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WD raptor

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hey guys,

I've been looking into the next step for speeding up my computer and am thinking about purchasing a raptor HHD. Reasons why over a SSD? Speed up everything on the raptor drive. Not just the OS and a handfull of programs. I'd like to have all my games OS and programs on the drive and not worry about the drive dying in a shorter life span then the HHD. If only SSD drives had the same life span as HHD... I know there's a couple of tricks to making the drive last longer, but it's still mostly for the OS and programs that don't need updating but like I said I wish to put games and all my programs that update and not worry about the drive dying so quickly. Is this a smart move? Or am I being too picky with wanting a boost in speed (an yes I know not as fast as a SSD) all across the board?

I was also thinking of yo dawg-ing a raid set up (yo dawg I heard you like raid, so we put a raid in yo raid. so you can be raiding while you raid tongue.gif). basically 2 raptors in raid 0 and a back up traditional 7200 rpm drive to be the back up raid 1 drive. Is this possible, a good idea or a waste?


Thanks for reading!
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post #2 of 7
From what i understand is, you want 2 raptors in raid 0 in order to increase the speed and then you raid a normal hard drive to back up the raid 0 array in a raid 1, if this is what you want then it will not work as the drives need to be the same, otherwise they will work at the speed of the slowest drive so it would just be like raid 1 with two 7200rpm drives, possibly worse as they will have to run slower than their designed speed.
raid is a good idea for speeding up your entire drives without having anb ssd however if possible i believe raid 5 is the best for speed and redundancy however raid 0 will have the best speed and raid 1 for no speed increase but data redundancy, raid 5 needs a minimum of 3drives where all are the same whilst you get the space from 2 drives so 3x500gb drives would mean 1tb of storage, the data would be protected if any one of the three drives failed.
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post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by pm-roor View Post

I'd like to have all my games OS and programs on the drive and not worry about the drive dying in a shorter life span then the HHD. If only SSD drives had the same life span as HHD... I know there's a couple of tricks to making the drive last longer, but it's still mostly for the OS and programs that don't need updating but like I said I wish to put games and all my programs that update and not worry about the drive dying so quickly.

Do you realize that SSDs have longer life span than HDDs? Though the # of writes is limited you still get ~250TB-1PB of write till the drive no longer is able to write to. That will take ~10-20 years for the average person, HDDs usually have mechanical failure before that...

Look here: http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?271063-SSD-Write-Endurance-25nm-Vs-34nm
post #4 of 7
Unless capacity is an problem...you should stick with trying out an SSD instead. Thing is...SSDs these days are usually up to date with their firmware (especially the popular M4) as well as supporting garbage collection and/or TRIM. Windows 7 also accommodates with changing it's own settings from what I've read so that there isn't any crazy amount of unnecessary writing going on to keep its writing life span in check (like disabling defragmenting). This is also coming from a Velociraptor RAID-0 user. Purchase a decent sized SSD to fit all of your most used programs and don't look back to HDD unless it's for storage purposes.
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post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for the input. My only worry is having a good amount of steam games, about 10+ and they have updates are normally, at least, biweekly for 1/2 of them. My only other issue is price for a 300 gb SSD. That's the size I would need to replace it

Pvp, how much faster was the SSD than the raided raptors?
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post #6 of 7
6-12 months ago Raptors were still an option. Now, not so much. Their prices are too high for what you get. When you could get a 600GB Raptor for $199.99 and a 128GB SSD cost the same, they were worth considering. But now a 600GB Raptor costs more like $250-300, and people are finding 256GB SSDs on sale for $199 occasionally. The price difference is no longer worth it.

In benchmarks SSDs are about 20x-40x faster than HDDs. (2000-4000%) However, benchmarks hardly stress your CPU at all. That's their point - they reveal the max performance of whatever part you're testing.

In games, SSDs reduce/eliminate stutters and generally cut loadtimes by 0-50% (varies from game to game) The biggest factor in game loadtimes is your CPU strength, unless the game does something silly like storing all the map data in separate files which have to be seeked to individually. (Some games do this, and show immense improvements when being placed on SSDs, which have 0.1ms access times rather than 10-15ms access times)

The most dangerous thing you can do with an SSD is run it in RAID. Many models have immature firmware which seems to degrade over time. RAID (or rather, lack of TRIM) accelerates that. I had an Indilinx SSD (OCZ Solid2 30GB) which "died" after 8 months. It corrupted my OS and almost everything on the drive. Doing a secure erase fixed it briefly, but within a week it was dead again. Shipping was stupidly expensive, so I never RMA'd it - other people were complaining of the same issues, and said they got back duds from OCZ that did the same thing.

Then Firmware v1.7 came out. I did a destructive flash and... it seems to be fixed. My theory is Firmware v1.6 was garbage collecting my data.

The latest SSD news from the NCIX forums (my favourite online shop) is that some of Kingston's SSDs, touted for having the "Best garbage collection for TRIM-less systems", are actually burning through all their write/erase cycles in under a year. That's some really active garbage collection. As Sean said, it takes 250TB+ of writes to do so. tongue.gif But there's literally dozens of people that are having their SSDs go read-only after running out of PE cycles. That's insane - who cares about "write amplification" numbers (Duckie tongue.gif ) when there's a glaring bug like that!?

NAND resilience is not your enemy. 3000 erases is plenty for any desktop SSD. It's the firmware doing stupid (absolutely moronic) **** which is the problem. As such, I only recommend the M4. The controller is solid - it's the only one you can totally trust. Sandforce seems to have fixed their issues now, but I still don't trust theirs 100%. (maybe 90%, since it took them about 4 months to identify the issue) Intel also makes solid stuff, but their prices are off the wall crazy. You can get an OCZ Petrol 128GB for as little as $80 if you scope out an awesome sale price - but guess what Intel charges for a meagre 80GB SATA2 SSD like the Intel 320? Look it up - it's horribly overpriced. tongue.gif

Get an M4, or deal hunt. But if you want reliability, get an M4. (or any SSD that uses the same controller) I think Plextor and Samsung make a few SSDs that use the M4 controller (some Marvell chip), but you'd have to find out which models are available/affordable and then search out reviews to confirm it.
     
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post #7 of 7
RAID 0 Raptors aren't going to help you much, if at all, when it comes to game load times. Random read/write and access times are what really matter for perceived performance. RAID 0 would mostly just help large file transfers. A Raptor might get 5-10% faster level load times than a typical 7200rpm drive, while even a relatively affordable 128GB SSD will be somewhere in the ballpark of 20-40% faster.

Unless you really, really need that full 300+ GB to hold all of yours games, consider just getting an SSD. The Crucial M4's have been steadily lowering in price for the past couple of months. Keep an eye out on these. They're very very close to hitting just $1 per GB.
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