Hey, I came here over a year ago to ask some advice on building a machine I got a lot of good suggestions and tweaks to my shopping list.
And now I'm back! This time I need some advice hard drive upgrades. I wanted to upgrade to a 150GB velociraptor, but I started to read reports about how Raid 0 may yield better performance than the 10k RPM drives.
So basically my question is which should I go for, if any to be honest. Capacity isn't an issue as it would be used for OS + games, maybe files that need to be burned to a disk etc, all data (documents etc) will be stored on another drive (then linked using windows 7 libraries etc). This is another reason why I considered raid 0, the whole issue with losing one drive means losing all data wouldn't be an issue due to all other documents being stored elsewhere.
These might be inline, or cheaper than 2-WD Velociraptors ($189.99), but the performance will be better.
Check out the read/write performance! This will kill an Velociraptor, even in RAID.
BTW: NO HDD will saturated the SATA II bandwidth, but SSD come close! Note: the description says "Up to 300MBps", but even my RAID 0 array only gets 150MBps. You want my benchmarks? Check out this post: Intel SSds in Raid0 - Long term use
You will not notice much difference with a 150gb raptor or with raid-0. The 600gb raptor--maybe.
The OS does lots of small reads and writes, so the transfer rates of raid-0 is a poor fit.
If capacity is not an issue, consider a small SSD for the OS and keep your hard drive for storage. The Intel drives are currently a safe bet, but the technology is changing rapidly. You will be able to get much better value around the end of the year when 25nm drives arrive.
The Intel X25-V 40gb drive is $115 or so. Windows-7 will take 15gb or so, so plan accordingly. You WILL notice a diference with a SSD
Another new option is the new Seagate momentus XT hybrid drive. It pairs a small mlc nand cache with a conventional drive.
Do not be seduced by synthetic benchmarks. They do not usually represent the real world, and YOUR usage pattern will certainly bedifferent. I think most SSD users are happy with performance, and resigned to the early adopter price.