Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

WD Raptor worth the price?

Last response: in Storage
Share
February 6, 2007 1:00:24 PM

For my next build im looking at buying a faster HDD to speed up things and the Raptor 10,000 RPM HDD cought my eye.

The problem with the Raptor for me is that it has too little space. I thought at first of installing all my games on the Raptor and then using a 7,200 RPM HDD for the rest of my stuff.
But I dont want to be limited to only installing a few games everytime, seeing as I cant afford the 150GB model, but only the 74GB.

So my question is - would the Raptor really give me a significant performance boost in games and load times, or should i just install the games on the 7,200 RPM because the performance and load times will be about the same?

Thnx!

More about : raptor worth price

February 6, 2007 3:07:39 PM

If you are worried about price, then I'd have to say no. Other system components would probably solve any outstanding speed issues you might have far better. It could be that how you use your computer (outside of gaming) may justify buying one though. If you could afford both, that would have been far more ideal as a tiered approach is the way to go but mainly, for home usage, it's far more of a luxury.
February 6, 2007 7:57:01 PM

I am not sure what kind of prices you were finding for the Raptors, but BestBuy has a deal right now on the 150 GB Raptor X ... $169.99 with no rebates:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?ref=39&loc=01&h...

It shows it as backordered 1-2 weeks online, but if you are not in a rush it is a good deal ... or you can look to see if it is in stock locally. As to the speed advantage over the 7,200 hard drives, I was surprised to see how close the Seagate 320 GB perpendicular drive was to the raptor in Anand Tech's actual application performance test:

http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=2920&p=...

and you can get the Seagate at TigerDirect for $79.99 after a $20 rebate right now:

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

or if you do not want to deal with the rebate, it is only $94.99 w/ free s&h at newegg:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...
Related resources
Can't find your answer ? Ask !
February 7, 2007 1:25:05 AM

Sorry, cant shop in the US.

If anything, ill buy a 250GB 7,200 RPM HDD and a 74GB 10,000 RPM HDD.

It just makes me kind of eratated that im buying this huge 250GB HDD and i cant use it for games and ill have to try and fit all of my games on that tiny 74GB HDD..

I originally wanted a 10,000 RPM HDD for windows to boot more quickly, but if my games can load more quickly, i guess i Have to put them on the Raptor..
February 7, 2007 1:58:33 AM

I have a 36GB Raptor that I use just for my OSes and programs that really benefit from the speed boost, and a 320 GB perpendicular 7200 RPM drive for my data and other programs. I have been very satisfied with my decision.

A lot of games won't benefit much from moving to the Raptor, depending on the type of games you play. You should have more than enough space to keep the games you play the most/benefit the most on the Raptor drive and put the other data on a separate drive.
February 7, 2007 2:14:16 AM

If you are looking for fast HD setup I would recommend running a Raid 0 setup. You will get more hard drive space and save yourself some money and still get some fast speeds. I would highly recommend picking yourself up

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682... x2

and running them in a RAID 0 they are 16mb cache drives and Sata2 connection.
February 7, 2007 2:20:33 AM

You have to be careful about using RAID 0. While you gain speed on your drives, you also drastically increase your chances for a failure that results in loss of data.

Further, its generally not a good idea to use RAID 0 array for your OS drive.
February 7, 2007 2:25:40 AM

Fault in hard drives are the same weather the drives are single or in raid if a single drive goes out you lose all your data if, if a hard drive in raid 0 goes out you lose all your data so in my personal opinion it doesn't really change anything. Now i have read many places that drives in RAIDS sometimes have a higher fault prone. Not at all sure about this info i can not back it up with any proof or evidence. Now why would you not want to install it on the OS drive? Raid really doesn't show much advantage gaming wise. All sites i could find show RAID having huge advantages during OS boot, installation, and program install (somewhat on the last one). On all most all sites i could find game performance did increase a SMALL amount.
February 7, 2007 3:00:42 AM

Quote:
Fault in hard drives are the same weather the drives are single or in raid if a single drive goes out you lose all your data if, if a hard drive in raid 0 goes out you lose all your data so in my personal opinion it doesn't really change anything.Now i have read many places that drives in RAIDS sometimes have a higher fault prone. Not at all sure about this info i can not back it up with any proof or evidence.


