2.5" and 3.5" HDDs

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2.5" and 3.5" HDDs

Postposted on Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:15 am

Does there happen to be any difference in the connectors on 2.5" and 3.5" HDDs? I'm looking at getting a 2.5" Seagate 750GB Momentus hybrid drive into one of my builds, and would like to know if I need different cables before I go ahead with the order.

Thanks much.
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Re: 2.5" and 3.5" HDDs

Postposted on Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:40 am

Both form factors share the same SATA/SAS data and power connector.

You will only run into issues if you want to deal with 2.5 HDDs that uses PATA/Parallel SCSI. They come in a wide range of connectors.
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Re: 2.5" and 3.5" HDDs

Postposted on Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:04 am

The 2.5in form factor drive tend to have smaller cache in general and be somewhat slower than their 3.5in counterparts. But they also don't get as hot and consume less energy.
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Re: 2.5" and 3.5" HDDs

Postposted on Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:34 am

Also, I'm sure you're probably already aware of this, but make sure your case has the appropriate mounting holes for 2.5" drives. If not, be sure to get a 3.5"/5.25" adapter bracket for a few bucks.
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Re: 2.5" and 3.5" HDDs

Postposted on Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:42 am

i was just curious what your goal was. Are you trying to build a smaller box. or are you looking for a performance bump? the last time i looked a 3.5" 7,200 rmp drive would beat a hybrid laptop drive pretty handily in the basic bench marks. cost wise you may be able to get a 60gb ssd boot drive and 1 tb data drive for similar cost and substantially better performance.
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Re: 2.5" and 3.5" HDDs

Postposted on Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:58 am

Krogoth is correct, if unimpressed. For some additional (but likely useless) info, SATA CD/DVD/BD drives use the standard SATA data connector, but with a smaller/abbreviated power connector. I've actually used slimline/laptop drives with desktop/full size power connectors by clipping away the outside of the SATA power socket, at the end. The pins it uses are the same, it just doesn't connect all of them.

SATA/SAS are semi-compatible. Since SAS controllers can talk to both kinds of disks, but SAS drives only work on SAS controllers, you'll see that the power and data connectors are connected (no gap) on the disks. This lets the SAS data/power connector attach to a SATA disk (the gap between is just empty), while preventing SAS disks from taking anything but a SAS connector. I have removed the center (plastic) connection on a SAS disk, for fun, and even with the connection physically made, they don't work on SATA controllers. Just had to try, you know? :)

To also agree with hiro and synchro, I would only use standard 2.5" HDDs if space and/or heat were a major concern. The best performing 2.5" drives tend to lag the mainstream 3.5" ones.
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Re: 2.5" and 3.5" HDDs

Postposted on Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:53 pm

I was looking at real world tests like windows boot times and there hybrid drives tend to beat normal 3.5" drives. Its cheaper to have one of these than a. 120gb SSD and a 1TB HDD but still have quick times.
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Re: 2.5" and 3.5" HDDs

Postposted on Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:32 pm

AMD Damo wrote:I was looking at real world tests like windows boot times and there hybrid drives tend to beat normal 3.5" drives. Its cheaper to have one of these than a. 120gb SSD and a 1TB HDD but still have quick times.


Thing is, while a hybrid 2.5" may be cheaper than both a 1TB conventional HDD and a 128GB SSD, it's not going to offer the full speed of an SSD, nor the capacity of the conventional HDD. If you embrace too many such compromises, you end up being good at nothing, but tolerable at everything.

