Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

300 GB VelociRaptor for Gaming PC. Which one should I buy?

Last response: in Storage
Share
October 19, 2008 7:09:22 PM

I've recently built myself a gaming pc and it runs great, but I'm thinking about upgrading the HD. I see that Western Digital has 3 different models of the 300GB VelociRaptor (WD3000BLFS ,WD3000HLFS, and the WD3000GLFS). One of them has a higher "average latency" than the other two, but other than that I can't seem to find the difference. Does anyone have any advice on which one to get? Is a higher latency or lower latency time better? I think I know the answer to that one, but I'm not positive. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
October 19, 2008 7:36:17 PM

Your better off getting 2 WD 640s in raid 0. Way faster and WAY!!!! more storage, and $100 cheaper. Its kind of a no brainer. You could raiod 0 4 of them and really get amazing speeds compared to the raptor.
a b G Storage
October 19, 2008 7:36:39 PM

I would say don't get a Velociraptor. They are really expensive for what it's worth. If you have $$$ to blow, I'd upgrade the GPU or CPU. I'd stick with WD 640 GB HDD (if you want more speed, put them in RAID 0).

That's just my opinion, but I don't think they are worth the price.
Related resources
October 19, 2008 7:56:31 PM

Well, you have a few possible roads, scale on 1-10
1. High cost/fast- (speed 7-capacity 5-cost 7)
buy 1 raptor, any of those 3 will work there will not be enough of a difference to notice.
2. Highest cost/faster- (speed 8-capacity 7-cost 10)
buy 2 300gig raptors throw them in raid 0
3. higher(highest)/fastest-(speed 10-capacity 3/7(you can use ur old HHD as storage)-cost 6
Buy a single SSD throw your operation system and games on it and use ur current HD for storage. this can be an extremely expensive route...considering SSD are a relatively new technology. (downside, lower capacity and as expensive as a raptor)
4. cheapest/(probably as fast as a single 300gb raptor)-speed 7-capacity 9-cost-10
Buy 2 HHD and raid 0 them, ur looking at like a 7.200rpm with a 16mg buffer, would be ur best option(price/performance).
October 19, 2008 9:00:47 PM

Thank you all for your advices. I have never done a "raid 0" or even a raid at all before. Where can I get some easy to understand instructions on what a raid is and how to do it? I really feel like an idiot because I'm not sure what a SSD (is that like a solid state drive?) is either. What is SSD? How much does it cost?
The VelociRaptor I was looking at was about $200, so not as expensive as some might think. Does that change anything?
October 19, 2008 9:05:14 PM

huron said:
I would say don't get a Velociraptor. They are really expensive for what it's worth. If you have $$$ to blow, I'd upgrade the GPU or CPU. I'd stick with WD 640 GB HDD (if you want more speed, put them in RAID 0).

That's just my opinion, but I don't think they are worth the price.


I definitely appreciate your input, but my computer is blazing fast right now so I don't think I need to upgrade the GPU or CPU. Right now my CPU is a Quad core overclocked to 3.2 GHz, I have 8 GB RAM, and I'm using an overclocked 8800GT GPU. Unless I SLI the GPU, I don't think there is any improvement needed there. So really the last thing I'm looking to upgrade is the speed of the drive itself.
October 19, 2008 9:25:40 PM

Raid on Vista goes like this:

Go in Bios, set drives to raid.

Start computer Press CTRL I "with intel chipset"

Make raid volume, new volume, save exit.

Install windows.

enjoy.


With XP you need the raid drivers on a floppy or a thumb drive.

2 WD $640s cost me $170 with overnight shipping. The speed is amazing!!!
October 19, 2008 9:27:52 PM

2 32MB cache hard drives in raid 0 will be fast and give you way more room to boot. The raptors in what ever form are over priced for what you get.
a b 4 Gaming
a b G Storage
October 19, 2008 10:13:19 PM

Okay, I am going to throw a monkey wrench into everyones RAID 0 theories.

The Raptors are expensive. But, they have very, very fast seek times.
For most people, gamers included, you will notice a bigger difference the Raptor makes because of the fast seek times, not the higher sustained thru-put of a RAID 0 array.

