I read in some reviews that the DeskStar 7K4000 has 173 MB/s sequential reads and writes and the VelociRaptor has 213 MB/s sequential reads and writes.
Would the performance difference between the two drives be noticeable when loading games? The DeskStar is a 4TB drive, so I'm not sure if I want tons of storage or fast performance.
If you want fast performance, go with a Solid State Drive. They get reads/writes over 500MBps, if you have SATA III ports on your motherboard. They scale down on SATA II to over 250 MBps.
The WD is list @ $319.99. You can get a 120GB SSD for $169.99, and a 2TB Hard Drive for $159.99, only a few dollars more, but way better performance.
You set up the SSD as a boot/program drive, and the HDD as a storage drive.
But to answer your question: I'd go with the Hitachi. WD Veloci's are over rated, and overpriced. Samsung Spinpoints almost beat the Veloci's, at a better price point. And you're talking only 40MBps difference in benchamrks, real world use will probably be closer.
I have two of the Deskstar HDS721010 1Tb drives now and I'm pretty happy with them (that's why I bought another this month.)
I once read that larger drives are slower (given the same cache,) so it would be good to have the OS on, say, a 100Gb drive (assuming SSD is not an option.) Is this true? If so, is it any better than a 100Gb front partition on a large drive? My question assumes small partitions would be used for the OS, not spreading it all over the disk.
Well gggirlgeek, you are off topic, but I'll answer you:
Larger drives are not necessarily slower, due to data compression on the platters. Today larger drives are actually faster than older, smaller ones.
The big difference between larger drives is the RPM. 7200rpm drives are faster then 5900rpm drives (but not always).
And yes, installing the OS to the first 100GB on a drive does make the OS faster, as the data is all close together, thus the read/write heads have to move less. This is called "short-stroking" a drive. No need to do this on an SSD.