SATA will fit?

    Original Poster

    Well, I have two SATA port. One is used by my DVD Drive and one is used by my memory card reader but if I have to, I'll just remove the memory card reader!! I guess IDE would be a lot slower right?

    Can you get SATA splitters to run two SATA devices on one port? So I could run DVD RW and Memory Card Reader on one SATA?

    PC is fairly new.

    As far as the right section, I thought this was it. If not, am sure a mod will help out!

    Moved to correct forum

    Banned

    AV1985;6741897

    Well, I have two SATA port. One is used by my DVD Drive and one is used … Well, I have two SATA port. One is used by my DVD Drive and one is used by my memory card reader but if I have to, I'll just remove the memory card reader!! I guess IDE would be a lot slower right?Can you get SATA splitters to run two SATA devices on one port? So I could run DVD RW and Memory Card Reader on one SATA?PC is fairly new.As far as the right section, I thought this was it. If not, am sure a mod will help out!


    surely you have 4 sata 4 ports on your motherboard in which case you just need a sata cable

    Original Poster

    I have just popped out but when i get home, i will use hwinfo to get my mobo info.

    Assuming SATA is fine though, are there any real differences in those two HDDs?

    AV1985;6741897

    Well, I have two SATA port. One is used by my DVD Drive and one is used … Well, I have two SATA port. One is used by my DVD Drive and one is used by my memory card reader but if I have to, I'll just remove the memory card reader!! I guess IDE would be a lot slower right?Can you get SATA splitters to run two SATA devices on one port? So I could run DVD RW and Memory Card Reader on one SATA?PC is fairly new.As far as the right section, I thought this was it. If not, am sure a mod will help out!



    IDE will be the same speed, but the drives themselves may be more expensive and will tend so be older so they'll be slightly slower.

    You can't split SATA ports, but you could add a PCI or PCI-E card that gives you an extra one or two.

    If it's silence you want then the ]third option is going to be the quietest, It will be slightly slower than the other two, but still an improvement over an 80GB disk in performance.

    For the other two I don't know which is better as I haven't seen any specific reviews, the 1TB version of the 7200.12 had some poor reviews though.

    Original Poster

    I checked, and my motherboard is ASUS M2N-MX SE.

    Only has two SATA, damn. Might look at getting a PCE card for another two SATA then as I do use the memory card reader!

    And is there a difference between SATA and SATA2?

    Whilst am on the thread (and am gonna edit the title), I should probably upgrade my RAM. Currently have 2x1gb of PC2-6400 DDR2 RAM. Does anyone have any advice on what to look for for going from 2gb to 4gb and indeed, is it worth it?

    Original Poster

    EndlessWaves;6742585

    If it's silence you want then the ]third option is going to be the … If it's silence you want then the ]third option is going to be the quietest, It will be slightly slower than the other two, but still an improvement over an 80GB disk in performance.



    Would it be a huge difference in either speed or sound than the other two? And what makes this one quieter, what am I looking for in the descriptions?

    Thanks.

    AV1985;6742814

    Would it be a huge difference in either speed or sound than the other … Would it be a huge difference in either speed or sound than the other two? And what makes this one quieter, what am I looking for in the descriptions?Thanks.



    I'm fairly sure that drive runs at 5400rpm rather than 7200rpm. less movement, so less noise. incidentally slower than an otherwise identical 7200rpm drive of course, though if you're going from an IDE 80GB I wouldn't lose too much sleep over it.

    On the RAM, do you have issues with RAM exhaustion? What makes you think you need to? (just playing devil's advocate - I run 8GB on this box for the record, but then everyone's usage is different)

    Either way I'd guess if you're on a budget, take a look for another pair of 1GB dimms (ideally identical to the existing ones, but in reality I mix, as long as the pairs are ok in themselves I've never had issues). Suggest you consider an x64 OS if/when you move on. Actually, I need some pretty decent convincing to run 64 bit hardware in 32 bit mode... (for the register space if nothing else)

    I am assuming your CPU is 64 bit?

    Original Poster

    PR1;6743408

    I'm fairly sure that drive runs at 5400rpm rather than 7200rpm. less … I'm fairly sure that drive runs at 5400rpm rather than 7200rpm. less movement, so less noise. incidentally slower than an otherwise identical 7200rpm drive of course, though if you're going from an IDE 80GB I wouldn't lose too much sleep over it.On the RAM, do you have issues with RAM exhaustion? What makes you think you need to? (just playing devil's advocate - I run 8GB on this box for the record, but then everyone's usage is different)Either way I'd guess if you're on a budget, take a look for another pair of 1GB dimms (ideally identical to the existing ones, but in reality I mix, as long as the pairs are ok in themselves I've never had issues). Suggest you consider an x64 OS if/when you move on. Actually, I need some pretty decent convincing to run 64 bit hardware in 32 bit mode... (for the register space if nothing else)I am assuming your CPU is 64 bit?