Simply put, WHAT IS THE OBJECTIVE? If we're reusing existing stock of 2.5" drives, that's one thing. If you're trying to justify the purchase of a 2.5" HDD/SSD hybrid, you've started off very poorly, by not asking the right questions. In your OP you present the purchase of the Momentus Hybrid as more-or-less a fait accompli, and ask only about cabling. If you'd like to discuss pros and cons, that's something else. ;)

But the OP: Yeah, standard cabling.
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Re: 2.5" and 3.5" HDDs

Postposted on Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:04 pm

Decent storage space with quick windows bootup and app times is the objective
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Re: 2.5" and 3.5" HDDs

Postposted on Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:46 pm

AMD Damo wrote:Decent storage space with quick windows bootup and app times is the objective


That would really be a hybrid drive then. A better middle-of-the-road solution would be to use an SSD as a cache for a larger mechanical drive. They sell SSDs with the needed software in the box especially for this situation.
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Re: 2.5" and 3.5" HDDs

Postposted on Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:29 pm

AMD Damo wrote:Decent storage space with quick windows bootup and app times is the objective

What about a good fast big hard drive with a couple USB Flash drives plugged in for ReadyBoost?
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Re: 2.5" and 3.5" HDDs

Postposted on Wed Apr 11, 2012 1:39 am

Buub wrote:What about a good fast big hard drive with a couple USB Flash drives plugged in for ReadyBoost?
The last round-up of USB 3.0 Flash drives I saw found the mainstream ones to offer an average 30-40MB/s transfer rate, which is significantly less than what you get from a good HD. There are faster ones, but at price points that should make you consider an SSD instead. If you're trying to split the difference and boot time really is the key metric (why?), the Momentus Hybrid might actually be a reasonable choice. However, just using Sleep in Windows 7 might be a better option.
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Re: 2.5" and 3.5" HDDs

Postposted on Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:26 am

UberGerbil wrote:
Buub wrote:What about a good fast big hard drive with a couple USB Flash drives plugged in for ReadyBoost?
The last round-up of USB 3.0 Flash drives I saw found the mainstream ones to offer an average 30-40MB/s transfer rate, which is significantly less than what you get from a good HD. There are faster ones, but at price points that should make you consider an SSD instead. If you're trying to split the difference and boot time really is the key metric (why?), the Momentus Hybrid might actually be a reasonable choice. However, just using Sleep in Windows 7 might be a better option.


We always turn our PCs off at the wall so unfortunately sleep isn't an option.

Its for my parents PC and they just want to turn the thing on, have it quickly load up and get into Firefox to check their emails, search up something on google. Thats about it.
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Re: 2.5" and 3.5" HDDs

Postposted on Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:50 am

I would go with a SSD as a first choice or an SSD plus a HD, if they really need the room. 100GB is a lot of room when all you want to do is surf the Internet, and that is only a lower limit because of Windows. SSD around 120GB are getting to be reasonable, and by that, I mean their starting to get under $200.

If they really need the room, I would use the SSD as the main drive with Windows, Office, and any frequently used application, and a HD to hold eveything else. I believe you can remap the Downloads folder to someplace else other then C:, but I don't remember off the top of my head.
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Re: 2.5" and 3.5" HDDs

Postposted on Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:40 am

Its for my parents PC and they just want to turn the thing on, have it quickly load up and get into Firefox to check their emails, search up something on google. Thats about it.


Isn't a SSD like a total overkill for a usage like that? Hell even my old C2D E6600 Setup doesn't need more than 60s to boot from an HDD.
Starting Opera with adblock lists and God knows how many open tabs is a matter of 10s.

If your parents have Money to burn sure, use a SSD. But If they don't, use a normal HDD, and tell them to not install every toolbar they see. The system will be plenty fast.
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Re: 2.5" and 3.5" HDDs

Postposted on Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:48 am

@ OP. did you see your 750gb hybrid drive is on sale at newegg for the rest of the week?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148837&nm_mc=EMC-IGNEFL041012&cm_mmc=EMC-IGNEFL041012-_-EMC-041012-Index-_-LaptopHardDrives-_-22148837-L0A

$30 off w/ promo code EMCNFJN88, ends 4/16
at $145 i might pick one up (ir)regardless.
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Re: 2.5" and 3.5" HDDs

Postposted on Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:02 pm

Ifalna wrote:
Its for my parents PC and they just want to turn the thing on, have it quickly load up and get into Firefox to check their emails, search up something on google. Thats about it.


Isn't a SSD like a total overkill for a usage like that? Hell even my old C2D E6600 Setup doesn't need more than 60s to boot from an HDD.


