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WD Raptor vs 15K SAS SCSI ( Workstation)!!

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January 27, 2008 5:17:40 PM

Hi everyone,

I am ordering a new workstation (Dell Precision) and I am having really hard time trying to decide what to go with?
I have the option to order two hard disks ( one for OS and one for my applications). I am confused between choosing two Raptors (150 GB 10K rpm SATA) or two SAS SCSI (150 GB 15K rpm),

it might help to mention that I will heavly use this workstation for Visual Studio.NET and SQL Server 2005. I am woking on some big reporting solutions and lots of Business intelligence stuff and the database size is big ( millions of records),

so what's the best option to get the top performance, one last thing, the cost is not a problem,

regards
January 28, 2008 4:17:25 AM

help !!!
please ):
January 28, 2008 4:23:51 AM

I always thought that the SAS options were better. But I'm not sure and have nothing to back that up. That's just my mentality.
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January 28, 2008 4:50:25 AM

SAS Raid 6, would be the way to go.
January 28, 2008 5:16:19 AM

bobbknight said:
SAS Raid 6, would be the way to go.


the Specs will include any RAID configurations, it is going to be 2 disks, one for OS and one for Applications

So, what do you recommend for my case ??

regards
January 28, 2008 5:35:18 AM

SAS is mich faster then raptors, but also cost more and generate more heat and noise.
If you dont mind that and need fast performance i would go for SAS.
I am using 2 SAS 15k rpm 138GB hdd in raid 0 and it can go up to 492 MB/s peek and 236MB/s average reading speed (unfortunately on vista is somehow weirdly limiting speed to my Adaptec SAS adapter cache capacity 128MB/s regardless if use single drive or any other raid config, its till same, 126MB/s ).
January 28, 2008 6:55:56 AM

your answer is right in front of you... 10k vs 15k DUH!

another thing if you are RAIDing two drives you WILL NOT HAVE ONE FOR THE OS AND ONE FOR APPS!

this just makes me sad...
January 28, 2008 7:12:53 AM

Its been a while since I've delved into more than your basic RAID 1 or 0 so bear with me if I make any mistakes.

First off, the issue here isn't SATA vs SAS, its 10k vs 15k RPM.

To get RAID 5 you need at least 3 drives and for RAID 6 you'll need at least 4. RAID 6 provides an extra level of fault tolerance but tends to be slower than RAID 5 because of the extra set of parity that needs to be calculated and written. For overall size RAID 5 is number of drives (N) minus 1 -> N-1. For RAID 6 the overall capacity is N-2. These are both due to the parity data contained on the drives. For the best performance with some fault tolerance I'd recommend a RAID 5. You might also consider a RAID 10 although you'll wind up with less usable space. With RAID 10 you need at least 4 drives and you must use an even number. Also the amount of usable space is N/2. Quite frankly I forget which is faster RAID 5 or 10 at a low number of disks and I also don't remember how well they scale. It also depends on how capable of a RAID controller is being used.

Hope that wasn't too convoluted and that it helped somewhat.

-mcg
January 28, 2008 9:08:33 AM

frost_fenix said:
your answer is right in front of you... 10k vs 15k DUH!

another thing if you are RAIDing two drives you WILL NOT HAVE ONE FOR THE OS AND ONE FOR APPS!

this just makes me sad...



thanks for yor reply, I think I made a mistake here , I meant "the Specs will NOT include any RAID configurations".
and one more thing, 15K doesn't always beat the 10K, I saw lots of new 10K beat old 15K disks!!!

my concern is about performance in multi tasking scenarios for a single user.
January 28, 2008 9:41:33 AM

Concerning sound,heat and the work that involved, i go with 10k.

Anyways all those records will be in database and your WS involves in lot of reads and writes.

10'k's and little extra RAM is good,15k SAS i found pretty noisy.

No RAID, one for OS and the other for apps, backup scheduled daily.
January 28, 2008 2:57:01 PM

If the database transactions will be heavy, the SAS drives will outperform the Raptors hands down.

You will need a decent backup solution, however. I would recommend a 3rd hard drive, 500GB SATA, and Acronis True Image to take an image of the two SAS drives periodically.
Anonymous
January 28, 2008 4:14:25 PM

SomeJoe7777 said:
If the database transactions will be heavy, the SAS drives will outperform the Raptors hands down.

You will need a decent backup solution, however. I would recommend a 3rd hard drive, 500GB SATA, and Acronis True Image to take an image of the two SAS drives periodically.



Not necessarily. The new SATA2 drives running in AHCI with disk write cahching enabled are great for Server configurations. Alot of the Dell Power edges that I have been installing in the Banks in Canada are now using the newer SATA drives instead of SCSI.

PS to the OP, if you want future proof your build I may also go with the SATA drives since it seems more and more that SCSI is becoming obsolete. (Note: phasing out is more like it)

However I agree 100% with using Acronis... great utility and fairly easy to configure and use.
January 28, 2008 10:24:31 PM

Anonymous said:
Not necessarily. The new SATA2 drives running in AHCI with disk write cahching enabled are great for Server configurations. Alot of the Dell Power edges that I have been installing in the Banks in Canada are now using the newer SATA drives instead of SCSI.