RAID 0 will net you more sustained throughput, but at slower seek times. So, if you are loading/moving a large file, you will notice a big improvement with RAID 0. If you are doing things that require many smaller files to be accessed, like playing a game, you will notice a much bigger improvement with a Raptor. New game levels load faster on a RAID set, gameplay moving onward through the level will be better on a Raptor.

So, you make up your mind what you need.
I run 2 -100 gig Maxtors in RAID 0, and I am happy with it.
But my next new drives will be Raptors.
The fast seek time is what most people will benefit from, not the overall sustained thru-put of a RAIDed set.
October 19, 2008 10:22:48 PM

jitpublisher said:
Okay, I am going to throw a monkey wrench into everyones RAID 0 theories.

The Raptors are expensive. But, they have very, very fast seek times.
For most people, gamers included, you will notice a bigger difference the Raptor makes because of the fast seek times, not the higher sustained thru-put of a RAID 0 array.

RAID 0 will net you more sustained throughput, but at slower seek times. So, if you are loading/moving a large file, you will notice a big improvement with RAID 0. If you are doing things that require many smaller files to be accessed, like playing a game, you will notice a much bigger improvement with a Raptor. New game levels load faster on a RAID set, gameplay moving onward through the level will be better on a Raptor.

So, you make up your mind what you need.
I run 2 -100 gig Maxtors in RAID 0, and I am happy with it.
But my next new drives will be Raptors.
The fast seek time is what most people will benefit from, not the overall sustained thru-put of a RAIDed set.






Seek times are in milli seconds. rators are slightly faster again, we are talking milli seconds.

One it seeks to the file you need, the uber transfer rates of raid 0 will pown. Lets say yo got a 20G file to load. The 5 or so milli seconds difference the raptor has will find the file first, but the raid 0 drives will finish loading way before the raptor. any file that takes longer then a second to open, the Raid 0 will come out first.

A raptor wont be faster during gameplay, as the gameplay comes from the info paged from the ram.
a b 4 Gaming
a b G Storage
October 19, 2008 10:33:51 PM

But, in all respect, the information has to come from the drive first before it ends up in memory. I have PC's at work with Raptors, and as I said, I have a RAID 0, though it is using older drives on my home PC. I can tell the difference.
Raptors are overpriced, but they are very fast. Maybe on my next build, I'll just RAID 2 of them, ha ha.
October 19, 2008 10:47:53 PM

Well ya if you have 2 old drives in raid 0 a raptor could very well be faster.

I have 2 "New" WD 640s and get 181MB/s transfers. A 300 raptor gets like 102MB/s. Do the math, and tell me whats better. You should give HD Tune a try and see what you get and post it.
October 19, 2008 10:50:24 PM

roadrunner197069 said:
Seek times are in milli seconds. rators are slightly faster again, we are talking milli seconds.

One it seeks to the file you need, the uber transfer rates of raid 0 will pown. Lets say yo got a 20G file to load. The 5 or so milli seconds difference the raptor has will find the file first, but the raid 0 drives will finish loading way before the raptor. any file that takes longer then a second to open, the Raid 0 will come out first.

A raptor wont be faster during gameplay, as the gameplay comes from the info paged from the ram.



Roadrunner, you're obviously correct if the scenario you're drawing considers files that are perfectly organized on separate parts of the disk platter. In reality, data is spread across the platters in (an essentially) random fashion as files are deleted and new files are written over the ones marked for deletion. The area of performance where a raptor can outpace any high-throughput RAID-0 array (consisting of drives with slower access times) is when a person is just using their computer NORMALLY. Loading applications, writing small files, programs that constantly write small files to the hard drive (programs like AIM that log stuff to an html file), games that load maps, loading the operating system (at startup), defragging, virus and spyware scans... In all of these situations, there isn't a continuous stream of data from the platters that can be read at high speed. The data is spread out and the head will have to move across the disk. The faster it can do this (which is measured by access times), the greater the improvement in these kinds of files accesses. Consequently, the raptor can show much greater real-world performance gains. The improvement gap widens between raptors and standard 7200 rpm hard drives as the number of I/O operations per second increases.

