I've read about the Raptor Hard Drive for years, and evaluated it carefully for each of my builds (5), and it was not the best choice for the price points I was building at.
That was the case 3 and 4 years ago.
That was the case 2 years ago.
That was the case 1 year ago.
When I bought my recent 7200.10 5-6 months ago, again, better choice than the raptor at my price points....
Things have changed.
We are not in the situation we were in when we did our careful evaluations in the past, so many of us, and decided the Raptor was too expensive for the modest cost system.
Suddenly, with the new 74Gig update (be aware there are two different versions of the 74Gig now, and they are *not* the same)), the Raptor at $150 is the single best choice really in a new build anywhere over $950 now.
That's not how it was for a $1100 build just 6 months ago, by my lights.
I finally figured this out -- this is why there was so much flak about recommending a Raptor for a modest cost $1100 build.
Because many of the responding posters were caught in the past, re-using their old conclusions, as if yesterday were today.
Good news, everyone, now you can get a Raptor, and you are not paying too much in porportion to it's differential benefit for a $1000 build.
Its not just the bottom-line cost of the Raptor - its the price/GB. A lot of people need a lot more space than 74 GB. For me, the cost is not the driving consideration, but the noise is. Opinions vary, but the biggest complaint I hear about the Raptors is that those 10,000 RPM wheels make some noise. Given that the performance gain isn't that impressive for most people's applications, it usually makes people go for a quieter harddrive with more GB/$ (like the Seagates). I am still considering the Raptor for my newest build but I'm not sure about it yet. I'm trying to get a good performing quiet system.
It's elementary that 74 Gigs isn't enough for lots of video archiving, etc., and I think there are very few people with a $1000 or better build not willing to spend $95 more if they want extra video archiving space, and add 320 Gigs., etc., etc. That's all elementary
What isn't obvious, or widely understood, on the other hand, is how to guage system speed for everyday use, and figure out what matters, and how, and how to weigh it.
That part isn't obvious at all.
It requires reading at least dozens of articles, unless you get lucky. I've read hundreds in just the last year.
I was able to see this, and interesting is why it happened.
The hard drive choice has become more critical to system performance exactly because cpus have become so much more powerful.