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WD VelociRaptor VS Samsung SP F1

Last response: in Storage
May 17, 2010 12:32:53 PM


I'm building a gaming system and i'm stuck on which hard drive, I have been buying Raptors since they first came out but I keep seeing comments on the Samsung being a faster drive, is this true? Can anyone shed anymore light on this as I cant seem to find any solid info

I dont want to spend any more than £150, I want it to be as fast as possible and it will be installed to an Asus main board, more than likely an 890 chipset


More about : velociraptor samsung

a b G Storage
May 17, 2010 6:52:09 PM

there are a lot of drive faster than the raptor's and have been for quite some time, the newer velociparter on the other hand is the fastest mechanical sata drive available. with that said the the three top drives at the time being are the black's, F3's and .12's; all three of which are much better than a raptor and no where near as good as a veloci-raptor.
May 17, 2010 7:03:21 PM

The spinpoint F3 is probably the best drive for the least money. As far as I know, SATA 3 does absolutely nothing.
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May 17, 2010 7:28:49 PM

Thanks for the replies, what if I have a board with a 6gbps SATA connection? What HDD's take advantage of that?

Or have you answered that already and i've just realised that SATA2 is 3gbps and SATA3 is 6gbps?

a c 415 G Storage
May 17, 2010 7:51:01 PM

Other 7200RPM drives may have faster transfer rates than a Velociraptor, but they can't match the access time of a Velociraptor, even an old one. Access times are the most important metric for the kind of small random I/Os you get when you boot a system or start up applications.

There are currently NO hard drives that have a sustained data transfer rate faster than a 3Gbit/sec SATA connection, so you don't get any real performance improvement by buying one with a 6Gbit/sec connection. Hard drive manufacturers are standardizing on the faster SATA chipsets because the older ones are going out of production, but the platters still only rotate so fast and the transfer rate is limited by how fast the data flies past the read/write heads.
May 17, 2010 8:25:26 PM

Maybe a next generation SSD can break 300mb/s but for hard drives thats still quite far away. The fastest HDD for sustained read is the spinpoint F3 at 150mb/s, still half of what SATA2 can do.

Theres sustained read/write and random read/write.

Raptors are the fastest HDDs for random operations but that is a few dozen times slower than even what a cheap SSD can do since SSDs have pretty much zero seek time. Random read is good for system boot and opening programs, makes windows more snappy and responsive.

For sustained read/write, there are HDDs faster than raptors. Sustained read/write is good for loading/moving large files like movies and games. SSDs I would say suck at sustained read/write for the price you pay. For the price for a good SSD like the intel X25 you can get several spinpoint F3, RAID 0 or 5 them and get read performance like no other. Capacity would be much higher too.
a b G Storage
May 17, 2010 9:09:24 PM

Someone did a good graph comparing the speed drop
for a VR and a slower/larger HDD, from outer to inner cylinders.

Turns out, the VR has smaller platters, because WD
decided to stay with smaller spindle bearings:
larger platters at 10,000 would have required
larger spindle bearings due to the extra centrifugal
force that results from spinning larger platters
at that higher rpm.

So, with a smaller overall geometry, and
with HDD controllers maintaining the same or
similar recording density from outer to inner tracks,
there is a measurable drop in the VR's transfer speeds
from outermost to innermost cylinders.

This speed "drop" can be graphed with HDTune:
it typically approaches 50% on average e.g.
I just measured a drop from 63.0 to 35.2 MB/second
on an older WD1600YS.

Now, with the much larger 1-2 TB 7,200 rpm HDDs,
they have more cylinders because their platter
geometry is larger: this, in turn, means that
the rate of speed "drop" is slower on these
larger HDDs, going from outermost to innermost

Proving the theory that the VR's speed would "drop"
faster, the two graphs did cross: beyond that
crossover point, the larger/slower HDDs did maintain
a higher transfer speed directly under the read/write

So, to take advantage of this phenomenon and
to have excellent speeds AND lots of capacity too,
a good option is to configure 2 x 1-2 TB PMR HDDs
in a RAID 0, and format the first partition
so it is "short-stroked", leaving the rest as a
slower data partition.

For example, we assembled a RAID 0 using
2 x WD 750GB RE3 HDDs, and installed XP x32
on one 30GB partition, then formatted the remainder
as a larger dedicated data partition = (750x2)-30.

This setup works G-R-E-A-T!!

p.s. I'll see if I can find that "crossover" graph,
and post a link here.

a b G Storage
May 17, 2010 9:20:56 PM

Here's one example of "cross-over" graphs:

WD's website still fails to mention PMR for their latest 600GB / 6G VR:

Compare the WD RE4-GP, as shown in the graphs above:

"Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR) - Employs PMR technology to achieve even greater areal density."

No mention of this PMR technology in the latest VR's description above, however.

May 17, 2010 10:50:19 PM

Surely the Velociraptor is still the better option. If you are reading/writing a single HUGE file then theoretically the above graph would come into play. But for real life applications (using as a boot drive)...the seek time is more important. Loading windows will try to access lots of random segments of the seek time takes priority. Which is why we use SSD...although classic Hard drives (arguably insome cases) are better for reading/writing of sequential data.

And when your drive is getting full on the "slow data partition" you'll have lots of time for making coffee when the middle of the 2tb spindle is getting full...those transfer rates don't look too impressive
a b G Storage
May 17, 2010 11:00:53 PM


I've asked the author of that article above, Adrian,
for more information about the graphs he prepared.

Also, I'm not 100% sure if WD's latest VRs use PMR, or not.

Do you know -- for sure?

Either they don't use PMR, or WD just forgot to mention
that feature at their webpage for the latest "6G" 600GB VR:

I'll try to remember to write WD directly for their official answer.

Thanks again.

May 18, 2010 6:17:46 PM

Thanks, did I mention I dont want to spend more than £150, if not ooops!

I would also rather have a single drive, not to bothered about RAID, basically the best performance single drive for gaming no less than 100GB, theres a 150GB VelociRaptor for that but its now superceded by the newer models although still available, would this be a good choice?

a b G Storage
May 18, 2010 8:01:05 PM

This 74GB VR might work well for you:

You'll need two 2.5"-to-3.5" adapter brackets
in order to install it in a standard 3.5" drive bay:

Or, something like this:

We've tried this Vantec 5.25" bay cooler for 3.5" HDDs,
and it works very well with a knob to adjust fan speed:

p.s. Do NOT get this one, because the screw holes are NON-standard:

(been there, done that! :)