WD VelociRaptor: A Triple Crown

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WD VelociRaptor: A Triple Crown

Post by MikeC » Wed Jun 11, 2008 5:12 pm

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Post by Nick Geraedts » Wed Jun 11, 2008 5:17 pm

Oh... if only I had the money... *dreams*

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Post by KnightRT » Wed Jun 11, 2008 5:40 pm

No doubt an impressive drive, but I'm having trouble getting worked up about hard disks when I see reviews for SSDs with sustained 120 MB/s transfer rates and essentially zero latency. They're expensive, and they have issues with small random writes, but these problems are rapidly disappearing. I'd be very surprised to see a new version of the Raptor after this one.

Relative to my 74 GB Raptor, the extra capacity means little to me. I have Windows and programs on that drive, segregated from the rest of my data that lives on a RAID array. A full install of XP and all the programs I've ever used takes about 15 GB; as an OS drive, the new Raptor is far beyond my needs. And as a data drive, it's too small. The only advantage is in latency, and I'd wager that the people who truly care about that use 15K SAS drives or SSDs. For lack of a compelling reason to buy this drive, I don't see the point.

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Post by MikeC » Wed Jun 11, 2008 6:31 pm

KnightRT wrote:No doubt an impressive drive, but I'm having trouble getting worked up about hard disks when I see reviews for SSDs with sustained 120 MB/s transfer rates and essentially zero latency. They're expensive, and they have issues with small random writes, but these problems are rapidly disappearing. I'd be very surprised to see a new version of the Raptor after this one.

Relative to my 74 GB Raptor, the extra capacity means little to me. I have Windows and programs on that drive, segregated from the rest of my data that lives on a RAID array. A full install of XP and all the programs I've ever used takes about 15 GB; as an OS drive, the new Raptor is far beyond my needs. And as a data drive, it's too small. The only advantage is in latency, and I'd wager that the people who truly care about that use 15K SAS drives or SSDs. For lack of a compelling reason to buy this drive, I don't see the point.
I'd venture to that that's one point of view. SSDs that can compete effectively with the VR would start at around a grand -- maybe higher -- and have much lower capacity. Your Raptor 74GB is way louder than this one and double the power. Those are two pretty strong points for the VR. Random access is the area where spinning disks cannot compete against SSDs... but you're really looking at over a grand with say 60GB capacity to get that plus >100mb/s rates. $300 for the VR is going to look pretty good for a lot of people.
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Post by fyleow » Wed Jun 11, 2008 6:44 pm

I've owned the Raptor 150 and to be honest I was not that impressed with it and sold it for a Samsung 320 GB. These Raptor drives might produce really nice HD Tach benchmarks but I question the benefits for most users. The benchmarks that show things like game load times puts the Raptor only a few seconds or so ahead of 7200 RPM drives.

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Post by Ryan45 » Wed Jun 11, 2008 6:44 pm

Very nice review, was looking forward to it before I made the decision to buy one.

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Post by Aris » Wed Jun 11, 2008 6:54 pm

Great review, thanks MikeC.

One big question that im sure many people are still wondering though. Is there ANY way to fit this in a Scythe 2.5" Quiet Drive since its a bit thicker than your standard notebook drive? Perhaps by leaving out one of the 2x included thermal pads.

This drive will definately be the next drive i buy.

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Post by mkk » Wed Jun 11, 2008 7:23 pm

It's nice to get confirmation on the "heatsink" part. 2.5" 10kRPM drives has been a dream of mine for many years and now they can even be made with ample storage room. I hope that this has a chance of starting a small trend since as long as it's alone out there it'll remain just too expensive.

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Post by KnightRT » Wed Jun 11, 2008 7:23 pm

I can't argue the value side, except to say that it seems like a very niche product. In my case, my Raptor is suspended within an Antec Solo and below the noise floor of my apartment. It's completely inaudible. Justifying a $300 outlay for a 5W power drop in a system that draws 150W would require some pretty specious reasoning.

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Post by ash2459 » Wed Jun 11, 2008 7:27 pm

Having handled Thermalright's prototype 2.5"-to-3.5" adapter/heatsink, I am looking forward to its availability so that I may get this HD and "shove it in some corner without any airflow or conduction to the chassis". :wink:

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Post by IsaacKuo » Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:40 pm

I can see this drive being an important development for a wide range of professional/semi-pro users. This is incredible performance/value for video editing, digital photos, and software development. These applications will honestly benefit from the combination of capacity and sustained speed in the way that gamers THINK they'll benefit.

I'm too cheap to get one, myself, and I just live with my slower budget 3.5" drives. My OS "drive" is RAM...much faster than any hard drive, but VERY small. Still, if I had $300 to spend I'd rather buy 8gigs of RAM and a new mobo/CPU to take it.
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Post by Modo » Wed Jun 11, 2008 11:35 pm

fyleow wrote:I've owned the Raptor 150 and to be honest I was not that impressed with it and sold it for a Samsung 320 GB.
Well, the modern 7200rpm hard disks thrash the old Raptor both in benchmarks, as in real use, except only for seek times. It was a performer when introduced, but that's a long time ago (in PC technology terms). The VR does the thrashing against modern 7200rpm drives, and will probably lose that edge in time, just as the previous model did.
Last edited by Modo on Thu Jun 12, 2008 12:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by mexell » Thu Jun 12, 2008 12:10 am

Can I please have a minus-one-platter version of that drive which fits notebooks? Just imagine something like an IBM X61t tablet PC with that drive. It would be photoshopping on steroids, just imagine: a tablet PC with 120MB/s sustained disk transfer rate and <8ms access time...