I would say no as an SSD eliminates a bottleneck. HD throughput has been inadequate for years, and SSDs correct this problem.

Of course, this is all theoretical idealism since the OP hasn't posted a budget or build sheet.
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Re: 2.5" and 3.5" HDDs

Postposted on Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:22 pm

Flatland_Spider wrote:If they really need the room, I would use the SSD as the main drive with Windows, Office, and any frequently used application, and a HD to hold eveything else. I believe you can remap the Downloads folder to someplace else other then C:, but I don't remember off the top of my head.
Yes, you can redirect Downloads (and Videos and Music and Pictures and Documents, which are the other space hogs) very easily in Win7 -- on the right column of Start menu, click on your username (at the top) and then get the properties of each of those locations (There are more advanced ways to do this and more, but that should work fine for this simple setup).
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Re: 2.5" and 3.5" HDDs

Postposted on Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:43 am

Ifalna wrote:
Its for my parents PC and they just want to turn the thing on, have it quickly load up and get into Firefox to check their emails, search up something on google. Thats about it.


Isn't a SSD like a total overkill for a usage like that? Hell even my old C2D E6600 Setup doesn't need more than 60s to boot from an HDD.
Starting Opera with adblock lists and God knows how many open tabs is a matter of 10s.

If your parents have Money to burn sure, use a SSD. But If they don't, use a normal HDD, and tell them to not install every toolbar they see. The system will be plenty fast.


I'm building the PC for them, so I'm spending my money haha.

Pretty much its using recycled parts from my old PC, Quad Core Athlon II something, 4GB DDR2 RAM, old Gigabyte motherboard, Radeon 5750 I have lying about but money needs to be spent in other areas.

At the moment it has a 120GB Seagate SATA HDD in it, S939 AMD Opteron 175, Geforce 7600GT and 2GB DDR400 RAM.

Here is what I have on my list for it:

hiro_pro wrote:@ OP. did you see your 750gb hybrid drive is on sale at newegg for the rest of the week?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148837&nm_mc=EMC-IGNEFL041012&cm_mmc=EMC-IGNEFL041012-_-EMC-041012-Index-_-LaptopHardDrives-_-22148837-L0A

$30 off w/ promo code EMCNFJN88, ends 4/16
at $145 i might pick one up (ir)regardless.


I've got that exact HDD in my list, its the one I am looking at.

Here is what I have in my cart at the moment:

Lite-On iHBS212 12x Blu-Ray Disc Writer $85
Seagate Momentus XT ST750LX003 750GB $215
Cat 6 Network Cable 1M, 2M, 15M and 20M $36
Creative GigaWorks T40 Series II $105
OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W Modular $79
SilverStone 3.5 to 2 x 2.5 Drive Bay Converter $12
Deepcool Rockmaster 5.25in Fan Controller and Card Reader $25
Hauppauge HVR2200 MCE PCIe Dual Hybrid $139
Arctic Cooling 92mm F9 Fan $9
Fractal Design Silent Series 120mm Fan X2 $24
A-RAM Class 10 SD Card 32GB $35

As you can see its not just for that one PC, the network cables are to replace the old ones I've got here on all my PCs as I've got some issues popping up and I've noticed I've got some frayed/damaged network cables, the TV Tuner is for our HTPC as its time for an upgrade from its single tuner, the SD card is for our camera as the 2GB one it come with isn't big enough. The rest is for the parents PC.

I prefer to get all my parts from http://www.pccasegear.com as I get really cheap express shipping to my workplace.

They have a sale on for an Intel 520 series 120GB SSD for $195, but then I've gotta spend another $100 on a 1TB HDD.

Does Newegg ship to Australia?
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Re: 2.5" and 3.5" HDDs

Postposted on Thu Apr 12, 2012 5:45 am

I would say no as an SSD eliminates a bottleneck. HD throughput has been inadequate for years, and SSDs correct this problem.


What bottleneck? They want a E-Mailing/Internet machine. 99.9% of the time any physical drive will just twiddle it's thumbs in that system.
Sure, They'd eliminate the HDD bandwidth bottleneck but what good does it do if they never even use /exceed that bandwidth in the first place?