You are wrong here, but maybe you don't understand what I mean. You are correct about the chance for a fault in the HD being the same, but wrong about the chances/amount of data loss when compared to RAID 0. If you have 200 GB spread equally on two separate 120GB drives and one of them dies, you lost 100 GB. If you have the same 200GB on the same drives in a RAID 0 array and one drive fails, you have lost 200Gb data, so the potential data loss is higher. Also, in the case of a single drive failure, it is sometimes possible to recover your data using a relatively cheap software recovery tool (I have personally done this several times). In RAID 0, this is not possible without very expensive recovery efforts.

Further, RAID setups are more prone to faults. You are introducing another link (the controller), which is an additional failure point, so you must factor the failure rate of the controller along with the two drives, as compared to two drives alone. With Redundant RAID arrays such as 1 or 5, this is not a problem because you can rebuild the array, but not with RAID 0.

Some also claim that HDs connected to some cheaper controllers are more subject to data corruption and failure, but I have not personally seen this to be true.

Quote:
Now why would you not want to install it on the OS drive? Raid really doesn't show much advantage gaming wise. All sites i could find show RAID having huge advantages during OS boot, installation, and program install (somewhat on the last one).


This is more of a personal preference stemming from my experience in business computing environments, but for several reasons:
The OS makes constant small read/write calls back to the disk. RAID 0 performs best with larger file transfers and other than at boot time and several other cases (Installation of the OS is usually limited by the CD-ROM), the OS will not benefit much during normal operations.The constant access by the OS creates additional overhead for the RAID array and generally works against the goal of increasing speed for data transfers.As I mentioned before, RAID 0 works best with applications that demand larger, fast file transfers, which the OS is not, so its a waste of resources. Why go through the potential chance of a RAID failure scrapping your PC when you can keep your OS on a separate drive?

Quote:
On all most all sites i could find game performance did increase a SMALL amount.

Another reason why I recommended AGAINST using RAID 0. You are the one who initially recommended it, and now you are pointing out its limited benefits, especially when compared to cost, in this situation.

This is not to say that you should never use RAID 0, as there are alot of valid applications for it. This just isn't one of them.
February 7, 2007 3:02:59 AM

That happened to me! It wasn't pretty and the performance boosts weren't easy seen. If you have the money get a raptor drive or the 750Gb seagate. That seagate has been doing extremely well on the benchmarks all around and their prices are coming down! At CES 2007 hitachi announced that they were coming out with a 1 Tb hard drive with a price tag of 350. Its a few months away but if you can wait for just a little while I think you will get a bigger bang for your buck!
February 7, 2007 3:27:06 AM

I had a raptor 150, but didn't feel it was so special. Sure things got a bit snappier, but I forgot about it very soon. All in all one of the sillier things I wasted my money on (but still not in the top 5 :D  )
February 7, 2007 3:30:44 AM

Quote:
... Sure things got a bit snappier, but I forgot about it very soon...


Not saying whether you should get one or not, but that is human nature. We perceive things by their contrast to other things. Hence the speed increase becomes less noticeable over time. Its the same concept as how hot water feels less hot over time even though its the same temperature.

... Just because you forgot about it doesn't mean it slowed down.
February 7, 2007 3:59:47 AM

Ok, good points here..

Raid 0 - I dont know anything about that, but i already have a 250GB HDD from WD, can i buy another one and link them up? Will it make a 7,200 RPM HDD as fast as a 10,000 RPM HDD or is it another kind of "fast"?

