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Noel

Opinions/facts on how HDD performance affects FSX performance

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My 36gb 15K rpm SCSI that FSX alone sits in is now almost full. I have a decision to make: clone this drive to another 73GB 15K SCSI I have, or dump it on a 250 gb SATA II 7200 rpm drive. It would appeare access time is about the only advantage with the 15K SCSI versus the 7200 drive has. Buffered read rate is actually much better with SATA II. So, I wonder, has anyone verified what benefits one can achieve with a better performing HDD, but more importantly, what HDD perf parameter is likely to be meaningful, if at all? I did clone my existing Vista 64 FSX installation to the 250gb SATA II, and don't think I'm noticing a difference. It's still quite fluid and I don't see to be getting lags at all. Here is an Everest comparison of the two drives:I wouldn't expect anything in terms of frame rate impact, but perhaps texture loading, etc. Again, not sure what matters more here: buffered read rate, random, or access time? I wouldn't mind losing the SCSI controller etc as it slows boot time. I purchased these 15K rpm scsi's to optimize GigaStudio's realtime disk streaming technology. It turns out the SATA II works fine in that environment too.Thanks for your expertise . . .Noel

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My 36gb 15K rpm SCSI that FSX alone sits in is now almost full. I have a decision to make: clone this drive to another 73GB 15K SCSI I have, or dump it on a 250 gb SATA II 7200 rpm drive. It would appeare access time is about the only advantage with the 15K SCSI versus the 7200 drive has. Buffered read rate is actually much better with SATA II. So, I wonder, has anyone verified what benefits one can achieve with a better performing HDD, but more importantly, what HDD perf parameter is likely to be meaningful, if at all? Noel
Just to complicate things... another factor is how far you allow a drive to fill up. More than 50% full has a negative performance impact,and I can imagine that a lower utilization may well have a positive impact since the disk arm has less distance to travel.

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Noel,Spend the money and get yourself a 300GB Western Digital Velociraptor for your FSX drive you will not be disappointed (you will have plenty of room for addons). You are keeping your FSX OS and FSX install on seperate drives are you not?

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Noel,Spend the money and get yourself a 300GB Western Digital Velociraptor for your FSX drive you will not be disappointed (you will have plenty of room for addons). You are keeping your FSX OS and FSX install on seperate drives are you not?
Yes I have always kept OS and FSX on separate drives. Sarg do you know what if anything matters in FSX with re to HD performance characteristics? I don't think I want to buy another drive right now because I have the two drives here I can play with. If one fails, then yes for sure I will pick up the racey drive you mentioned as I know it's always the top pick. What I was hoping to find out here was why it matters. You can see burst read is really ok with the lowly SATA II I have. Do you know what parameters affect anything meaningful with re to FSX? Access time seems kinda iffy really: 9ms faster access with my 15K SCSI, but I am thinking FSX request scenery loading in anticipation of where the sim is going, and if it's .9ms later, will this translate to anything meaningful (ie, percievable)? I would think CPU utilization could matter some. You can see, there is low CPU use with both drives. I appreciate the recommendation, but I still haven't heard from anyone with regard to what aspects of FSX perf are affected by HD perf characteristics.

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I appreciate the recommendation, but I still haven't heard from anyone with regard to what aspects of FSX perf are affected by HD perf characteristics.
Noel,And I expect you are not really going to hear from anyone who has hard data on the subject. Conventional wisdom would suggest that the drive with the fastest access and read times is going to provided better performance for FSX provided that the system to which the drive is connected can receive the data optimally. Synthetic benchmarks are not going to shed much light on real world or app specific performance. If your current 250GB SATA gives you satisfactory performance in FSX then by all means stick with it. However, it seems to me that you enjoy getting every little bit that you can out of FSX. :(

