Ok folks..the third installment of our ever so popular discussion!!! PC BUILDING!! YAY!! WOOHOO!! HIP HIP HOORAY!!...ok, I'll calm down now!!! lol So, we talked about Mainboards, CPU's, Power Supplies, how to configure the drives and CDROM's and Floppy drives...now we talk ABOUT the Hard Drives and CDROM's Hard drives..several flavors here...5400RPM, 7200RPM, UDMA, ATA66, ATA100, SCSI, RAID and even the upcoming new ATA133!!!! Hard drives are platters..with a mechanical arm that bounces back and forth to read data on little clusters or blocks of information that is written to the platters by the OS. RPM is the speed in which the platter is spinning(revolutions per minute) Obviously the faster the RPM the better...but beware of 10,000RPM drives as they get mighty ^#$%ing hot!!! Now, just for facts sake..laptops can only accept 5400rpm drives due to heat constraint issues within the unit. Because of the small space available within the unit heat is a major factor to laptops..thus why recording mulit-tracks on a laptop is sometimes a pain since it only has one drive and it's slow compared to 7200RPM desktop models. Ok..so now we look further into desktop hard drives..we need to look at the average seek time..generally drives will have a 8-9ms seek time..which is good to know..some generic drives or older models will have a much longer seek time..seek time being how fast it sekks the sector in which the data is written to or read from. The faster the seek time the better the performance. Now, I think it was Son of Smawg who was discussing partition sizes...he has a very vaild point there. The larger the partition the harder the mechanism has to search for the information. So, if we cut that down to size we make it faster performance rated. But, there's a catch(of course you say!!)dont do this to the main drive for OS and data reading. When you partition the main drive for OS and data you arent creating two drives..you are essentially making one drive work it's tail off!! This will cause possible hang ups or performance lags. The reading mechanism(arm) will have to read the OS, the app being used and try to read and write the audio data on two sections of the drive...thus the arm has to jump all over the place to work properly. Partitioning a data drive is ok..10GB partitions is a good size to partition to. Just try and make it so the data being read from is on that one partition and that partition only. The same rule applies to multiple partitions on a data drive as an OS drive. Ok? Good!! Now, we get into Companies who make the friggen thangs...geez, where do we start.. IBM, Maxtor, Western Digital, Seagate are among the popular brand names..now, which one is better..so far Seagate, Maxtor and Western Digital seem to be the favorites. Altho there is the smattering of unhappy customers with problems right from the get go with some of the brands mentioned. It's hard to say which ones are truly good or bad these days..so many of em!! IBM has been plagued with issues so most people tend to shy away from them. I like Western Digital...Quiet, great performance and always work. Maxtor isnt bad as well. Everyone has their own opinions and I'm sure we'll see some in responses to this..dont be shy..i want to hear everyone's results!! Ok, so where do we go from here? Hmm..UDMA and ATA100!!! UltraDMA specs..this can only work if One: Your motherboard supports is and two your hard drive supports it..it's DMA on Speed man!! lol!! ATA100..100Mhz data transfer rates..these are basically Speed bursts..it's not constant transfer..it bursts the information out at a set rate..ATA66 was nice but it wasnt much of a difference between 33 and 66..now ATA100 is a hell of a lot faster and better equipped to handle the data output!! With ATA100 specs you can gaurantee great results with high track counts! Especially with 7200RPM drives! Now...make sure you have the 80pin UDMA cables when attaching to the drives...40 pin cables wont work as well without that high density cable data path!! Ok, now that I'm jumping topics left and right..I tend to get things out of order..I blame ADD for that one!!