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Which HDD set-up is fastest?

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April 26, 2009 6:36:05 AM

I will be playing games, using Maya, Photoshop, etc. and I was wondering out of these 3 HDD set-ups, which is fastest in loading times, boot time, and application start-up time? could you rank them 1,2,3, (1 being the fastest HDD)?

-150GB 10,000rpm 16mb cache Velociraptor HDD.
-1.5TB 7200rpm 32mb cache HDD.
-Raid0 1TB (500GBx2) 7200rpm 16mb cache HDD.

p.s. I'm using Cyberpowerpc.com which is why I don't have too many options.

-thanks!

More about : hdd set fastest

a b G Storage
April 26, 2009 10:59:35 AM

Hard to say without knowing specifically which drives would be used for the RAID. The 1.5TB is probably a Seagate 7200.11, in which case I would avoid it. The Raid 0 will be fastest for sequential access, but the 150gb Velociraptor will have an advantage in randoms.
April 26, 2009 5:00:39 PM

cjl said:
Hard to say without knowing specifically which drives would be used for the RAID. The 1.5TB is probably a Seagate 7200.11, in which case I would avoid it. The Raid 0 will be fastest for sequential access, but the 150gb Velociraptor will have an advantage in randoms.


I see, however I'm no to educated in the "sequential" and "random" stuff, basically which is faster in loading games and applications?
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April 26, 2009 8:11:25 PM

The slowest of the three is the single 1.5tb hdd.

The fastest should be the two 7200rpm drives in RAID0. The reason is that you get double the speed of a single 7200rpm device when reading and writing files. While the 10k rpm drive will probably find a file first (seek speed), unless it's a tiny file, its less important for you... Loading large files is where drive speed perception is most recognizable, loading a large .exe to run photoshop -- a game exe file, or in-game, loading a map transition, etc, will be faster in raid0.

i believe the rate of diminishing returns in raid0 with sata2 drives is between three and four drives, so three 320gb (or 500gb or whatever) would also be nice.
a b G Storage
April 26, 2009 11:01:06 PM

In many cases, loading apps and especially windows boot is a large number of very small files though, in which case the 10krpm Velociraptor would beat the two 7200s in RAID. There's no hard and fast answer, though if I had to guess, I would guess that the 7200s would have a slight edge in loading games and applications, but the Velociraptor would have the edge in windows boot.
April 26, 2009 11:51:00 PM

Or try a couple Solid State Drives, Raid 0, smokes em all double triple....
OCZ Vertex....
a b G Storage
April 27, 2009 12:22:53 AM

sharken said:
Or try a couple Solid State Drives, Raid 0, smokes em all double triple....
OCZ Vertex....

Not worth the cost per GB, IMHO. Velociraptors are already pushing the limit of how much I would pay per GB on HDDs.
April 27, 2009 12:27:40 AM

im saying, put 2 of these for OS drive, 119 each, cost of one raptor, then anything else as storage is great....
April 27, 2009 1:08:28 AM

rkaye said:
The slowest of the three is the single 1.5tb hdd.

The fastest should be the two 7200rpm drives in RAID0. The reason is that you get double the speed of a single 7200rpm device when reading and writing files. While the 10k rpm drive will probably find a file first (seek speed), unless it's a tiny file, its less important for you... Loading large files is where drive speed perception is most recognizable, loading a large .exe to run photoshop -- a game exe file, or in-game, loading a map transition, etc, will be faster in raid0.

i believe the rate of diminishing returns in raid0 with sata2 drives is between three and four drives, so three 320gb (or 500gb or whatever) would also be nice.




ahhh...thanks that's what I wanted to know, interesting, so basically 2x7200rpm HDD in Raid0 are truly 2x faster than a single HDD? Do they really scale so perfectly?

additionally 16mb cache compared to 32mb cache, there really is no difference in application loading game loading times is there?

p.s. can someone explain to me how a HDD "fails"? I know this is a major flaw to the Raid0 due to the increased chance of failing, however how exactly does a HDD "fail"? never happened to me before...
a b G Storage
April 27, 2009 5:35:13 AM

terminus said:
ahhh...thanks that's what I wanted to know, interesting, so basically 2x7200rpm HDD in Raid0 are truly 2x faster than a single HDD? Do they really scale so perfectly?

additionally 16mb cache compared to 32mb cache, there really is no difference in application loading game loading times is there?

p.s. can someone explain to me how a HDD "fails"? I know this is a major flaw to the Raid0 due to the increased chance of failing, however how exactly does a HDD "fail"? never happened to me before...

No, they don't scale so perfectly (unfortunately). They are exactly the same speed, and perhaps slightly slower than a single drive in random access at a queue depth of 1, but they do scale nearly perfectly for sequential access. All program loading and OS boot is some combination of these two types of accesses, so how much gain depends on what percentage of the loading is sequential compared to random. As I said before, booting up is likely more random, and would see more of a benefit from the Velociraptor. However, application loading might see more benefit from the RAID. There's no way to be sure though, without knowing the behavior of your specific applications.
April 27, 2009 5:45:47 AM

What about getting the cheapest drive and buying a Velociraptor separately?

