VOGONS


First post, by squareguy

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I am slowly building my new Windows XP box and this one will be a permanent build... 🤣, well hopefully. Nothing is set in stone yet except for the audio card and the graphics card which will be a Creative X-Fi Titanium PCI-e (SB0880) and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285. Oh and of course the maximum 4GB of RAM.

So far all of the motherboards\systems I am currently looking at have Windows XP AHCI drivers so I started looking at hard drive choices. I want something below the 2TB maximum MBR partition for Windows XP and the best possible performance at a reasonable cost and no compatibility issues. That knocks any SSD off the list since XP doesn't support them natively. I love the Seagate drives because they have SmartAlign http://www.seagate.com/docs/pdf/whitepaper/tp … n_for_af_4k.pdf so I just forget about the 4k sector size issue.

I just noticed the Seagate FireCuda series http://www.seagate.com/www-content/product-co … /100804185a.pdf and they of course support SmartAlign, are 7200 RPM, have 64MB cache, come in 1 and 2TB sizes, inexpensive, and most importantly they are SSHDs with 8GB of NAND to boost performance. Seagate claims up to 5x faster load speeds (not sure about actual results but it must be an improvement) and since the NAND is handled internally to the drive XP doesn't even need to be aware of it, i.e. no issues with lack of TRIM. It seems to me this might be the best option for a new Windows XP hard drive.

Thoughts / experience?

Gateway 2000 Case and 200-Watt PSU
Intel SE440BX-2 Motherboard
Intel Pentium III 450 CPU
Micron 384MB SDRAM (3x128)
Compaq Voodoo3 3500 TV Graphics Card
Turtle Beach Santa Cruz Sound Card
Western Digital 7200-RPM, 8MB-Cache, 160GB Hard Drive
Windows 98 SE

Reply 1 of 17, by ODwilly

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Never heard of the Firecuda drives. Those look awesome! My suggestion would be 10k Velociraptors. In hardware raid 0. Because thats what I think of when I think of fast XP HDD's

Main pc: AsRock x370 Killer SLI a/c, Ryzen 5 2600, 1tb WD black nvme ssd, 24g ddr4 2400 @2933mhz, rx 480 8gb reference card, 2tb Hitachi Deskstar.
Retro PC: Soyo P4S Dragon, 3gb ddr 266, 120gb Maxtor, Geforce Fx 5950 Ultra, SB Live! 5.1

Reply 2 of 17, by agent_x007

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Why don't you use for example Intel 520 series SSD ?
They can do TRIM manually (from SSD Toolbox).

Source : LINK

Last edited by agent_x007 on 2016-09-04, 19:26. Edited 3 times in total.

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Reply 3 of 17, by kanecvr

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ODwilly wrote:

Never heard of the Firecuda drives. Those look awesome! My suggestion would be 10k Velociraptors. In hardware raid 0. Because thats what I think of when I think of fast XP HDD's

Those things are too noisy for me. And not the good nostalgic noise like early 90s IDE and SCSI drives - 10k and 15k drives make noises akin to an air powered angle grinder.

I prefer regular 7200 SATA drives for my XP builds. The newer the better.

Reply 4 of 17, by ODwilly

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kanecvr wrote:
ODwilly wrote:

Never heard of the Firecuda drives. Those look awesome! My suggestion would be 10k Velociraptors. In hardware raid 0. Because thats what I think of when I think of fast XP HDD's

Those things are too noisy for me. And not the good nostalgic noise like early 90s IDE and SCSI drives - 10k and 15k drives make noises akin to an air powered angle grinder.

I prefer regular 7200 SATA drives for my XP builds. The newer the better.

heh i can totally see the noise being a concern. On that note I love WD Black drives. Epic reliability and they are blazing fast for a mechanical drive.

Main pc: AsRock x370 Killer SLI a/c, Ryzen 5 2600, 1tb WD black nvme ssd, 24g ddr4 2400 @2933mhz, rx 480 8gb reference card, 2tb Hitachi Deskstar.
Retro PC: Soyo P4S Dragon, 3gb ddr 266, 120gb Maxtor, Geforce Fx 5950 Ultra, SB Live! 5.1

Reply 5 of 17, by squareguy

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RAID 0 is a no go for me, I've seen too many bad things happen. I don't want to be reloading when I could be playing.

WD Velociraptors seem too expensive and others say they are loud.

