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10k RPM really going to make a difference?

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July 24, 2006 8:10:37 AM

I'm currently building a computer, and now that I've got most of my parts in, I realized that I have room for another hard drive. I currently have one 250GB hard drive for all my... non-gaming stuff. I decided to buy another ~80GB hard drive for all my games.

My question is: Is one 10k RPM hard drive for my games really going to make a difference in how they run? Will it decrease load times? I've heard it said that if you're going to buy one 10k RPM hard drive, you should just RAID 0 two together. Am I really going to need to do that?
July 24, 2006 12:44:11 PM

Yes 10k drives are faster across the board (depending on the interface). If it were bootable you'd see faster OS loads as well. Two 10k drives in a raid offers much desired speeds because of the striping, but a single drive configuration will reveal positive results too.
July 25, 2006 2:25:28 PM

Not enough to justify getting 74GB for $150 when you could get 400GB for that much. Some drives out there come awefully close to Raptors with up to quintuple the storage space.

Ask yourself. Do I want 5-10% more performance or do I want 300-500% more space?
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July 25, 2006 4:57:23 PM

Ahh, but seek times are important too, and 10K drives win those comparisons hands down. Thats one reason why RAID0 on a pair of 7200RPM drives doesn't seem like THAT big of an improvement in some situations even though the average read speed across the drive nearly doubles. This is especially the case when dealing with a lot of small files.

-mcg
July 27, 2006 9:22:04 AM

sounds good i rekn, coz thats what im getting :p 
July 27, 2006 10:15:22 AM

From my own personal experience, in the REALWORLD, I never noticed a difference between having 2 Raptors in raid 0, to having 1 raptor, or even just using a 250GB seagate sata drive. The game load time may have been a second or two..... big deal..... if you want to pay that much more for such a SMALL real world performance gain.... go for it, but I would never do it again. I got rid of one of my raptors, and would get rid of the other one if I could find someone to buy it..... don't get me wrong, they have been great drives, just not worth the premium IMO.
July 27, 2006 10:57:51 AM

Quote:
Not enough to justify getting 74GB for $150 when you could get 400GB for that much. Some drives out there come awefully close to Raptors with up to quintuple the storage space.

Ask yourself. Do I want 5-10% more performance or do I want 300-500% more space?


His answer should be... both! :-)

I have 2x80GB WD Caviar SE 8MB 7200-rpm SATA150 in Raid0 (strip) and, for comparison purposes, i get 12.91MB/s in Windows XP startup test on PCMark05.
The performance is really good, windows boot is really fast (not instantaneous but fast), games start fast also.
It's the performace of a single 74GB Raptor 10Krpm hdd.

So, i believe each (WD 120MB) disk cost about $40 so you can get excellent performance at low cost.

I do not hide also the fact that i'd like to see the benchmark for 2x Raptors in Raid0 (strip). Does anyone knows any site with this test?
July 27, 2006 11:12:44 AM

Quote:
Ahh, but seek times are important too, and 10K drives win those comparisons hands down.


That's true...

Quote:
Thats one reason why RAID0 on a pair of 7200RPM drives doesn't seem like THAT big of an improvement in some situations even though the average read speed across the drive nearly doubles. This is especially the case when dealing with a lot of small files.


In part it's true but you notice improvement. You don't have instantaneous results (not even in Gigabyte Ramdrive i-Ram) but you have noticeable speed improvements in general terms (e.g. windows deals with both small files and also large ones). Anyway you won't get 50% of improvement but about 20% to 30% average which is noticeable.

7200rpm drives have slower seek times (when comparing to Raptor 10Krpm) but Raid0 (strip) provides a different file organization (distributed evenly in two different disks) and thus the amount of data to transfer from the disk is smaller. So you have two different almost independent "engines" (read heads) seeking for few amount of data.
After that comes the speed of the interface SATA (which is the same for Raptor and non-raptor, RAID or non-RAID.)

Just my 2 cents!
July 27, 2006 11:55:44 AM

Quote:
From my own personal experience, in the REALWORLD, I never noticed a difference between having 2 Raptors in raid 0, to having 1 raptor, or even just using a 250GB seagate sata drive. The game load time may have been a second or two..... big deal..... if you want to pay that much more for such a SMALL real world performance gain.... go for it, but I would never do it again. I got rid of one of my raptors, and would get rid of the other one if I could find someone to buy it..... don't get me wrong, they have been great drives, just not worth the premium IMO.

Interesting, you're the first raptor owner that i see that admits the drive's performance gain in real world is small. I always say that raptor drives are not worth the price because they perform pretty much the same (as a 7200rpm) in real world applications, although it shows strong performance in synthetic benchmarks.

Quote:
Ahh, but seek times are important too, and 10K drives win those comparisons hands down. Thats one reason why RAID0 on a pair of 7200RPM drives doesn't seem like THAT big of an improvement in some situations even though the average read speed across the drive nearly doubles. This is especially the case when dealing with a lot of small files.

yes, seek times are important, but like you said, it depends on the environment. I guess they are important in a database environment (like you said, when dealing with small files, or small data transfer), but for gaming they are not that important, then 10k rpm isnt important as well.

