I would go with the larger drive, such as the Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB over a WD VRaptor. The VRaptors aren't worth it, when compared to a SSD. Here are my benchmarks between the two & you'll see the WD only wins in access times (though still no where near a SSD).
Yea if you want spewd at this point go for an SSD, if you want space get the 7200. I would say the raptor would also have a higher MTF than most of the 7200 rpm drives because it essentially has enterprise class internals but with SATA rather than SAS.
go with smaller 7200 RPM drive now or a larger 5400 RPM drive (either save money or get more storage) when you have cash for SSD, drop it in and enjoy. Just make sure to make a windows partition on your drives, so you can just erase that when you drop in the SSD and ensure ACHI is enabled right from beginning.
There is a significant difference between 5400rpm and 7200rpm drives when it comes to seek time. You care about performance, I would got with the 7200s, it will feel noticably quicker. While its true game play doesn't rely on the harddrive assuming you have sufficient RAM, load times and other aspects are definitely affected.
^I second that, if you need a 7200 , pretty much any WD Black Edition will work,, just don't spend alot of money on a big one,, just buy something that will hold you over long enough so you can buy a large 5400 for storage or a SSD for more speed. If you go to buy a large 7200 (around $150), you would be almost better off buying a 90-120 GB sandforce SSD and save for the storage drive later (hopefully much sooner than later) but you can buy a 1TB 5400 drive for like 50$,, where I am you can pickup a 2TB 5400 drive for 70$
The WD drive is a good drive but there is no reason to get a SATA III mechanical drive, as it won't even saturate the bandwidth of SATA II (only SSD SATA III or RAID SSD SATA II can saturate the bandwidth). I would look this Samsung Spinpoint at the same price but higher capacity!
If you are a gamer, the faster load times would be welcome. However, if you really dont feel like going SSD now, you may want to get a RAID 0 solution. If you do, dont forget to backup.
The way I see, either go 7200RPM in RAID or go SSD, I would choose any SSD over a Raptor (more silence, more speed, no heat, less power consumption)
So, if the question is 7200RPM vs 10000RPM, 7200 is my winner.
Sata III on HDD are just marketing, as the drive bandwitch will not hit that of Sata II. However, drives are manufactured Sata III now, so you may end getting one anyway if for some reason, thats the drive that its in stock.