The manual TRIM thing is just something I would have to do and think about plus the time it takes to run.

In short, I want a simple machine to fire up, play games, shutdown and repeat without doing anything else. I'm not saying any of the options are wrong, they just aren't right for me with what I'm trying to do with this box.

Gateway 2000 Case and 200-Watt PSU
Intel SE440BX-2 Motherboard
Intel Pentium III 450 CPU
Micron 384MB SDRAM (3x128)
Compaq Voodoo3 3500 TV Graphics Card
Turtle Beach Santa Cruz Sound Card
Western Digital 7200-RPM, 8MB-Cache, 160GB Hard Drive
Windows 98 SE

Reply 6 of 17, by synrgy87

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I like to stick to Hitachi Deskstars SATA 7k series 7200RPM drives, as personally I've found them reliable, not managed to kill one yet. but any quality drive should do really.

unless you wanna go bling n go with thw WD Raptors or Velociraptors, think they done a model of the Raptor 10k with a cutout window in it.

Last edited by synrgy87 on 2016-09-04, 20:28. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 7 of 17, by agent_x007

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Buy WD EZEX 1TB or Seagate ST1000DM003.
If you want used : HD502HJ is good bet (Samsung F3 500GB).

SSHD learn's what to put in NAND flash with time (it's not a simple solution to all your problems also - it can cost few $$ more than standard HDD).

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Reply 8 of 17, by kanecvr

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synrgy87 wrote:

I like to stick to Hitachi Deskstars SATA 7k series 7200RPM drives, as personally I've found them reliable, not managed to kill one yet. but any quality drive should do really.

unless you wanna go bling n go with thw WD Raptors or Velociraptors, think they done a model of the Raptor 10k with a cutout window in it.

^this^ - Hitachi enterprise drives are awesome. You gen get brand new HGST drives if you're looking for reliability. Presonally I don't trust seagate drives and WD is a "meh" alternative.

Reply 9 of 17, by agent_x007

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kanecvr wrote:

^this^ - Hitachi enterprise drives are awesome. You gen get brand new HGST drives if you're looking for reliability. Presonally I don't trust seagate drives and WD is a "meh" alternative.

Don't shoot the messenger : LINK
Basicly by the end of 2017 or in early 2018, Hitachi brand may be no more :

The companies are still restricted from offering a united portfolio of products, and they must maintain both separate product lines and sales teams for two years. This provision of the merger will automatically expire in two years.

No info of how combined brands portfolio will look like (but WD in theory owns HGST so "Hitachi" may not be represented in new lineup).

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Reply 10 of 17, by kanecvr

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agent_x007 wrote:
Don't shoot the messenger : LINK Basicly by the end of 2017 or in early 2018, Hitachi brand may be no more : […]
Show full quote
kanecvr wrote:

^this^ - Hitachi enterprise drives are awesome. You gen get brand new HGST drives if you're looking for reliability. Presonally I don't trust seagate drives and WD is a "meh" alternative.

Don't shoot the messenger : LINK
Basicly by the end of 2017 or in early 2018, Hitachi brand may be no more :

The companies are still restricted from offering a united portfolio of products, and they must maintain both separate product lines and sales teams for two years. This provision of the merger will automatically expire in two years.

No info of how combined brands portfolio will look like (but WD in theory owns HGST so "Hitachi" may not be represented in new lineup).

I know - sadly. I use HSGT drives when I have a choice in the matter.

Reply 11 of 17, by FFXIhealer

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I'll tell you what, a hybrid drive like that would be f***ing sweet in a Windows XP system. I wish they made a hybrid laptop drive in a PATA format I could use for my Dell Inspiron XPS Gen 2 laptop. I'm just stuck with a 250GB regular hard drive. Hell, I'm lucky that worked, because apparently the BIOS has a 137GB limit.

It took me two years to figure that out. I kept downloading XP updates and eventually the system would just NOT BOOT. Like, nothing I'd do short of a wipe and reload would get it to boot. At some point, the 137GB limit clicked. So I partitioned it to 40GB first, then 200+GB second and installed XP on the first 40GB partition. It's been rock stable since. *shrug*

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Reply 12 of 17, by Carlos S. M.

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agent_x007 wrote:

Buy WD EZEX 1TB or Seagate ST1000DM003.
If you want used : HD502HJ is good bet (Samsung F3 500GB).

