Creating new partition for Windows 7 64-bit to play Dragon Age Inquisition, which drive should I use?

DrKenobi

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I am going to install win7 64-bit on a new partition on one of my hard drives so I can boot from it to play dragon age inquisition and maybe Star Citizen. I'm currently running 32-bit and I don't want to do a fresh install, I've got like 5 years invested into this one and I'm not starting from scratch. Not until I get an SSD anyway. The question is, how much space should I allocate for the partition? and on what drive?

I have 3 HDDs, all of which I cleaned thoroughly yesterday (freed up like 150 GB, very proud)
C:\ 150 GB Western Digital Velociraptor
OS, small commonly used programs, high-demand programs (photoshop, games)
70 GB of 139 GB free
D:\ 1 TB Seagate Barracuda
Used for misc. storage and low-demand programs (conversion software, old games)
90 GB of 901 GB free
E:\ 2 TB Seagate Barracuda II
used for video storage
15 GB of 1.81 TB free

I ran Winsat on each disk and these were the results:
C:
> Disk Sequential 64.0 Read_______________103.59 MB/s 6.6
> Disk Random 16.0 Read________________ 2.91 MB/s 4.6
> Responsiveness: Average IO Rate_________2.36 ms/IO 6.8
> Responsiveness: Grouped IOs____________8.77 units 7.4
> Responsiveness: Long IOs_______________8.19 units 7.5
> Responsiveness: Overall_________________71.86 units 6.9
> Disk Sequential 64.0 Write_______________111.76 MB/s 6.8
> Average Read Time with Sequential Writes___4.187 ms 6.3
> Latency: 95th Percentile__________________7.842 ms 6.0
> Latency: Maximum______________________27.264 ms 7.9
> Average Read Time with Random Writes_____4.055 ms 6.3

D:
> Disk Sequential 64.0 Read_______________104.22 MB/s 6.6
> Disk Random 16.0 Read_________________1.16 MB/s 3.3
> Responsiveness: Average IO Rate__________3.43 ms/IO 6.1
> Responsiveness: Grouped IOs____________11.16 units 6.9
> Responsiveness: Long IOs_______________13.56 units 7.1
> Responsiveness: Overall_________________151.28 units 6.6
> Disk Sequential 64.0 Write_______________98.56 MB/s 6.5
> Average Read Time with Sequential Writes___4.928 ms 6.0
> Latency: 95th Percentile__________________37.409 ms 2.4
> Latency: Maximum______________________82.321 ms 7.8
> Average Read Time with Random Writes____10.485 ms 4.4

E:
> Disk Sequential 64.0 Read_______________112.66 MB/s 6.8
> Disk Random 16.0 Read_________________1.64 MB/s 4.1
> Responsiveness: Average IO Rate__________3.27 ms/IO 6.2
> Responsiveness: Grouped IOs_____________11.44 units 6.9
> Responsiveness: Long IOs________________13.03 units 7.1
> Responsiveness: Overall_________________149.12 units 6.6
> Disk Sequential 64.0 Write_______________105.77 MB/s 6.7
> Average Read Time with Sequential Writes___3.754 ms 6.4
> Latency: 95th Percentile__________________20.754 ms 4.5
> Latency: Maximum______________________27.710 ms 7.9
> Average Read Time with Random Writes_____7.880 ms 5.0


So with that info, which drive would you suggest I make the partition on? and do you recommend putting Dragon age on the same partition? (this game is push my system to its limit one way or another so I need to optimize as best I can). Obviously C outscored D and E in nearly every category, but I'm not exactly sure how DA:I uses my hdd with the ram and I'm expecting my ram to be my bottleneck. I'm guessing some information won't preload and will need to be transferred from the hdd to the ram while in-game rather than just in loading screens.
Because C is normally short on space I'd prefer not to put it there if I'm not going to see a performance increase over D or E. To that end, if I do go with E or D, which should I pick? E has better stats (newer model) but D has less stuff on it. Not sure how much that matters.




Good Old Rig:
Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q9550 @ 2.83GHz
4 GB RAM pc16000 ddr3 2000mhz
MSI Radeon 7870 Hawk 2048 MB GDDR5 Core@1100MHz Memory@1200MHz
EVGA nForce 790i Ultra Motherboard
Sound card, power supply, dvd burner, fans, lights, buttons, 3 HDDs and a case.
 

hang-the-9

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You can only boot Windows from a primary partition so check which of those are primary. I'd install it on the WD raptor drive.

Just make sure you make a backup of your system before you start messing around with partitions and installing a dual boot system. Cloning the drive you will work with is probably the best backup you can do.
 

DrKenobi

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It is clean. That's my video storage drive for my collection of 500+ Movies and ~150 complete tv series :)
 

popatim

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E: is out - not enough room.
C: & D: has enough room maybe, depends on where the free space is...
Personally iw ould install both win7-64 and da on the raptor if I could; though you might have to install the games themselves on D:



Sorry to sidetrack, but if these are so important, what do you back them up to?

 

DrKenobi

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Unfortunately the only thing I have backed up right now is my C drive, I don't have enough space to back up the rest and I don't have enough money to buy more space. If one of my drives goes out it WILL be a tragedy. That's also the reason I don't use RAID anymore. On my previous rig I was using RAID X (if I remember correctly), when one drive failed it took the other one with it. Very sad.

Anyway, I'm leaning towards putting the game and the OS on C, but I'm not sure how much space to partition. Win7 64bit lists a minimum of 20 gb and dragon age is like 25 gb, but those are minimums and don't account for anything else I may need. Do you think 60 gb would be enough for both? or maybe I should use 40 and just put the OS on there?
 

popatim

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how about the OS on D: and the game on C: that would give you maximum performance right where you want it. So what windows takes 4 seconds longer to boot... :)
 

hang-the-9

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You need to treat the hard drives like they are going to fail tomorrow, because they could. RAID 0 is not good at all for reliability, you double your chance of failure although get a decent boost in speed. I would only use that if you know the consequences and are ready for them. I have a RAID 0 setup now on my two smaller SSD drives because I wanted the space of combining them, but the only thing on there is Windows and the programs which I can easly re-install. My actual data is on my other hard drives which are backed up to two other drives. I actually have 3 copies of all my files now.

I looked at your free space, you don't have much on the drives, and partitioning a drive with data is taking a chance on something going wrong and needing to run destdisk or something to try to get the partition info back.

I'd forget about messsing with the system till you can sort out the drives better with full backups.
 

DrKenobi

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I really do appreciate your concern and advice, but unfortunately I've been looking forward this game for a few years now and I don't have it in me to wait for who knows how much longer till I get my life out of the gutter and have money to spend on my rig again.

Fortunately since I'm putting the OS on my D drive, I won't need to create a partition at all. The only thing I'll have to do is change the bios to boot D before C.

As for RAID, well that's the reason I don't use it anymore. Because I do know the potential consequences and I fear them. The small amount of space I'd gain isn't worth the increased risk of data loss, not even close.
 

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