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What is the point of a Raptor? (I dont mean to provoke!)

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January 16, 2007 8:54:18 AM

Hi guys

OK so I am building a new system and am going for a WD 320GB drive mainly because it will hold all my 25+ games. But then I am thinking about one of these 150GB Raptors but I know I will be restricted to how many games I can load on it. If I wanted to use a Raptor would I simply have to be selective about what games I want to load on it. Or is there some sort of configuration with two drives I can do. Ultimately, is it worth it?

cheers all
January 16, 2007 9:48:45 AM

A RAID 0 configuration will help.. This will "add" the capacity of both 150GB HDDs, which will leave you with 300Gb (approx) and extremely fast load times..

The downside to this level of RAID, is that there is NO fault tolerence, so if one drive fails, you lose everything...

Another suggestion could be to get two 74GB raptors in RAID 0 (148GB) and then simply store game images on a larger drive (games you not currently playing etc)..

Only install the games that you are playing on the RAID array..
January 16, 2007 9:55:22 AM

Quote:
OK so I am building a new system and am going for a WD 320GB drive mainly because it will hold all my 25+ games. But then I am thinking about one of these 150GB Raptors but I know I will be restricted to how many games I can load on it. If I wanted to use a Raptor would I simply have to be selective about what games I want to load on it. Or is there some sort of configuration with two drives I can do. Ultimately, is it worth it?


The Raptors are good for random access - that is loading a lot of disparate smaller files or database work. That also makes it a good operating system disk. When it comes to loading of large files, there are other (cheaper, bigger and quieter) drives with as good performance as the Raptors. When it comes to games, I would speculate, that you really can't see much of a performance increase compared to fast conventional drives such as the Seagate 320GB 7200.10 drive (I don't know about the WD - might be as good as Seagate - but I am very happy with the new Seagate 7200.10 drives I have bought).
On the "high performance, price isn't really all that important" machines I have used Raptors as the OS and swapfile (pagefile) drive, and installed as many applications as could fit on them, and data and the rest of the programs on a seperate 7200rpm drive.
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January 16, 2007 10:06:01 AM

The only performance gain you'll see if you run games off a raptor, is the faster load times..

Other than that, not much difference to an ordinary 7200rpm drive..
Seagate has some goooood offerings
January 16, 2007 10:21:17 AM

Quote:
The only performance gain you'll see if you run games off a raptor, is the faster load times..


I would tend to agree on that - don't play a lot of games though.

As far as I know, games is mostly load from harddisk and play from RAM.
Have you seen any games which uses lots of database lookups?
Maybe somebody can find an example of a harddisk intensive game.
January 16, 2007 10:30:04 AM

Also, if you have too little RAM, having a faster HDD can also benifit you..
January 16, 2007 10:38:38 AM

Quote:
Also, if you have too little RAM, having a faster HDD can also benifit you..


Certainly :D  ! - but then again, if you have too little RAM, not even 10 15000rpm SAS drives in a RAID setup will benefit you as much as just getting another GB of RAM.
I think it is an important point to make to the OP, that getting a decent RAM size certainly matters more than a 10000 rpm Raptor in almost every situation.
January 16, 2007 10:43:34 AM

Quote:
OK so I am building a new system and am going for a WD 320GB drive mainly because it will hold all my 25+ games. But then I am thinking about one of these 150GB Raptors but I know I will be restricted to how many games I can load on it. If I wanted to use a Raptor would I simply have to be selective about what games I want to load on it. Or is there some sort of configuration with two drives I can do. Ultimately, is it worth it?


A Raptor is a fast access disk. If you care about loading speed and hd access then it's the best choice on SATA. As a good alternative you can also install 2x 7200 in strip mode (raid 0) to achieve also fast access to the disk.
If you don't mind a lot with that extra speed, than a good 7200 disk should be enough. You have nowadays good SATA2 high capacity disks with good data transfer speed.

Another important thing: the raptors are costy so your decision might depend also on the budget you have for the overall upgrade.

If you go to the strip configuration, remember to have your backup, in a third non-strip disk or externally on CD's or other media.
January 16, 2007 11:17:00 AM

Yeah, a good, cost effective option would be to get two decent size HDDs, and RAID them.. Check out which seagate barracuda's are available..
January 16, 2007 12:33:45 PM

Two 150Gb Raptors in Raid 0, for gaming will give you faster loading time. But this depends on the rest of the system and if so it will give anywhere from none to 30 seconds off of the loading time. Money wise, comparing even to a regular 7200rpm hd, with performance-to-ratio increase, I would say the value isn't that good at all.

