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Slow Raptors

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September 8, 2006 12:00:42 AM

Hello
I have 2 WD740 HDDs configured in RAID 0. However the only improvement I saw was in the start up time of the machine. The HDDs are making a lot of "popping" noice and the speed is not there.

Does some one know about this "popping" noise, or recomend where to read about it?

Thank You.

I have a DELL 9100 with Pentium D 3.0, 1 GIG Ram, 128mb ATI x800.

More about : slow raptors

September 8, 2006 12:25:24 AM

Welcome to the myth, no magic bullets, lol. 10k Drives do make some noise. But if you feel that there is an issue you should RMA them. Your speed should be noticeable depending on what interface your moving off of.
September 8, 2006 12:44:33 AM

Previously I had a single SATA HDD.
I guess its a matter of oppinion as to the noise that something makes, but I heard from many people that their drives perform quietly, and I have used a machine with a raptor RAID 0 that was a lot quiter then what I have.
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September 8, 2006 12:50:43 AM

Sometimes the case the drives are in has a lot to do with the noise. But if your drives are new, RMA them, no real loss but time. Check this link out it shows some benchmarks that reveal the pros and cons of conventional sata drive.
September 9, 2006 4:12:30 AM

Its very unlikely that both hard drives would be defective in exactly the same way. So if the there is an unusual noise it is likely only comming from one drive.

If one drive is making more noise than the other then its likely suffering from some sort of mechanical failure and should be RMA'd.

If they both sound exactly the same then they are probably making normal noises.

---
RAID 0 should be giving you a nice boot to your throughput as measured by HDTach, but for most home users thats about all you get; better transfer rates without much noticiable real world benifits.

RAID 1 ensures that your data doesn't die when a single drive fails, but costs twice as much per GB.

RAID 5 has speed and security, but only if you use an expensive "hardware" controller.
September 9, 2006 5:35:15 AM

Quote:
You know, I was about that close to banning users here from using RAID0 setup for single-user desktop usage. Unfortunately I dedicated my time to C2D overclocking instead and left it there.

There's a whole art behind IO/s when running single-user applications i.e. very low queue depth. The fun part for RAID0 is at high queue depth which doesn't apply to us mere mortals.
In short a high-RPM drive with single-user tweaked firmware is what we want.


Pfft, but us single-user desktop people are also those that are not really bothered by data loss as our C: drives likely contain nothing but Windows, game installs, and game saves. All except the saves is backed up on the original CDs, and the professional Workstation market should be using RAID 1, 1/0, 3, 5, or 6.

I realise the *main* benefit of RAID 0 is seen at high queue depths, but there is still *some* benefit at lower queue depths, and very little 'harm', and you cant ban me from anything :p 

To the OP however, how are you cooling these Raptors? 10k RPM drives need active cooling.
September 9, 2006 8:53:12 AM

Oh I do agree, but this guy has 2x10k drives (Raptors) so we must assume he is after performance at any cost, without going to 15k RPM SCSI drives, as thats about the only reason to buy two Raptors @ £1+ per GiB, being as the same money spent elsewhere on the computer would yield more overall performance for most people.

I wish I could afford to move over to 15k SCSIs like those :D 
September 9, 2006 9:20:39 AM

Most people who are not bothered by data loss should be.

Typically home users have files such as family photo's and business records whose lose would be devastating, they keep all their files on a single C: partition and they have never even though making a backup of even their most important documents.

Additionally people are holding on to their PCs longer so more people are having thier hard drives fail before they upgrade to a newer PC.

Backups are of course the best solution, but its easier to talk someone into buying a 2nd hard drive for RAID 1 than it is to get them to adopt a regular backup plan.

Even amound the DIY crowd I bet more than half the people have important data that goes unprotected.
September 9, 2006 10:38:02 AM

Quote:
Most people who are not bothered by data loss should be.

Typically home users have files such as family photo's and business records whose lose would be devastating, they keep all their files on a single C: partition and they have never even though making a backup of even their most important documents.

Additionally people are holding on to their PCs longer so more people are having thier hard drives fail before they upgrade to a newer PC.

Backups are of course the best solution, but its easier to talk someone into buying a 2nd hard drive for RAID 1 than it is to get them to adopt a regular backup plan.

Even amound the DIY crowd I bet more than half the people have important data that goes unprotected.


I dont.

