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Raptor vs SATA II

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July 3, 2006 10:28:08 AM

Im upgrading soon (thats a common theme around here =d) and the one point im still tossing around, hardware-wise, are the hard drives. I like the idea of a couple of raptor's (any size really with ncq), but for the same approx price, or cheaper, I could be enjoying larger sataII drives with more through-put?

Does the faster access time of the raptors beat the greater throughput on current sataII drives?

More about : raptor sata

a b G Storage
July 3, 2006 4:22:29 PM

Raptors will be faster. The speeds for Sata II are the maximum theoretical speeds. No drive, not even a raptor, can hit those speeds.
Sata speeds wont be any faster than an IDE drive.
Take a look at the seek times and other times on both sata drives and ide drives. Youll see they are almost always the same or with in a millesecond of each other.

Unless you cant spare a couple of seconds here and there I would go for the larger storage over the speed of the raptor.
July 3, 2006 4:43:28 PM

I have a Raptor 74 GB (the new version with the 16MB cache and NCQ) and I love it. It's super fast, and it's not loud at all. I can't hear it over my fans, which are actually pretty quiet as well. Windows boots in a snap, my games load super fast (BF2 still takes a long time, but there's not much can be done about that).

However, if you have a lot of crap then you'll want the larger capacity of a regular 7200RPM drive. With any hard drive, the more stuff is on it, the slower it gets. Therefore, an almost full Raptor may have almost no advantage over a barely half-full regular drive. Besides, you can run regular drives in RAID and get faster transfer speeds than a Raptor, although you can't beat their seek times.
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July 3, 2006 4:45:58 PM

I'm kinda gonna agree with sturm here. I don't know why the hell they have SATA II drives if the drives can't even fill up a SATA I bandwidth. I guess it's just to make people think they're getting something better. Really the choice is up to you. If you really want them and like the idea of the maybe slightly higher speed than go for it, don't go for RAID 0 though, I've had bad luck with that with all my HDD's. You lose one drive and the whole thing goes down. If not, just get a bigass HDD that you can fill up with all the porn or whatever the hell you want, lol.

Anyways the choice is yours, good luck though!
July 3, 2006 4:49:11 PM

Quote:
Im upgrading soon (thats a common theme around here =d) and the one point im still tossing around, hardware-wise, are the hard drives. I like the idea of a couple of raptor's (any size really with ncq), but for the same approx price, or cheaper, I could be enjoying larger sataII drives with more through-put?

Does the faster access time of the raptors beat the greater throughput on current sataII drives?


Segate's 7200.10 will read almost a full MBps faster than a Raptor,run cooler and the 320GB model is onsale at Newegg for $104 USD.
July 3, 2006 4:52:55 PM

Actually, if you want these for gaming (and this is only a very subtle suggestion) you could check out some 15K rpm SCSI hdds. You can get small ones for under $100 and they're fast as all living hell. The only question is whether or not your comp will support SCSI controllers and whatnot as SCSI still has somewhat limited BIOS support.
July 3, 2006 4:54:42 PM

True... but this is because of the new perpendicular recording technology.

This is kind of off-topic, but who is that dude in your avatar? He looks familiar...
July 3, 2006 5:12:20 PM

Just so everyone knows,

SATA I and SATA II are just interfaces as stated with "theorhetical higher limits".

Where this comes into play is only when using the interface to its full maximum capacity.

A single SATA "anything" drive will not come close to acheiving the theorhetical max. You would need multiple drives in a Raid array to start to see those types of speeds.

Even two drives of sustained throughput of 50+mb/s do not = 100mb/s throughput. When put into a raid array there is overhead on the raid controller itself "IO scheduling". Depending on the controller it could be very efficient and get a rate of nearly 100mb/s, or not so efficient and be around 80 - 90 mb/s.

The more drives you add to the array the more potential you have toward meeting the max capacity for the interface. This of course depends on the type of Raid [0-5] used.

So in summary,

Single drive = performance as fast as the single drive operates SATA interface is not the bottleneck.

Multiple Drives = perfomance as fast as the controllers capability + the multiple drives capabilities + the type of Raid used. SATA may still not be the bottleneck.
July 3, 2006 5:13:05 PM

Quote:
Actually, if you want these for gaming (and this is only a very subtle suggestion) you could check out some 15K rpm SCSI hdds. You can get small ones for under $100 and they're fast as all living hell. The only question is whether or not your comp will support SCSI controllers and whatnot as SCSI still has somewhat limited BIOS support.


Meh, SCSI may be fast as hell, but they're a pain to set up (I know, I've used them) and they're pretty loud. My Raptor is near silent except when it's writing extensively, and I never notice it because it's usually loud only when I'm focused on something I'm shooting or whacking.

