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Which one of these two hard drives is faster?

Last response: in Storage
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July 12, 2009 12:53:19 PM

Western Digital VelociRaptor 150GB Hard Drive SATA-300 10000rpm 16MB Cache - OEM

Samsung EcoGreen F2 1TB Hard Drive SATAII 32MB Cache - OEM

I know that it's the Raptor because of the 10,000 RPM, but I was having an argument with a friend and he was basically saying that they are both the same speed because they both have a data transfer rate of 300 MBps, so really none would write or read files faster. I'll show this thread to him, so please help me explain to him why he's wrong, and that the Raptor is faster.

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a c 415 G Storage
July 12, 2009 4:09:13 PM

Yes, it's the raptor.

The 300MB/sec figure refers to the SATA interface - that's the PEAK speed that data can move between the drive and the CPU. You'd only achieve that speed when transferring stuff to or from the drive's onboard cache.

For example, if you read the first sector on a track, the drive in all likelihood scoops the rest of the track up into it's onboard cache, and if you then read the next sector it can be transferred without having to read it from the media. Because the physical disk is no longer involved for the second read, the limiting speed is the SATA interface.

But the vast majority of disk accesses require actually moving the heads, waiting for the right sector to rotate around underneath the head, and then streaming the data to or from the sector as it passes underneath the head. These operations are limited by the mechanical speed of the drive, and at 10,000 rpm the VelociRaptor can do it more quickly.
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