Sign-in / Sign-up
Your question

1 vs 4

Tags:
  • Hard Drives
  • Western Digital
  • NAS / RAID
  • Raptor
  • Seagate
  • Storage
  • Product
Last response: in Storage
March 17, 2007 2:06:35 AM

1x Western Digital Raptor X 150GB or 4x Seagate Barracuda 250GB in RAID 0. Which is the best for gaming?

More about : question

March 17, 2007 7:00:34 PM

IF youre not starved for capacity... for $100 theres the 36GB 16MB ADFD raptor, which would be your [ironically best cost effective bet] for performance (its as fast as the 74GB ($150) and 150GB ($200+) ADFDs, mainly due to them all having the same sized 74GB platters), you could even get 2 of them in raid 0, if you needed the extra capacity and or performance... ...which also brings to raid 0 at best offering questionable (questionably worthwhile) performance gains anyhow for most desktop situations (gaming included)... whichcase it would probably make more sense to just go for the 74GB ADFD then, and save yourself the hassle, and extra cost...

but, the 36GB (or 74GB) would be best used as your OS and gaming/application hdd

IMO the 150GB is overkill for capacity (for an OS/gaming/app hdd) TBH... media storage and backups would most likely be on other larger hdds anyhow (and unless im mistaken both the 36GB and 74GB ADFDs are faster than the 150GB, at least where minimum transfer rates are concerned)
March 17, 2007 8:06:26 PM

Meh?

Game installs are a few gig apiece these days, 4gig or more is becoming common.

Vista Ultimate chews up 10gb before you install any apps.

150GB is tiny for a system drive, I could only live with a Raptor if I had 2 or more in RAID 0.

250GB wasnt enough C: drive space for me and thats with an 850GB media drive. I have just replaced the 250GB drive with a 400GB C: drive and extended the media drive with the 250GB.
Related resources
March 17, 2007 8:14:58 PM

well, vista does take up 10GBs by itself, if you have vista, dont go for a 36GB, XP though only takes up about 1.5GB for a full install... ...but, if somebody (not saying you in particular) needs that many hundred gigabytes for an OS hdd, they most likely either have way too much junk and dont do regular maintainance on their hdd... or theyre not storing their other media on other more appropriate hdds/locations, which would result in poorer OS hdd performance as a whole, not to mention possibly taking that much longer to defrag, unless they have multiple partitions, whichcase, not quite so long to defrag

but, for simply an OS and a few games (even at 4GBs a piece), and other applications, 150GB is easily more than enough

but for general storage, you may need multi terabytes worth

take for instance my setup, i have vista rtm and all my applications and games on a 74GB ADFD raptor (still only halfway filled), a 2.3GB pagefile on a 400GB storage hdd, and my internet cache on a small partition on yet another hdd (300MB partition on a 36GB GD raptor)... and then just other hdds for storage/data redundancy as well
March 17, 2007 9:15:11 PM

Put those bad boys in raid and rock on.
March 17, 2007 10:43:26 PM

I tend to have alot of games installed, I dont like to have to remove and reinstall things due to a lack of space.

I tend to end up with a large documents and settings folder too, this is partly due to gamesaves and the like (The Sims 2 having nearly a GB of data for its save)

It defrags weekly overnight when I am not using it, and all media etc is stored on my storage drive.

150GB isnt much, if we factor in that it will only be 139GiB or so after formatting, Windows Vista (which while not essential now will be fore future DX10 games) eats 10GiB leaving 129GiB, thats only ~30 games at 4GiB a piece, or maybe 20 games, Office, and the documents/pictures/other applications that people build up.

Thats assuming you keep at least 9GiB free space, I personally dont like to fill a disk over 90% or fragmentation builds up quickly.

Having a larger drive and keeping more stuff on it will not decrease windows performance if it is not fragmented. Windows should always be at the start of the disk where it is fastest. Wether the rest of the disk is free space or data should not affect it.


A 74GB Raptor, after formatting, leaving 10% free space and allowing 10GiB for Windows, will fit ~52GiB of software. Most people would put the pagefile on the disk with the fastest transfer rate and lowest seek time, this should be the Raptor, leaving ~50GB. Thats really not much.
March 17, 2007 11:15:00 PM

well, in your case, you do have a lot of programs (10-15GB for vista after the updates, 100+GB worth of games and other applications)... and i can see how it would necessitate over 150GB storage space for an OS hdd, so im not going to say at all that it doesnt in your case... but that truthfully doesnt sound very typical either, at least to me anyhow...