That and SCSI cards and drives are expensive. I may look into it in a few years when I have surplus income and a few hours to spend on the drive(s) and card.
July 3, 2006 5:20:29 PM

Oh I know what you mean, I hate setting them up but I've gotten used to it I guess. It's true, controller cards are expensive especially when you go with RAID 5 like I do.
July 3, 2006 5:21:50 PM

Dante makes a good point,

If you are looking for a single drive, you must look at ALL of its specs.

There are some 7200 rpm drives that give very simlar experience/performance to other 10K drives.

The Raptors are well known because of their overall competance. They have a great MAX READ, MAX WRITE and MAX SUSTAINED for both. They tend to also have something over their competitors which is called their MINIMUM READ/WRITE. Their minimum tends to hang out much higher than most other drives.
July 3, 2006 5:25:27 PM

SATA drives may already be too difficult for the average user to set up "see the multiple requests for help here on THG".

Adding the complexity of SCSI to the equation would more than likely be the kiss of death to a build :) .

Lets see for it to be a boot device it has to be SCSI ID 0, and which LUN should I use? Wait, Windows does not see the device until the driver for the controller loads "F6 what, special setup what?" See what I mean :D 
July 3, 2006 5:40:59 PM

Like I said... it's only a suggestion. I can completely agree that for the average user it's not worth it to use SCSI's. I personally am still using an IDE HDD but I'm building a new graphics workstation with a 150 GB Raptor as the boot drive. Much, much easier than SCSI's but I'm using SCSI's for the storage. If I were goign for gaming I'd get maybe three 74GB raptors and put them in RAID 5, but that's just me.
July 3, 2006 5:56:26 PM

Quote:
Like I said... it's only a suggestion. I can completely agree that for the average user it's not worth it to use SCSI's. I personally am still using an IDE HDD but I'm building a new graphics workstation with a 150 GB Raptor as the boot drive. Much, much easier than SCSI's but I'm using SCSI's for the storage. If I were goign for gaming I'd get maybe three 74GB raptors and put them in RAID 5, but that's just me.


I have raptor150 as the boot drive (and for temp files) and I have 2X 250MB WD drives for programs and documents. It's guite good combination if you are not using raid.
Now a days I would propably take two raptors (in raid) and one big 500 MB WD as storage drive. (Guite expensive, but raptor is so fast...)

Let's see if we can see new version of raptor with perpendicular recording technology in the future + flash memory for Wista... That will be in my next dream rig :-)
July 3, 2006 5:58:37 PM

I hear you, I'm waiting to see if they have a new raptor like that...
July 3, 2006 6:26:08 PM

Jeez...SATA isn't really that hard to set up. Unless making a RAID driver floppy is the difficult part...I did it for the first time on Saturday when I installed Windoze on my first build...not complicated at all.
July 3, 2006 6:59:00 PM

You are wrong: SATA-II standard drives have less data throughput than Raptors.
You are confusing interface bandwidth with device data transfer. You'll transfer data at SATA-II maximum speed of (theoretically) 300MB/s when reading/writing to/from the drive cache only, that is about 1% of total data transfers in real world applications.
The real maximum data transfer speed of a fast SATA-II drive is about 60MB/s (average is about 30MB/s) while Raptors have a maximum DTS of 80MB/s with an average of 45MB/s.
July 3, 2006 7:05:29 PM

Meh, who cares about those measurements. IMO, Raptors feel faster than normal drives. If a larger 7200RPM drive feels faster to you, get it. If a Raptor feels quickest, go with that. Also consider how much data you'll collect. I put a foot in both camps. I bought a 74GB Raptor for Windows and programs and a pair of 250GBs for Linux/Vista Beta and data, respectively.
July 3, 2006 7:20:32 PM

Its probably the seek times on the Raptors that help. My RAID0 averages at a tad under 100MB/s and peaks at over 130MB/s. That in mind, booting Windows or apps doesn't feel any faster than before I got the RAID because those usages are more dependent on seek time than throughput. Transfering a few really large documents at a time is MUCH faster though. If I didn't also need the extra storage I probably would have gotten a Raptor instead of 2 7200RPM drives for a RAID. I have 320GB of storage now though which I really needed. :wink:

-mcg
July 3, 2006 8:06:10 PM

I can post HD-Tach results for 4 160GB 7200 RPM SATA-II drives in a RAID-0. It's pretty fast. A RAID with four Raptors can beat it. Drives haven't caught up to SATA-I speeds yet, which is why the Raptors are still SATA-I. SATA-II is a marketing gimmick at this point. When Raptors go perpendicular, and they surpass the speed the SATA-I bus can handle, you can bet your hind-parts they'll be releasing SATA-II drives. Right now, they don't need to, because they aren't fast enough to need SATA-II. Neither is any other drive on the market today.