For the OP, i'd get another 7200rpm drive, even worse because 74GB isnt quite enough even for games. A couple games installed can fill that up easily. Also, with another drive on the system, being 7200 or 10k rpm, you can always transfer your pagefile to a drive different from the one where windows is installed, giving some performance
July 27, 2006 11:59:11 AM

speed benefits of the raptor aside, as i know is the main point being emphasized... the cost per gigabyte of a raptor hdd for wanting to protect your data from failure (in addition to its more obvious [though often questioned] speed advantages), makes a raptor worth investing in for the long run, compared to a single 500+ GB sata hdd... more than likely more money will be spent on replacing failed hdds, than investing in something that will last substantially longer in most cases... the next step up from a raptor, is an actual scsi drive (and controller setup)... which arent ideal for single users, especially with how much they can cost, but cant be beat for multi user server environments...

...a raptor may seem expensive compared to most other sata hdds, especially when youre comparing its seemingly meager performance gains compared to other hdds... but when scsi based reliability enters the equation, its worth is more palatable then... *most* instances you hear of when it comes to hdd failures... are not from people compaining about their raptor failing...
July 27, 2006 12:03:32 PM

this topic has already been covered numerous times.

over.

and over.

and over.

AND over again again and again.


--> Search <--
July 27, 2006 12:09:01 PM

i wasnt intending on bringing up something to debate over, was merely adding relevant information to an existing, and current, thread... but if there is a question however, for anyone whos wondering about what i brought up, that link im sure will help, thanks though :) 
July 27, 2006 12:16:51 PM

Quote:
this topic has already been covered numerous times.
over.
and over.
and over.
AND over again again and again.


:-)

It is Western Digital fault! If the Raptors costed half of the price, none of these discussions ever happened!! :-D
July 27, 2006 12:29:25 PM

Quote:
this topic has already been covered numerous times.
over.
and over.
and over.
AND over again again and again.


:-)

It is Western Digital fault! If the Raptors costed half of the price, none of these discussions ever happened!! :-D

exactly... the raptors original target market wasnt so much the end user, so they werent so much priced that way either (though western digital doesnt have a server market to protect, which is why they can afford to do this, without jeapordizing part of their company, unlike other companies, which cant afford to, because most other companies have server markets of their own to protect, so they dont want to compete with themselves)... they were scsi based drives, albeit without TCQ at first (which is where one main scsi advantage comes from, and where the 36GB was a flop primarily), they were affordable scsi based drives (because there wasnt a scsi interface and controller involved), but they were still scsi based drives nonetheless... businesses can definetly afford them, which is who they were more targeted towards... ...but so can end users at that price... too expensive most people say... but eh, either way.

...for end users, the raptor really is overpriced... it wont quite give you the speed advantage youre looking for, not for the cost per gigabyte... its market is more elsewhere...
July 27, 2006 1:16:15 PM

As one who has the Raptor's running in a RAID 1 configuration using hardware and not software RAID, I can tell you that I have my entire clan not too happy with me. I went from usually being the first to fifth person into a map in BF2 to now the FIRST one into a match every time no matter what server we play on. Comment by those in the clan are "you and those damn raptors" :p 

The read/write/access speeds on the drives are the same as a U320 SCSI Drive and they are cheaper per gb by far. To me when I look for a hard drive performance I look for the read/write/access times and how fast they can perform tasks geared to gaming.

My computer is now 18 months old and here is the config

Asus A8V Deluxe Motherboard
AMD 64 3500 processor
Corsair XMS Memory 3 GB total 2-3 CAS
(2) 74GB Raptors RAID1
X800Pro Video card
Plextor 716A DVD/WR
Lighton DVD/CD player
Aspire X-Navigator Case 500w Power supply
July 27, 2006 2:27:52 PM

I have a Raptor and I love it, got it for 160 CND$
Games load way faster no matter what they say
It's not a matter of 1-2-3 seconds...
I saw a clear difference with my old Raid 0 7200 RPM setup

If you can afford it , you wont regret it.
I was asking myself the same question and today I'm waiting for another sale to put a second drive in raid 0.
July 28, 2006 3:44:08 PM

I still have to disagree, sure it's a fast drive, and faster than probably all 7200RPM drives, but the performance gains have not been so noticable that I was simply stunned. If I timed the two, sure, I can see the difference, otherwise, I still don't think it is worth it. And I especially don't think the raid 0 raptors are worth it, the gains were minimal if any in real world performance over the non raided raptors.... I am just speaking from personal experience..... I like the hard drives, they are fast.... but I still don't think the price/performance is anywhere near worth it.... you can buy a 320Gb HD for less than a 74Gb raptor.... just not worth it IMO.
July 28, 2006 6:01:42 PM

Well If the only thing you want to do is to load WoW levels faster... maybe..

But for example, Raid 0 for my Audio files does a real difference.
July 29, 2006 2:43:10 AM

You must have seen my wish list to go with my E6600!
July 29, 2006 2:59:10 AM

hypothetically, i suppose if you wanted to compare real world performance between any 7200RPM HDD and a 74GB raptor... you could remove all but 256MB or so from your total system memory (maybe less even, <128MB?, basically just enough for windows xp to run, at least 64MB anyhow), that way nothing gets cached to memory really, and everything has to run off the HDD then constantly... im sure it would be pretty slow even still if you tried to really do much... ...but that could possibly be a way to compare real world performance between the two... ...and, in the same scenario of low system memory, you could do a raid 0 setup between the two... and see if it makes much difference, if anything though, the difference then should be more pronounced in regular usage.
July 29, 2006 4:38:18 AM

Well, if I raid a couple of 7200 RPM drives, I just didn't notice much of a difference between those an the raptor. Plus, I really didn't notice a difference between the single raptor, and the raid array. I do many other things other than play a couple of games.... wow not being one of them. However I don't transfer audio files alot, I tend to do more large file transfers than small. Maybe that is why there isn't much of a difference.
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