Seriously, if one of my RAID 0 disks exploded tomorrow, I'd be pissed at having to sort out a warranty replacement, but the data loss really wouldnt bother me. The few people I know with valuble photos etc on their drives have them on DVD-R too, but I'm not someone that understands the keeping lots of photos habit of some people anyway. I think the most annoying thing would be trying to remember saved usernames and passwords to websites, but I have a backup of my Firefox profile from a couple of weeks back from when I re-created the RAID 0 array on the new P5W DH controller.

RAID 1 is great for protecting against hard disk failure, but in my experience most home users that loose data loose it my reinstalling after file system corruption caused by software errors, where there is no fault with the drive. (NTLDR is missing? format and reinstall!!) RAID 1 offers no protection against this.

Granted those users would be able to recover the data if they knew how, but most of them don't.

As Wusy says, most users are interested in performance/£. For some this means GiB/£ in the Hard disk area, and those people dont understand that spending twice the £ for the same GiB and some vague promise of no data loss is a worthwhile investment.
September 9, 2006 10:50:32 AM

What kind of computer do you have?
(damn that was a small line of text, missed it the first time around)
I don't feel that's a fast enough computer to start getting any sizeable improvements.

A raid won't make it faster if the CPU can't process all of it fast enough anyway.

Do some benchmarks with sisoft sandra, and check what the performance is. Do a defrag first.

The popping is probably the drives working normally, they have a rather distinct noise when they move the heads, they move incredibly fast.

10k drives don't need active cooling btw, at least not WD drives, mine are lukewarm, where my 320gb drive is considerably warmer..
September 9, 2006 12:42:06 PM

Quote:
10k drives don't need active cooling btw, at least not WD drives, mine are lukewarm, where my 320gb drive is considerably warmer..

A passively cooled HDD will be a lot more cooler than a zero-airflow cooled HDD.
You may not realise it but somewhere around the area of your Raptor there's bound to be some form airflow while the 320GB doesn't have any at all.

Exactly, the addition of a single 80mm fan blowing air in the vague direction of the HDDs makes a massive difference in temp in my experience. You may well have a case intake fan at the front that covers your HDDs.

The Raptors are only rated for 55°C during operation, and with no airflow they could easily reach that, *especially* if they happen to be mounted right next to each other. I lost two 100GB WD Caviars this way a long time ago when I didnt know any better. (wow that was sooo long ago that each of them cost me about 40% more than I could get a 150GB Raptor for now!!)

IDE drives also suffer from thermal recalibration which can slow down access with higher temps, I'm not 100% sure this issue still exists with newer SATA drives (I remember it from when I last considered SCSI as an alternative when UDMA/66 was brand new), but, assuming so, cooling can improve performance.
September 9, 2006 1:20:06 PM

Quote:
Quote:
Statistically-wise, am I taking my risks again?


All your hard drives are going to fail. The question is whether is going to lose anything important when it fails and how much that loss is going to hurt you.

True Image 9 can be downloaded for $26.50, a 2nd hard drive cost less than $60. In half an hour most people can have both installed and still have time to schedule a daily, weekly and monthly backup for both your system partition and important folders.

Business owners might need Retrospect 7.5 for $90. It only stores files that have changed since the last backup and will let you chose which version of the file you wish to recover.

For extra credit you can transfer backups to DVD+RW.

---

Out of 15 hard drives I have owned.

2 were sold before the warranty expired or any problems occured.

1 of the drives I lost everything wihtout warning within the warranty.
1 drive died a month after it's 1 year warranty expired.
2 of the drives developed bad sectiors within the warranty corruping some files.

6 drives were retired to light duty after their 3 year warranty expired. (2 40 GB Maxtors and 4 120 GB Western Digitals)

3 are within thier 5 year warranty and in close to 24x7 operation.

So 33% of my hard drives ended up costing me data before I retired then from active duty.

I also lost three partitions due to stupid mistakes.

However I the only semi-imporatant files I lost were 4 months worth of email correspondence because I had gotten lazy about manually copying my email store folder to a 2nd hard drive.