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From a more common sense point of view, one might consider that a hard drive's job is to transfer data to (and from) the system. That's the long of it . . . and the short of it. The rate at which the HD can transfer data to and from the system (ie data rate) will be the OnLy measurement parameter that will matter to a final performance result. For instance, the data must be accesses - before - it can be transferred to the system. Therefore, decreased access time (most certainly) has the potential to Increase data transfer rates, but as a stand-alone metric, it is meaningless. This is very similar to the ram speed discussion. Internal ram latency decreases only matter if they assist by Increasing the amount of data that can be transferred from/to the system. In that case, the controlling metric was memory buss <> system buss latency through the memory controller. Ram module internal timings (5-5-5-12/etc) and speeds (DDR12-50gazillion/etc) were meaningless unless they decreased memory buss <> system buss latency. As we remember, huge decreases in internal module latencies and equally huge increases in ram "speed" were required to produce decreases in this latency metric . . . and it took equally huge decreases in this latency metric (2X) to produce only arguable increases in FS performance. Great fun for the computer hobbiest, but a high risk/limited reward proposition for the FS-er. I ran some FS tests with HD transfer rates of ~ 250MB/s then with at 100MB/s. There was no perceivable ingame result and load times were only marginally affected. Overall, my system "felt" more responsive with the 250MB/s transfer configuration. but this was sensed only because one tends to develop a very tactile sense about their own system. Again, the FS change was indecipherable. These test indicate that HD transfer rates at ~ 100MB/s are more than FS needs for any aspect ingame play. Faster transfer rates might help game/flight load times, but by only a few seconds, at best.

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From a more common sense point of view, one might consider that a hard drive's job is to transfer data to (and from) the system. That's the long of it . . . and the short of it. The rate at which the HD can transfer data to and from the system (ie data rate) will be the OnLy measurement parameter that will matter to a final performance result. For instance, the data must be accesses - before - it can be transferred to the system. Therefore, decreased access time (most certainly) has the potential to Increase data transfer rates, but as a stand-alone metric, it is meaningless. This is very similar to the ram speed discussion. Internal ram latency decreases only matter if they assist by Increasing the amount of data that can be transferred from/to the system. In that case, the controlling metric was memory buss <> system buss latency through the memory controller. Ram module internal timings (5-5-5-12/etc) and speeds (DDR12-50gazillion/etc) were meaningless unless they decreased memory buss <> system buss latency. As we remember, huge decreases in internal module latencies and equally huge increases in ram "speed" were required to produce decreases in this latency metric . . . and it took equally huge decreases in this latency metric (2X) to produce only arguable increases in FS performance. Great fun for the computer hobbiest, but a high risk/limited reward proposition for the FS-er. I ran some FS tests with HD transfer rates of ~ 250MB/s then with at 100MB/s. There was no perceivable ingame result and load times were only marginally affected. Overall, my system "felt" more responsive with the 250MB/s transfer configuration. but this was sensed only because one tends to develop a very tactile sense about their own system. Again, the FS change was indecipherable. These test indicate that HD transfer rates at ~ 100MB/s are more than FS needs for any aspect ingame play. Faster transfer rates might help game/flight load times, but by only a few seconds, at best.
Sam,Did your test include flying over a rural area into a very dense urban area with a big add on airport? I guess this change will result in a lot of disk access reading a lot of scenery and texture files. No difference at all in such a scenario?