The ~600 MB RAID 0 is plenty big enough and fast enough for all the gaming I do. I wouldn't be able to surpass them with a single Raptor, and perhaps not even with 2. I'll wait til the next generation of Raptors come out
July 3, 2006 8:31:24 PM

What about the gigabyte I-ram thing? its sata I but its still good, great access times and transfer speeds, if only it was sataII.

it is a bit expensive, but if you want the best...
its silent too, so it beats any hd in that aspect.
July 3, 2006 8:40:43 PM

The RAM drives made of flash are too slow, and the ones made of SDRAM are volatile. When they get some good hybrid raptors, the world will smile a little more brightly.
July 3, 2006 9:52:01 PM

I'm worried about you people if you think scsi is difficult to setup, it's like a slave/master on steroids, and f6 aint paticularly hard guys.

I'd just go with two Samsung Spinpoint 2504c's in RAID0, and to those who can't seem to keep drives from failing, stop touching them and keep them cool! I've had various RAID0's on every manufacturers drives run for years without problems. If you have critical data back it up, RAID1 or 5 is NOT a replacement for backups either.
July 3, 2006 11:21:15 PM

I can see where you're coming from. Though you didn't directly respond to my post the problem with my older SCSI setup is that even with termination and everything setup right my OS wouldn't recognize the drives. Needed to get all the latest drivers and whatnot for my mobo and I was fine. On the topic of RAID 0 I have no idea why but my drives always fail within a year, but I totally agree that RAID 1 or 5 are a substitute for backup. I still backup with my old RAID 5 setup. I was just giving some insight from my experiences.
July 3, 2006 11:27:13 PM

I've had issues with scsi controllers when win2k3 was released, some weren't "compatible" anymore, yeah right MS we belive you, so I had to fiddle to get the drivers to work. Also, depending on the scsi card you're using you may just need a bios update on it. And unless they are old scsi controllers ya just gotta do the F6 thing.

I run a 3 drive scsi array on an old dell 700r right now, BX chipset PIII!

In reference to your raid 0's failing, what chipset raid are you using, what brand of drives? Are they cool to the touch? Barely warm is too hot in my opinion.
July 4, 2006 4:20:16 AM

Oy... this is an old setup, I can't really identify it, from what it looks like it's an old adaptec chip that's built-in to the old mobo which I also can't identify. The HDDs were some old Seagates I found, they weren't really that hot in my opinion. Maybe lukewarm at hottest.
July 4, 2006 4:21:58 AM

This doesn't really matter much anymore since I'm building a new system with U320 HDDs and Ubuntu. Amazingly from what my friend and I have tested the OS will work with the onboard Adaptec chipset. However I'm virtualizing Ubuntu over Vista once it comes out (and prices drop a little).
July 4, 2006 8:02:27 AM

Excellent input as usual. However, a bit more on what i have now for clarity. For the past 2 years ive had two 120gig SATA 7200rpm (RAID 0), and for the past 1 year I been running and additional two 200gig SATA 7200rpm (RAID 0) to my system. Since I was upgrading, I considered migrating the larger harddrives over and was debating "better" drives in favor of my smaller array to take advantage of the 'improved' sata speeds. So, to boiling my question down to 'yes / no' questions.

1. Will an striped array of SATAII outperform an array of raptors?

2. And, if so, is the cost per gigabyte really justified?
July 4, 2006 8:10:33 PM

This is good question and I'll try to answer as best as I can.

1. As of now I don't see any striped array of SATAII HDDs outperforming an array of Raptors simply because Raptors have the rpm advantage.

2. Now as far as cost goes you're better off with two SATAII HDDs. You'll get pretty good performance and a lot of space.
July 5, 2006 1:42:01 PM

Dante's absolutely right. If you match a Raptor versus a SATA-II, the raptor will win. If you match a 4x Raptor array in RAID0 with the same setup in SATA-II, the raptor will bring on the almighty smack-down, by a factor of four over the singles comparison.
July 5, 2006 5:17:08 PM

I did not say that they were particularly hard for ME to set up! I said for the people that have come here asking questions about how to set up SATA "THEY " would have issues.... Since it adds a layer of complexity to something that they are already having difficulty with.
July 5, 2006 5:26:33 PM

I am also in agreement with Dante,

Two smaller Raptors in Raid [0-5] will hand an array of SATA II [0-5] their HAT!

The question is then:

Is it worth it to see the preformance increase that the Raptors $s demands?

The answer is:

It depends... I know it sounds like a cop out but it really does depend. What type of work are you doing? What type of IO needs do you have?

MS Office might load a little quicker and save a little quicker but overall you will probably not recognize this difference. If you are doing large writes/reads OFTEN then it most certainly will be easy to recognize the difference.
July 5, 2006 9:41:53 PM

Yay! People agree with me. Well now onto more serious things.

