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WD RAPTOR 150GB (NOT A GOOD VALUE)

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January 28, 2008 8:22:23 PM

Okay... today I'm going to talk about the value of the WD Raptor 10,000 rpm sata drive. Or the lack of value there in. You see I know how fast technology changes and how quickly prices can change when talking about computer hardware, I've been in the business for over 14 years, and one thing I've learned is this... always wait. Wait till the next big thing wait until the new Graphics chip or new storage technology. Why you ask?? Because pricing always drops to much, much, MUCH lower than when new technology hits the shelves.

The Western Digital Raptor Series of Harddrives is a perfect example of such a situation where I waited.. and waited ..and waited until finally I had enough of the hype and enough of the great benchmarks being thrown in my face on all the websites including our very own Tom's Hardware. Well I decided that I would put these drives to the test, and test them I did.

First let me say that I am no stranger to "Raid" arrays. Every system I have built for personal or business use in the last 5 years has utilized a raid array of some form or another. So in saying that I am no stranger to performance systems as well, and I have always wanted to make my very own raid zero array utilizing 2 or more of Western Digitals amazingly "Hyped" WD Raptor 10,000 RPM drives.

Well my fellow tech heads let me be the first to say I was rather disappointed to say the least by these hard drives but not from a mere performance standpoint, but also a value standpoint as well. The story starts at BestBuy: Thats right folks..when I need something and don't want to wait 5 days for it, I go to the only store that sells Raptors in the Orlando area.. BEST BUY!!.. don't act like none of you haven't occasionally dropped in just to see how things are looking??

I was immediately suprised to find them only 30.00 usd dollars more than NewEgg.com had them listed.. I think NewEgg is slipping guys. So yes they were 199.99 each!!.. Okay thats 400.00 dollars just for 2 drives!! YIKES. Not to mention they are only 150 gb each.. So that leaves me with about a 280 gb raid zero array, once combined and setup. Okay I knew this going in though.. Be strong I said, we need to see if these are what everyone says they are. Are they really that good?? So I took them home in favor of the very nicely priced 500 gb drives from WD that had an 8.6 ms average seek time, and Sata II comparing to a 4.6 ms average seek time to the Raptors with Sata I technology.

I got home and immediately backed up my data and tore my old triple WD 250GB x3 Raid zero array apart. Installed the new Raptors on my 680i Sli motherboard, and configured 2 of my Old WD 250Gbs in a seperate Raid Zero for more storage and comparison purposes. I immediately installed Windows Xp Pro on the Reptiles and watched the fireworks. Installed good but not overwhelmingly fast, and loaded up Windows really quickly once completed. Data transfer and write times seemed on par , but not much better than what I had previously. So I ran HD TACH..(the latest version) and what I found was very disappointing. My 2 Raptors (which I have affectionately labeled Turtles!!) ran far under par to what everyone was saying they should be doing. My HD TACH measurements were time and time again disappointing:

An Average Read of 109 Mbps..
A MAX Burst Speed of 192 Mbps..
Average Seek Time: 8.6 ms
A Sequential read pattern which fluctuated from 100-110 Mbps.. (actually this is very consistant) Average raid arrays will show much more fluctuation in data transfer along the entire spectrum of the array.
All this plus the Extreme high cost (400) for less than 300 total GB... my jaw hit the floor..

Now for all of you wondering what my Three Hardrives (WD2500KS) @ 250Gb a piece performed at in Raid Zero:

Average Read of 140 Mbps..
A Max Burst Speed of 351 Mbps.. thats right (351 Mbps)
Average Seek Time: 12.2 ms
A Sequential Read Pattern which fluctuated from 95-157 Mbps
And a Whopping Cost of ..79.00 USD per drive. Thats 237.00 Dollars TOTAL!!


Now you guys see the numbers plain as day.. Why would any of you ever pay 400.00 dollars for a Raid Zero Array Striped With Raptors, when you could spend 237.00 and get much better performance. The difference in seek times is the only benefit and by a fraction of 4 ms?? that like the time it takes you to blink people.!!!

