Suggested setup for these harddrives

I have an older 150gb Raptor (wd1500adfd) and two 500gb Spinpoint F3's (hd502hj). I have two computers that I must apread them across. Right now I have the Raptor in my older PC, and in my main PC I have one of the Spinpoints with the other one in an external enclosure as a backup drive.

I've seen the benchmarks, but would say that my older Raptor is still noticably quicker and more responsive than the Spinpoint F3's, regardless of what all the benchmarks posted show. This is judging from daily use, from bootup times to running CCleaner, to unraring files. Both Spinpoints are in perfect shape too (have tried installing Windows on both), I've run them through HD Tune Pro and they're showing no bad sectors and the expected test results for read/write. Only thing they beat the Raptor in it seems is moving large files.

So with that being said, I'm a bit dissatisfied with my current setup. I'd like to try out Raid 0 on the Spinpoints, but that'd leave me with no backup drive. I was thinking of using the Raptor as an OS and Program drive, then a Spinpoint as a backup drive and possibly installing games as well on it. This on my main PC, then just using the leftover Spinpoint in my older PC.

Does anyone have any suggestions then? Basically asking what you'd personally do. I'm not looking to mess about with short stroking either, by the way.
12 answers Last reply
More about suggested setup harddrives
  1. Personally, I am not a fan of RAID0, so I'd go with your plan of splitting the two Spinpoints between the two machines. But you may have good reasons for wanting to try RAID0.
  2. It's only that I've never tried it to see the speed difference plus it seemed like a lot of people bought two of these Spinpoints just to raid them, since they're so cheap. Problem with that is I wouldn't have a backup drive then, so I'd have to transfer all my backups to the Raptor which would be in use on the other PC. Not sure if I trust the lifespan of this older Raptor to hold all my backups on.
  3. I agree fully. Moreover, as you may be aware from reading up on RAID0, that system inherently has twice the probability of data loss that a single drive has, so many consider reliable backups even more important for users of RAID0.

    Look around the web, including Tom's, for reports and tests (as opposed to compiled lists of specifications) of real data transfer speeds and performance of RAID systems compared to non-RAID. Try to look more at recent work - some data 10 years old may not be pertinent to today's hardware.
  4. I've read quite a few benchmarks actually, including Spinpoints in Raid, which is why I've been a bit stumped. It seems in Raid 0 mostly everything goes up except burst rate, which the Raptor has it beat in. Something like 11 or 12 (spin) vs 8 (rap).

    Isn't burst rate basically what it sounds like? Isn't that why Windows would boot faster or programs would open quicker on a Raptor? I'd say that's more important than moving files around, since most home users would look for quicker load speeds unless they do a lot of file transfers.
  5. I think your talking about access time, or now listed as average latency on newegg. This is time in milli seconds it takes for the read/write heads to get in position. Having a low time is good for an OS drive that has to read lots of little files. This is probably why the Raptor feels faster, as it won't take as long to load the files. Burst rate is simply the "max" speed of the drive. Its not a very good measure of how fast a drive is however. It's simply the speed at which the cache can feed data over the SATA connection. Once that data is gone, you're back to the speed of the physical disks.

    Seeing as you already have the drives, main computer gets the raptor and one F3 while the other F3 goes to the older computer. Back up any important things to disk. (or get a cheap 1-2TB drive and put in external box.)
  6. Burst speed means you only test the electronical part of an HDD - the interface and the DRAM chip - not the actual platters where data is stored. Burst speeds are nice for testing problems, but have no relevance in performance.
  7. If burst speed was only for testing, then why does the Raptor still respond more quickly than the Spinpoints? It boots Windows quicker, opens programs faster and everything. That's why I'm not sure why in so many discussions I've seen people say the F3's are better or simply lightning fast, when it doesn't feel as quick. The Raptor also seemed faster when rendering video too, like converting in VirtualDub or TMPGenc for instance. That shouldn't be the case should it? Since Spinpoints have faster sustained speeds and all. Seems like nobody tested these different drives in everyday use, and only relied on test programs to make their points.

    So I guess the setup I had mind is best though. My question now is; what would be the most logical layout? The OS and programs on Raptor, games and page file on Spinpoint? Or everything except media files and backups on the Raptor?
  8. SSDs have lower burst rates than their maximum MB/s; burst rate doesn't mean anything. Simply forget it.

    If your question is why is a Raptor faster than a normal HDD, then the answer is RPM. Raptor = 10k rpm so less access time and more IOps than a 7200rpm or 5400rpm drive. The raptor has less data density however, so with copy tasks its actually less fast (less sequential speeds but more random I/O speeds). That makes the raptor a good system drive, if you cannot invest in an SSD which is hundreds or times faster for the function of the system disk.

    So i would keep the raptor on C: with your installed apps and such. And keep all user data on the slower rpm disks. Actually 5400rpm is best used for that; 7200rpm only consumes twice as much power without being noticably faster for the function of a data drive (sequential I/O only).
  9. I suggest reading my post again. The drive heads can get in position faster on the raptor then they can on the F3 by a few milli seconds. Multiply this over many times, and it adds up. This is the advantage the Raptors still have over their slower spinning brothers. I would think Vdub would be faster on the F3 seeing as thats a more sustained task isn't it? Not sure whats going on there.

    I'd put the OS on the Raptor and leave the page file there. Media/data files on the F3, games shouldn't matter much. Those are a more sustained transfer thing, so the F3s should be a hair faster.
  10. Alright, thanks for all the suggestions and information. I'll go with that layout then. I'll try doing a test video conversion in VirtualDub and will post results. Though the Raptor is on my older PC, with a single core CPU vs a Phenom II quad on the PC with the Spinpoint. Maybe I'm imagining things, I will see.

    Just like to say though, after all of this, I wonder why in so many different threads that have been made that many people try to claim the Spinpoints are the fastest drives outside of SSD's when it doesn't seem the case at all vs Raptors in everyday usage.
  11. Because when you look at sustained transfer speeds, the F3s are faster. And when measuring the speed of a drive, thats what people look at.
  12. Okay, I understand that.

    Well I did the video conversions and have some oddball results. For some reason, TMPG converts faster on my old single core system with the Raptor vs my OCed quad core system with Spinpoint. That is weird. Now the stranger part is VirtualDub is over 10 seconds faster on the quad core system vs single core, when VDub doesn't even support quads. Just weird results, I don't get it. Unfortunately only have TMPG screenshots, since VDub didn't leave a results window open.

    Spinpoint TMPG:

    Raptor TMPG:
Ask a new question

Read More

Hard Drives Spinpoint Raptor Storage