Newer SATA2 drives with NCQ enabled are certainly faster than they used to be, and certainly are now fast enough for several server applications. But in terms of IOPs (which database performance is tied directly to), no SATA drive can touch a 15K SAS drive.

Check out Storage Review's Testbed 4, select the "IO Meter File Server - 4 I/O" test. Some of the 15K SCSI/SAS drives outperform the Raptor by 2:1, to say nothing of how they outperform 7200 RPM SATA drives.
January 29, 2008 12:59:53 AM

OK if all you are going to get is 2 drives get the SAS 15K drives,
Use one for OS and Apps, and the other for data.
And back up you data every day to DVD and an external drive.
If you can get XP Pro, Vista still has some I/O overhead issues.
February 2, 2008 4:28:34 PM

hi there,

I think I have made a decision, I am going to order three Raptors, No- RAID, the setup I have in mind will be like this:

1-160GB SATA, 10K RPM Hard Drive with 16MB DataBurst Cache™ ( for Operating System )
2-160GB SATA, 10K RPM Hard Drive with 16MB DataBurst Cache™ ( for Applications VS.NET and SQL Server 2005)
3-160GB SATA, 10K RPM Hard Drive with 16MB DataBurst Cache™ ( for my databases)

I think this is the best setup for my development workstation :D  , since I going to have a dedicated server for production which is going to have a proper server storage ( RAID 10 , six SAS SCSI 15K rpm),

the rest of the specs are :-
Dell Precision T7400
Quad Core Intel® Xeon® Processor E5420 (2.50GHz,2X6M L2,1333)
Genuine Windows® XP Professional, SP2 with Media
256MB PCIe x16 nVidia Quadro FX570, Dual Monitor DVI Capable
4GB, DDR2 SDRAM FBD Memory, 667MHz, ECC (4 DIMMS)
16X DVD+/-RW w/ Cyberlink PowerDVD™ and Roxio Creator™ Dell Ed
C3 All SATA drives, Non-RAID, 3 drive total configuration
160GB SATA, 10K RPM Hard Drive with 16MB DataBurst Cache™
160GB SATA, 10K RPM Hard Drive with 16MB DataBurst Cache™
160GB SATA, 10K RPM Hard Drive with 16MB DataBurst Cache™
Dell 20 inch UltraSharp™ 2007FP Widescreen, adjustable stand, VGA/DVI

I hope you guys can give any suggestions/ideas for the specs listed above,

regards
February 2, 2008 5:03:34 PM

I'll give one suggestion. Since you primarily work with business apps, you might consider XP 64 bit Pro. I've used that on my business computers and found it better (faster) at handling large files than 32 bit XP Pro. Since Vista came out, all problems with drivers have disappeared, which were few in any case. Just something to think about.
February 2, 2008 5:58:58 PM

Quote:
however, the latest 500GB and 750GB "RE2" HDDs
from Western Digital are better bargains, for several
reasons:

(1) their raw data rates have now surpassed the 150GB Raptor,
i.e. 90MB/second v. ~85MB/second (measured);

(2) their interface speed is 300MB/second, whereas the
Raptor still uses an interface of 150MB/second;


supremelaw,

You're doing this guy a disservice with this recommendation. You're ignoring the application he's using the drives for, and it seems that you don't understand that sequential transfer rate is completely irrelevant in his application.

He's working with databases. Small, random accesses. The parameters that matter for him are IOPs and access time.

The Raptors will lay waste to the RE2s in this application.

And the interface speed is completely irrelevant for ANY application, by the way.
February 2, 2008 9:42:34 PM

supremelaw,

1. Whether the data fits into the HD's cache is not the only issue. It's how the application treats the storage system.

For databases, it doesn't matter if the transaction fits inside the HD's cache or not, because the database's storage driver will wait until change log is actually updated, and then wait until the change is committed to the database file before proceeding. Due to the transactional nature of the application, it doesn't really matter if you have a gigantic cache, the database won't use it because it has to treat certain writes as atomic.

A file server has some of the same issues when updating the NTFS file journal and MFT.

2. RAID cards' cache has a lot more functionality than just holding the pending write. For RAID 5, the on-board cache of the RAID controller is vitally important to increase performance because of write combining. Holding pending writes in cache and waiting for other writes that can be combined into a whole-stripe write can increase performance of RAID 5 writes by huge amounts. But this is irrelevant in this thread because the original poster is not going to implement any form of RAID.

3. There is no doubt that SAS drives, alone, in RAID, or in the Quadrapack would be faster choices than the single Raptors. However, the original poster was recommended SAS drives at the beginning of the thread but then chose against them, probably due to cost. So be it. His choice is Raptors, and you recommended to him an even slower solution. The fact that your Quadrapack setup is faster than the Raptors is true and also immaterial since that's not one of the choices the original poster has.