I will whole heartedly admit that if you are looking for the fastest single drive available to install Your Op System on, these are a viable option, but size compared to performance compared with money spent.. your still losing out.

Needless to say I will be returning my Raptors, getting my 400.00 Dollars back and investing in a new 9800 (G92) platform graphics Card when they are finally released.... Hopefully.. If I do not wait for another 6 Months.

Oh and heres my system specs currently:

Specs:

(1) Quad Core Intel Q6600 2.4ghz. Overclocked to 3.2ghz per core.
(Cooled by A Zalman C9700 Cpu HeatSink) plus (2) Red Led 80mm Fans

(1) BFG NForce 680i SLI Motherboard w/1333 mhz FSB.

(4) Gb of Corsair XMS2 6400 High Performance Ram. (overclocked)

(3) Western Digital 250 gb Sata II drives set up in Raid (Striped) for performance.
(Raid cooled by a 120 mm Red LED ANTEC FAN) I use (1) 160 gb drive as a data backup.

(2) BFG 8800 GT OC 512mb graphics cards in SLI mode.

(1) Soundblaster X-FI Fatality1 Professional series Sound card

(2) Sata//Samsung Dual Layer DVD-RW SuperMulti Drives with Lightscribe Technology

(1) 850 Watt Cooler Master PowerSupply

(1) 450 Watt PC Power and Cooling Power Supply (power for 7 Led Fans) on seperate power switch.
(can be switched off for stealth mode no lights and no sound (EX: Watching a movie
or just surfing the net)

(7) Fans //Red Led Fans (5)120mm and (2)80mm Plus


3DMARK06 Score: 17,584
Aquamark3 Score: 177,344

More about : raptor 150gb good

January 28, 2008 10:27:26 PM

I have the same WD drives 250gig. I had them in raid 0, only run one drive now but they were fast. In fact I got them when new, most didnt believe my hdtach benches. I concluded then, raptor wasnt worth it at all. That was over a year ago and the story is still the same (actually getting worse-raptor even less worth it now).

Add to that, the higher rpm means more likely to fail, and raid 0 isnt what you want on a high speed, hot running drive. Nope, better off with lower rpm cool running drives in raid 0. Only way Id use raptor like that is raid 0+1 which would be so expensive that SCSI becomes a better option LOL cause they run fast but are more mature and last.
January 29, 2008 1:59:32 AM

Xtreeme said:
I have the same WD drives 250gig. I had them in raid 0, only run one drive now but they were fast. In fact I got them when new, most didnt believe my hdtach benches. I concluded then, raptor wasnt worth it at all. That was over a year ago and the story is still the same (actually getting worse-raptor even less worth it now).

Add to that, the higher rpm means more likely to fail, and raid 0 isnt what you want on a high speed, hot running drive. Nope, better off with lower rpm cool running drives in raid 0. Only way Id use raptor like that is raid 0+1 which would be so expensive that SCSI becomes a better option LOL cause they run fast but are more mature and last.


You can partition 2 drives to run 0+1.

@ OP Raptors are NOT good a throughput, of Hard drives with other technologies (perpendicular recording, higher cache, etc) will excel in most benches. They excel in random access reads, though. And when you put something in a RAID 0 array it does not gives you both of the drives storage capacity, this is because it is writing to both hard drives at the same time (in stripes).

Drive X:
Quote:
Average Seek Time: 12.2 ms


Raptors:
Quote:
Average Seek Time: 8.6 ms


There you go. Raptors are faster for games, Operating system, and apps.

Personally I'm waiting on SSD's to drop in price.

See this thread for additional info: http://www.overclockingwiki.org/forums/showthread.php?t...
Related resources
January 29, 2008 10:36:53 AM

I hear it only makes few seconds difference loading bf2. Those maps are large. So it shows random seek isnt really the be all end all to game speed since once its read it runs mostly inthe ram, and whats needed later is usually fetched and stuckin ram then.