...as far as the 74GB, you lose 4-5GB after formatting, putting you at ~69GB, and then 10-15GB for vista... in the case where its 4GB per game (quite a few games no less), i agree that it simply wouldnt be enough

i dont really have anything to debate in this case... its just a matter of how much space you 'really' need, and where you plan to install things... but for a practical performance basis compared to other consumer hdds, there really is no beating a raptor (not going into the whole raid vs raptor debate, thats been covered enough times in other threads, with always the same outcome just about)

for other users, if theyre interested in practical performance between the two, there are plenty of other threads on THG about that
March 17, 2007 11:50:10 PM

A 36Gb raptor is the same price as a 400Gb drive... I'm sure there is an alternate reality where buying one would make sense. :) 
March 18, 2007 12:01:20 AM

Maybe it's from a lack of sleep, but if memory serves me correctly, I thought that RAID wasn't the answer for gaming. It might load it faster, but (again, from what I remember), don't most games require fast random-access performance? If that's the case, then a fast single drive would make sense. Right? Right? Bueller? Bueller?

EDIT: Oh, in case anyone was wondering, I am using 3x WD2500YS 250GB (SATA II) HDDs (wow, that's a lot of letters!), in RAID5. I have 467GB of drive space, yet I am only using like 33GBs! Why so much extra space? Because they were like $60 apiece and because I could! :)  And, I offloaded all of my important data to an external WD2500YS HDD in an Icy Dock enclosure connected to a Promise TX4302 SATA controller.

Hey- I tried to fill-up all of that space by using the "full install" options for all of my software! Only so much space Clippy takes, though. :) 
March 18, 2007 1:23:50 AM

It is cheaper to build a 7200RPM RAID array than it is to buy a Raptor, but it means more disks, more power more heat.

Whe you start building RAID 0 arrays from 7200RPM disks you very quickly get into the realms of more capacity than you could possibly need.

320GB drives seem to be about the cheapest in terms of £/GB, and by the time you have put 3 of them in RAID 0, spending as much as a 150GB Raptor, you have 960GB of space for your system drive.

This is pretty excessive :/ 

That 3 disk RAID 0 array will give much better sustained transfer than the 150GB Raptor, but its access times will if anything be marginally SLOWER than a single 7200RPM disk, let alone a Raptor.

Some games will prefer faster access times, some will prefer faster sustained transfers, ideally you'd have a Raptor RAID 0 array and have both :p 

There is no "correct" way to do it really, and you cant really issue a blanket statement that either method would be faster.

I dont know how you people manage with so little space :/  my Storage drive is now 1.1TB and its stuffed to bursting.... My new 400GB C: drive has not got there yet but it wont be long...
March 18, 2007 2:11:30 AM

WTH do you have that takes up that much space?
March 18, 2007 7:01:22 AM

Quote:
A 36Gb raptor is the same price as a 400Gb drive... I'm sure there is an alternate reality where buying one would make sense. :) 


yes, in that case, where capacity is more of a concern than performance, the 400GB is definetly the way to go... ...the 400GB 16MB 7200rpm maxtor i have (released 2006), is actually about the same speed, if not slower than the original 36GB 8MB GD raptor that i have (released early 2003), and thats the slowest (and oldest) raptor there is (between 20-40% slower than the newest raptor revision, depending on the benchmark), though as far as access times, even the oldest raptor is still way ahead of any 7200rpm... and as i had said before, the newer 36GB 16MB ADFD (released mid-late 2006), is where you would turn if capacity isnt so much of an issue, but you would want the same performance as the 150GB version, for around $100-150 less (as they feature virtually identical specs, the main difference being that the 150GB ADFD has 2 74GB platters, instead of just 1, that both the 36GB and 74GB version have, otherwise theyre the same)... you would only turn to the 74GB or the 150GB if you were seeking additional capacity, but not additional performance, per se (such as with a larger hdd, youll be able to keep the performance at a higher level for a longer amount of time, as you fill the hdd up, other than that, no)

the 36GB 16MB ADFD is the raptor of choice for performance, as long as youre not concerned too much about its capacity, again, using it primarily as an OS, app, and gaming hdd... at the very minimum an OS hdd anyhow
March 18, 2007 9:41:44 AM

If I was building the ultimate HDD system I would use 8 36GB Raptors in RAID 0.

At which point capacity is 288GB and not much of an issue :) 

The 36GB models have their place.

I tell you what would be a cool innovation in hard disks: to give each read/write head its own motor, allowing them to move independantly.

