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Fastest Reliable SATA HDD

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January 8, 2009 7:15:39 PM

Hi. Other than the Velociraptors, what are the fastest and reliable hard drives that I can get? Thanks.
January 8, 2009 7:35:23 PM

Western Digital 320GB, and 640GB with the last 4 letters of the code being: AAKS
a b G Storage
January 8, 2009 9:04:03 PM

Nope. Those are decent, but the 640GB and 1TB WD Caviar Black drives are faster than the AAKS. IIRC, the drive number for the 640 is 6401AALS (I don't know what the one is for the TB drive though).
Related resources
a b G Storage
January 8, 2009 11:23:56 PM

WD black scores very well . The serial numbers end aals as previously mentioned

Seagate 7200.11's with 32 mb caches perform comparably but have lots of problems so steer clear
January 9, 2009 2:15:03 PM

Does anyone know the drive number for the 1TB caviar like the wd640aals
a b G Storage
January 9, 2009 2:23:43 PM

WD1001FALS
January 9, 2009 4:05:42 PM

ok, so performance wise, the wd640aals and the wd1001fals are the best?
a b G Storage
January 9, 2009 4:39:02 PM

They get something like 100MB/s average read/write rate, IIRC. There are things that beat them, like Samsung Spinpoint F1 1TB or Velociraptor (120 MB/s). However, the Spinpoint F1 is less reliable and the Velociraptor has a horrible price/GB. Yeah, I guess those two WDs are what I'd buy these days.

BTW, the average read/write rate is the most important benchmark when you deal with large files (videos, databases, games, etc.). If your PC is going to work with lots of small files (say, editing photos) then a Velociraptor would help a lot and may be worth it.
January 9, 2009 4:44:09 PM

well i have a seagate 7200.11 t.5tb drive already, but was planning on using that as media storage, and wanted to get a faster drive for my OS and applications (possibly the vraptor) .... so what would you recommend for that?
a b G Storage
January 9, 2009 5:02:02 PM

If you value speed more than space, and can afford the velociraptor, then get it.

If you prefer something with lots of room and best bang for the buck, choose between WD WD6401AALS, WD WD1001FALS, and Seagate ST3640323AS (640GB). At newegg they all have the same price/GB, better than all other sizes, and they're all about the same speed. The WD6400AAKS is also excellent, with 90 MB/s average rates and only $70 for 640GB instead of $80.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148335
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136218

I'd make a 200 GB partition for Windows and Program Files and leave the rest for media.
a b G Storage
January 9, 2009 5:12:24 PM

geofelt said:
If you want fast and reliable, get a velociraptor. Nothing else comes close.
Here is a link to the performance of a number of drives including 15k SAS:
http://www.storagereview.com/php/benchmark/bench_sort.p...


Agreed about the velociraptor.

Unfortunately that site hasn't been updated in a long time. Looking at average read "begin" numbers, and eliminating the top 14 drives because they are all SCSI, we end up with the old Raptor 74 GB leading at 71.8 MB/s. That's not really impressive any more. If the site was up to date, I think that 74 GB drive would be #40 or so.

a c 168 G Storage
January 9, 2009 5:38:26 PM

I am also disappointed that www.storagereview.com has not been that active, and particularly that the performance database does not get updated regularly. They had a review of an early sample which was very positive. It does show some nice improvements of the VR outer ring transfer rate. It also compares the perflrmance to the very good WD AAKS series:
http://www.storagereview.com/WD3000BLFS.sr?page=0%2C2
January 9, 2009 5:43:41 PM

other than the vraptor, what would be best for os and applications?
a b G Storage
January 9, 2009 5:47:18 PM

Any of the disks we've been talking about. There isn't really that much difference between recent 7200 rpm drives.
January 9, 2009 5:49:42 PM

oh ok... so would u think that a vraptor would show a significant increase in perfromance considering the price? I can get 2x WD2502ABYS and set them up in raid for cheaper than a 150gb vraptor.... would that be faster?
January 9, 2009 5:53:39 PM

or even 2x WD5001AALS
a c 168 G Storage
January 9, 2009 5:56:15 PM

I would agree with aevm. All the 7200rpm drives have similar performance.
If you want the best among them, look at one of the larger 1tb drives, and plan on using only 5% (50gb) of the space. The outer rings of a drive are denser, so the transfer rates are better. Also, limiting yourself to 5% of the drive's space will reduce the seek times, because the access arm has much less real estate to traverse. If you want, partition off 50gb for the OS and use the rest of the space for infrequently used data like backup.
a c 168 G Storage
January 9, 2009 6:00:46 PM

The OS drive wants to do lots of short reads and writes. The velociraptor excels there. Raid-0 does well with large blocks of sequential data; a much different pattern.
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.
January 9, 2009 6:04:45 PM

so other than the vraptor, every other option is essentially the same (assuming we are using sata)?
a b G Storage
January 9, 2009 6:08:33 PM

Yeah, I think so.

You do want to use SATA. IDE is a pain to manage (jumpers, wide cables impeding airflow). SCSI needs a controller card, and you're better off buying a Velociraptor with that money.
January 9, 2009 6:09:45 PM

ok, so which would you say is better between WD5001AALS and WD2502ABYS?
a b G Storage
January 9, 2009 6:20:04 PM

WD3000GLFS
January 9, 2009 6:21:30 PM

yes i do realize that the vraptor is the best, as mentioned several times before, but the price is too high for slight performance increase
a b G Storage
January 9, 2009 6:43:12 PM

The WD2502ABYS is faster (112 MB/s), but $70/250GB is bad IMO. The WD5001AALS is almost as fast and you get twice as many GB/$ ($75, 500GB). Also, the WD6401AALS ($80, 640GB) beats the WD5001AALS in both speed and price/GB. (All prices current at Newegg.)

I'm voting for the WD6401AALS.
January 9, 2009 6:48:10 PM

ok, perfect! Thanks a lot for everyone's help!
!