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From a more common sense point of view, one might consider that a hard drive's job is to transfer data to (and from) the system. That's the long of it . . . and the short of it. The rate at which the HD can transfer data to and from the system (ie data rate) will be the OnLy measurement parameter that will matter to a final performance result. For instance, the data must be accesses - before - it can be transferred to the system. Therefore, decreased access time (most certainly) has the potential to Increase data transfer rates, but as a stand-alone metric, it is meaningless. This is very similar to the ram speed discussion. Internal ram latency decreases only matter if they assist by Increasing the amount of data that can be transferred from/to the system. In that case, the controlling metric was memory buss <> system buss latency through the memory controller. Ram module internal timings (5-5-5-12/etc) and speeds (DDR12-50gazillion/etc) were meaningless unless they decreased memory buss <> system buss latency. As we remember, huge decreases in internal module latencies and equally huge increases in ram "speed" were required to produce decreases in this latency metric . . . and it took equally huge decreases in this latency metric (2X) to produce only arguable increases in FS performance. Great fun for the computer hobbiest, but a high risk/limited reward proposition for the FS-er. I ran some FS tests with HD transfer rates of ~ 250MB/s then with at 100MB/s. There was no perceivable ingame result and load times were only marginally affected. Overall, my system "felt" more responsive with the 250MB/s transfer configuration. but this was sensed only because one tends to develop a very tactile sense about their own system. Again, the FS change was indecipherable. These test indicate that HD transfer rates at ~ 100MB/s are more than FS needs for any aspect ingame play. Faster transfer rates might help game/flight load times, but by only a few seconds, at best.
Just like everything else.. you always come up with the "theoretical' argument and never, ever not ONCE have provided anything in this forum that makes a solid, defined positive difference to MSFS and what people really want out of itYou post the same bull over and over... you say you test a card or a drive but you do not have those new components placed in a system with a process/memory/storage subsystem that will actually take advantage of it.. then turn around and claim its all snake oilI have seen your 3-5 mile blurry images with little or missing autogenAt best you are guessing based on a very poor and not at all thought out approach. This is the mark of a layman and not anyone who is scientifically, technically or professionally oriented. When are you going to get it through your head that people here who have evolved past your "all you ever need" Q6600/DDR2 800/8800GT suggestions and who are now selecting the support components that will supply the base system at the rate it can process information are enjoying FSX more than you ever will?Never!Not until the day that you actually purchase a correctly spec'ed DDR3 system and clock it correctly. And even then, you would be too embarrassed to come into this forum and admit the expert from best-buy is wrong.So Sam.. your hit-n-run follow ups after me in threads are getting old. I doubt many are listening to this dribble anymore.To everyone reading this:FSX is not ALL about The processorThe memoryThe motherboardThe video cardThe hard driveThe OSThe setup including the clockIt’s about ALL of the aboveWhen you wish to purchase parts if you only run a Q6600/DDR2 800 88/9800GT you can use a 500GB large platter HDD however the WD Vrap WILL IN FACT eliminate access stutters and reduce CPU overhead which you may not know are being caused by storage system. The better the system the drive is attached to, including the SATA/SAS/SCSI interface, the better the result. You buy cheap, you get cheap and you get to sit there and wonder...was that my CPU/memory or my hard drive causing that?It’s a matter of defining what it is you are trying to accomplish with the least issues to deal with.

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hmmmmI think from a financial POV buying a Seagate 32mb cache HDD would be best price-perf ratio

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hmmmmI think from a financial POV buying a Seagate 32mb cache HDD would be best price-perf ratio
I understand the need to spend very carefully in today's economy. I also realize not everyone can afford these high-end parts. Unfortunately, going budget with FSX will not get anyone the performance that's available with the right hardware. Besides, that Seagate is still no match for the Vraptor for the sim. Probably closer to the first generation raptors and even then it would still probably lose in random access. My point is you get what you pay for as always.You want a purpose-built system for FSX. As close to a desktop supercomputer as you can get these days, to put it frankly. Sure, it'll run on far less but you'll get far less out of it. It needs horsepower and tuning. Cheap out on parts and you'll get a muddy, blurry, stuttery, less detailed simulator. I've been there-done that. And Intel didn't just plan to screw us simmers out of our money by forcing us to buy expensive parts. You can thank Microsoft for putting out FSX in the design state that it is in. Thanks to that we need hardware that can overcome the burden the software creates.-jk

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Anything beyond a modern 100MB/s HD will provide FS an entirely irrelevant performance advantage. Under any FS environmental circumstance, I found no difference with big airports/hi AG/addon airplanes/etc. Those higher transfer rate and lower latency (and Hiii dollar!) card-based raids n' raptors are a non-factor. Remember, it's all about moving data between the HD and the system (transfer rate). All those HD internal factors (Access times/Latencies/burst rate/etc) only assist that final result.