This would effectively mean you could impliment RAID in a single disk, and 5 platter disks like the Segate 7200.10 750GB would be immensely fast :D 
March 18, 2007 8:46:53 PM

yeah, thats another thing, for even considering raid 0 for a desktop system, server grade hdds are honestly the better way to go, simply for reliability (kinda sucks if/when a hdd crashes, and you have to redo everything again)... but, as long as you have multiple backups of all your data, restoring data wont matter too much then, TBH

but in that case, storing anything on less than a server grade hdd isnt advisable either, lol... especially with the rate that hdds fail on average, for whatever reason it would happen (with the hdds in the desktops i have at my house, theres at least 1 failed consumer hdd annually, sometimes more... were lucky if theres 0 failures for a year, lol)

server grade hdds may be more expensive initially (such as WDs RE, RE2, and raptors), but it certainly beats the price and hassle of having to keep buying replacement hdds on a semi regular basis
March 20, 2007 12:23:50 PM

I have one 36GB SCA SCSI with a host adapter and two Western Digital Caviar 16MB 250GB. What is the IDEAL setup for performance on these 3 drives? I was thinking a stripe but that would mean the array is only as fast and big as the slowest/smallest drive. Is there a way I can maybe RAID the SATAs and boot from the SCSI? I want pure, no punches pulled, screaming perdformance. (With what I have)
March 20, 2007 6:39:41 PM

well, if youre not limited for space, i would use the 36GB scsi hdd for hosting the OS... and as far as raiding the other two in raid 0?, that would offer questionable performance gains to me (if youre talking specifically about gaming), which would also be dependant on if you have an onboard software raid controller or a dedicated hardware add on raid controller

the easiest way to put the 250GB hdd in raid 0 would be from within windows (though i believe it will only work on the installation of windows its created on), the other way would just be to use the onboard raid controller and put those two in raid 0, and setting your boot order to first boot from your floppy drive, cdrom, and then scsi hdd (it should be something similar to that), and make sure you have the scsi controller drivers on a floppy too

the more practical way if you dont have a dedicated hardware raid contoller, would just be to keep each drive independant from one another... using the scsi hdd as your os/gaming hdd (which will most likely offer the best performance too, even though i dont know the actual performance of it, at the very least it should have faster access times, which will help anything it loads, gaming included)... and the other 2 seperated for redundant storage needs
March 20, 2007 6:46:13 PM

eVGA 680i T1 mobo onboard RAID is hardware is it not?
March 20, 2007 6:57:58 PM

i believe that due to it being onboard, it uses cpu cycles to handle everything... ...its what someone called 'dumb raid'... it wont be able to organize I/O requests intelligently (which could help games a lot)... basically it uses the cpu to control everything, and offers a very limited performance boost to games... ...compared to a hardware based add on controller that handles everything itself (i believe they usually have a logic board of some kind built in), resulting in a potentially very large improvement (nearing 100%)... ...now, i dont entirely understand it myself, but, apparently thats the primary difference, aside from dedicated hardware raid usually having its own memory too... and onboard raid not having much aside from the actual connectors to allow cpu controlled software raid

apparently thats also why raid 5 performance sucks for onboard, but for dedicated hardware controllers its about just as fast as raid 0 i believe
March 20, 2007 7:11:35 PM

TBH im really not sure if it would... if it has its own logic chip to handle everything, or if its still going to rely on the cpu to do things


a controller that was mentioned to me, that i then googled for was http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

apparently thats what a dedicated hardware raid controller would offer (with the performance to back it up)... but the cost is several times higher than the one you chose out, but also isnt that expensive either compared to other dedicated hardware raid solutions (its actually the cheapest areca controller newegg has)
March 20, 2007 7:13:42 PM

i would rather get an E6700 lol.
March 20, 2007 7:16:38 PM

yeah, i know what you mean lol... i cant say onboard raid is useless, but for gaming it might as well be
March 20, 2007 7:23:49 PM

What about a 15k SCA SCSI 36GB with a PCI Host adapter? Faster than SATA for gaming?
March 20, 2007 7:28:47 PM

Go for the array. They each have there strengths and weaknesses when compared, but IMO capacity the array trumps.
March 20, 2007 7:39:41 PM

well, the interface really wont matter in all honesty... the problem with going pci though is the bandwidth is shared between all devices on the pci bus (there was something else about it not being bidirectional/full duplex that limited it)

but beyond that, the bottom line is that the 10K/15K scsi hdd that you have, will offer superior performance to any of the 7200 sata hdds that you have (regardless of interface, whether its ata/100 ata/133 sata/150 sata/300)

the pci controller youre using, if it could have an ata bandwidth label, the pci bus might be called ata/127 (as its allowed up to a theoretical 127MB/s, single direction)
March 20, 2007 7:44:15 PM

Ahhh. Well, would it take away from my dual 8800GTXs?
March 20, 2007 7:44:57 PM

nope. theyre on a pci-e interface, which is completely seperate

edit: i missed where you said it was 15K, just looked back... yeah, definetly go for using the 15K scsi instead of the other 7200s, no question, because even if the interface somehow limits it (due to slight latencies or whatever), the high rpms will more than pay off... ...thats what gives the raptors such an advantage in responsiveness above other 7200s, even given their smaller platters, its largely due to the rpms