SSHD learn's what to put in NAND flash with time (it's not a simple solution to all your problems also - it can cost few $$ more than standard HDD).

If i remember. Most SSHDs are 5400 rpm which means in some tasks which the SSD cache is not used. I'll be no better or even worse than a standard HDD. Also i'm not sure if Windows XP can or can't take advantage of an SSHD. I think a good/fast HDD is still the best choice for XP

What is your biggest Pentium 4 Collection?
Socket 423/478 Motherboards with Universal AGP Slot
Socket 478 Motherboards with PCI-E Slots
LGA 775 Motherboards with AGP Slots
Experiences and thoughts with Socket 423 systems

Reply 13 of 17, by PhilsComputerLab

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Tested this a while ago 😀

Ultimate retro hard drive? Seagate SSHD

Everyone can make up their own mind, but for me, it IS the best option. Regarding 7200 rpm, just stick with 2 TB max. It's the 4 TB model only that spins slower.

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Reply 14 of 17, by squareguy

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Well heck. Seems like every good idea I get Phil already had... 🤣.

I'm gonna grab one.

Gateway 2000 Case and 200-Watt PSU
Intel SE440BX-2 Motherboard
Intel Pentium III 450 CPU
Micron 384MB SDRAM (3x128)
Compaq Voodoo3 3500 TV Graphics Card
Turtle Beach Santa Cruz Sound Card
Western Digital 7200-RPM, 8MB-Cache, 160GB Hard Drive
Windows 98 SE

Reply 15 of 17, by y2k se

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i am using n Intel 320 SSD in my XP system. The Intel SSD toolbox will schedule the TRIM to run automatically, not that the drive gets lots of writes.

Tualatin Celeron 1.4, ASUS P2B, 512 MB, GeForce 3 Ti 200, Voodoo2 SLI, AWE64, WD 80GB SE HDD, Dell 2007FP

Reply 16 of 17, by PhilsComputerLab

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squareguy wrote:

Well heck. Seems like every good idea I get Phil already had... 🤣.

I'm gonna grab one.

Haha, yea you will love the drive. So fast.

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Reply 17 of 17, by shamino

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I never quite convinced myself to buy one, but I agree the Seagate SSHD 2TB 7200rpm drive looks interesting for an "ultimate" WinXP build presuming you prefer a simple single drive setup. In general I bet it would be the fastest desktop experience you can get with 2TB on a single drive (ignoring a very expensive SSD).
The only thing that is a little disappointing about the 7200rpm Seagate SSHDs is that the mechanical side of them has mediocre access performance. Still, they're a lot better than the 5400rpm models would be. I just wish there was an SSHD with the mechanicals of a WD Black or a competitive equivalent. But given what's really available, the 2TB 7200rpm SSHD is the fastest one they'll probably ever make.
To get really picky, I also wish there was some way to instruct the drive *not* to prioritize boot speed in it's usage of the 8GB flash storage. Boot speed is an easy thing to advertise so they put a lot of emphasis on that, but I personally don't care much about it. I especially feel that way with XP which is already fast anyway, and even more yet with the dual boot of XP and Linux that I run, where the cost of optimizing both boot scenarios is doubled.
To get really nerdy, it might be cool if Seagate had an optional software utility that would permit manual tweaking to the flash algorithm. But I think Seagate likes to keep things simple and would be loathe to publish something like that to the public.

I'm a "smartalign" skeptic. I thought I read an article once which tested it and found it to be marketing fluff, but last time the conversation came up I wasn't able to find the article. I remember that alignment was shown to still affect performance on those drives. What I don't remember is whether "Smartalign" made the issue less significant than other drives, or if it was the same.
In any case, aligning partitions is easy. Just boot up with a gParted CD, check the box that says "align on 1MB boundary" and make your partitions. Then boot the WinXP CD and tell it to format the existing partition without letting it create them.

I'm not sure what the current models are, but up until recently the Toshiba MD04ACA400 (retail model PH3400U) was an awesome deal. They are the equivalent of a WD Black but they were much cheaper up until they got discontinued. The succeeding model might still be the same drive though, I think they just rebranded it. It's a 4TB drive but at the price they were selling for, they cost about the same as a 2TB Black so there was no reason not to get it anyway. The extra density of storage just meant that real world access time would be that much quicker.
Toshiba's 2TB drives are a completely different model, not comparable to a Black, their performance is just average.