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WD's New Raptor Drive <i><b>Is</i></b> a Bird of Prey!

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April 21, 2008 11:42:10 AM

Athauglas......on page 5 is the drive with the top plate removed..not with a clear window.
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April 21, 2008 12:09:53 PM

*drools*
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April 21, 2008 12:16:03 PM

Very nice and about time. Now, who has $300 to lend me.
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April 21, 2008 12:27:12 PM

LAME as all hell...mant new 320gb/platter drives are almost as fast with a lot better capacity and surely price.. ! This is like a raptor ME edition...zzzz
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April 21, 2008 12:49:16 PM

#1 - Finally! Tom's Seems to have gotten a scoop. It's been a while but it's nice to See Tom's have a major hardware review out before the others.

#2 - A very well written article. I've noticed an uptick in the quality of articles of late. Kudos again.

#3 - A very nice HDD. Something I may definitely look at adding to my system.
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April 21, 2008 12:50:11 PM

royalcrown said:
LAME as all hell...mant new 320gb/platter drives are almost as fast with a lot better capacity and surely price.. ! This is like a raptor ME edition...zzzz
Oh really, which ones?
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April 21, 2008 1:04:29 PM

western digital 640 aaks series b3 revision:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Seagate 7200.11 (if they can work out their doa prob):

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

A few of samsung's F1 spinpoints...

they are all pretty close, especially seagate at 114mb STR, 60 low and around 100 average across 320 gigs.

A 150 gig drive that is just a bit higher is not so awesome, and yes I know seek times, IO and all that matter too. Do you really thonk the new raptor is gonna be 90 bucks like these, I sure don't.

If they at least have a 320 same performance, or the performance was closer to 150 (as in a larger 3.5 platter), then sure, but it's sad considering a 7200 is almost passing them ALREADY.


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April 21, 2008 1:11:27 PM

My bad, 300 gb does make it look beter ! but still those other drives are way to close considering this is the raptor series.
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April 21, 2008 1:13:01 PM

Well you answered it yourself i.e., seek and IO. You can't take read / write as the total picture. The drives you posted aren't really that close in read / write either. I'm sure you know the last bit of performance costs the most money.

You could say you don't think it's worth the cash, I have no problem with that, but it sounds a lot like sour grapes to me.
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April 21, 2008 1:27:40 PM

Seriously. Just what about this drive isn't impressive?
It has twice the storage space of the previous top model.
It has better benchmark results.
It runs cooler way cooler.
That IcePack is perfect for mounting behind front intake fans(improved airflow).
I'd want 1 over any 1TB drive. The price is also quite reasonable for a Raptor.

I'd call that progress in every way.
There's just no pleasing some people.
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April 21, 2008 1:29:53 PM

Honestly, who was expecting the next Raptor to be a 2.5 inch drive? I know it's in a 3.5 inch enclosure, but you just know the guys at Alienware are trying to figure out how one of these is going to work in a laptop.
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April 21, 2008 1:33:35 PM

About time they updated the raptors, they've been doing pretty poorly for quite a while. It's cool to see over 120MB/s read/write on a desktop drive.
I wonder why I/O performance isn't as good as the SAS drives even though it has faster read/write speeds and latency. Could this be fixed with firmware?
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April 21, 2008 1:40:48 PM

They look like a really nice answer to SSDs. I'm really considering getting one but $300 for a hard drive is a lot of money.

Hell, it'd be the most expensive component in my rig...
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April 21, 2008 1:52:20 PM

rodney_ws said:
Honestly, who was expecting the next Raptor to be a 2.5 inch drive? I know it's in a 3.5 inch enclosure, but you just know the guys at Alienware are trying to figure out how one of these is going to work in a laptop.
Notebook HDs only need 5V and the velociRaptor needs both 12V and 5V. I'm not saying it can't be done.
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April 21, 2008 1:57:19 PM

It's not sour grapes...it's spoon feeding us tiny bumps and calling it amazing that gets me...it's better, but amazing or wow or making a big deal about an incremental increase is just hyping it up, when it's not that big of a step up.
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April 21, 2008 2:30:32 PM

Lets see how it looks to me:
- I get 30%+ of performance increase compared to my 1TB drive (yah, 10EACS)
- I get 300gb for $300, I already have 1000gb for $300
- I can get 640gb instead of 300gb with little speed decrease but it will cost $130.
So 30%+ speed increase equals almost 5x price increase? My wallet thinks otherwise... But thats my wallet, if your wallet says otherwise, I think you'll be happy with the new HDD from WD :) 
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April 21, 2008 2:50:34 PM

^My wallet says I have to live with my Raptor, you know bills and stuff.
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April 21, 2008 2:54:35 PM

royalcrown said:
It's not sour grapes...it's spoon feeding us tiny bumps and calling it amazing that gets me...it's better, but amazing or wow or making a big deal about an incremental increase is just hyping it up, when it's not that big of a step up.
Hard drives have to live within the laws of physics and current technology. Maybe you know of some way to get a 200% improvement. By all means share it with us.
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April 21, 2008 2:57:08 PM

This drive looks good to me. If I hadn't just built a new computer, I'd like one of these in it. One might end up in the new computer anyway. Don't know, will see.