My problem is that I dont want to feel constricted to the Raptor. I dont want to have to make the decision every time about "should i put this in the raptor or not", and then feel really bad everytime i boot it from the 7,200 RPM HDD because ill know that its the slower one..
I guess i have the oposite problem of forgetting that the Raptor is fast, because ill never be able to forget it and it iwll keep haunting me!
Media and such will be fine on the 250GB, but well.. idk, this issue is starting to bug me..
The whole reason i wanted this was because i thought that it might be a little faster, but now i feel like im expecting too much out of it and its making me not want to buy it..

So i really dont know anymore.. ive seen benchmarks where the game loaded up 10 seconds faster on the Raptor, and that IS worth something, but i dont want to feel bad everytime i boot a game up from the 250GB..
February 7, 2007 4:27:26 AM

For your first question, yes, as long as its the same capacity (and same maker usually). It will be a different kind of fast than the Raptor.

My advice if you are agonizing over the decision this much is to buy a high quality Seagate perpendicular drive with a low seek time. I have one and I definitely notice the difference between that and my old 120GB 7200 RPM drive. The Raptor is faster, and I think each size step has been faster than the smaller ones, but I think your expectations are very high and, especially if the Raptor is very expensive where you are, you may be disappointed by it when you get it.

As I said though, I have been happy with my Raptor, but I got a good price on it, and its only the 36GB model.
February 7, 2007 4:32:00 AM

But then how do u choose where to place ur stuff - on the tiny Raptor or on the Segate?

And what do u mean low seek times?

Oh, and i can really just buy another WD 250GB 8M 3.5" SATA2 HDD and link them up in order to achieve... something?
February 7, 2007 4:47:41 AM

Personally, I put the OS and any programs that have to be on the OS drive on the Raptor (keep in mind I have 2 or 3 OSes on it at any given time). Everything else goes on one of the other two drives I have, depending on desired performance.

Seek time and latency are additional measures of HD performance, along with RPM. Seek time is how long on average it takes to find the data you want. Many drives are 8.9ms or 9+. The drive I have is around 8.5 ms.

As a comparison, here is the Large drive I have: Seagate 7200.10

and the Raptor I have.

Before any tells you differently, there is no real difference between the SATA 1.5 and 3.0 Gbps transfers speeds.

For your last question, yes, and no. It depends on your motherboard. If your MB supports RAID 0, then you can buy another drive and set them up in a RAID 0 configuration, but you will have to wipe the drive and start from scratch to do so, and either your MB has to supoprt RAID, or you need an add-on RAID controller card.
February 7, 2007 4:49:21 AM

I would go with the 74GB raptor, I think you will have plenty of room for games.

I usually partition my hard drive so that the partition that windows is installed on is no bigger than 80G. This is good for hard drive performance, and defragmantation where it counts the most is quicker and needs to be done much less often. There are probably other reasons too that I'm forgetting... I currently have xp pro x64, 5 games (Prey, battlefield 2142, UT2004, MoH, FEAR, and FEARXP) , office full, acrobat pro, visual studio 2005 full, a couple of gigs in my documents, drivers, virus scanner, and other apps and still have about 40G/75G free.

Anyway, if it was me I would go with your original plan 74G raptor for windows and games and a cheap 7200rpm drive for all of your music, movies, downloads, etc...
February 7, 2007 5:07:28 AM

Short answer, don't waste your money. I am sure that the long answer will involve reading a number of posts.
February 7, 2007 6:37:09 AM

Quote:
... Sure things got a bit snappier, but I forgot about it very soon...


Not saying whether you should get one or not, but that is human nature. We perceive things by their contrast to other things. Hence the speed increase becomes less noticeable over time. Its the same concept as how hot water feels less hot over time even though its the same temperature.

... Just because you forgot about it doesn't mean it slowed down.

The more important thing is that I didn't notice an annoying difference when I sold the drive and switched back to a normal 7200rpm model.
February 8, 2007 1:23:13 AM

Quote:
Personally, I put the OS and any programs that have to be on the OS drive on the Raptor (keep in mind I have 2 or 3 OSes on it at any given time). Everything else goes on one of the other two drives I have, depending on desired performance.