I can attest to the fact that a RAID-0 array doesn't increase performance quite as much as one would expect. I have two 16MB 250GB WD Caviars in RAID-0. The performance increase over just one of them I feel is not all that significant. It's noticeable when transferring files across my network sometimes. Otherwise, it's a pretty small performance increase. I'm sure higher increases can be obtained from a decent hardware-based RAID solution, especially those with their own RAM buffers, but buying one of those for at least $100 would defeat the purpose of saving money with a RAID-0 solution of two cheaper drives.
October 19, 2008 10:53:45 PM

sseyler said:
Roadrunner, you're obviously correct if the scenario you're drawing considers files that are perfectly organized on separate parts of the disk platter. In reality, data is spread across the platters in (an essentially) random fashion as files are deleted and new files are written over the ones marked for deletion. The area of performance where a raptor can outpace any high-throughput RAID-0 array consisting of drives with slower access time is when a person is just using their computer normally. Loading applications, writing small files, programs that constantly write small files to the hard drive (programs like AIM that log stuff to an html file), games that load maps. In all of these situations, there isn't a continuous stream of data from the platters that can be read at high speed. The data is spread out and the head will have to move across the disk. The faster it can do this, the greater the improvement in these kinds of files accesses. The improvement gap widens between raptors and standard 7200 rpm hard drives as the number of I/O operations per second increases.




Have you ever heard of Defrag? All the files all over are still in decent sized segments. I've tried Raptors and raid 0. Raid 0 wins if they are fast drives to begin with.
a b 4 Gaming
a b G Storage
October 19, 2008 11:31:03 PM

roadrunner197069 said:
Well ya if you have 2 old drives in raid 0 a raptor could very well be faster.

I have 2 "New" WD 640s and get 181MB/s transfers. A 300 raptor gets like 102MB/s. Do the math, and tell me whats better. You should give HD Tune a try and see what you get and post it.



Okay, tried that and here is what I got...
Transfer Rate-
Min: 58.5
Max: 107.8
Average: 93.9

Access time: 14.4 .......that is really slow...... there is why I see such a difference.

Burst rate: 90.8

CPUusage 6%

I have a 320 gig seagate SATA II drive around here somewhere, I am going to hook it up and test it as well.

Maybe it's time for some new drives, period?
a b 4 Gaming
a c 177 G Storage
October 19, 2008 11:36:28 PM

re three WD velociraptor models:
BLFS is a velociraptor without the heat sink mount.
HLFS has a backplane mount heatsink for servers.
GLFS has the heatsink and the normal Sata connections. That's the one you want.

As to raid, I side with ssaylor. It is much overhyped.

There is generally no real world(vs. synthetic transfer rate benchmarks) performance advantage to raid of any kind.
Go to www.storagereview.com at this link: http://faq.storagereview.com/tiki-index.php?page=Single...
There are some specific applications that will benefit, but
gaming is not one of them. Even if you have an application which reads one input file sequentially, and writes
it out, you will perform about as well by putting the input on one drive, and the output on the other.

That same site has a performance database showing that the velociraptor outpaces even 15K scsi and SAS drives in single user desktop environments.

What happens is that people are decieved by looking at simple data transfer numbers as shown by HDtach and similar synthetic benchmarks. The real world is much messier. With Raid-0 you must do two positioning operations to get one result. Unless your pattern is true sequential, that is a losing case.

The Velociraptor is not magic. I have one, and it is noticeably faster, and I am happy I bought it. Until SSD prices come WAY down, it is the best that you can buy today.
October 19, 2008 11:53:41 PM

geofelt said:
re three WD velociraptor models:
BLFS is a velociraptor without the heat sink mount.
HLFS has a backplane mount heatsink for servers.
GLFS has the heatsink and the normal Sata connections. That's the one you want.

As to raid, I side with ssaylor. It is much overhyped.

There is generally no real world(vs. synthetic transfer rate benchmarks) performance advantage to raid of any kind.
Go to www.storagereview.com at this link: http://faq.storagereview.com/tiki-index.php?page=Single...
There are some specific applications that will benefit, but
gaming is not one of them. Even if you have an application which reads one input file sequentially, and writes
it out, you will perform about as well by putting the input on one drive, and the output on the other.

That same site has a performance database showing that the velociraptor outpaces even 15K scsi and SAS drives in single user desktop environments.

What happens is that people are decieved by looking at simple data transfer numbers as shown by HDtach and similar synthetic benchmarks. The real world is much messier. With Raid-0 you must do two positioning operations to get one result. Unless your pattern is true sequential, that is a losing case.