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Anything beyond a modern 100MB/s HD will provide FS an entirely irrelevant performance advantage. Under any FS environmental circumstance, I found no difference with big airports/hi AG/addon airplanes/etc. Those higher transfer rate and lower latency (and Hiii dollar!) card-based raids n' raptors are a non-factor. Remember, it's all about moving data between the HD and the system (transfer rate). All those HD internal factors (Access times/Latencies/burst rate/etc) only assist that final result.
Blah, Blah, Blah...Sam you don't know what's about what here. You're blowing hot air, nothing more. You don't have the parts OR the credentials to give advice here. And most of what you say is so wrong it should be criminal."I will not eat green eggs & ham...I will not eat them, Sam I am."When are you going to back up your arguments the way Nick has been challenging you to? -jk

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From a more common sense point of view, one might consider that a hard drive's job is to transfer data to (and from) the system. That's the long of it . . . and the short of it. The rate at which the HD can transfer data to and from the system (ie data rate) will be the OnLy measurement parameter that will matter to a final performance result. For instance, the data must be accesses - before - it can be transferred to the system. Therefore, decreased access time (most certainly) has the potential to Increase data transfer rates, but as a stand-alone metric, it is meaningless. This is very similar to the ram speed discussion. Internal ram latency decreases only matter if they assist by Increasing the amount of data that can be transferred from/to the system. In that case, the controlling metric was memory buss <> system buss latency through the memory controller. Ram module internal timings (5-5-5-12/etc) and speeds (DDR12-50gazillion/etc) were meaningless unless they decreased memory buss <> system buss latency. As we remember, huge decreases in internal module latencies and equally huge increases in ram "speed" were required to produce decreases in this latency metric . . . and it took equally huge decreases in this latency metric (2X) to produce only arguable increases in FS performance. Great fun for the computer hobbiest, but a high risk/limited reward proposition for the FS-er. I ran some FS tests with HD transfer rates of ~ 250MB/s then with at 100MB/s. There was no perceivable ingame result and load times were only marginally affected. Overall, my system "felt" more responsive with the 250MB/s transfer configuration. but this was sensed only because one tends to develop a very tactile sense about their own system. Again, the FS change was indecipherable. These test indicate that HD transfer rates at ~ 100MB/s are more than FS needs for any aspect ingame play. Faster transfer rates might help game/flight load times, but by only a few seconds, at best.
Sam,Did your test include flying over a rural area into a very dense urban area with a big add on airport? I guess this change will result in a lot of disk access reading a lot of scenery and texture files. No difference at all in such a scenario?What about the ohter hardware when testing? What CPU, mobo, RAM, graphics card did you use? OC:ed?

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Scroll down to the end of the threadhttp://www.simforums.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=29041chart says it allSAS/SCSI are better suited for multiuser accessthe best drive is the WD Vrap
Yes, I see that. Even so Nick, you make this comment in your article: "Velociraptors in RAID0 (256K STRIPE) on the right card are very close to SCSI performance"I have a 15K.5 SCSI right now already on a U320 controller (it's running 180 in single channel mode I think). The comment above suggests my SCSI should be ample for FSX, or am I misinterpreting something? I had been running FSX in XP on that drive, however I haven't moved my Vista 64 over to FSX on that SCSI, and was wondering if it would be worth it. Sounds like it may be, though again, it's isn't too bad on my sluggo SATA II drive.Thanks in advance . . .Noel

