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Lots of hard drives - help needed with setup

 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 07:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Lots of hard drives - help needed with setup

Hi all, I am about to do a fresh rebuild and windows install of my PC. I currently have a lot of internal drives and am sure there is a better way I could set these up. I am looking for reliability and performance. The Main purpose of this system is gaming and Plex media server.

The current configuration looks like this: -

C: Boot drive - 500GB M.2 SSD Samsung EVO 960 (stuffed with OS/Programs & Games). It's always full, I tend to put most demanding games on here but not many at once.
D: Video Drive for Plex Server - 10TB Seagate Ironwolf Mech HDD (I have 2 of these which I originally mirrored RAID in bios, however they separated themselves, I didn't notice that happen, I noticed separate drives in windows explorer. Ever since then I have been manually backing up which is a pain).
E: Personal files - 2TB WD GReen drive - All my important stuff such as photos, docs, dl's, music. (I have 2 of these which were mirrored and are not anymore - exactly the same situation as above).
F: Games - 250GB Samsung EVO 850 2.5" - More Games
G: Backup of drive D: - 10TB Seagate Ironwolf Mech HDD (see notes next to drive D)
H: 4TB Seagate - Use as 3rd backup for important stuff and use for random stuff
I: Backup of drive E: - 2TB WD GReen drive (see notes next to E
J: 120GB HyperX SSD 2.5" - I use this for my Plex Media Server Data

I just kept adding drives so I am certain there is a better way, I don't know. I think performance could be better. I would like to get the drives which were raided before back to being mirrored but I don't think the bios way is reliable. Should I hardware mirror these or software? Performance not important on this drive I just want to make sure there is 2 copies in case of failure.
I am thinking having the EVO 850 250gb as the boot and OS drive and the EVO 960 purely for demanding big games? Do you think I would notice any difference in windows performance? I might get rid of the 4TB and the 120gb SSD too and get a 2TB firecuda for more games.

Does this sound more sensible: -

C: Boot OS/Programs - 250GB EVO 850 2.5"
D: M.2 EVO 960 - Demanding big games
E: 2TB Firecuda - GAMES
E: 10TB VIDEOS - 2 x 10TB raided or mirrored in some way.
F: 2TB Personal files - 2 x 2TB raided or mirrored in some way.

If anyone has any tips, suggestions or experience I would be grateful. I've been thinking about this for ages but not done anything about it and now it's time for a fresh windows install. Also any actual windows settings to improve performance would be welcome.

My PC specs: - ASUS Rampage V Anniversary Edition 10, i7 - [email protected] 4200MHz, Kingston HyperX RAM 32gb Quad Channel 3000MHz, Asus Strix 1080Ti, 1000W be quiet Dark Power Pro 10 PSU, be quiet Dark Base 900 Pro, be quiet Silent Loop 360 CPU cooler, Win 10 Pro.

Much appreciated.
Dan.

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 08:35 PM
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I feel you bro..I just got another 1TB SSD and I'm feeling everything is becoming unmanageable. Mine is as follows:

1.)970 evo (OS and my favorite games) 512 NVME
2.)WD M.2 1TB - other games but not worthy of NVME
3.)2TB Seagate hdd - games I never play and picture backup
4.)256 SSD (OCZ - love that old brand *Built by Toshiba though*)..original OS disk, now has 2 rockstar games - and was thinking of using this solely for RDR2. Also has a 3rd backup of my pics.
5.)new Silicon Power 1TB SSD..empty as of now...

I'm feeling the same stress you're feeling. For me, I'm thinking the problem isn't so much the setup (no RAID's, that would just cause pure meltdown if what happened to you happened to me)....but more of breaking all the launchers' knowledge of where all these things are as of now. Ie...I'd have to go into each launcher and tell it I'm moving it to so and so drive. Gotta love 2019 and all 8 launchers I have now. Thanks publishers! (Steam, Origin, Epic, Uplay, Battle.net, Xbox and now Rockstar)

Overall, it's quite the motley crew of storage for sure. What I'd optimally want is a storage software solution to manage it all...tiered storage...but able to use all of the above drives..and let me say what goes where from a high, top-down level.

Messing around with Windows..I found "Create a new pool and storage space"...but that's the last thing I want, is M$ managing what goes where over multiple drives. Here's why....that 256 drive...somehow has 20 or so Gb's eaten up for "System restore"..but I can't figure out how to disable it on that drive and put that to the 2TB hdd...

Interested to see where this thread goes.....


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 09:10 PM - Thread Starter
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@gill yeah, I remember having a 2GB HDD and thinking I'll never fill this in my lifetime....ha. When my raid broke it just left 2 separate drives with the same data, I didn't lose anything, thankfully. BTW regarding all the game launchers...I got fed up with this recently too and I tried a program (it's free open source, I think) called Playnite. It gives you one interface for all of your games, whether they're installed or not. I'm impressed with it and have used it since. I only need to see the steam/epic/origin etc apps when i want to buy something.

Reading back over my post, I don't really get over exactly what I'm trying to find out...I think trying to explain this sort of thing can get complicated and easy to lose sight.

So I guess what I am asking is....is there another configuration that would be better, hardware wise....not necessarily which drive I should store what type of data. So, for optimal performance would it be best to have games on EVO 960. I never really noticed a difference when I put the OS from evo 850 to 960 in first place, so I think maybe it will be better used just as game drive for huge games with large textures..?

