WD Red Pros & HGST Helium drives

posted in: Technology News 0

Western Digital LogoNAS, DAS and SOHO server owners will have a performance option through Western Digital Red series. The WD Red Pro will forgo its “Intellipower” feature and crank up RPMs up to 7200.

I wouldn’t get one. I’m perfectly happy with my Western Digital Red drives running at 5400 RPM while sipping power. I care about reliability and power efficiency more when it comes to network storage solutions.

While reading up on these Western Digitals, I ran into the HGST Helium filled drives. These drives made by Hitachi (a subsidiary of Western Digital now) use helium to reduce friction which means these drives should use less power to spin those many platters encased within.

Sounds like a good idea but it’s also an expensive idea which is why it debuted in the enterprise market first. I’m curious when we’ll see it in the consumer market.

Checkpoint: Solid State Edition

posted in: Game News 0


I finally installed my OCZ Vertex 2 60GB solid state drive today. I thought it was going to be an easy install for my Antec Mini P180, but I ended spending 15 minutes figuring out how I was going to mount the drive.

I tried using the 2.5″ to 3.5″ mount included, but the screw holes did not line up to the case’s drive cage. I tried only mounting the two front screws, but the case screws were too thick. I had to think outside of the box — or more precisely — outside of the mount.

I ended up mounting the drive on the bottom rung and using only one screw. It worked and was quite secure thanks to how light these drives are.


Read More

Checkpoint: SSD Dilemma Edition


The Windows Experience Index score is a constant reminder of the bottleneck that is the hard drive. Installing any solid state drive will make a significant difference to nearly any computer is. But, as you know, I’m not one who will settle on anything.

I want to find a relatively high performance solid state drive with at least 36 GB of storage space for under $150 CAD after taxes and shipping fees. Why 36GB? It will replace my current OS drive, the Western Digital Raptor 36 GB.

I purchased a Western Digital Raptor 36 GB w/ 8 MB cache model back in around 2004. The WD360GD was the first 10, 000 RPM consumer level hard drive and it served me well for many years. Therefore, I’m used to working with relatively small storage space. And since I’m okay with low capacities, the number of SSD drives available to me is quite numerous.

Those are just a few of the options available. After weighing the options, I’ve settled between two choices: the Kingston SSDNow V Series Gen II or the OCZ Vertex 2.

Read More

Checkpoint: New PC Edition


Update: PC Cyber canceled my order. No new PC for me.

This may seem out of the blue after I’ve denounced my intentions of getting a new PC any time soon. But drastic sales is a great motivator.

The Intel Core i5 750 went on sale for $150 (~$60 off). At that price? I couldn’t delay the purchase. I purchased it along with a case, motherboard and power supply. For the curious, I’m going to lay out some component details and the reasoning behind each choice.

Processor: Intel Core i5 750 – $149.77
Info/Review(s): AnandTech & TechReport

A quad-core Intel CPU running at 2.67 GHz for $150 cannot be beat. It was already one of the most attractive quad-cores at $210, but the $60 price cut makes it an absolute steal. Great price/performance/power consumption ratio!

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H55M-USB3 – $119.77
Info/Review(s): Gigabyte, HardOCP

It performs well, it sports the latest Intel chipset, it has decent overclocking potential and it has USB 3.0. What more can you want? A low price? It’s got that too. It’s my first Gigabyte board. Hopefully, it won’t disappoint me.

Case: Antec Mini P180 – $97.77
Info/Review(s): Antec & SilentPC

Silence, style and cooling performance under $100? That’s what this case supposedly has and I look forward to it. It has two optional 120 mm fans which I may or may not use depending on how hot things get.

Power Supply: Antec EarthWatts EA 650 – $79.99
Info/Review(s): Antec

It’s quiet, efficient and affordable. Three qualities I look for. I also hear that it’s reliable and knowing Antec, I don’t doubt it.

Those are the confirmed parts. The video card will be a AMD Radeon HD 5770, but I’m still looking for the right one. The same goes for the RAM. I know it’ll be 4 GB DDR3, but I’m still looking.

As for cooling? I’m looking for quiet and efficient operation, so I’ll most likely look for an after market CPU cooler as well.

Hard drive will most likely be my 36 GB Raptor as an OS drive and possibly another 150 GB Raptor as the secondary. Or perhaps a Western Digital Caviar Black 1 TB? I don’t need Terabyte hard drives for storage — I have NAS for that.  Needless to say, I still need to ponder this one over.

I didn’t think I’d be buying my new PC so quickly, but all it took was an enticing CPU sale to spur me into a purchasing frenzy. After it’s all said and done, I’m hoping this rig will cost less than $800. So far the running total is $505.45.

I’ll post updates on this build next week, so stay tuned.

1 2