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Yes, I see that. Even so Nick, you make this comment in your article: "Velociraptors in RAID0 (256K STRIPE) on the right card are very close to SCSI performance"I have a 15K.5 SCSI right now already on a U320 controller (it's running 180 in single channel mode I think). The comment above suggests my SCSI should be ample for FSX, or am I misinterpreting something? I had been running FSX in XP on that drive, however I haven't moved my Vista 64 over to FSX on that SCSI, and was wondering if it would be worth it. Sounds like it may be, though again, it's isn't too bad on my sluggo SATA II drive.Thanks in advance . . .Noel
Hi NoelI am really pressed for time so I am going to make this fast, simple and without any techno babble to razzle and dazzle with flamboyant technical statements that suggest I may have a PhD in advanced toenail clipping :( 1. I did not say 2 Vraps in RAID are equal to SCSI in FSX.. I said in performance which is relevant to storage performance in a computer, not FSX. 2. I also said "2 Velociraptors in RAID0 (or SCSI/SAS) on the right card are overkill for todays processors and memory subsystems in conjunction with the video adapter in FSX and will deliver very large amounts of data faster than the system can process/render it"3. Yes I said 2 Vraps in RAID are close to SCSI which is true. Look at the chart and that is easy to figure out. The access time will drop slightly bringing it to within SCSI spec and the IO/sec will increase by about 35% or slightly better which means the 2 Vraps in RAID will then be just about equal to SCSI in a multi user IO environment4. There is a defined benefit to a larger platter over perf spec. That benefit drops significantly as the drive fills. That benefit will not ever replace or overcome the perf spec and ability however it does play into the equation. The loss to compare ratio is significantly increased by a very small platter storage device compared to the larger platter storage device. That is why I always specify the larger platter Vrap over the smaller one available and I would never consider a 30-70GB SCSI drive over a Vrap. The combination of the Vrap 300GB platter, the random access spec and the sustained IO perf ability place the drive at the top of the food chain when it comes to FSX and no single SAS or SCSI drive will beat it.. period.5. RAID is as useless as boobs on a bull to FSX if the controller card does not incorporate true hardware RAID with an on-card DDR memory cache, the card runs off a PCI and not a PCIe or PCIx slot, and, the ability to set a 256K STRIPE or BLOCK when the array is created. If those factors are in order then 2 modern 32mb cache drives in RAID on the right controller card will perform much better than any single drive other than the Vrap however the design of the single Vrap eliminated the need for those 2 32mb cache drives in RAID on a card and the cost of a single Vrap is cheaper than those drives + a controller card or any SCSI/SAS setup. Therefore it's a no-brainerIn terms of cost, the best storage performance for FSX is a single WD 300GB VelociraptorNo contestPlace it on the right controller card even as a single drive and its 'open season' on storage performance in compare. The card is not 'a requirement' as the Vrap will still do very well on motherboard ports but I would not run my single Vraps any other waySingle SCSI drives on a controller are essentially EQUAL (SCSI slightly better) to a SATA drive in IO performance... look at SINGLE user IO chart for SCSI and the 1TB drive Noel. They do sport better access and rotation however with respect to internal design and IO perf they are designed/engineered for multi user corporate environments, not gaming. Add in the much smaller platter size for the SCSI drive in a compare and the SCSI access gains begin to get lost in gaming between the internal design and basic geometry. Those small platter SCSI drives are very old news which is why the larger platter modern single drive is nearly equal in perf.. probably does beat them if the SCSI drive is nearly full.. any drive above 65% full and perf start dropping like a rock. The benchmark you are looking at is LINEAR read values.. again, useless to what FSX is which is a random read application not linear or sequential read.. Random read is not random access speed. Proper random read testing with IO values to establish ture application performance in relation to the storage solution requires IO Meter to evaluate and synthetic benchmark results are generic.Linear/sequential read tests such as Everest and HD Tach are for judging storage perf in systems delivering large single multimedia such as A/V editing, etc. That's all I have time for

