Hard Drives: Read/Write vs. Buffer Size?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by seiran, May 6, 2009.

  1. seiran macrumors newbie

    May 6, 2009
    I'm a designer (web/print) so I've always got Photoshop, Flash, Dreamweaver, too many fonts, and other various stuff open at once.. The G5 I'm using is Dual 2 GHz with 5 gigs of RAM and using a 7,200 rpm/8MB cache hard drive (Maxtor 6Y250M0)...

    I've been having the problem where if you switch from one program to another, that program you're switching to lags (spinner wheel while interface loads up again)... This even happens if I'm just trying to save a file (spinner wheel....................aaaaaaannnnnnd.... ok it saved - thank god)...

    I know I could close down some unneeded programs, deactivate some fonts fonts, etc (which i need to get into the habit of doing).. but i was curious if getting an upgraded hard drive would help that situation which brings me to Read/Write time (WD's Raptor 10,000 rpm) or Buffer Size (say WD's Caviar Black 32 MB buffer) (NOTE: not saying I'm getting those.. just examples... haha, after reading posts - seems many are touchy about the hardware they use/recommend)...

    I'm just out of space in general and need quicker drive with more room.. just curious if you guys could give me any insight... if neither matter, I'll just go across the street and grab a drive..

    thanks guys!
  2. melchior macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2002
    it depends on your memory usage and how often you are forced to use a swapfile. check your activity monitor and report here if you like.

    that being said, it sounds to me more like the G5 is lagging during those high intensity cpu moments switching between applications. i don't have this problem and i am routinely living in swap memory because i am limited to 4gb of ram on a early 2008 macbookpro.

    the time it takes to save may be due to the slower drive if we are talking about very large files, otherwise again, cpu.

    depending on what your ram usage is, you may benefit from increasing your ram to 8gb or more and getting a scorpio with 32mb of cache to cover your space needs. also, when a drive fills up, it also slows down to some degree.

    all that said, it is fairly routine to have a fast disk as a scratch disk. have you considered this?
  3. kastenbrust macrumors 68030


    Dec 26, 2008
    North Korea
    Get a decent solid state hard drive, your response speed on your computer will go through the roof, its like doubling your RAM or adding another processor.

    Search the forum for more information on them.
  4. seiran thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 6, 2009
    @ kastenbrust: I'll look into those... any suggestions? not really trying to break the bank on a drive - but.. then again.. it's work related and would probably be worth it...

    @ melchior: i haven't really thought about a scratch disc - though, would probably make sense. either way - i need to snag a new drive due to space issues.. may just order some RAM while I'm at it and just max it out...

    just for the hell of it, here's a quick grab of the activity panel (i hope i'm just being impatient - not going to pretend i know what ALL this means) :

    Active Memory: 2.20 GB
    Free Memory: 1.92 GB
    Wired Memory: 436.54 MB
    Used Memory: 3.07 GB
    Inactive Memory: 459.68 MB
    Total VM: 43.59 GB
    Number of processes: 60

    thanks for your time guys.. much appreciated...
  5. cmcbridejr macrumors 6502a


    Sep 28, 2007
    Alpharetta, GA
    That would make the most sense.

    Scratch disk is highly recommended.

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