A file server would benefit more so from seek times. That is scsi strong spot though. Why would you wabnt to partion a drive that is more likely to fail as the backup? It wont help if its toast....heh. If raiding 1 should really use seperate drive in my opinion.
January 29, 2008 1:31:37 PM

you seem put too high hope on the HD, the ony advance of raptopr has is faster seeker time than standard HD. when you need to load a program which contain so many small file, the faster seek time will decrease the total time, so people use it as system drive or gaming drive. I play silent hunter 4, by switch from 7200RPm hd to 10000RPm hd, i drop my loading time by good 20 seconds.
so how do you rate the value of raptor is personal tast, I already has one and I will never go back. but for people like large store space and higher write/read speed. 1TB 32 MB catch Hd is the better choice.
January 29, 2008 6:16:51 PM

Quote:
Why would you wabnt to partion a drive that is more likely to fail as the backup? It wont help if its toast....heh. If raiding 1 should really use seperate drive in my opinion.

If one fails you still have the other one. They both don't fail at the same time... (generally)

Here is another good link on this issue which relates to bob8701's post: http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=17...
January 30, 2008 12:04:24 AM

Many of you seem to be missing the point of my original thread. This is the point that I am trying to get across: For alot less money you can slap WD RAPTORS around like baby lizards.

Think on this: Much better performance, with much more space, for alot less money. My Raid Zero Array Cost ME 273.00 Dollars...and it smokes Dual WD Raptors everyday of the year.. But you'll pay 400 + tax for the 2 CRAPTORS!!

Don't you have anything better to do with 400 dollars then blowing it on an almost unnoticable performance gain.. Try a better processor, or more ram, thats a decent money investment. Maybe put your money into the most important computer component..THE MOTHERBOARD... that is the foundation with which you build your whole system.. Get that second graphics card you always wanted to SLI or crossfire with.. That is a worthy investment of your hard earned clams.. NOT CRAPTORS!!

This has been a public service announcement brought to you by: Shake Me Syndrome baby care...................
January 30, 2008 2:23:09 PM

I bought the WD Raptor 74GB about 5~6 years ago for my system for about $150 or something like that, it came with a $20~$25 Rebate, cant remember exactly(Literally the same price to this very day and second, I checked the Egg out). So anyways I got it, and quite honestly after using it over the years especially in the past few years, it's now just about all hype. Tom's did the benchmarks as well as the OP and it goes to show these raptor's really aren't anything special. Of course 6 years ago 74GB was not to shabby, but even with the 150GB flavor, and the price they try to sell it at, isn't worth it. Not only that the raptor's are a little loud when put to work. I'll agree, you can make a cheap raid setup that will be just as good at the least, for a lot less money.
July 14, 2008 11:53:30 AM

If you want low seek times, you'd be better off with a single 300GB velociraptor. It's much cheaper than two 150GB raptors, it runs cooler and it has a higher storage density.
July 15, 2008 7:42:40 PM

Let us dispel some serious fanboyism.

Seagate Barracuda ES ST3250620NS 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive Average Seek 8.5ms, Write 10ms, and Latency 4.16ms

Anyways the true value is in the Latency, that's how long it takes to get to your data on the disk.

2 or 3 drives in raid stripe cuts latency, hence the large burst numbers that can be seen.
July 15, 2008 11:08:46 PM

Actually, latency + average seek is what matters.

Raptors have a lower access time, and therefore are faster for most application. This is also why SSD's are fast.

P.S. - this thread has been resurrected from the dead.
July 16, 2008 12:01:02 AM

Ummm, is not access time, a function of latency?




Threads never die, they only get closed.
July 16, 2008 2:46:19 PM

Latency is only part of the equation though.

Latency has to do with rotational speed. Seek time is the other variable. The Raptors have faster latency and seek time, so the access time is significantly improved over most drives.
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