    Yeah, my CPU is 64 bit.

    I don't think a pair of 1gb dimms is any point. It'd just be a swap. Oh, my mobo only has two slots!

    I'm not sure whether I should really go from XP Pro to Windows 7. Plus, buying Windows 7 isn't cheap either.

    I don't I have issues with RAM exhaustion but if I check task manager now, it says 533M/3021M. Whatever that means!

    As far as the drive speed btw, my current drives are also both 7200rpm so I may notice a slow down?

    ahh ok, sorry assumed you had four as most ddr2 boards tend to. in that case yes you'd need a pair of 2GB dimms - 4GB dimms are pretty extortionately priced still. corsair are pretty decent and reasonably priced, I've 2x2GB XMS2's and 2x2GB generic crud running on my machine. both seem fine but if one fizzles I'd only likely get anywhere with corsair

    win7 is a definite upgrade from winxp. I wouldn't pay retail pricing though. My main rig runs linux, and I've a laptop running windows 7 ultimate, with a few other boxes running stuff that changes month to month - but that's just because I have a technet subscription anyway (so essentially have 'free' licences for pretty much all microsoft server and desktop stuff for personal use/fiddling).

    on disk speed - I expect your old 80GB drives only have 8MB of cache (just a guess, but it's likely as not right), plus the platter density is much lower... I'd be surprised if you noticed a slowdown, it'd probably still seem faster given 32MB of cache and higher density. Plus I think you're moving from IDE to SATA aren't you?

    The 7200.12 is a very good HDD, but also take a look at the Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB drive, it also offers very good performance for the money.

    In all honesty I'd put 7 on with the 2GB and see how it goes. If you're buying new 4GB DDR2 the pricing isn't very good at all; have a look on ebay and see if you can get a bargain if you need the 4GB.

    Original Poster

    Is it likely that I'm not gonna notice a huge boost from 2gb to 4gb anyway?

    I think the HDD is a priority.

    Am interested in checking out Windows 7 but it's an extra £50 or so I can't really afford to spend if I don't need it!

    emasu, any links for that drive?

    Well, I use seagate drives on all my systems. My main rig uses 500GB 7200.12's in raid and is on 24hours no issues. Although the 5400rpm drives will still be faster than your old drive mainly due to the cache available.

    As for more than 2gb of ram for xp or windows 7 I don't think most users need more. Also with the recent price hike in DDR2 memory you would be better off spending the money on a graphics card to help the system and free up some system ram presuming you are using onboard graphics.

    AV1985;6742814

    Would it be a huge difference in either speed or sound than the other … Would it be a huge difference in either speed or sound than the other two? And what makes this one quieter, what am I looking for in the descriptions?Thanks.



    Like monitors, hard drive stats are pretty meaningless right now. If you want to know relative performance/noise/power consumption you need to read reviews.

    As for the memory and OS, what do you use your computer for? Neither are a must have upgrade for an existing computer but they may help if you're using it heavily.

    AV1985;6744210

    emasu, any links for that drive?



    scan.co.uk/pro…884

    Plenty of reviews on the net of it's bigger brother in 1TB form.

    Original Poster

    GAVINLEWISHUKD;6744222

    Well, I use seagate drives on all my systems. My main rig uses 500GB … Well, I use seagate drives on all my systems. My main rig uses 500GB 7200.12's in raid and is on 24hours no issues. Although the 5400rpm drives will still be faster than your old drive mainly due to the cache available.As for more than 2gb of ram for xp or windows 7 I don't think most users need more. Also with the recent price hike in DDR2 memory you would be better off spending the money on a graphics card to help the system and free up some system ram presuming you are using onboard graphics.



    Thanks for all that. I'm not using onboard, I have a Radeon 4550 which I'm quite pleased with, a good £30 spent that was!

    So I'll stick with 2gb DDR2 RAM. Yeah, it seems dearer now than I remember!

    What does the cache actually do?


    EndlessWaves;6744356

    Like monitors, hard drive stats are pretty meaningless right now. If you … Like monitors, hard drive stats are pretty meaningless right now. If you want to know relative performance/noise/power consumption you need to read reviews.As for the memory and OS, what do you use your computer for? Neither are a must have upgrade for an existing computer but they may help if you're using it heavily.



    I use my PC quite heavily. Playing quite a lot of games such as Arkham Asylum, Assassins Creed, PES 2010. It's also on nearly all the time, on the net quite a lot as well as all sorts of programs. No graphical stuff but yeah, am a fairly heavy user I'd say. I've always preferred speed over looks which is why I stuck with XP Pro over Vista.

    As for the HDD, there are so many, it's tough to know where to start!

