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filling the void

Monday, June 18, 2007

Used up^4

It seems I might have to plow down some more cash (cache) in to my computer soon.
I have noticed that the write performance of my OS drive (2xHitachi T7K250 in RAID0) was abysmally poor. I was getting write speeds of around 4-6MB/s, whereas on my 500GB T7K500, which is not raided, I'd get up to 45MB/s.
Granted, the read performance is about 50% better on my OS drive than on my backup drive, and read speed is what matters, but I can't help but think there's something wrong.
I'm pretty sure I'm right. I found out that write caching was only enabled on one of the two drives in the raid. "Weird", I thought, and hit the button to enable it.
No dice, it just jumps back to "disabled". No matter what combination or tool I used, including Hitachi's DOS-based feature tool (that did allow me to set the noise level on the disks to a lovely silence), it wouldn't let me enable the cache. Sure, they all said "yes, it has now been enabled", but when I checked, it still wasn't enabled.
I've emailed Hitachi and Silicon Image about this, and I'll see what turns up. I'm pretty sure that my drives are out of warranty, especially since the RMA tool on their web page didn't recognize my serial number, but there might be a trick or some sort.
If there isn't, I'm probably looking at getting another T7K500 or something, put that in a raid, and use my current OS disk for backups.
We'll see. I can't really afford to buy more computer hardware right now, especially since I want to afford a vacation this year, but I might have to. The drive is usable, but it's a pain in the ass to use it.
To be honest, it is about time for a completely new computer. I mean, I'm running a RAID setup here, and my girlfriend's Dell laptop boots in a fraction of the time, and it's not top of the line.
Getting in to Windows is ok, but from the login screen to me being able to press buttons is a good couple of minutes.
My computer is a little over 4 years old now. With Quad core around the corner, I could basically quadruple my processing speed for the same money I paid for this 4 years ago. Way to go Moore, your law still holds!

Granted I don't actually need all this processing power, as my hard drives are the bottle neck, and it runs fine once it has booted and everything is in RAM, but still.
I can't help but feel like I'm running an outdated machine. It is the student way. Some time when I actually have something resembling a salary, I'll splurge on a new computer. Until then, I'm keeping this one.

Also, I don't know where I'll move after I've gotten my M.Sc. so purchasing new hardware is generally a bad idea. Unless nothing actually breaks, I should be set for another 2-3 years, hopefully.

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