Maybe I'm missing something here, if so, please enlighten me.
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Re: 2.5" and 3.5" HDDs

Postposted on Thu Apr 12, 2012 6:10 am

Ifalna wrote:
I would say no as an SSD eliminates a bottleneck. HD throughput has been inadequate for years, and SSDs correct this problem.


What bottleneck? They want a E-Mailing/Internet machine. 99.9% of the time any physical drive will just twiddle it's thumbs in that system.
Sure, They'd eliminate the HDD bandwidth bottleneck but what good does it do if they never even use /exceed that bandwidth in the first place?

Maybe I'm missing something here, if so, please enlighten me.

A quad core Athlon II would spend 99% of its time twiddling its thumbs as well. If anything, a small, inexpensive SSD makes more sense for a email/internet machine than the Athlon II CPU, because although they will never be waiting for the CPU to finish anything (unless they're transcoding whatever they record with the Hauppauge), they will most certainly have to wait on the HDD for anything that isn't already cached.

But I digress, the silliest thing about this build is the 600W $80 PSU. If my overclocked sandy bridge + southern islands gaming computer runs without a hitch on 530W, I dare say this family computer can get by with a little less.
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Re: 2.5" and 3.5" HDDs

Postposted on Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:40 am

AMD Damo wrote:It's for my parents' PC and they just want to turn the thing on, have it quickly load up and get into Firefox to check their emails, search up something on Google. That's about it.

Pretty much it's using recycled parts from my old PC, Quad Core Athlon II something, 4GB DDR2 RAM, old Gigabyte motherboard, Radeon 5750 I have lying about.
At the moment it has a 120GB Seagate SATA HDD in it, S939 AMD Opteron 175, Geforce 7600GT and 2GB DDR400 RAM.
If your parents aren't going to play games or transcode a lot of videos, the most noticeable performance differences between the existing system and what you have proposed are the move from 2 GiB to 4 GiB of memory and installing a faster hard-drive. My mother's PC currently has an Opteron 175 (2.2 GHz dual-core) and 4 GiB of PC3200. It runs Windows 7 64-bit satisfactorily.

AMD Damo wrote: Here is what I have in my cart at the moment:
Lite-On iHBS212 12x Blu-Ray Disc Writer A$85
Seagate Momentus XT ST750LX003 750GB A$215
Creative GigaWorks T40 Series II A$105
OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W Modular A$79
SilverStone 3.5 to 2 x 2.5 Drive Bay Converter A$12
Deepcool Rockmaster 5.25in Fan Controller and Card Reader A$25
Arctic Cooling 92mm F9 Fan A$9
Fractal Design Silent Series 120mm Fan X2 A$24

I prefer to get all my parts from http://www.pccasegear.com as I get really cheap express shipping to my workplace.
I'd definitely be tempted to go with an SSD for any new build that can stand the cost.
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Re: 2.5" and 3.5" HDDs

Postposted on Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:24 am

AMD Damo wrote:Decent storage space with quick windows bootup and app times is the objective

AMD Damo wrote:Its for my parents PC and they just want to turn the thing on, have it quickly load up and get into Firefox to check their emails, search up something on google. Thats about it.

I say the objectives contradict a bit here. If all they need is Firefox and Google search, then a 40-100GB SSD is plenty of storage. Especially if they don't need Office, you can definitely get away with 40GB.

AMD Damo wrote:Does Newegg ship to Australia?

Unfortunately no.

Ifalna wrote:
I would say no as an SSD eliminates a bottleneck. HD throughput has been inadequate for years, and SSDs correct this problem.

What bottleneck? They want a E-Mailing/Internet machine. 99.9% of the time any physical drive will just twiddle it's thumbs in that system.

OP wants boot times as their usage pattern is to shut down completely instead of using Sleep. Hibernate may be too slow (even if you put just 2 gigs into the system) compared to booting from SSD.