Hey wait, that government rebate check could pay for one of these and not hurt the wallet at all. :D 
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April 21, 2008 2:59:06 PM

look up a hard drive from back in the day called a Chinook. How about some real innovation...I'll gladly pay out the nose for some.

2 actuators is better than one and not at all infeasible today.
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April 21, 2008 3:01:59 PM

That's progress.
Was 9800GTX(I'd call it GTS) really worth a new generation ?

As for the price it's a Raptor.
QX9650 offers 333MHZ (11%) over a Q9450 and unlocked multipliers.
Is it wort 3 times the price ? To some it is.

The harddrives being the slowest component in a PC it's the smallest of increases that make a bigger difference not with a CPU.

Fill 300GB with applications/games that you use regulary and you're the king of bloat. I know it'd take me a few years of collecting junk to fill one.
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Anonymous
April 21, 2008 3:05:35 PM

royalcrown said:
It's not sour grapes...it's spoon feeding us tiny bumps and calling it amazing that gets me...it's better, but amazing or wow or making a big deal about an incremental increase is just hyping it up, when it's not that big of a step up.





Well since Hard Drives are the biggest bottle neck in a computer system for speed. This is an AMAZING little leap to shrink that bottle neck a little more. In the big picture for over all computer speed its a nice leap. And remeber this is a 2.5 drive.


EDIT: Damn Adnrius you beat me.... QQ
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April 21, 2008 3:08:17 PM

http://www.storagereview.com/guide/actMultiple.html

I just don't buy the added expense as cheap as components are, or the processing difficulty with the electronics we have today. It seems more of an issue of once the bar is raised, we'll expect it, like the kid that gets good grades, we know it CAN be done.

I certainly did not mean to sound snippy at you, it just seems that these new products are overhyped, like there really isn't anything awesome lately, so let's overamp the mediocre stuff. I am going to order one of the new seagates, and IF it works, I'd be glad to post some usable info on it like boot and load times when i get it in 2 weeks.
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Anonymous
April 21, 2008 3:11:52 PM

I just Drool at thinking of 2 of these in RAID 0
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April 21, 2008 3:24:43 PM

Anonymous said:
I just Drool at thinking of 2 of these in RAID 0


Careful, your keyboard is going to get slippery and the monitor will start to fog over. :kaola: 
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April 21, 2008 3:51:16 PM

Anonymous said:
I just Drool at thinking of 2 of these in RAID 0



I'm not sure if I'd chance $600 worth of drives in a RAID 0 config...
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April 21, 2008 3:56:41 PM

royalcrown said:
2 actuators is better than one and not at all infeasible today.
In a 2.5" drive? I would like to see it.
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April 21, 2008 4:16:45 PM

Now you're qualifying it, and yes it would be larger...I am simply saying it is possible and probably not too costly actually, i think it would be nore a matter of corporate will. Plus look at the worst possible seek times if each actuator took care of half the radius...

Maybe I am wrong, but i could see an average 25 to 30 percent raw throughput in read and write, and possibly 40 percent reduction in seek times with good algorithms. I think the aggregate performance increase would be 40 percent average or so for mot a lot of cost relative to premium prices today.

And yes it would be larger, but these things were never meant for laptops and servers might have a good reason to go back to 3.5 then or 4.. I sure know the average desktop wouldn't have a prob fitting it.

When I get that drive Zorg, I will post actual numbers and maybe someone with a raptor can do the same and we can see what all the theoretical IO and what not means on the desktop.
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April 21, 2008 4:55:12 PM

Why didn't they compare the Velociraptor to the WD Raptor models? Wouldn't it be pertinent to compare a new model to its previous incarnation?
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April 21, 2008 4:55:16 PM

I do agree with RoyalCrown. This isn't really a giant step forward. Maybe with a HD that is 7200rpm getting the same score, but not with a 10,000rpm or higher drive. Not only that, the cost is too much. $300 for only 300GB? A $1 to 1GB ratio... no so good. Normally we only see a 1-to-1 ratio good with processors to ram.