The Velociraptor is not magic. I have one, and it is noticeably faster, and I am happy I bought it. Until SSD prices come WAY down, it is the best that you can buy today.








As you can see here http://faq.storagereview.com/tiki-index.php?page=Single... the review was written in 2006, when drives were slower then they are now, and when we didn't have the CPU's that we have now. CPU's of today dont bottleneck like they did in 2006. Now if you have a good core 2 duo, you will notice a huge performance with raid 0.

Everyone tries to argue with ancient reviews on old hardware and I went from a WD 500G HDD with 52MB/s to 2 640 WD in raid 0 with 181MB/s on my e8400@ 4.05 and the difference is night and day, on everything I run or open.

Why dont you post your HD Tune scores heres mine.



a b 4 Gaming
a b G Storage
October 20, 2008 1:25:07 AM

Access time is as important though (if not more) than pure data rate. For single user environments, RAID just doesn't give as much of a benefit as something like a velociraptor does. In a normal application load, the hard drive only loads a few kB between each seek, meaning that the seek time vastly exceeds the amount of time that it is actually transferring data.
a b 4 Gaming
a c 177 G Storage
October 20, 2008 4:01:04 AM

@roadrunner197069: If your main application is benchmarking with HDTACH or HDtune, then I will concede that raid-0 does, indeed win. If, on the other hand, your main application is browsing the internet, programming, office applications, and other things like that, then you need to benchmark using those applications. That is difficult to do, since everybody does something different, and it changes from moment to moment.

Storage review did an early review of the velociraptor in april, 2008.
http://www.storagereview.com/WD3000BLFS.sr?page=0%2C7

The velociraptor is included in their performance database:
http://www.storagereview.com/Testbed4Compare.sr

It shows up very well in the SR Office drivemark2006 benchmard, which is probably the closest thing to what we do every day.

Only the MTRON SSD drive beats it.
October 20, 2008 4:11:31 AM

You can have your MS transfer times. Ill take my MB/s transfers.
October 20, 2008 4:37:27 AM

My 3 cents: You are better off with a velociraptor OR SSD for your primary drive than RAID. If you don't mind reinstalling your system when a striped raid fails, then by all means go with it. However a single stand alone drive is not prone to data corruption as much as a simple striped raid.

Throughput matters the most on larger files. Seek and Access Time matters most with large quantities of small files (like Windows). Throughput and seek time both need to be good if you have a small quantity of ram and your system pages a lot. I would go with Velociraptor based on warranty, and speed it provides over conventional 3.5" drives, with the disk space and cost compared to solid state.

Make your own decisions once you feel you have been properly informed.
October 20, 2008 12:42:54 PM

rockbyter said:
My 3 cents: You are better off with a velociraptor OR SSD for your primary drive than RAID. If you don't mind reinstalling your system when a striped raid fails, then by all means go with it. However a single stand alone drive is not prone to data corruption as much as a simple striped raid.

Throughput matters the most on larger files. Seek and Access Time matters most with large quantities of small files (like Windows). Throughput and seek time both need to be good if you have a small quantity of ram and your system pages a lot. I would go with Velociraptor based on warranty, and speed it provides over conventional 3.5" drives, with the disk space and cost compared to solid state.

Make your own decisions once you feel you have been properly informed.



Well if you have a single drive and it crash, you have to reinstall as well. Either way you should have a backup solution.
October 20, 2008 12:55:06 PM

you should get 2 150 Gig VRaptors in raid 0 that will only cost you like $350ish then put the saved money into a 1TB for storage. I am going to get 2 Intel x25-m SSDs to put a raid on. They are way too much money but I have my priorities strait so all my money goes to my PC where it belongs.
October 21, 2008 12:44:38 AM

Thank you all again for your ideas, thoughts, and inputs.

About Raid 0: I am running Windows XP Pro 64 bit edition. Most importantly, how would I go about doing a Raid 0 if I want to? Do the hard drives have to be the same make/size? Can I Raid a VelociRaptor with another drive of a different speed?