Seek time and latency are additional measures of HD performance, along with RPM. Seek time is how long on average it takes to find the data you want. Many drives are 8.9ms or 9+. The drive I have is around 8.5 ms.

As a comparison, here is the Large drive I have: Seagate 7200.10

and the Raptor I have.

Before any tells you differently, there is no real difference between the SATA 1.5 and 3.0 Gbps transfers speeds.

For your last question, yes, and no. It depends on your motherboard. If your MB supports RAID 0, then you can buy another drive and set them up in a RAID 0 configuration, but you will have to wipe the drive and start from scratch to do so, and either your MB has to supoprt RAID, or you need an add-on RAID controller card.


I have an nForce 680i SLi motherboard.
Can u explain to me what the benefits of Raid 0 are?

Why is there no difference beetween 1.5 and 3.0 Gbps? I was looking forward to 6.0 Gbps.

My main question is - how do u decide with programs and files go on the faster HDD? Wouldnt it be nice if a video file could load faster? I hate being selective in a way that has significant control over my happiness and enjoyment.
February 8, 2007 2:11:49 AM

You should be able to do RAID0,1, and possibly 1+0 or 5 with no problem.

RAID0 works by striping data across two disks, so that basically instead of pulling data from one disk, it is coming from two disks at a time. For more information on RAID 0 and the other versions, check out this wikipedia entry on RAID.

Personally, I would only use RAID 5 or 10 if I were going to go the RAID route, but that would take at least 3 disks.

There is a difference between the 1.5 and 3.0 Gbps transfer standards, but in practice there is no difference because the lower standard is still faster than the sustained data transfer rate of the drives available today.

As for which programs to put on a faster HD, it depends on whether you are using RAID or not. In RAID 0, video files and other large files will load much faster, but it also comes with the added risk I described above. On a non-RAID setup, if you have a 150GB Raptor that has the space, I would put as much as I can on it. Without that, I would put the larger files on the second drive, and put files where speed is especially important or smaller files that can fit on the Raptor.

Hope this helps. Feel free to ask any other questions you have. You have to keep in mind, that it is definitely not worth agonizing over, or letting it affect your happiness.
February 8, 2007 2:31:11 AM

Quote:

As for which programs to put on a faster HD, it depends on whether you are using RAID or not. In RAID 0, video files and other large files will load much faster, but it also comes with the added risk I described above. On a non-RAID setup, if you have a 150GB Raptor that has the space, I would put as much as I can on it. Without that, I would put the larger files on the second drive, and put files where speed is especially important or smaller files that can fit on the Raptor.

Hope this helps. Feel free to ask any other questions you have. You have to keep in mind, that it is definitely not worth agonizing over, or letting it affect your happiness.


Thats just how i am.. i get too attached to "things".

So large files do better on the Raid 0 and smaller files do better on the 10,000 RPM? Are the 10,000 RPM and the Raid 0 7,200 RPM about the same speed or is one faster?
I want to know what would be faster - Raid 0 7,200 or non-Raid 0 10,000.
And what would Raid 0 10,000 be like?

What files should go on the Raid 0 and what on the 10k?
February 8, 2007 3:03:43 AM

The smaller files don't necessarily do better on the 10K RPM drive, they would just to better on the Raptor than RAID0 due to the lower seek and access times.

As for speed, I think the RAID0 array if they are decent drives will be a bit faster than the Raptor, but I can't remember. I know they did an article here on Tom's about a year ago comparing the two. It should still be aout there if you search for Raptor or RAID. That would be more informative than I am.

RAID 0 10K (2 Raptors), is really fast, but also very expensive. I think you could do a SCSI RAID array including the controller for about the cost of two 150GB Raptors (around $500 US).