So Raptor for raid is merely reserve to those who are willing to spend the money, otherwise know as rich kids and enthusiasts and severely impatient person who rapidly taps on the mouse thinking the game will load faster.

I have about 15+ games in my system right now using 2x74Gb Raptor in Raid0. It works great and gives me some boost in loading and a bit faster boot up to windows. Burned a whole through my wallet but nonetheless I got faster loading in games just as I wanted.

So if you don't have problems with games and loading times then don't spend on Raptor raid 0. You better off spending $100 for a separate hard drive and use one for OS and games and the other for backup and storage.
January 16, 2007 1:59:24 PM

Not sure what other board posters think of this idea but here goes.

If you want a bit of space, a little more speed and even "safety" why not for less than the cost of 2 150Gb Raptors you can buy 3 Seagate 7200.10 320Gb SATA hard drives and put them in a Raid 5. This will give a little boost over their normal "pretty fast" speed plus redundancy.

Its something I've been thinking of doing for a while. It seems to be the best of both worlds imo.

If anyone has any info why that isn't a good idea I'd love to hear it myself as I don't see any downside to it.
January 16, 2007 2:44:23 PM

Quote:
If you want a bit of space, a little more speed and even "safety" why not for less than the cost of 2 150Gb Raptors you can buy 3 Seagate 7200.10 320Gb SATA hard drives and put them in a Raid 5. This will give a little boost over their normal "pretty fast" speed plus redundancy. Its something I've been thinking of doing for a while. It seems to be the best of both worlds imo.If anyone has any info why that isn't a good idea I'd love to hear it myself as I don't see any downside to it.


For the original poster, I think one or two standard Seagates 7200.10 without RAID would be best from a price, capacity and safety point of view. I think Raptors are too expensive for gaming, and RAID0 makes me extremely nervous from a data safety point-of-view.
All of you recommending RAID0, you do take daily backups, don't you???

Now about RAID5 (my personal favorite) there are the following downsides/considerations:

1) I do not recommend putting your operatingsystem on RAID. If something goes wrong, the whole system is down. Much easier if the operating still works apart from the RAID system.

2) In a 3 drive RAID5, you lose one disk to parity, and you don't gain much performance over single drive installations. To make the parity loss less painfull, and the performance bonus over non-RAID more obvious, you should get 4 or 5 disks.

3) Software and Hostbased RAID5 (as in Intels ICH8R southbridge and others) takes a toll on the CPU. Real hardware RAID5 SATA controllers (or a SAS RAID5 controller with SATA drives) are expensive. In fact the price delta between good SATA RAID5 and SAS RAID5 controllers is rather small.

The positive points of a good RAID5 system is more capasity, safety and speed than any single drive can deliver.
January 16, 2007 4:08:16 PM

Quote:
Yeah, a good, cost effective option would be to get two decent size HDDs, and RAID them.. Check out which seagate barracuda's are available..


That's exactly what i said... can be any good 7200's.... Western Digital, Seagate or others... you name it.
But in the 10K-rpm (less 4ms random access to data on disk) unfortunately only WD have a product. I'm still waiting for other brands to get a similar product.
January 16, 2007 4:37:22 PM

Quote:
Yeah, a good, cost effective option would be to get two decent size HDDs, and RAID them.. Check out which seagate barracuda's are available..


I've just read the new article here on THG:

http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/01/16/2007-hdd-rundown...

It seems there are better 7200 options other than the Seagate Barracuda...
Just see the Samsung Spinpoint 500GB.
January 16, 2007 6:44:38 PM

Quote:
I've just read the new article here on THG:
http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/01/16/2007-hdd-rundown...
It seems there are better 7200 options other than the Seagate Barracuda... Just see the Samsung Spinpoint 500GB.


Every disk in the test has its strengths and weaknesses. The Raptors are very good at sustained random I/O (Examples: OS boot and databases), while having only good transfer performance. The Samsungs are at the buttom of access times and but does good in some transfer tests. In many ways the Samsungs are the exact opposite of the Raptor. As a video store the Samsungs look fine, but I would not recommend them as an all purpose drive or even less as a good OS or program drive. The Seagate (they test the huge expensive Seagate ES 750GB drive - more at home as secondary server storage) is an all around performer - master of none, but not being bad at anything.
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