    I know they're about £35 but I'm happy to spend an extra few quid for a top notch drive in terms of performance and sound. I don't really need more than 500gb though, I have about 40% free on my current 80+120gbs! Even 250gb would probably be enough though I guess 500gb means I never need to upgrade or worry about my HDD space.

    emasu;6744493

    http://www.scan.co.uk/product.aspx?ProductId=30884Plenty of reviews on … http://www.scan.co.uk/product.aspx?ProductId=30884Plenty of reviews on the net of it's bigger brother in 1TB form.



    They are a lot different though I guess? The 500gb one is £48 or so on Amazon so that price on Scan seems good.

    Original Poster

    Here's a few I saw and thought about:

    scan.co.uk/pro…693 - No reviews on Amazon.

    scan.co.uk/pro…770 - Bit dearer. And Amazon reviews call it loud.

    scan.co.uk/pro…527 - Only 16mb cache, though quicker write speed than the WD. But no reviews on Amazon.

    Gah, too much choice!

    It's £35.36 on the Today Only page, comes with a free SATA cable too. If you get free delivery too from AV/Hexus etc. then it's a very good deal in my eyes.

    Original Poster

    emasu;6744714

    It's £35.36 on the Today Only page, comes with a free SATA cable too. If … It's £35.36 on the Today Only page, comes with a free SATA cable too. If you get free delivery too from AV/Hexus etc. then it's a very good deal in my eyes.



    Yeah, that's what I just saw. Can't find many reviews on the 500gb version though. Amazon reviews are dodgy.

    Original Poster

    In addition, this was the cheapest SATA PCI card I can find, for £7.99:

    amazon.co.uk/gp/…er=

    AV1985;6745666

    In addition, this was the cheapest SATA PCI card I can find, for … In addition, this was the cheapest SATA PCI card I can find, for £7.99:http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000MR7SNS/ref=olp_product_details?ie=UTF8&me=&seller=



    erm,

    "SATA port can run SATA bus version 1.0, SATA port trans speed can up to 1.5G, Work in Win98SE/Me/200"

    I'd avoid and look for SATA-2 purely on the basis all current drives are v2 and while they should be backward compatible I've seen a couple of people have issues doing this (probably drive/card dependant).

    Give me a sec I'll see if I can find you an alternative...

    [edit] actually, I'm doubting you have a PCI-e slot available, and all the sata-2 cards appear to be PCI-e. Which does make sense given the PCI bus bandwidth, but is a little bit of a shame for you... [/edit]

    Just playing devil's advocate, what about spending 30-50 on a new motherboard which should have 4 or more SATA ports, 4 dimm slots (so you can add more RAM later if you ever need to), and potentially enable a later CPU upgrade (don't know what you're running currently or if that's crossed your mind). Just thinking since you're about to spend a quarter of what a mobo will cost on a SATA card it's worth considering if you can... scan.co.uk/pro…692 looks cheap for what it is at a quick glance, £36 on scan today only... but if you're interested I'd check it out first

    Banned

    why not just connect your dvd-rw to an IDE and use its sata for new hdd?

    Original Poster

    PR1;6747461

    erm, "SATA port can run SATA bus version 1.0, SATA port trans speed can … erm, "SATA port can run SATA bus version 1.0, SATA port trans speed can up to 1.5G, Work in Win98SE/Me/200"I'd avoid and look for SATA-2 purely on the basis all current drives are v2 and while they should be backward compatible I've seen a couple of people have issues doing this (probably drive/card dependant).Give me a sec I'll see if I can find you an alternative...



    I was thinking to put the memory card reader onto the PCI SATA card and then run the HDD off the modo SATA port. Can I be sure that my mobo will support SATA II? I guess that'd work right? And you are right, I don't have a free PCI-E!

    Getting a new mobo is fine but I don't really have time to dismantle mine and put it back together! Plus, if any of the RAM/processor are incompatible or damaged on removal, that could become a huge headache. I appreciate the idea though.


    csiman;6747690

    why not just connect your dvd-rw to an IDE and use its sata for new hdd?



    My DVD-RW is only a SATA. I think!

    Original Poster

    Few more thoughts on which HDD.

    These two seem to have good specs. 32mb cache, 7200rpms, though I can't choose between them:

    scan.co.uk/Pro…che

    scan.co.uk/Pro…-ms

    These are the WD Caviar Green and Black.

    Note, in regard to my current drive being very noisy - it's not the "in operation" noise - it's the "idle, high pitched whiney noise" that is really annoying me as it gives me a headache!

    Any suggestions from anyone in regards to which of those two drives? I am looking for something quiet and high performance of around 500gb. The Spinpoint F3 was also a consideration but there are just too many options!

    Original Poster

    Thanks to everyone for helping.

    I went with the Western Digital Caviar green with the 32mb cache, 500gb. £35.82 on Scan's Today only price.

    Also bought a SATA PCI card for £7.99 from Amazon.

    Thanks to all :-)

    mod

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