I'd even pay >250€ for that. WD, are you listening?
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MIKE CHIN ARE YOU LISTENING ????

Post by victorhortalives » Thu Jun 12, 2008 12:35 am

Aris wrote:Great review, thanks MikeC.

One big question that im sure many people are still wondering though. Is there ANY way to fit this in a Scythe 2.5" Quiet Drive since its a bit thicker than your standard notebook drive? Perhaps by leaving out one of the 2x included thermal pads.
I second this request.

MIKE - Are you able to test this with the unit you have ??

Thanks

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Post by MoJo » Thu Jun 12, 2008 2:17 am

Very nice review, as always Mike. Thanks a lot.

It's nice to see that you can have have you cake and eat it when it comes to HDDs. As mexell said a laptop version would be interesting (and not too bad on the battery since it's only really 2-3W worse than most laptop HDDs).

Oh, but what to do? Get one of these or wait for SSDs to reach a reasonable price?
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Re: MIKE CHIN ARE YOU LISTENING ????

Post by Strid » Thu Jun 12, 2008 2:53 am

victorhortalives wrote:
Aris wrote:Great review, thanks MikeC.

One big question that im sure many people are still wondering though. Is there ANY way to fit this in a Scythe 2.5" Quiet Drive since its a bit thicker than your standard notebook drive? Perhaps by leaving out one of the 2x included thermal pads.
I second this request.

MIKE - Are you able to test this with the unit you have ??

Thanks
Third that request. I was thinking maybe just assembling the QD as usual and just not let the upper shell go all the way down over the bottom shell? And THEN suspend it in a NoVibes for 3.5" HDD drives maybe... :wink: Best of three worlds. Inherent quiet hard drive, enclosure and suspension.

Awesome drive. If I was to buy a new primary non-SSD HDD I would definitely get this one.

But as another poster said. 300 GB harddrives is a segment that is becoming less and less meaningfull for most enthusiasts. (This is an enthusiast drive). Within not too long I reckon that more and more people are going to have 0.1 ms latency SSDs for their OS drive and a larger 1+ TB harddrives as their storage units.

Very impressive drive - fast, cool and silent. And kudos to introducing a performance 2.5" HDD to desktop users.
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Re: MIKE CHIN ARE YOU LISTENING ????

Post by victorhortalives » Thu Jun 12, 2008 3:03 am

Strid wrote:
But as another poster said. 300 GB harddrives is a segment that is becoming less and less meaningfull for most enthusiasts. (This is an enthusiast drive). Within not too long I reckon that more and more people are going to have 0.1 ms latency SSDs for their OS drive and a larger 1+ TB harddrives as their storage units.

.
Absolutly

I have done this and have 3 layers of drive.

1. OS drive - Mtron 16GB (but without the journaling/page/temp files on this). Ubuntu & WinXp
2. Local Data Drive - Raptor 74GB. Local stuff + OS journaling/temp directories.
3. RAID NAS - 4x500GB drives on the end of a Gigabit LAN. (Might build my own to addto/replace the Infrant ReadyNAS - a bit slow)

Oh and 4. Local RAM drive 1GB to supplement WInXp.

When the VRaptor is here in 150GB, I'll replace the 74GB.

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Post by Hypernova » Thu Jun 12, 2008 3:06 am

I got one since last week and I really liked it. Index search of vista now works really well where results are pulled almost immediately. Having the VR in the lower chamber of P182 I can hear the seeks but to me they are not intrusive and I can't hear the idles over the fans.

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Noise Insulation

Post by victorhortalives » Thu Jun 12, 2008 3:14 am

Hypernova wrote:I got one since last week and I really liked it. Index search of vista now works really well where results are pulled almost immediately. Having the VR in the lower chamber of P182 I can hear the seeks but to me they are not intrusive and I can't hear the idles over the fans.
Have you noise insulated the side panels at the level of the lower section ? Also the inside of the door ?

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Re: Noise Insulation

Post by Hypernova » Thu Jun 12, 2008 3:45 am

victorhortalives wrote:
Hypernova wrote:I got one since last week and I really liked it. Index search of vista now works really well where results are pulled almost immediately. Having the VR in the lower chamber of P182 I can hear the seeks but to me they are not intrusive and I can't hear the idles over the fans.
Have you noise insulated the side panels at the level of the lower section ? Also the inside of the door ?
Nop, no damping what so ever. I will put some Acusti's into the case at the end of this year since I got some fan motor whine to hide at the upper chamber, people with very quite system to start with may hear the idle but I doubt it. The idle sound is the first to get drowned out if you have any other noise source in your case

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Post by AckeDman » Thu Jun 12, 2008 3:54 am

Very nice of WD but in my opinion since you dont need a system drive to be more then 50-70gb at the most you might as well wait a year for SSDs to get below $100.

