I’m interested in knowing what games benefit more from, in regards to hard disks performance. Is it seek time/random access time, burst speed/buffered read, sequential read speed, input/output, repetitive sequential read/ Interface Performance, or write transfer rates?
So, basically this would give an answer to whether RAID would be a better option as opposed to buying a better performed hard disk. Not and enterprise disk offcourse but a desktop hard disk.
For example (this is my current situation): Would it be more effective to buy a second Western Digital Caviar SE16 500GB HDD (WD5000AAKS http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.asp?driveid=301) and RAID 0 them or buy a Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB (WD10000LSRTL http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.asp?driveid=488) or a Samsung Spinpoint F1 DT HD753LJ or HD103UJ http://www.samsung.com/global/business/hdd/productmodel...) , without configuring RAID 0 on the last two offcourse.
Whenever buying a hard disk my main factor for choosing one is reliability. That's why I've always gone with Maxtor or Western Digital. I've been told by storage administrators that Seagate and Hitachi are a nightmare, especially when it comes to SAN or NAS. But, since in all hard disk reviews I’ve found there is no benchmarking done in games that should have been a good indication.
Most modern games load everything they need into system RAM at the start of each level. Thats why we have to wait between levels, as RAM can't hold everything at once...
Having a faster HD helps a lot though with other programs that read from files of the HD, and loading individual levels in a game. Moving from a 7200RPM and a 10000RPM drive makes a noticable diffrence in that regard.