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Relative Performance of HDD, RAID, SSD

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  • Hard Drives
  • Performance
  • NAS / RAID
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
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a c 104 G Storage
August 24, 2010 4:57:22 PM

Hi everyone,

Have two technical questions regarding the performance of Hard drives.

First is: what is the best overall appl to test the performance of a Hard Drive (Read, Write, Seq, Random)? Is HdTune a good small test utility to have or is there a better choice?

Second is: Just finished building a high end computer with a GA-P55A-UD7 MB, i-7 875 Unclocked PCU, 8 GB 1600 Corsair DDR-3 RAM, XFX 5850 OC Graphics card, 2 1TB WD Black drives, and Win 7 Ultimate.

The Windows Experience Index (WEI) is (0-7.9) 7.7 for my CPU, Graphics Card, RAM, 5.9 for the HDD's.
What would the relative WEI be comparing my 7,200RPM WD 1 TB Black HDD, to a 10,000 RPM Velociraptor, vs RAID 0 (2 drives), vs a SSD?

Any graphs done comparing all these? I'd like to have for my OS Primary Storage, a similar index as I have for the other components on this new system. My last choice would be the RAID 0, but would like to know how they all compare.

Appreciate anyone's thoughts.

More about : relative performance hdd raid ssd

a b G Storage
August 24, 2010 5:22:01 PM

a mechanical drive wont score above a 5.9 on the WEI, you need an ssd to get above a 6. a raid setup wont help you improve that score

WEI is a joke and you shouldn't really take it seriously...
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a c 415 G Storage
August 24, 2010 5:41:44 PM

Yes, WEI is a VERY general metric that uses an unpublished algorithm to weight the various performance factors into a rough score. It's mostly there to let people know if they have one item that's obviously not up to snuff with the others. It's really not a good tool to use for performance benchmarks.

Hard drives in general are limited to a maximum score of 5.9. RAID arrays can get a little higher, but to get up into the "7" range you really need an SSD.
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a c 104 G Storage
August 24, 2010 8:05:01 PM

Thanks for the replys,

Would an SSD get me up "in the range" of my other index items, around 7.7 - and would I notice any difference?
Guess if I used my 7200 WD 1TB blacks as disk 1 and disk 2, the HDD section would still rate the lowest at 5.9


Also any thoughts of the best HDD diagnostic utility tool for my toolbox?
HD Tune, Si Soft Sandra lite, Passmark ???

Really appreciate your advice.
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a c 184 G Storage
August 24, 2010 8:28:00 PM

The best application to test the performance of any drive, hard or otherwise is yours. Synthetic benchmarks have the benefit of repeatability, but not much else. Their access pattern will be different than yours, and it is the access pattern that determines the performance of any given drive. If you have a task that you want to optimize, set it up so that you can repeatedly run it, and then try it out on different i/o configurations. One caveat, optimizing for one task may well hurt the performance of other tasks. I think it is not much worth it.

For what it is worth, my wei for an Intel X25-M gen2 160gb is 7.6 I think a good SSD is very good for the OS and apps. It's minimal access time is good for the many small random i/o's that an OS does.

There is a big change coming in the sssd marketplace as smaller nand chips start to appear. It might be good to wait a bit, you should see cheaper, faster, and larger ssd's appear in a very competitive market.
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a c 104 G Storage
August 25, 2010 3:45:27 PM

Thanks for the information,

Will wait a little while to see what new specs show up with the SSD's

I am using Win-7 ultimate. Is there anything unusual about cloning a std SATA HDD to a SSD for use as a primary drive?
Is it just the same cloning steps used with Aconis True Image or Ghost, then placing the SSD in the 1st drive position?

Also, are there any special applets needed with a SSD for optimal performance, or does Win-7 have the trim function & disk mgmt features built in?

Obviously haven't had the luxury of owning one of the new drives.
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a c 184 G Storage
August 25, 2010 5:01:27 PM

John_VanKirk said:
Thanks for the information,

Will wait a little while to see what new specs show up with the SSD's

I am using Win-7 ultimate. Is there anything unusual about cloning a std SATA HDD to a SSD for use as a primary drive?
Is it just the same cloning steps used with Aconis True Image or Ghost, then placing the SSD in the 1st drive position?

Also, are there any special applets needed with a SSD for optimal performance, or does Win-7 have the trim function & disk mgmt features built in?

Obviously haven't had the luxury of owning one of the new drives.


Nothing special. I have used acronis true image to clone both to and from a SSD with no problems.

In order to implement trim, the sata mode must be AHCI(vs. IDE). While it is true that AHCI is a subset of raid, the Intel raid drivers do not pass on the trim command, at my last check. Therefore you must use the windows-7 drivers. Otherwise, there is nothing special. It is very difficult to change to AHCI if the os was installed in ide mode. Best to avoid trying if you can.
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a c 104 G Storage
August 26, 2010 3:49:34 PM

Best answer selected by John_VanKirk.
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