As for which files go where, I would put large files such as vids on the RAID array, programs such as productivity suites (open Office, etc) on the Raptor, and games that generally have long load times on the array.
February 11, 2007 5:40:07 AM

Alright, well I did some reading on the subject and ive looked at some reviews.
It appears that RAID 0 makes everything go a lot faster. A 7,200 RPM drive in RAID 0 is as fast or faster than the Raptor 8MB, but still not as fast as the new Raptor X with 16MB.

So would u reccomend I buy another WD 250GB HDD and have 500GB of speed or just a Raptor 74GB 8MB and have 74GB of speed and 250GB of slowness? Note that the 74GB raptor costs more than twice as much as another 250GB.

thnx again!
February 11, 2007 5:43:21 AM

Your money... Spend it wisely.

My 2p.
February 11, 2007 7:15:03 AM

It sounds like you are leaning toward getting the extra 250. Two things I would suggest:

If your board supports RAID 5, look at getting 2 250GB HDs and running all three in RAID 5. This will give you the speed benefits of RAID 0, with the extra security of RAID1 (you will still have 500GB I think).

If at all possible, don't put your OS on the RAID 0 array.
February 11, 2007 7:24:02 AM

Im not really leaning in any direction, I just cant handle having one HDD being faster than another. I just keep thinking about how eratating it would be to have to decide wich file goes where based on how fast i will thus be able to use it..
But if the Raptor is faster than RAID 0, ill take it.

If RAID 5 will give me 500GB when i should have 750GB, it dosent seem like such a good investment.

Im not afraid of the risks involved with RAID 0, and the OS is the thing that i care the least about. I can just insall it again, and it would probably run better once i do, wheras i will never gain back each and every file i had.
February 11, 2007 8:09:43 AM

At the price point you seem to be looking at, RAID 0 seems like the way to go. You will have to pay too much for a Raptor that you will be satisfied with.

FYI, RAID 5 uses striping and mirroring so that you can lose a disk and still be ok. BUt the downside is you lose one disk worth of space. SO that 3 diskcs gives 500 GB, 4 would give 750, etc.
February 11, 2007 8:30:10 AM

I have been using a RAID 0 array for many years now, I use it for my games and non-critical data, and my page file. My OS and apps are on a seperate drive. I find a noticable difference in file transfer speeds, installations, paging, a little in some games that are HDD intensive, or do a lot of paging.

It's difficult to even get an OS installed on a RAID array, so I don't suggest that, even when I have been successful in getting an OS insttaled on RAID 0, I have had data corruption problems. And agreed that storing critical data on RAID 0 is a bad idea.
February 11, 2007 2:57:33 PM

When I was running a raid 0 I saw a little bit of an increase.....nothing huge. The thing you have to decide is if that second difference on loading time of games is worth paying more money for vs getting a bigger hard drive space that you will be happier with. It is really up to you and what you want though. I setup a raid 0 for a faculty at the college where I do tech support with the brand new raptor X in a raid 0 configuration and windows did load faster and it was alittle sharper as far as performance but nothing that I would notice if I have two machines side by side. So I am with croc.....It is your money.
February 11, 2007 3:00:44 PM

For those of you with a Raptor, how loud is it subjectively compared to other drives? I read the review and saw that it can be 8-10DB louder, but am not sure how that translates to the real world. I want a pretty quiet system...is that still possible with a Raptor 150GB?
February 11, 2007 3:34:34 PM

I have a 36GB Raptor, and I have not noticed any relative noise increase over my other drives.

Also, I am a bit of a noise freak and my system is pretty quiet, so yes you can do that with a Raptor.
February 11, 2007 6:33:57 PM

Good to hear, thanks hergie
February 11, 2007 7:01:45 PM

Go for the raptor... anyone here that has a raptor havet any complaints about owning one??? didnt think so ;p
February 11, 2007 7:14:47 PM

Edit: In case you haven't seen it yet - try here

Some thoughts to help you out:

1) Listen to hergie.. he knows of what he speaks.