I'm not sure if I am going to do a Raid 0, mainly because this is a gaming machine, but I'd like the information for it if I do decide to do a Raid 0 on my computer or someone else's.
October 21, 2008 12:53:45 AM

With XP you need to make a raid driver disk. "Read your mobo manual"

Both drives "should be the exact same"
October 21, 2008 10:09:49 PM

Thank you, that should help.
October 21, 2008 11:41:19 PM

OK TO END ALL THIS, this guy is looking to increase performance, so...the best way to do that is(drumroll)

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

throw 2 of those in RAID0 and it will beat ANYTHING you can think of, even THREE yes thats right THREE velociraptors in Raid0 (if that's possible)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwjNcMwVyxk video is of the I-ram which uses RAM actual computer ram like flash memory... with a Sata interface, the SSD comes in a close second, while the raptor is left in the dust....




Conclusion-if your looking for performance, not cost, so with the SSD and use ur current HD as storage/backup, the 64 gigs should be more then enough for your OS/games, and depending on your current HD 250+ will hold all your movies/music/programs(other then games), a single SSD will always beat a conventional "spin up" hard drive.
October 22, 2008 4:14:07 PM

x_2fast4u_x said:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

throw 2 of those in RAID0 and it will beat ANYTHING you can think of, even THREE yes thats right THREE velociraptors in Raid0 (if that's possible)


You're delusional. I don't care how many of those SSDs you throw in a RAID 0, and how much transfer rate your benchmark gets. As soon as you need to write something to the array, they'll choke and stall, because they're using the JMicron JMF602 controller, which is sh*t.

This is one of the most comprehensive, accurate, and exhaustive articles on SSDs I've read, and shows why the cheap SSD units are not ready for prime time.
February 3, 2010 4:46:49 PM

Albeit, this thread is crustaceous -- the topics: storage and performance are timeless discussions as well as platforms for quite heated debate.

SSD drives require many sub-controllers and seriously aware master-controllers for proper operation and choking incidents are resultant of this fact alone. For true speed and data correctness to include normal, repetitive operations SSD will have to be managed like an array of smaller memory modules working in tandem controlled in a finite/micro managed process.

WD Velociraptors are expensive but, recently price drops have made the accessibility to these drives extremely "global" as WD has aimed its guns at the common market.The manufacturer provides its consumers end-user perks like special editions of Acronis True Image free of charge as well as diagnostic tools.

The price to performance is palleteable due to top notch bench marks available on this site. Tom's Hardware doesn't just peek at read and write they also factor in energy consumption on all levels. They've proven to me that WD Velociraptors are an excellent, quantitive & quantative, choice for high performance storage. These drives are NAS friendly, backplane ready, and SATA 2 all the way which provides almost limitless coverage.

WD-HLFS series Velociraptors are the most recent drives and offer increased performance due to new controller models and memory management systems.

The four horsemen of the frugal consumer: Tiger Direct, Buy.com, Amazon, and NewEgg. Got all my hardware from these guys and gals and saved allot by switching to... nevermind!

Tips:

- Any drive is going to perform more speedily when it is stroked/partitioned.
Ever notice how a dual boot system runs a bit faster than a single O.S. install?

- Separate disks for the O.S. and its paging/swap file(s) will throw some speed your way as well.

- Use a RAMdisk application for tools like Photoshop -- the application is loaded entirely into ram, I suspect that this principle works for video games as well. What's faster than RAM minus Superman. You can get allot of freeware RamDisk tools out there so give them a try. Stick to reputable download sites to like Softpedia and CNet's Download.com.

- Get registry repair, defragmentation, and paging file defragmentation tools -- this will speed up an older, burnt-in system quicker than you know what.

- Disk defragmentation will work miracles compacting your drives and eliminating excessive access (search and read) times while also allowing for a more streamlined and comfortable write cycle. Get rid of the hop-scotch on the hard drive!

Defraggler by Piriform comes to mind here as it capitalizes on the native defragger in Windows giving the user access to allot of, otherwise hidden, options and won't clash with your install. Oh, its way freeware and awesome.

- Get a RAM defragmentation utility like Vasilos Instant Memory Cleaner, which is freeware, and also interfaces Window's native RAM management console for a no clash memory optimization process.

- Configure your system's power management console with specific profiles for: game play, normal operations, and idle "away" but, need to run maintenance applications times.

I've been doing this type of system-optimization for over six years and it always works. Whether it's an AMD or Intel architecture (been there, done both) you're covered from netbooks and laptops to desktops and workstations.

Hammer it down,
Rob
!