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Sam,Did your test include flying over a rural area into a very dense urban area with a big add on airport? I guess this change will result in a lot of disk access reading a lot of scenery and texture files. No difference at all in such a scenario?What about the ohter hardware when testing? What CPU, mobo, RAM, graphics card did you use? OC:ed?
The 'hit-n-run' expert doesn't get it. If he did, he would have nailed the fact that the SCSI drives in question here are very small platter and older design being compared to a much larger platter modern SATA, and, he would have known they are better suited for multi user IO. Instead what he did was read what Noel posted and took the opportunity to take a pot shot at me using Noels benchmark result as a means of backing up his lame test and claims. Goes hand in hand with his GTX 260 test months back where he said it did not perform any better than a 8800GT.. remember that one? Problem is, he installed the first revision defective neutered version that Nvidia replaced on the market a few months later and he also put that card in a system that was already overwhelmed so there was nothing that card WOULD have done for him. Yet we had a wonderful 5 paragraph technical dysentery (yes.. that’s dysentery, not dissertation ) and a slew of follow up muck in thread after thread on why that card and all others above the 8800GT are useless to FSX.. If Noel was on a 8800GT he would still be having sound crackle issues. Forget the core advancements or the memory buss speed, the amount of the memory on the card allows him to set a large bufferpool level effectively dropping the latency to the buss through resource request at the driver level and fixing the sound crackle issue he was plagued with when pushing autogen sliders or running large autogen addons such as FTX. I happen to know for a fact that on higher sliders FSX well exceeds the 20% reserve PCIe bandwidth for autogen which is what causes all sorts of problems and is what the larger/faster video memory cards address as well as cloud rendering.Phil Taylor did not post what he did about higher speed/amount VM cards to BS the community Unfortunately it simply proves further he has no real tech ability past reading the internet hardware sites and a decent grasp of the language.. AKA: A Marketing Expert

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Nick, do you have some recommendation on the SATA Controller Card?As I mentioned in another thread, I was thinking about buying Vrap 300GB. Now thinking about the separate card if its not too expensive. How much better performance could I expect out of it?Could you also give your opinion to this thread?http://forums1.avsim.net/index.php?showtopic=246195Much appreciated!

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The 'hit-n-run' expert doesn't get it. If he did, he would have nailed the fact that the SCSI drives in question here are very small platter and older design being compared to a much larger platter modern SATA, and, he would have known they are better suited for multi user IO. Instead what he did was read what Noel posted and took the opportunity to take a pot shot at me using Noels benchmark result as a means of backing up his lame test and claims.
Problem is he might fool people here on avsim to make the wrong decisions on what to buy. It's a shame.

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Nick, do you have some recommendation on the SATA Controller Card?As I mentioned in another thread, I was thinking about buying Vrap 300GB. Now thinking about the separate card if its not too expensive. How much better performance could I expect out of it?Could you also give your opinion to this thread?http://forums1.avsim.net/index.php?showtopic=246195Much appreciated!
If you are a simmer who wishes to have the best storage solution consider the drive and/or the controller card an investment to supplying the system what it needs now and in the future. As I posted earlier in this thread performance in MSFS (all versions) is a combination of components working in concert to produce the result. There is no single component that fixes everything. Those who look for magic bullets in one part or another always find themselves let down however those who carefully consider their component choices and realize they are working to a primary goal of a complete hi-perf system reap the benefit of their choices. I do not know what it is you expect. As people have posted the storage solution is not going to make the frame rate at busy hubs increase. Well, that is true when you consider the storage system alone however when the right optimize routine is applied in so much as the defrag process, and please do not let anyone tell you that makes no difference, then you can see better frame rates and frame transitions globally. My suggestions around the use of O&O Defrag and setting up Windows to allow O&O to do its job are key to that type of perf increase. http://www.simforums.com/forums/forum_post...D=168400#168400As for the card and its settings.... http://www.simforums.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=29330What it will do is eliminate file access/read stutters, and, the right solutions remove overhead from the CPU. The argument that

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The controller card is not a requirement however it too presents a benefits. Those who have moved to such solutions will tell you they would never go back to motherboard SATA
Given the less than expected Random Access Read stats I was getting I bit the bullet and redid the disk at 64K NTFS format from scratch. Ditched UltimateDefrag and went back to O&O.Total bliss. She's slammin' fast. (And even Frame Rates are up) .So I just had some weird file corruption that was slowing things down.Thanks so much Nick, for the 3ware 9650SE push.

