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Bill McQueen

To Partition or not ?

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Hello, Just about to buy a Samsung Spintpoint F1 1Tb Hard disk, it has 3 platters of 334Gb approx each. My question is as this will be the only hard disk in my computer would it be wise to partition it or leave as one whole drive?If partition is recommended what would be the ideal split? I thought about 3 partitions of 334Gb, makes logical sense doesn't it?I welcome your expert opinions :-beerchug

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Bill,I wouldn't recommend a single hard drive. Get two. Install the OS onto one and FS on the other.The general concensus is that multiple partitioning slows access down.Two 500Gb drives would be a good move. Just my six penneth! :-)

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I have partioned mine for a good reason. I have FSX on one my terrain data in another and XP on another. It helps to keep my FSX data from getting fragmented everytime i use the internet or install someting new into xp. As far as performance is concerned it wont be that big as most dives are much better now then ever. If its a SATA drive just make sure if it has any jumpers on it that it is set for max speed. As i found on one of mine that the jumper was set for the lower throughput by default, so read the docs.

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Ray and MJRHealth both bring up viable points.Ray recommends a second physical hard drive in order to separate the OS/Applications from FSX. This allows your computer to access the operating system and any other programs *independently* of the flight simulator's read/write head, leading to some performance gains. The performance gain is usually only found when loading flights (no FPS gains), but it can be witnessed. The drawback to this scenario is that you spend a little more money.MJRHealth also has a viable solution. Partitioning a large drive into to separate logical drives will work well at keeping your OS/Applications from getting jumbled in with your simulator files. The benefits is that you only have one drive in the case. Some drawbacks include slight performance impacts when loading flights (the read/write head will be moving all over the platters). Do not equate the number of platters with how you should partition - the drive will write to ALL THREE platters at once, filling each of them up in parallel from the outer edge inward. You should partition according to your needs. (Perhaps 750/250) Personally, I use a separate physical drive as well - but with a full 1TB drive, the data density of the platters may assist you withdrive speed. Gotta run!-Greg

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Thanks for your input guys! As per my sig I have 3 hard drives installed at present and couple that with the gfx card the case tends to generate a serious amount of heat.This is why I would prefer to just cut down to one large hard disk to ease the temperature and also maybe put in a new ATI HD4870 (or the X2 version upon release).As to partitioning I would prefer 3 seperate, one for o/s which is Vista Home Premium X64, other for flightsim and third for downloads, swap file, etc.

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Actually i have to drives both partioned for that reason to keep the head jumping down, even thinking of going to 3, but if you have heat problems look at gettting a case that supports more fans, some of the better power supplies have nice big fans to get rid of the heat to.

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Bill I was wondering the same thing as well back in April when I built my system. Should I get one drive for windows and a seperate drive for FSX, or one big drive and partition? When it came down to it I asked the advice of Michael at FS-GS before I bought the equipment and had him do my set up. His advice was neither. Get one drive and put FSX and the operating system one drive that was at least 500 GB. So in the end that is what I did. I got one 500 GB drive for FSX and Win XP and one 320 GB drive for backups and storage. Now keep in mind that my rig is basically dedicated to FSX only. I have no other programs installed on that drive and I use my old computer for internet and messing around with other stuff. My result so far, PERFECTION. I have no problems with loading times, stutters, etc. This is just my senario, so I thought I would give you another opinion. Good luck.

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Personally I have two 320GB drives set up as a RAID0 drive. This allows two drives to be seen as one single drive and you get quite a large performance boost on top of it.I then partition the drive with the OS on one partition, swap file on a small one, FSX one another, one for general stuff and the rest for whatever.It is certainly faster than one drive by itself or even two single drives.John Veldthuishttp://www.virtualpilots.org/signatures/vpa475.png

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Hi John, I had previously setup my two existing 320GB Hard Drives on a RAID0 configuration but to be honest never noticed any real difference performance wise.I might just bite the bullet here and get a 1TB drive on 2 partitions for o/s and backup + a separate WD Velociraptor for FSX if my budget stretches that far :-)!

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Modern defraggers are very "clever". They don't just blindly defrag individual files, they actually optimize the file and folder structure. Also, the FS9-style photo sceneries with hundreds of thousands of tiny files are thankfully a thing of the past. I no longer see the need to mess with partitions or keep FS related files away from everything else.However, having two partitions can come in handy. For example, when you reformat the OS partition, you can just copy over anything you want to save to the other partition.FSX is more CPU/GPU limited than harddrive limited. If you get the blurries, it's not because the harddrive can't keep up, it's because of your CPU and/or videocard. There's not that much disk activity when flying over scenery - certainly nothing a single 7200RPM drive can't handle, even if the heads have to make the occasional sweep to locate some system file or write to the paging file.I have two harddrives, both have a single partition. My 640GB drive is the C: partition, and the 500GB drive serves as storage of downloads, movies, music etc. and as a backup drive (I mirror any important documents and other files). Having a 640GB C: partition (well, it's actually 596GB, stupid marketing people) does come in very handy..no need to worry about running out of space because you made your C partition too small.

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I vote for keeping the F1 just for FSX.Put EVERYTHING on it.....and use something like Ultimate Defrag (learn how to use it properly !)Separating stuff onto different doesn't really work....the CPU just has to keep track of 2HDD's and 2 MFT's......Have a second drive - (dual boot system.) Any old cheapo HDD will do, for accessing the internet, office stuff etc. This will also prevent FSX getting nasty viruses etc. and most importantly, you can install Ultimate Defrag. on the small drive, and defrag your FSX 'remotely'...ie. run it from your internet HDD and OS so FSX is not actually running. This is quicker and less risky.It is pointless buying such a fast drive as an F1 and then partitioning it...no, no, no!Buying 2 and running in Raid 0 (mirrored - might be Raid 1 - I forget)is the ideal way. Striped shows no improvement in gaming performance.Regards

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