Firestarter wrote:A quad core Athlon II would spend 99% of its time twiddling its thumbs as well. If anything, a small, inexpensive SSD makes more sense for a email/internet machine than the Athlon II CPU, because although they will never be waiting for the CPU to finish anything (unless they're transcoding whatever they record with the Hauppauge), they will most certainly have to wait on the HDD for anything that isn't already cached.

OP is recycling parts.
AMD Damo wrote:Pretty much its using recycled parts from my old PC, Quad Core Athlon II something, 4GB DDR2 RAM, old Gigabyte motherboard, Radeon 5750 I have lying about but money needs to be spent in other areas.


If the cost of the SSD (even a smallish one) is a concern, how about selling the 5750 to help fund the purchase (assuming you have a spare card lying around or the old motherboard is like a 785G with an IGP)?
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Re: 2.5" and 3.5" HDDs

Postposted on Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:17 pm

Ifalna wrote:
I would say no as an SSD eliminates a bottleneck. HD throughput has been inadequate for years, and SSDs correct this problem.


What bottleneck? They want a E-Mailing/Internet machine. 99.9% of the time any physical drive will just twiddle it's thumbs in that system.
Sure, They'd eliminate the HDD bandwidth bottleneck but what good does it do if they never even use /exceed that bandwidth in the first place?

Maybe I'm missing something here, if so, please enlighten me.


You're right about the proc, but you don't want that thing idling while it waits on disk access.

Just because they aren't going to max out the bandwidth doesn't mean an SSD won't significantly improve their user experience with the PC. I'm not going to say the OP should build his parent's a RAID array, that would be silly, but if an SSD is within the budget, I would suggest one over an HD.

Email programs need to write the mail to the disk, web browsers write temporary files, Windows likes to hit the swap file early and often, and out of the box Windows Indexes lots of files. The machine will be quieter, and it will run smoother because it won't have to wait on disk access. Swapping will be less painful because because of the bandwidth if the user does run the machine out of RAM, and let's not forget about how much of an IO hog anti-virus programs can be.

There are actual tangible benefits to an SSD even if the users will never need all of the bandwidth. It's like buying a car with 200hp and 180ft-lbs of torque over one with 110hp and 90ft-lbs of torque. 110/90 is enough for a small car, but the same car with 200/180 will be more comfortable.

At work, I've switched over to buying laptops with SSDs because they're just a nicer experience, and my users are just going to use Office and a web browser most of the time.
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Re: 2.5" and 3.5" HDDs

Postposted on Thu Apr 12, 2012 5:23 pm

I'm not going to touch car-analogies with a 10 hp pole. I am going to say that I would never recommend a PC with a HDD for the main drive to my parents, brothers, sisters or friends. If not for their sake, then do it for your own peace and quiet: Squeeze in an SSD and they'll never manage to install so much junk as to make their PC unusable! Toolbars galore, a pirated Photoshop in the start-up list, matter it will not! And as long as they can use their computer, they won't call you at 11pm in the night, doing small talk for all of 1 minute before getting to the point of "The internet is broked". They'll simply use it like they always wished they could use it, and everything will be alright. And when you come around and clean up the mess just because you always did and you aren't stopping now, you'll find your work much enlightened. Uninstalling those toolbars, updating drivers and general housekeeping is so much easier if you don't have to wait for that HDD to grind to a halt everytime you click something.

death to HDDs
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Re: 2.5" and 3.5" HDDs

Postposted on Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:45 am

Well guys my other PC has just given up the ghost. So I'm doing a 100% new build but keeping the old case, this is what I have come up with so far:

SSD: Intel 330 Series SSD 120GB
GPU: Radeon 5750
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 1TB ST1000DM003
Speakers: Creative Gigaworks T40 series II
CPU: AMD FX 6100
OS: Windows Home 7 Premium 64 bit
PSU: OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W Modular
Fans: 1x 92mm Arctic Cooling F9, 2X 120mm Fractal Design Silent Series
RAM: G.Skill F3-10600CL9D-8GBNT (2x4GB) DDR3
Mobo: ASRock 970 Extreme3 Motherboard

Everything is from http://www.pccasegear.com

I have a question in regards to the fans, they all have 3 pin conectors rather than 4 pin molex ones, do they just plug into the motherboard?