2) Don't bother with RAID unless you will be using it for added redundancy (is Raid 5, for example). Why? Because the RAID controller adds overhead. That means that the only things that realyl benefit from a RAID 0 (striped array) setup are large, sustained file transfers. This can be useful in specific situations - for example, one often cited case is if you do a lot of video editing - but for most normal things you do, it will not give you a significant speed boost.

The raptor, on the other hand, WILL make your system feel more responsive overall with almost everything you do.

As for the dilemna of it being 74 GB .. bs. There is no dilemna. The 7200.10s from Seagate are great drives - they won't feel slow and old by comparison. Use them to store your media, which makes up the bulk of the average users data.

Put your OS, your programs, and games that you play often on the raptor - even with OS and programs you should be able to fit AT LEAST 5-6 games on the raptor, probably more than that. I can't imagine you play more than 5 or 6 regularly (and that require a fast drive for loading and such).

Presto - you have the best of both worlds, and if you are feeling wealthy or need extra security, get another (or a few) more 7200.10s and make a raid array out of those.

But for things that require quick access times - basically everything you do with your computer aside from large scale transfers, video editing, etc - the raptor is awesome.

Just make sure you get the newer ADFD version of the 74 GB - not the older GD version. The ADFD is significantly faster, has 16MB cache, NCQ, and so on.

SATA I vs II (1.5 vs 3.0Gb/s) doesn't matter, because it is maximum theoretical transfer rate. Your drives don't saturate the interface yet, hence, it means NOTHING at all.

You will find that a lot as you delve into the wonderful world of hardware. Case in point - 16x PCI-E bus interfaces. Completely pointless, but helps the board manufacturers pretend 16x boards are "better" and therefore should be "more expensive" than 8x...
February 11, 2007 7:31:51 PM

Quote:
Go for the raptor... anyone here that has a raptor havet any complaints about owning one??? didnt think so ;p


I have two: that I only have a 36GB one, and that my wife won't let me buy 3 150Xes for a RAID 5 array :lol: 
February 11, 2007 9:55:31 PM

you my friend, need to get rid of your wife and follow your dreams!! =]
February 16, 2007 7:38:30 PM

Sorry for being gone for a while.. test season..

So the conclusion is that RAID makes large files move faster and the Raptor makes everything else move faster, is that it?

I thought that RAID = Raptor, but i was only basing that on the fact that RAID is faster than non-RAID and the Raptor is faster than non-RAID.

Again, the fact that I cant put my games on the RAID is quite bad for me as i do have more than 5-6 games. I dont play them all the time, but i like having them around.

And I hate the fact that im finally getting a huge HDD and im not going to be able to enjoy it because its not "fast enough".. :cry: 
February 16, 2007 8:35:29 PM

I don't think you need to worry about it being "Fast Enough". I have Oblivion on my 7200.10 and haven't noticed any "slowness". Of course, Oblivion is GPU and CPU limited more than HD limited I think.
February 17, 2007 1:27:09 AM

I don't think RAID 0 is worth all the fuss, when you can have a raptor without the fuss, at least for gaming (Other applications and forms of RAID would be a different situation). IMHO RAID 0 is much more likely to fail, hard to install windows on, and prone to corruption. I wouldn't worry about "which is faster in which situation" until you decide if your willing to put up with all the initial and ongoing problems associated with RAID 0.
February 18, 2007 9:12:07 AM

Just get a Raptor. You won't regret it, I don't know anyone that has one (myself included) that isn't happy with it.

Honestly, I think the dilemna over the size and what to/no to put on it is a straw man. You'll barely think twice, and you can really fit a lot of games into 74GB-(windows + programs).

Get a 7200.10 (320 or 500 depending on the size of your media collection) for great cost/size/performance ratio and be done with it.

This is what I would suggest for anyone looking for a better-than-average setup without very specific requirements for work to be done that will benefit from RAID.
!