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The real trick is to not believe anyone. Use your own eyes and be your own judge . . . and try to forbear the typically profligate response. There seems to be some other circumstance of which we are not aware. That inimical nature is difficult to rationalize. In any case, the results will be Extremely close. There is no FS magic available, yet. A Q6600@3.6/4G-ram@800/9800GT/7200RPM-HD will provide FS performance will be virtually indistinguishable from an i7/965@stock/6G-ram@1600/GTX295/Raptor-raid

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Hi NoelI am really pressed for time so I am going to make this fast, simple and without any techno babble to razzle and dazzle with flamboyant technical statements
Nick, if that was supposed to be without flamboyant statements I wonder what the full court press would look like?!OK, I'm going to get real concrete now: let's take the Cheetah 15K drive at 1/2 full, versus the Velociraptor at barely full. Exactly, HOW will we see evidence of the performance (and you know how I define performance) benefit of one drive over the other? This is the only meaningful question UNLESS the only consideration is in "having the best" no matter what the cost. When I decide where to go with a purchasing decision, I try to get at least a crude sense of what the cost:benefit ratio looks like, even though I obviously don't always get enough information to make the best decisions. If we look at one performance measure and called "smoothness" or "freedom from stuttering", we could actually quantify that as #'s of subjective perceptions of stuttering per minute, and compare one against the other. Or, blurry textures as a percentage of the entire display in a controlled configuration. These things could be quantified, and one could say conclusively, "in this study under these conditions the V-rapt has 40% less stutters per minute . . . yada yada.OK, without asking for quantification, give me your subjective assessment of the impact of a Vrapt drive over my old news Cheetah. I think it's a very valid question if you have an opinion Nick and everyone else.Thanks bunches . . .

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The real trick is to not believe anyone. Use your own eyes and be your own judge . . . and try to forbear the typically profligate response. There seems to be some other circumstance of which we are not aware. That inimical nature is difficult to rationalize. In any case, the results will be Extremely close. There is no FS magic available, yet. A Q6600@3.6/4G-ram@800/9800GT/7200RPM-HD will provide FS performance will be virtually indistinguishable from an i7/965@stock/6G-ram@1600/GTX295/Raptor-raid
God you are an arrogant, disrespectful chump Sam. :( You need to learn how to respect people who have the knowledge you are too dense to learn and many, many, many, MANY MORE years of experience than you. How can you be so blind???? Really! The more you babble on and on the more people here see what a quack you are. I would be far more polite to you except for the fact that you litterally spit in Nick's face. You also lead people astray with WRONG ADVICE! How you lasted so long here I'll never figure out. :( -jk

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I ran some FS tests with HD transfer rates of ~ 250MB/s then with at 100MB/s. There was no perceivable ingame result and load times were only marginally affected. Overall, my system "felt" more responsive with the 250MB/s transfer configuration. but this was sensed only because one tends to develop a very tactile sense about their own system. Again, the FS change was indecipherable. These test indicate that HD transfer rates at ~ 100MB/s are more than FS needs for any aspect ingame play. Faster transfer rates might help game/flight load times, but by only a few seconds, at best.
Thanks Sam for giving me your impression about what the perceivable ingame result and load times in your particular situation. I was hoping to get something actually a little more subjective from people with the highest end machines, but so far most of the replies are about what works best. No offense intended to Sarg and Bert and Nick, I'm actually most interested in the differences between my particular 15K SCSI or the SATA II for that matter, and the Vrapt that is being promoted in terms of end-user subjective experience, since that is what matters to me. I don't know what to make of that, but thank you again for posting BOTH your opinions or experiences as well as some theoretical comments.

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