SSDs wont cost much in a year or so... reason computer stuff have crappy second hand value is because the new stuff arent getting more expensive but that the old stuff are getting priced cheaper.

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Post by Hypernova » Thu Jun 12, 2008 4:24 am

I don't know about the SSD's. Intel entering may bring the price down but I don't see performance/$ arriving to acceptable levels for at least another two years. They need to get the erase block size down to the single bit level otherwise they will always get slaughtered when it comes to small file I/O.

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Post by MoJo » Thu Jun 12, 2008 5:42 am

I think hybrid drives are likely to be the key to high performance SSDs in the short term, or maybe some new kind of caching mechanism.

You can get PCI-e SAS/SATA RAID cards on eBay for peanuts now (Dell PERC5s are particularly common) and they often have 256MB or more of cache RAM. That means any write that is less than 256MB happens entirely at PCI-e 4x bus speed (~750MB/sec) and the HDD/SDD can catch up as and when. Obviously it's also very good if you actually want to use RAID functions like RAID5 too.

Write speeds are not a big issue for desktop use I think. Sure, for mass storage drives they count, but for a system drive it's mostly reading, and seek times are what really count.

It's a shame RAM drives are so expensive. An 8GB RAM drive with backup to Compact Flash or something would be both affordable and pretty much the ultimate in performance, and enough for almost any OS other than Vista.

One other area I keep my eye on is encryption. You can already get drives with hardware encryption from Hitachi and Seagate, and the hardware can sustain 300MB/sec throughput without problems. I expect we will see SSDs with hardware encryption very soon, because aside from the same security benefits as with HDDs it is also just about the only reliable way to completely erase flash memory (wipe the encryption key).
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Post by samdrong » Thu Jun 12, 2008 6:23 am

Will the Antec Solo suspension mounts securely hold the VR’s slimmer thickness?

I know the article suggests the NoVibes III and also states that, “If the Velociraptor was positioned close to the front intake vent of a standard PC or suspended there with elastic cord in a SPCR-esque silent rig, it would run perfectly cool.â€

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Post by christopher3393 » Thu Jun 12, 2008 6:23 am

The NoVibes III HDD Decoupling Rack reviewed here years ago is still being sold by Noise Magic of Germany, and they offer a version for 2.5" drives. That would fit into any 3.5" bay, and it would be far better to buy the Velociraptor without the IcePack and use the money left over for the 2.5" Novibes.
I've just contacted Frozen CPU, the US/CA distributer for Noise Magic. They are going to order several 2.5" versions of the NoVibes. Will take about 3 weeks.

Thanks for the excellent review Mike! And, yes, WD SHOULD have contacted you!

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Re: Noise Insulation

Post by victorhortalives » Thu Jun 12, 2008 6:40 am

Hypernova wrote:
Nop, no damping what so ever. I will put some Acusti's into the case at the end of this year since I got some fan motor whine to hide at the upper chamber, people with very quite system to start with may hear the idle but I doubt it. The idle sound is the first to get drowned out if you have any other noise source in your case
I couldn't hear the idle noise of my 74GB Raptor but the seeks were annoying, but almost gone with AcoustiPack installed.

I forgot to mention that the Raptor is already IN a GrowUpJapan box. I've only done the bottom of the sides plus all the front door. Helps also to hide the lower chamber fan.

All I can hear now is my pocket watch ticking on its stand and the occasional ambulance/fire engine.

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Post by MikeC » Thu Jun 12, 2008 6:47 am

<offtopic> victorhortalives -- So where's Xhystos? Is it related to Victor Horta?
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Post by dhanson865 » Thu Jun 12, 2008 7:05 am

[quote="samdrong"]Will the Antec Solo suspension mounts securely hold the VR’s slimmer thickness?

I know the article suggests the NoVibes III and also states that, “If the Velociraptor was positioned close to the front intake vent of a standard PC or suspended there with elastic cord in a SPCR-esque silent rig, it would run perfectly cool.â€
.
Please put a country in your profile if you haven't already.
This site is international but I'll assume you are in the US if you don't tell me otherwise.
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Xhystos

Post by victorhortalives » Thu Jun 12, 2008 7:48 am

MikeC wrote:<offtopic> victorhortalives -- So where's Xhystos? Is it related to Victor Horta?
Schuiten & Peeters : Cities of the Obscure

http://www.urbicande.be/intro/default.php?page=8&lg=en
http://www.urbicande.be/carte.php#
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Re: Xhystos

Post by Aris » Thu Jun 12, 2008 8:17 am

victorhortalives wrote:
MikeC wrote:<offtopic> victorhortalives -- So where's Xhystos? Is it related to Victor Horta?
Schuiten & Peeters : Cities of the Obscure

http://www.urbicande.be/intro/default.php?page=8&lg=en
http://www.urbicande.be/carte.php#
http://dictionary.ebbs.net/english/epages/edict_xyz.htm
For all those wondering, but too lazy too click links. Its a belgium comic book series created by Schuiten & Peeters.

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