Raptor alternatives

darksidedragon

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Ok, I'm looking at building a gaming rig soon, and have considered using a Raptor to reduce game loading times. However, they're quiet expensive and very loud, so I've been considering some alternatives.

I'm considering getting a pair of Samsung SpinPoint drives in RAID 0 as they're uber quiet, but their performance seems pretty weak. So, I've also looked at RAID 0 with two Seagate ST3250820AS 250GB drives. These perform better, but I'm not sure about how loud they are.

I'm leaning towards the Seagate drives as I figure that my current Maxtor drives I'll be carrying over (can't remember the model names, but one is a MaxLine II, another a DM9, and the last a DM10). My suspicion is that the Samsung drives would be drowned out by the Maxtors anyways, so perhaps there is little point to them over the Seagate drives.

Finally, the case I'm using (NZXT HUSH) has HDD dampening, so do you think this would bring the noise of a Raptor done to a low level?
 

powerbaselx

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Ok, I'm looking at building a gaming rig soon, and have considered using a Raptor to reduce game loading times. However, they're quiet expensive and very loud, so I've been considering some alternatives.

I'm considering getting a pair of Samsung SpinPoint drives in RAID 0 as they're uber quiet, but their performance seems pretty weak. So, I've also looked at RAID 0 with two Seagate ST3250820AS 250GB drives. These perform better, but I'm not sure about how loud they are.
I have configured from sometime two Western Digital Caviar SE 80GB Sata150 in RAID0 and the performance is really good so far and i believe it approaches a single Raptor performance. The initial windows XP boot is fast (not instantaneous but fast) and the application launch is fast also.
PCMark05 windows boot benchmark result almost doubled.
Notice that i only use 25GB which means perhaps i only access the first sectors on each physical disk which are the fastest.

Anyway, i will give Raptors a chance and configure in the next couple of month a RAID0 array.
 

ethel

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Raptors are faster than your alternatives - there's no getting around that I'm afraid. However, the Seagate 7200.10 is very fast for a 7200 RPM drive and very good value.

RAID 0 is widely accepted to show little if any real-world improvement in speed, and don't forget you would be doubling your risk of data loss.

The sound that you will hear from a Raptor is not the whine of the drive spinning, but the noise of the actuators when the drive seeks (sounds a bit like a coffee grinder). Dampening will help, but not completely eliminate it - certainly not as effectively as suspending the drive.

In a nutshell if you're worried about cost and want a lot of storage space, get the 7200.10 - if you want the best speed then the Raptor reigns supreme.
 

asdasd123123

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If you can't take the price, don't do the raptors! :p
SAS attached Seagate Cheetah 15kRPM are faster..
The drives themselves aren't that expensive, but the controller cards costs like an entire rig >_<
Raptors aren't loud btw, most drives I've had have been louder.
Liquid bearing drives included, not counting when they do some workout though :p

You could raid just about anything 80gb+ and should get relatively close to a single raptor, or exceed, depending of size of raptor..

Get "raid edition" drives from WD, shouldn't be terribly expensive.
They have 5yr warranty, and I suppose are intended to be raided?
Small premium, but much less than a raptor drive.
 

ZOldDude

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Seagate Cheetah 15kRPM
Yes they are the fast ones....and you can buy two new cars for the price of one HD.

The Seagate 7200.10 have a substained read speed 1mbpm above the Raptor and the 320GB model was selling for $59 a few weeks ago and the 500GB was $98 (Fathers Day sale).

If it was myself I would get two 320's and NOT raid them as I have had raid 0 fail.

Install OS and all updates on "C"...deleat the page file and install it on the other drive. That way both are located at the fastest part of the drives.
 

darksidedragon

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RAID 0 performance increase seems to be something that's massively debated. The space that I'd gain with two Seagates isn't an issue, as I already have 800GB worth of Maxtor drive space. If the sound dampening will help, then I'm probably leaning more towards the Raptor now. That said, if anyone has any benchmark results for RAID 0, I'd be prettyinterested to hear.
 

croc

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Ok, I'm looking at building a gaming rig soon, and have considered using a Raptor to reduce game loading times. However, they're quiet expensive and very loud, so I've been considering some alternatives.
How can they be quiet and loud at the same time?
 

tlmck

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One of the fastest, non raid, non Raptor solutions I know of, is using a WD1600AAJS as the boot drive, and a Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 as a data drive. The 250 and 320 sizes seem to be the best.

The WD1600AAJS is on slightly slower than the Raptor due to using only one platter. The Seagates are fast in larger sizes due to the perpendicular recording tech they use. Both drives are also cool and quiet. I could not tell any difference between this setup and SATA 150 raid 0.

The Raptors are indeed the fastest, but you know the cost of this.
 

croc

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Good. Now that we have the fact that you can't spell out of the way, can you run hdtach?

SAS SCSI's are faster than raptors, but quite expensive on the whole. Some of the newer Hitachi's are almost as fast as the raptors, in some apps faster. (bettter ncq / caching, no doubt)

All of the above being said, is it really worth it to spend that kind of money for a few percentage points in a game or two?