For the mirrored drive solution I don't want to have to worry about if its going to split again with no notice or be reducing my performance... I don't mind getting hardware if necessary, or maybe i don't even need to do raid and there is a better way to just duplicate the drives. Would my overall system run better if I made some drives external? ...that sort of thing.

Also, does having this many drives make it slower to boot up. Are they running 24/7, can I reduce power on the ones I only occasionally use...

or maybe the hardware and windows are smart enough these days to sort all that out for me and it is already optimised....really....who knows?. Lol, cos I don't.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 09:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote: Originally Posted by Gill.. View Post

Messing around with Windows..I found "Create a new pool and storage space"...but that's the last thing I want, is M$ managing what goes where over multiple drives. Here's why....that 256 drive...somehow has 20 or so Gb's eaten up for "System restore"..but I can't figure out how to disable it on that drive and put that to the 2TB hdd...

Interested to see where this thread goes.....
Oh and regarding this, I am also interested to know more...I have data on the drives I can't lose, so as long as it doesnt need to delete the data to create it, then that could be OK, if reliable. I can format one of the duplicate drives to mirror the one with the data but only if i know it will just copy the data to the empty drive and then keep it duplicated... not sure i trust windows to look after my data though...too many updates from MS...it only takes one small error from them. How the hell are you supposed to back up 16TB of data these days anyway....if only it was still as simple as the zip drive days...

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-22-2019, 06:41 PM
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Yes, the Windows update issues are exactly what I'm talking about...If I had all the hardware empty and was starting a new Windows install...then sure...maybe I'd give it a go, leaving a couple of TB's aside from that setup just in case.

As to backup, there are definitely subscription services that would do it regardless of size...but...money. Doing it yourself...I'd just bear in mind that you're really only backing up the USED space. For me personally, I only care about photos..I've lost years of photos before, and you can't replace that. Everything else is easily replaceable..and other files (documents etc...) are both small enough to not be an issue - and can easily be both backed up manually - AND be backed up on Google Drive.

I don't care WHO the company is, how good or how cheap they are. I will never, ever trust important stuff solely in the cloud. Hype train in business = cloud, social, blockchain and AI. If i hear ANY company touting those buzz-words...run...fast...

Back to the more practical stuff..it's too individualized to make a blanket statement. For OS boot, there have been countless videos showing that Windows shows will boot off a SATA SSD MAYBE a second or so slower than an NVME. It's just the way Windows handles the amount of data (not too much) and how the CPU and RAM loads it.

As to games, kind of the same thing. Most tests I've seen on Youtube (good ones) show that NVME will load only a second or two slower than a SATA SSD. AT WORST...most times it was within the same second.

As for loading textures, not really relevant to your drive...it's not like a console in this manner. If a.)you have sufficent GPU and VRAM and b.)you have enough system RAM and c.)you have decent SPEED system RAM then texture loading should be a non-issue. If it IS, then you need a better GPU and more system RAM (speed of RAM is irrelevant IF the issues was amount of VRAM or system RAM). Once you take out those two variables, THEN system RAM speed would matter....ALWAYS before drive speed will matter here.

Drive speed only matters on the initial load.

OK...well what about all this talk about next gen drives on the PS5...well, we'll have to see. Typically consoles are starved for RAM (all told, if they're using a shared pool)...but with next gen, we'll have to see how it's implemented. If the entire thing is using a shared pool of GDDR6 with Ryzen/Navi..who knows. If they break system and VRAM apart...it will handle more like a PC (with all the above parameters).

Or they make a custom die using shared HBM3...now that would be insanity if paired with this so-called next gen drive. Rumors and speculation, while fun - don't help us on the here and now.

Since you do have a ton of drives...I'd do this.

1.)Keep your OS and your most favorite games on the EVO. The ones you actually play all the time.
2.)Move other games to a SSD that you still play, but not that often. Also move games with excessive load time (GTA V) to this drive.
3.)All pics and important stuff to an SSD (hdd's are too prone to failure). Back this up on a hdd...also back the EVO up to this hdd..un-hook that hdd and put it somewhere safe (or offsite - trunk of car in a plastic bag perhaps...parents house...you get the point).
4.)Have hdd from 3.)backed up on your system locally (on one of the duplicate drives from the failed RAID)
5.)Forget RAID for now...try it again on a new install...and then....do it with a couple of NVME's...BLAM!!! PCIE gen 3 - don't do 4 yet...they seem to run too hot as of now.

Hope that helps...such a fun thought experiment..I'm adding a 1TB SSD to my son's rig (he's 9) and going 1TB NVME and 1 TB hdd for my daughters build (this weekend!!)...trying to get them to wrap their heads around just 2 drives each is challenging (THIS is why we don't give our kids Apple products folks!!!)

PS, I'll check out that Open Source Launcher...great tip! Rep for you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fatty Beef go_quote.gif
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackHoleSon go_quote.gif
he reads Pentiumhouse magazine and gets so turned on by it, he will never use another processor.



Last edited by Gill..; 10-22-2019 at 06:44 PM.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-23-2019, 03:30 AM - Thread Starter
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@gill Thanks for the info....some helpful pointers right there. I am now in the process of moving everything from the 2 ssd's ready for a fresh install. I guess my next challenge is making sure that windows and google don't reload all the junk i'm trying to get rid of when I log in to their respective platforms....

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