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New Velociraptor Speed Questions

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October 24, 2011 12:51:38 AM

Hey guys,

Just installed a brand new WD Velociraptor (SATA 3) with a fresh install of W7.

I know Windows Experience Index is not the greatest place to judge your system, but I ran it out of curiosity, and my HDD got the same measly 5.9 subscore that my last HDD had, WD Caviar Black, but the last generation with Sata II.

I was hoping for it to be better, and also hoping for the system to be a little more quick, as of right now I can't really tell the difference.

I have it plugged into the SATA 3 connector on my mobo, is there anything I'm doing wrong? Do I need to do something else to unlock the 6GB/S speed? I DON'T FEEEEL ITTTT

Thanks so much all!
a b G Storage
October 24, 2011 1:01:48 AM

I'm fairly sure you will need an SSD to get past the 5.9 WEI score. I don't know where the new line of WD veloci ranks speed wise, but I went through various diff drive setups, and mine never moved from a 5.8 or 5.9 until I put an SSD in.
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a c 357 G Storage
October 24, 2011 1:13:51 AM

Sorry, but you'll never feel it. SATA 3.0 Gb/s and the new SATA 6.0 Gb/s systems differ in one major factor - the MAXIMUM communication rate between the HDD and your computer's HDD controller chip. But the real limit on actual data transfer rates for mechanical rotating hard drives is in the mechanical parts' movement - that is, how quickly the head support arm can move from one track to another, and how rapidly the disks rotate under the heads. Thus most performance tests of mechanical HDD's show that the AVERAGE data transfer date (it varies a bit, depending on type of access) is usually less than 150 MB/s, which was the max communication rate of the FIRST version of SATA. A few of the newest HDD's can exceed that 150 number - I think I've seen up to 170 or so - but NO mechanical HDD will even get close to the 300 MB/s (approx. 3.0 Gb/s) communication max for the SATA II version. It's unlikely such devices ever will.

So, why the excitement about SATA 6.0 Gb/s? Well, it is deliberately set high so that it will not limit the performance of OTHER developing technologies for the near future. The currently-popular storage technology that DOES make some use of this is SSD's. These are NOT mechanical, and their internal data transfer limits arise from different processes. Most can reach the 3.0 Gb/s rate, but none yet can reach 6.0 Gb/s. The last numbers I saw put some of the fastest between those two speeds for READ operations, but much slower for writes. I don't know when SSD's (or some other storage technology) will get fast enough for the SATA 6.0 Gb/s max communication rate to become a limit. But whatever that technology is, it won't be rotating hard drives.
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October 25, 2011 2:36:58 AM

Confirmed, Sata6000 changes nothing versus Sata3000 at a mechanical disk speed. Meant for SSD.

But the newer Velociraptors 450GB and 600GB do improve speed over previous VRaptors, and more so versus 7200rpm disks like your Caviar. Forget Sata6000 and buffer size which are marketing, concentrate on real performance. To see the difference, you need tests that target the disk specifically.

Example: take a folder full of sub-folders and thousands of files, maybe Winnt\system32. I have the catalogue of a chemistry supplier with one Pdf per molecule for instance. Use the Find function (F3) to search all files with "99" in their name or anything similar. Compare your disks (after reboot each time!): the VRaptor takes 30% to 50% less time for it.

Other example: write thousands of small files to the disks (after reboot each time). The VRaptor takes 1/3 of the time.

Of course, to take advantage of any Sata disk, you need Ahci settings in the Bios.

I can't tell you if Seven needs a specific driver for Sata6000. Check your mobo documentation.

In a more general use, I got a 30% speed improvement over a 7200rpm, Ahci, 500GB/platter disk. Less easy to quantify, but you feel it a bootup - bizarre indices like Windows Experience don't see it hence are bad.

Other benchmarks, less easy to use, do tell the improvement. IOMeter is one such benchmark. Atto, recent CrystalDiskMark, recent HdTune also tell sensible information, like random parallel access on a limited part of the disk.
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a b G Storage
October 25, 2011 3:32:53 AM

+1 to paperdoc. Velocs have been a waste of money ever since ssd prices gotten low enough to be affordable. Even a 3 year old ssd will "feel" faster than a veloc because of the huge improvement in access times.


Fyi pcie ssds do exceed sata 3. ;) 
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a b G Storage
October 25, 2011 4:54:24 AM

I have one machine with a WD 300 VR and another machine with a WD 750 Black. I can't tell that one is more responsive than the other. If you were doing a lot of file copying or heavy file access then you should see a little bit of difference, but I don't think it would be very much.
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a c 415 G Storage
October 25, 2011 7:16:22 AM

5.9 is the fastest score possible for mechanical hard drives (well, you can eke out a slightly higher score if you RAID them six ways from Sunday). As the other posters have indicated you'll need an SSD to score higher.
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October 27, 2011 1:54:32 AM

Best answer selected by simba1.
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October 27, 2011 1:54:56 AM

Cool, thank you all for the input. I will def have to get an SSD soon.
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