Some of the larger spaced drives (from 300GB to 1TB) are around or less than ~$.30 a gig. I could get 2 drives for ~$50 (160GB each), raid 0 them together, and get the same performance results for a fraction of the cost. Plus, I will have more space, with about ~307GB true space (current rig) vs. 300GB marketing space of the raptor (true space is ~279.3967GB). So for $300, you are getting a gig at $1.07, my rig $.32 a gig... ~same performance.
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April 21, 2008 5:16:49 PM

spaztic7 said:
I do agree with RoyalCrown. This isn't really a giant step forward. Maybe with a HD that is 7200rpm getting the same score, but not with a 10,000rpm or higher drive. Not only that, the cost is too much. $300 for only 300GB? A $1 to 1GB ratio... no so good. Normally we only see a 1-to-1 ratio good with processors to ram.

Some of the larger spaced drives (from 300GB to 1TB) are around or less than ~$.30 a gig. I could get 2 drives for ~$50 (160GB each), raid 0 them together, and get the same performance results for a fraction of the cost. Plus, I will have more space, with about ~307GB true space (current rig) vs. 300GB marketing space of the raptor (true space is ~279.3967GB). So for $300, you are getting a gig at $1.07, my rig $.32 a gig... ~same performance.



Please show me some benches that backs up your claim that you can RAID 0 (2) 7200RPM drives and get the same performance of these new V-Raptors.

Otherwise the two of you are just speculating... which brings absolutely nothing to the table. Opinions don't matter with what your stating, facts are what matters.

The only opinion that matters here is whether or not these drives are worth your $300. We know where you guys stand on this. Thanks for stopping by.
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April 21, 2008 5:22:29 PM

scooterlibby said:
Why didn't they compare the Velociraptor to the WD Raptor models? Wouldn't it be pertinent to compare a new model to its previous incarnation?


They did and also a lot of other HDD's that are on the market today at the following links.

http://www.pcper.com/article.php?type=expert&aid=548&pid=2

http://www.hothardware.com/Articles/Western_Digital_Velociraptor_300GB/

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/the_new_fastest_hard_drive_ever

But this time Tom's Hardware outdid themselves in testing the VelociRaptor against the SAS HDD's that are comaparable in speed, except they did leave out some of the 3.5 HDD's in both 10k and 15k speeds. In sizes of 146gb, 300gb and 400gb. Since it looks like WD is also making the VelcoiRaptor for the Servers and Enterprise
Storage market too.

Seagate Servers and Enterprise Storage

SAS 3Gb/s 400GB ST3400755SS

SAS 3Gb/s 146.8GB ST3146855SS
SAS 3Gb/s 300GB ST3300655SS

SAS 3Gb/s 146GB ST3146356SS
SAS 3Gb/s 300GB ST3300656SS
SAS 3Gb/s 450GB ST3450856SS

Right now I can get a Seagate Cheetah 15k.5 300gb SAS drive for around $300. So how does this make the VelociRaptor the fastest HDD out there, besides SSD drives.
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April 21, 2008 5:28:11 PM

mmmmmmm well bear in mind this is the "enthusiast" drive. EG their not going after the "best bang for your buck" segment.

Crap, spending another 600 on on my computer sux, but I cant wait for these, I want it and I want it now!!
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April 21, 2008 5:36:04 PM

cisco said:
http://www.dailytech.com/Western+Digital+Goes+Full+Bore...

The new V-Raptor looks pretty promising claiming a 30% increase in performance over previous models thanks to the 3.0 sata interface.
The performance increase is related to the PMR and the reduced platter size. The 3Gb/sec. bandwidth is only really going to take advantage of the 16MB cache.
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April 21, 2008 5:49:46 PM

royalcrown said:
When I get that drive Zorg, I will post actual numbers and maybe someone with a raptor can do the same and we can see what all the theoretical IO and what not means on the desktop.
Did you mean VelociRaptor? I have a Raptor. I don't know what the benefits of testing my old Raptor are, but I'm game.

Maybe when there is nowhere else to go we will get dual actuators, but I'm not holding my breath.
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April 21, 2008 6:05:37 PM

I am happy owner of wd150 and that was not cheap at that time. This is good upgrade. It's not a drive for everyone, because you can get much more space for less money, but if you can afford it, this seems to be the best you can get.
The degreased tempeature is good thing too!
This is not revolutionary, but it's definite evolutionary piece of technology, while we keep on waiting extremely fast, reasonable prised flash-based hard drives... and it can take many years...

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/the_new_fastest_hard_d...