Any improvements, suggestions?
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Re: 2.5" and 3.5" HDDs

Postposted on Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:20 am

AMD Damo wrote:OS: Windows Home 7 Premium 64 bit
I have a question in regards to the fans, they all have 3 pin connectors rather than 4 pin molex ones, do they just plug into the motherboard?


I would go to Win 7 Pro for Remote Desktop host, dynamic disks, and XP mode, but that's me.

Yes, if there are fan headers on the motherboards.
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Re: 2.5" and 3.5" HDDs

Postposted on Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:55 am

And if you run out of fan headers on the motherboard (you can use 3 or 4 pin motherboard headers, btw), adapters are easy to find (or even make); in fact, many of the fancier aftermarket fans include one.
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Re: 2.5" and 3.5" HDDs

Postposted on Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:02 am

I noticed that your Hauppauge card is gone from this build?
So is there still a need for a 1tb hard drive?

Regarding Hauppauge cards, I do like their cards. I have been using them for years. Their Software QC isn't that good! (Also NOW you must have a CD Copy of their software to install the downloaded upgrades!)

Often times when there is an update features are missing, things don't work right anymore, stability can suffer. SO MAKE SURE that you have a copy of the last known good/stable Hauppauge Software that you liked! That way is you need to you can reload that.

Also, Hauppauge Software will destroy their config files, from time-to-time, if the drive fills up while recording. So it is BEST to record to a separate drive to avoid that. (As far as I have found the only way to fix that issue, is to completely reload the Hauppauge Software once that occurs.)

Why the separate video card?

If this is a 'new build' why not just find a Motherboard with onboard Video?

My current Media PC is using Windows 7 x64, Motherboard with onboard Radeon 4250 video adapter, 6TB of storage, an SSD Boot Drive.

The onboard video adapter doesn't have any problems keeping up with playing videos and/or TV while doing other things or not.

So I wouldn't have any concerns about an onboard Radeon 6000 video adapter being able to keep up? (Or even Nvidia, I have used both.)

Even if you found it didn't live up to your needs/expectations, then you could add a separate video card later.
Jim552
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Re: 2.5" and 3.5" HDDs

Postposted on Sat Apr 21, 2012 2:20 am

Jim552 wrote:I noticed that your Hauppauge card is gone from this build?
So is there still a need for a 1tb hard drive?

Regarding Hauppauge cards, I do like their cards. I have been using them for years. Their Software QC isn't that good! (Also NOW you must have a CD Copy of their software to install the downloaded upgrades!)

Often times when there is an update features are missing, things don't work right anymore, stability can suffer. SO MAKE SURE that you have a copy of the last known good/stable Hauppauge Software that you liked! That way is you need to you can reload that.

Also, Hauppauge Software will destroy their config files, from time-to-time, if the drive fills up while recording. So it is BEST to record to a separate drive to avoid that. (As far as I have found the only way to fix that issue, is to completely reload the Hauppauge Software once that occurs.)

Why the separate video card?

If this is a 'new build' why not just find a Motherboard with onboard Video?

My current Media PC is using Windows 7 x64, Motherboard with onboard Radeon 4250 video adapter, 6TB of storage, an SSD Boot Drive.

The onboard video adapter doesn't have any problems keeping up with playing videos and/or TV while doing other things or not.

So I wouldn't have any concerns about an onboard Radeon 6000 video adapter being able to keep up? (Or even Nvidia, I have used both.)

Even if you found it didn't live up to your needs/expectations, then you could add a separate video card later.


The Hauppage card is still in there, I just haven't listed it here. The only reason I've gone with that particular card is a lot of the HTPC folks down here use it, and Hauppage actually contributes to a forum we're all on and helps us with drivers. But its not actually for this particular PC, the Radeon 5750 is new and in its box in my cupboard so I might as well as use the damn thing.

EDIT: I just ordered everything, can't wait to try out the SSD, how quick are you guys booting Windows with one of these bad boys?
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