If you have the kind of money to worry about the price of a raptor, I think not.
 

dobby

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to be honest, in my opion for a compromise between sound and performance (odviously excluding raptors) wester digiatal are the best again, you can look for 2 raid edition HDD, put them into a active array with no redundency (raid 0 for example) then you might just meet the same read speed.

But you could aleways by an older raptor like 74Gb modle, then when you have the money buy another and RAID 0 them together and you got raptors, (look on ebvay for second hand modles as they are top of the line they are built well.
 

darksidedragon

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Thank you, evongugg! I was looking for that article earlier, but couldn't find it. Oh, and on the subject of the RAID edition drives: I've read some reviews on them that actually find a pair of Maxtor DM10 outperform the RAID edition drives in most areas.
 

ethel

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Sorry to be a downer, but before you get excited about that poor article from Toms and go the RAID route, you should read this much better researched article from Anandtech:

http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=2101

Here's the closing line:

"Bottom line: RAID-0 arrays will win you just about any benchmark, but they'll deliver virtually nothing more than that for real world desktop performance. That's just the cold hard truth."
 
I agree with your decision to go with a Raptor as long as you don't need the extra space of a Raid 0. For an entusiast a Raptor is the way to go.

I have not read the full article from Anandtech, but I do need to point out the date: 2004. A lot of things have changed in the hardware world since 2004. Tom's article is more up to date.
 

powerbaselx

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Sorry to be a downer, but before you get excited about that poor article from Toms and go the RAID route, you should read this much better researched article from Anandtech:

http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=2101

Here's the closing line:

"Bottom line: RAID-0 arrays will win you just about any benchmark, but they'll deliver virtually nothing more than that for real world desktop performance. That's just the cold hard truth."
As already said, this is a 2004 article with older technology. Do they really used a stopwatch to measure performance or i get it wrong?

As i said in first place, i have a RAID-0 set and the extra speed is really noticeable. Everything is faster. So that bottom line conclusion cannot be correct at all per my experience.
 

jt001

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I've used RAID for years now and I can tell you that RAID-0 will make a very noticeable difference, I'm not sure why there's so many people that will try to tell you it won't make a difference or what their motivation is to want you to not have RAID, but it will make an improvement on almost everything...windows will boot faster, programs open faster, zip files are compressed and decompressed almost twice as fast, games load quicker, etc.
If you already have a good system there's no reason not to invest in a better hard drive setup, considering the hard drive is the slowest part in any system.

I personally would go RAID-0 over the raptors, I have a lot of experience with hard drives and I can tell you that the raptors are overrated.
 

darksidedragon

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lol. I realise that Raptors are over-priced for what they are, but I'm still undecided on RAID 0, as there seems to be very mixed responses to it. The main thing I want to know is do games show an improvement in loading times?
 

powerbaselx

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lol. I realise that Raptors are over-priced for what they are, but I'm still undecided on RAID 0, as there seems to be very mixed responses to it. The main thing I want to know is do games show an improvement in loading times?
In my case, yes they do. That is my (good) experience with 2x WD Caviar SE 80GB 7200-rpm SATA150 configured in RAID 0.

Anyway, in July, i'm moving to 2x Raptor 74GB 16MB 10K-rpm SATA150 in RAID 0 for an additional improvement in performance. Before i took this decision, i thought also in adding two more identical Caviars and setup a 4 disk set in RAID 0. I believe that would give also a pleasant performance at a cheap price.
 
I'm a RAID fan. On my current home machine, I was running 2 100gig Maxtors in RAID0, till one of the drives starting making noise, so I imaged everything over to a single Seagate drive, which I am running now. There is a VERY noticable difference, on my system anyway.
I see lots of opinions from people who say it is not worth it to run RAID0. From my own experience running both ways off and on over the years, I just don't understand the nay-sayers. There is a substantial difference that you see in everyday use. I am not talking about benchmarks, I am talking about booting, opening and closing common apps, games, video editing, Photoshop, Illustrator, multitasking between 3 or 4 open programs. I have always just used the on-board controllers.
As for reliability, with any system RAID or single drive, drives and controllers can fail, not to mention viruses and spyware can make life very unhappy. If you don't want to lose important data, a good backup is a must.
 

darksidedragon

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I'm getting an external drive for backup, so that shouldn't be so much of an issue. Plus, I'm looking at getting two 400GB Samsung SpinPoints and using the Inetl Matrix RAID setup so that I have 150GB of RAID 0 and the remaining could be put into RAID 1. Although this is only about 220GB of storage space, I'll carry over my 200GB and 300GB SATA drives from this system (I'll leave the 300GB IDE for my mum).
 

Ciderdude

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On the subject of sound, I bought a 74GB Raptor a couple of years ago and in order to make it quiet I stuck it in a Quiet Drive disk enclosure, can't remember the exact model. I can honestly say that I can barely hear it, the only way I can tell its doing anything is by watching the HD LED. The Quiet Drive also acts as a cooler and it works well, the drive rarely exceeds 42C. You do need a spare 5.25" drive bay for it though.

I bought mine from QuietPC, they have a large range now.
 

powerbaselx

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Plus, I'm looking at getting two 400GB Samsung SpinPoints and using the Inetl Matrix RAID setup so that I have 150GB of RAID 0 and the remaining could be put into RAID 1.
Errr... is this possible with only 2 disks? Is this RAID 0+1?
 

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