The V-Raptor will provide the best performance. I can speak from experience and when I changed one of my PCs to a Raptor, I became addicted. I now have 8 total Raptors with 4 in two PCs in Raid 10 for OS+Apps. However, 1 of them just died a few weeks ago.

For data security, either use Raid 1 or backup every day. I can't have any downtime and I want the speed so I use Raid 10. Raid 1 will also provide a speed boost to reads and random access whereas Raid 0 will hurt random access.
April 27, 2009 6:04:45 AM

yeah and when you try an SSD you'll see that feeling all over again, takes a little setup prep, I have 2x raptors, but just got two SSD vertex's, lets say i went from 160mb/sec read and 90-100mb/sec write speed to OCZ vertex's 490mb/sec read, .1ms access and 370-390mb/sec write... is there a difference, I think so lol snappy all over again, raptors slow in comparison to me now.... just food for thought
April 27, 2009 6:42:31 AM

specialk90 said:
What about getting the cheapest drive and buying a Velociraptor separately?

The V-Raptor will provide the best performance. I can speak from experience and when I changed one of my PCs to a Raptor, I became addicted. I now have 8 total Raptors with 4 in two PCs in Raid 10 for OS+Apps. However, 1 of them just died a few weeks ago.

For data security, either use Raid 1 or backup every day. I can't have any downtime and I want the speed so I use Raid 10. Raid 1 will also provide a speed boost to reads and random access whereas Raid 0 will hurt random access.


I'm thinking about it. I will probably get the 150GB Velociraptor then (I heard it may be even faster than the 300GB version because of platter size?) and use my old 160GB external HDD until I can buy a 500GB 7200rpm 32mb cache HDD.
April 27, 2009 8:33:41 AM

GUess you just dont listen
a c 127 G Storage
April 27, 2009 10:55:49 AM

Its not really worth investing in a fast HDD with little space, as SSDs are king in this segment; they can deliver up to 100 times the performance of a HDD in realistic workloads. HDDs will always be slow even if they are 100.000 rpm; you still would have one head which can only do one thing at a time. An SSD would be able to write to several flash cells simultaniously; with near-zero access latency. No HDD is able to match performance of that; ever. So if you want speed, don't buy a HDD since it cannot give you speed; only capacity.

Buying expensive performance-oriented disks that maybe increase performance by 20-30% is nothing compared against the 10000% you can get with SSDs. When filesystems and operating systems start adapting to SSD parallel processing, there will be no more storage bottleneck for normal usage. In other words, HDDs will only be good at storing bulk data, not for being fast. HDDs wont ever be fast; ever.
a b G Storage
April 27, 2009 11:35:17 AM

on average the raid0 array will beat that raptor (except seek times) aswell as the fact that it will be larger

on the other hand SSD's will own anything on your list, even 4 hdd's in raid0

data risk - all the same with 1 hdd or 4 in raid 0 - if you loose 1 drive - you loose all your data - BACK YOUR DATA UP REGULARLY

failure - data corruption, bad sectors, total drive failure costing thousands to recover etc - nasty stuff
April 27, 2009 6:52:56 PM

Go to Dell because they have great prices on Velociraptors - the 150GB was only $135 a few days ago. And yes it was the new V-Raptor and not the old model.
April 27, 2009 7:22:44 PM

apache_lives said:
on average the raid0 array will beat that raptor (except seek times) aswell as the fact that it will be larger

on the other hand SSD's will own anything on your list, even 4 hdd's in raid0

data risk - all the same with 1 hdd or 4 in raid 0 - if you loose 1 drive - you loose all your data - BACK YOUR DATA UP REGULARLY

failure - data corruption, bad sectors, total drive failure costing thousands to recover etc - nasty stuff


I recently found a review regarding the Velociraptor, it seems most of the time is beats out 2 normal 7200rpm in raid0.

http://xbitlabs.com/articles/storage/display/wd-velocir...
a c 127 G Storage
April 27, 2009 8:42:27 PM

That review very probably has its RAID0 setup in the worst possible way. They've chosen a 32KiB stripesize without aligning the partition to the stripe offset, meaning that it will only be faster for sequential transfers but not for random I/O. The effects of this can be seen by the RAID0 score sometimes being lower than a single drive. This what X-bit says about their setup method:

"The tests were performed in Windows Vista x86. The HDDs were connected to the controller embedded into ICH9R that worked in AHCI/RAID mode. We used Intel driver version 8.2.0.1001. The Strip Size for RAID 0 arrays was set at 32KB."

The only Windows version that aligns partitions properly to RAID-arrays is Windows 7, and there is no mention that they corrected the misalignment manually. Therefore, please disregard the RAID-scores in this review; they are invalid to RAID0 technology, only valid for the specific (bad) setup they used in the review.

They most likely also didn't enable the Write Caching option of Intel RAID-drivers, which defaults to being off as its dangerous to enable, but very relevant to performance testing.
May 3, 2009 5:51:28 AM

Sub Mesa, everything I have read about Partition Offset said that Vista & Server 08 use proper offset of 2048kb whereas you had to use Diskpart for Server2k03 & XP.
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