4. You're continuing to cite sequential transfer rate, RAID setups, and solid state drives, which is really an academic discussion. The original poster wanted practical recommendations for his specific situation, not a theoretical dissertation.
February 24, 2009 10:32:00 AM

SomeJoe7777 said:

The Raptors will lay waste to the RE2s in this application.


That's the best analogy for a drive comparison I have ever seen. I love my Raptor. But it needs friends.... a 3-disk RAID-0 for a DB server using Raptors would be just awesome.

Interestingly enough, with plain old 7200rpm drives (SATA300 granted), I'm achieving a write rate around 250mb/sec (dd if=/dev/zero of=/raid/testfile bs=64k count=100k)

edit: Apologies, I should have actually provided a recommendation rather than crapping on about how great Raptors are.

Seeing as it's a workstation, it should be safe to assume you're backing your data up to some sort of suitable medium (server with RAID, or a fileserver which is subsequently tape-backup) so my suggestion would be a plain old 7200rpm SATA for your primary disk, and a 10KRPM raptor as a DB disk. I think this will give you the best price/performance.... you're getting a drive which creams everything for DB work, without getting something unnecessarily extravagant as a system drive, and keeping DB separate to system etc.

Anyway, that's my 0.02. I know this thread is over a year old, but you never know when someone will come here asking exactly the same question!
February 24, 2009 11:58:56 PM

If you are on a budget I would get the Raptor, but seeing you are on a larger scale and will be using for business use primarily, the SAS drive will offer much more performance. I would definitely put it in RAID because those drives spin so fast that they can burn out kind of easily, and since your dealing with masses of records, you cannot afford to loose them.
February 6, 2010 12:36:22 AM

Hi,

I am a .net developer as well. I have an HP xw9400 Workstation that I am adding storage and memory to. I know that this thread is over six months old, but I was wondering how your configuration is working out.

Thanx
---
SG

Maxtor79 said:
hi there,

I think I have made a decision, I am going to order three Raptors, No- RAID, the setup I have in mind will be like this:

1-160GB SATA, 10K RPM Hard Drive with 16MB DataBurst Cache™ ( for Operating System )
2-160GB SATA, 10K RPM Hard Drive with 16MB DataBurst Cache™ ( for Applications VS.NET and SQL Server 2005)
3-160GB SATA, 10K RPM Hard Drive with 16MB DataBurst Cache™ ( for my databases)

I think this is the best setup for my development workstation :D  , since I going to have a dedicated server for production which is going to have a proper server storage ( RAID 10 , six SAS SCSI 15K rpm),

the rest of the specs are :-
Dell Precision T7400
Quad Core Intel® Xeon® Processor E5420 (2.50GHz,2X6M L2,1333)
Genuine Windows® XP Professional, SP2 with Media
256MB PCIe x16 nVidia Quadro FX570, Dual Monitor DVI Capable
4GB, DDR2 SDRAM FBD Memory, 667MHz, ECC (4 DIMMS)
16X DVD+/-RW w/ Cyberlink PowerDVD™ and Roxio Creator™ Dell Ed
C3 All SATA drives, Non-RAID, 3 drive total configuration
160GB SATA, 10K RPM Hard Drive with 16MB DataBurst Cache™
160GB SATA, 10K RPM Hard Drive with 16MB DataBurst Cache™
160GB SATA, 10K RPM Hard Drive with 16MB DataBurst Cache™
Dell 20 inch UltraSharp™ 2007FP Widescreen, adjustable stand, VGA/DVI

I hope you guys can give any suggestions/ideas for the specs listed above,

regards

a c 127 G Storage
February 6, 2010 1:08:53 AM

At this time, for real performance you should consider an SSD; especially if you do not need alot of storage but mainly want to focus on speed, there is no substitute for a good SSD.

My prediction is that 10k+ rpm disks will lose market share quickly as SSDs handle this segment better. The high rpm HDDs may still be a cheaper solution if you need a decent amount of storage space, but that's the difference is getting less and less, until this segment is fully retired.
August 22, 2010 5:52:06 PM

I have read the question and all replies. My take is this.

You want to separate data from OS and Apps. Good. My optimal solution would include 4 drives and a high quality 3Ware / LSI 8 port internal storage adapter.

2 SAS Fujiusu 147gb 15k RPM in raid 1 for security / redundancy. (Safety of OS and Apps)

2 SATA 7200 RE4 2tb in RAID 1 for security and redundancy. (Safety of Data)

Use 2 breakout cables, one SAS and one SATA, to feed the two separate arrays from a 3ware 9690SA-8I-SGL, Low Profile, Internal SAS/SATA Hardware RAID Controller Card, PCI Express x8, w/ 3Gb/sec, RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50 and Single Disk - Single.

This will give you the highest possible speed, reliability, overhead, and security.

Use a BBU on this controller, and you've built a state of the art professional system.

Critical Data should still be backed up and stored off site regardless of your system.

I hope this adds clarity to your decision.

Be well,

Stephanie
!