Quote:
Mtron's Pro-series 64-gigabyte SSD against a Velociraptor in both single and RAID 0 test environments. Just as a matter of principle, we should note that the former's $1,950

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April 21, 2008 6:09:03 PM

wow, SSD's will be a hard sell beside this beast. but realy, i just bought a 250gb WD caviar drive for less than 80 bucks, tax inclusive. 300 bones is a bit much, even for the performance. in a workstation though, i can see this being worth it.
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April 21, 2008 6:17:00 PM

spaztic7I could get 2 drives for ~$50 (160GB each), raid 0 them together, and get the same performance results for a fraction of the cost. Plus, I will have more space, with about ~307GB true space (current rig) vs. 300GB marketing space of the raptor (true space is ~279.3967GB). So for $300, you are getting a gig at $1.07, my rig $.32 a gig... ~same performance.


Will you catch up(and even beat it) on speed? yes. will you touch its access times? NEVER. Access times help when loading apps and doing any multitasking with a drive. so your dual 160's are still not gonna beat the v-raptor in real life use.
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April 21, 2008 6:57:41 PM


Thanks for the links!!!
Using the first two I was finally able to get a (mostly) direct comparison between the WD 750GB AAKS and the 640GB AAKS since there is a reasonable bit of overlap in the standardized tests they used: HDTune/Tach, PCMark Vantage. I think I'll be buying one of the AAKS drives later this week but I'm still working out the price/capacity/performance.

As for the new Raptor, I'm impressed. The fact that they shrunk the form factor and still got increased performance is staggering. Though I see 7200RPM 3.5" drives quickly taking back the sequential transfer speed crown, the seek and I/O performance is a big plus. Sadly, unless something unexpected happens I will never own one since I can barely justify spending $150 on a large HD, let alone $300 on a small one (I'm talking capacity here...).

-mcg
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April 21, 2008 7:01:00 PM

Zorg, no I mean when I get that new seagate 320gig 7200.11 in a couple of weeks.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I just hope they got their problems sorted by then...lol

I agree with you on the actuators also, I believe the drive manufacturers are holding out on that and if they do come out with it will dumb down the performance so as to bilk us.
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April 21, 2008 8:09:47 PM

I have 4 of the Savvios 10k2 in the QuadraPack Q14 but am thinking of possibly switching to these instead. These are real nice
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Anonymous
April 21, 2008 9:08:52 PM

I'm a HD junkie but I can't see the price when compared to what's out there for mainstream drives. I would think you could more than match the performance by running striped drives...
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April 21, 2008 10:19:40 PM

I can just imagine - 4 of these purring along in RAID 0. Totally sick!!! Can't wait to see the RAID benchmarks!!! Must be off the planet.

Love the 2.5" form factor, expect to see tons of drive-cage mods. You can bet the guys over at Koolance are already designing 3.5" waterblocks to cool and "silence" these drives... void warranty or not!

As for putting this in a notebook, if there's a manufacturer out there that can pull it off, it'll be Clevo.

I got my list.
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April 21, 2008 10:26:19 PM

very nice, though I'm happy with my IDE 120GB Seagate for now :D . Hopefully this drive brings down the price in older raptors! I want one :o 
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April 21, 2008 10:37:08 PM

The New Raptors are quite good access wise. But what's bugging me is the 2.5" format (yes they provide a converter and you are FORCED to use it) and no clear see through cover.
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April 21, 2008 10:45:21 PM

Quote:
That's what I thought at first. But after looking at for a long time in places where it'd be obvious if something were missing, it really does appear that a clear plate is installed in place of the normal steel.

Maybe it's just a showpiece and not meant for production/use? I rather doubt WD would let Tom's rip a test sample apart just for one photograph.
That drive has no cover. It could be a pic that they got from WD, but it definitely has no cover. A lot goes into making the clear cover and it doesn't cover the whole drive. Here is a pic if the Raptor X for comparison.


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April 21, 2008 10:51:46 PM

It seems apparent that most of you have needs for larger capacity. But I'm sure there are people out there, me included, that don't need that much space. I have 260gb of space right now and I'm using ~160gb. I have xp with games and movies and ~4000 mp3s. When I'm done with a game, I uninstall it, if I don't like all the songs on a CD, I don't rip them, I'm ok with a physical library for my movies/tv shows. So from a capacity stand point, 300gb is plenty for me.

As for speed, this is simply the price you pay for the "top" performance. Like someone mentioned earlier, not a large difference between the QX9650 and Q9450 but around 3x the price. Or the same thing with DDR3 ram. Small performance gains for a much higher price. If you want the top and can afford it, go for it. Otherwise most people will settle for almost same performance at a lesser price. Its the joy you get of deciding how you spend your money. Let the people that want to squeeze every bit of performance out of their systems enjoy a faster component, because these are the types of people that this drive is geared towards.
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