If I were you I'd just go with two or three SATAII drives just because it's cheaper and the cost per megabyte is lower (hmm... now that would make sense since I just said it was cheaper... redundant eh?).

If not, just get two small raptors and RAID them together but personally I'd go for the first option.
July 6, 2006 12:15:21 AM

I'm building a new machine also and am thinking of doing a lot of video editing. 2 questions:

1 - Would it make sense for me to get a raptor drive / raptors in raid 0 for everything?

2 - If not, would it make sense to get raptors to run windows / programs and then a network drive (300GIG) to store all large files? (has anyone used these?)
July 6, 2006 12:18:22 AM

Cool. And now to your questions before I ride into battle with my french toast.

1. Not really, the price/performance isn't worth it.

2. Now this is a really good idea. Since Raptors are really good for load times but don't give a lot of storage you can use a Raptor for the OS/APPS and use a seperate large HDD for storage.
July 6, 2006 12:27:14 AM

Again second Dante,

He beat me to it again :) 
July 6, 2006 12:32:39 AM

There's a lesson to learn here: I have no life. I just sit in front of my comp all day and get the response as fast as I can. lol.

Also, to GoogleBuddy make sure you back up your Primary HDD.
July 6, 2006 12:36:29 AM

Has anyone ever used those network drives? Any recommendations on picking one? I think Maxtor just came out with a new one.

Also, I'm thinking now that I might get 1 raptor to run windows / programs (thanks for the suggestion :)  )
AND
1 300GIG internal drive for files
AND
1 300GIG network drive for backup
July 6, 2006 1:14:56 AM

That would be a great setup!

Especially if you set the SAN (network storage) to be the backup for the other two.

Nothing like redundancy to make ya feel alot better. The SAN would be somewhat slower since it relies on the network itself. This make it great for backup storage but a little slower for primary storage puposes.
July 6, 2006 1:16:31 AM

I completely agree.. or dare I say it you could make your storage into a RAID 5 setup... It's redundant but if you backed that up you'd have incredible redundancy. Again, only a suggestion.
July 6, 2006 1:37:51 AM

What Dante is eluding to is that some of your SAN boxes can run up to three drives in a Raid 5 fashion. These are nice and expensive boxes. By running Raid 5 it alone gives you a level of redundancy when done correctly.

Or you could use an onboard controller with raid 5 for it. That would require you to run the following inside your PC:

1 system/app drive (fast if possible)

3 cheaper / semi fast matched drives in Raid 5 (you would require 3 drives for true redundant Raid 5)

This setup might cost the same as your last given SAN can be expensive and it would also tend to be alot quicker for your local box.

You could share the Raid 5 accross the network if need be and it would act similar to a SAN.
July 6, 2006 1:40:13 AM

Quote:
True... but this is because of the new perpendicular recording technology.

This is kind of off-topic, but who is that dude in your avatar? He looks familiar...


Correct about the technology.

The advitar in Poncho Villa.

Alot of people still think Raptor is the fastest drive for home/office...and think SATA2 is a real standard.
July 6, 2006 2:02:52 AM

To add on to Ches111 the only downside of RAID 5 is that when you have an array of those you'll lose the capacity of one drive. This is because that space will be striped parity data. If you're willing to spend the money for that then I highly recommend it.

Or if you're paranoid you can try RAID 6 (which is complete overkill btw unless you're a conglomerate). Realize that I merely jest when I recommend RAID 6.

Anyways dude good luck with your comp GoogleBuddy! :D 
July 6, 2006 2:07:21 AM

Yup, perpendicular recording is the wave of the future. Just look at Toshiba's 80GB 1.8" HDD. Put that in your iPod!

Pancho Villa... cool. I'm a descendant of Emiliano Zapata
July 6, 2006 2:08:36 AM

Did you say Frank Zappa?

:D 
July 6, 2006 2:13:01 AM

Quote:
Did you say Frank Zappa?



No... unfortunately I didn't...
July 6, 2006 3:34:56 AM

Quote:
To add on to Ches111 the only downside of RAID 5 is that when you have an array of those you'll lose the capacity of one drive. This is because that space will be striped parity data. If you're willing to spend the money for that then I highly recommend it.

Or if you're paranoid you can try RAID 6 (which is complete overkill btw unless you're a conglomerate). Realize that I merely jest when I recommend RAID 6.

Anyways dude good luck with your comp GoogleBuddy! :D 


Thanks for all your help! I'll keep you posted when I start the build :) 
July 6, 2006 3:39:48 AM

Cool! Actually now that I think about it I'll keep you guys posted once I start building my new graphics workstation. Dual woodcrests with Raptors/SATA/U320 SCSIs
July 6, 2006 7:57:58 AM

what would it take for western digital to get their raptors onto the sata II bandwagon? Or is it more likely they are trying to sell as many 150gig raptors as possible, first?

(EDIT: i mispelled western digital) =d
!