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Fastest low capacity hard drive (500gb and below)

Last response: in Storage
June 19, 2009 5:39:12 PM

Hey guys,

my question,

does any of you know what the fastest or few of the fastest low capacity 7200rpm hard drives are? With low capacity i mean anything under 500gb.
I tought higher density drives are faster, so single platters should be fastest, true or false?

Thanks alot:) 
a b G Storage
June 19, 2009 6:16:10 PM

Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't drives with multiple platters store data across all platters like RAID-0, therefore increasing speed?
a b G Storage
June 19, 2009 6:36:59 PM

Yes they store data on multiple platters but not in a Raid-0 fashion. The drive can read or write from only one platter at a time

Ramin93 You won't notice any real world difference between a two, 3 or 4 platter drive compared to a 1 platter. the only thing you will notice is a higher cost per gig for the lower gig drive.
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June 19, 2009 7:21:20 PM

i have now a 1tb green wd drive. but its not what i expect in games, so i want to buy a faster drive. any reccomendations?

btw, western digital is definetly the best drive brand.
June 19, 2009 7:34:41 PM

Western digital 640 black.

Green drives are way slower because they are power savers hence the "green"

Black editions will net you about 92MB/s reads in HDTune use HDTune to see what your current drive is getting.
June 19, 2009 9:14:33 PM

is there a way to make green drives of 5200rpm perform faster, at 7200rpm?
like a frimware change or something. or will it damage the drive.
a b G Storage
June 19, 2009 9:15:20 PM

The drive I'd go for, assuming you don't want something like a Velociraptor or SSD, is probably the Seagate 7200.12 500GB. It has a single 500GB platter, and will be faster than even the much-recommended WD 640.
June 19, 2009 11:18:49 PM

thanks alot!
i researched and yes the Seagate 7200.12 500GBe seems to be very fast. as well the western digital 500gb black 32mb cache.
i think western digital is more reliable than seagate. but seagate bit faster.
a c 87 G Storage
June 19, 2009 11:31:32 PM


All companies have specs listed at their websites. If you want to go by just one number, look at the average read speed.

Seek times is a factor too but doesn't affect games at all. A large amount of data is buffered into your RAM and when the game needs more it loads but the data is contiguous so average read speed is most important.

Western digital has 3 drives you should look at:
1) Velociraptor
2) 1TB Black
3) 640GB

The Velociraptor is fast but expensive. I even used up all 300GB with games. The 1TB Black is huge (actually 930GB) and slightly slower but really a great deal.

Many people have used two 1TB Black WD's in a RAID0 configuration. That gives 1860GB of space for roughly $200 and games will load about twice as fast.

SSD's are still too expensive but I plan to get one in another year then install games onto my 2nd drive (a TB hard drive) when/if space runs out (so I'll install to D-drive).
a b G Storage
June 19, 2009 11:46:59 PM

you can not compare avg read speeds from vendors, because they each use a different machine and different methods making a comparison between the two figures worthless.

Velociraptors are the fastest standard drive (quite expensive though), then the 7200.12 (although i refuse to use seagate), followed very closely by the caviar black (which is what I put in all my builds)
a b G Storage
June 20, 2009 6:33:59 AM

Actually, sequential read speeds are pretty consistent no matter how you measure them.
a c 168 G Storage
June 20, 2009 6:37:27 PM

The maximum read speed of a drive depends on where your data is located. The outer cylinders have more data per track, so at a constant 7200rpm or 10k rpm, they will transfer data faster than the inner cylinders. Currently, the fastest sata drive is the velociraptor. You can come close with the WD caviar black 1tb drive. The key is to plan on using only the fastest part of the drive. Here is a chart of the Maximum data transfer rates:

If you want to do much better, look into a couple of SSD's in raid-0. Be careful of which ssd's you look at, because many mlc drives use a controller with severe write issues. Also, the ssd is getting better daily, so it might be good to wait until the end of the year.