Since adding Retrospect and a 400 RAID 1 array I can be even lazier and still be protected.
September 9, 2006 2:00:04 PM

My single 74GB Raptor does make a distinct sound... wouldn't describe it as "popping" however. Rhythmic clicks... that's how I'd describe it. Because I don't have a lot of noisy case fans, it is the loudest component in my system... am I disappointed? Nope. It is perceptibly (but not dramatically) faster than the considerably older 7200 RPM drive it replaced... that statement is based on no formal testing or benchmarks.
September 12, 2006 2:57:28 PM

Run a benchmark on the RAID array. I use HDTach. See where the numbers lie. You should see a definite improvement in load times. I use my Raptors for video editing where it is a night and day difference. If all you are loading is Firefox and checking e-mail, then NO, you probably won't see a difference. Here is my 2x74GB's in RAID0. You should be somewhere in the ballpark.

My System:
http://amdgamingrig.dyndns.org/raptors.html

For the RAID0 security, I have an 80GB IDE installed in that system, where a lot of stuff is backed. Most important stuff though is stored on my server which has 2x250GB SATA in RAID1.

My System:
http://amdgamingrig.dyndns.org
September 12, 2006 3:55:03 PM

Quote:
My single 74GB Raptor does make a distinct sound... wouldn't describe it as "popping" however. Rhythmic clicks... that's how I'd describe it. Because I don't have a lot of noisy case fans, it is the loudest component in my system... am I disappointed? Nope. It is perceptibly (but not dramatically) faster than the considerably older 7200 RPM drive it replaced... that statement is based on no formal testing or benchmarks.


I too have been disappointed with my 74GB raptor. It's extremely noisy and as far as i can tell is actually slower than my 320GB 7000.10 segate storage drives. Infact i was so irritated by the noise i rma'ed it and bought a 200GB 7000.10 segate hd as my new system drive.

I found out the hard way that the 74GB is noisy and bad performing.
September 12, 2006 6:02:19 PM

How strange my Raptor is extreemly fast and resonably quiet.
September 12, 2006 6:28:28 PM

Quote:
How strange my Raptor is extreemly fast and resonably quiet.


I suppose it depends on the noise of your system. My system is dead quiet when i turn the fans down, so i can hear every noise. However, even if i turn the fans to max, the raptor is still louder than the rest of the system. I even have it mounted at the rear of my case, yet it still generates loads of noise.

I tested the raptor performance by installing windows on both the raptor and one of my 320GB segate 7200.10 storage drives. The segate was very quiet and appeared to be significantly faster.
September 12, 2006 9:35:01 PM

The 320 GB Seagate reportedly has an average tranfer rate of 65.3 which makes it just as fast as a Raptor at transfering large files.

If you were to partition the first (and therefore fastest) 25 GB of both drives I am guessing the Seagate would come out ahead.


Thats a much fairer comparision, and since many people keep a separate small OS partition at the begining of their hard drive.

However it has an access time of 13.3 ms vs the Raptors 7.8 ms, which is going to hurt when doing a large number or quick transfers.

I haven't seen any IO meter results but I am guessing the Raptor will clean the Seagates clock.

BTW as far as people losing data when they reinstall windows, I can't really imagine anyone being smart enough to properly reinstall their OS and drivers and yet be unable to protect their data in the process.

1) You can always do a repair install.
2) You can back everything up to an external HD first. I always do this before working on someone's PC. That way I can offer to restore their PC to its original condition if they complain about what I charge :) 

3) Most importantly only noobs put tkeep thier personal data on their C: partition.

Everyone I know who has a clue keeps thier Software and thier Data on Seperate partitions.

Furthermore whenever I build a PC or resintall an OS I always partition the primary hard drive into C: and D: and move each user's Desktop, My Documents and internet/email profiles folder to a single folder on D:

I make sure that the users understant why placing personal files on C: is bad.

A) These files get overwritten when you restore from a backup.
B) Too many files and your backups will soon get so large you don't have room to store them.
C) Keeping all your person files in a single root folder makes backing then up easy and convient.

I mistake I seen many friends make is to let C: occupy an entire hard drive.

Its a pain to resize if you guess you only need 20 GB and then find you need 30 GB for all your games and software.

But inevitably you run out of space on your other hard drives then end up with a 100+GB OS partition.

Suddenly you can't make new OS backups because the images would be massive and you can't restore without losing 100+GB of data.

So when software problem arrises instead of taking 10 minutes to restore from yesterdays or last weeks backup you have to buy/ borrow a hard drive to off load your files and end up restoring from an image that is months out of data.

At the moment all of my tech savy friends have learned to keep resonably sized C: partition.
!