Raptor 150gig vs. Velociraptor 150gig/300gig - Any point to upgrade? (57gig boot)

Sean Dempsey

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Aug 7, 2006
1,617
3
I have the 150gig Raptor from what, 4 years ago? 57 gig boot drive.

I am trying to do some speed bumps to a 2006 Mac Pro, and I'm down to the choice of an SSD, or a Velociraptor.

But, I am curious if there's any appreciable differenece between the older Raptor, and the Velociraptor.

Since I only need like 60 gigs for my system drive, the 150gig version is fine. Is the Velociraptor worth the money over an existing Raptor, where only speed is the factor, not capacity?
 

CaptainChunk

macrumors 68020
Apr 16, 2008
2,142
6
Phoenix, AZ
Even a WD Caviar Black is faster (practically across the board) than an original Raptor.

So to answer your question, yes, a Velociraptor would yield a noticeable improvement. If you only need 80 gigs for your boot drive, a small SSD would be even better, at a slightly higher cost.
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,166
580
Finland
New VelociRaptor is nearly twice as fast in sustained transfer speed (145MB/s vs 84MB/s) plus it has bigger cache. It would be an okay update but SSD will be A LOT faster due the extremely low latency.
 

Sean Dempsey

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Aug 7, 2006
1,617
3
Even a WD Caviar Black is faster (practically across the board) than an original Raptor.

So to answer your question, yes, a Velociraptor would yield a noticeable improvement. If you only need 80 gigs for your boot drive, a small SSD would be even better, at a slightly higher cost.


I want the OWC SSD, but the 60gig is too small, but the 120gig is way too expensive to leave 70+ gigs of it unused. The Intel SSD looks good, but the reports are that the OWC beats the Intel in the degradation prevention.

With the VR, I figure I can partition it out a bit. It just seems like very small gains for the cost. Am I wrong here?

Hellhammer help me! I take back everything I've ever said!


edit: It's not a money thing, I don't mind the cost either way. I just don't want to take a small increase over a slightly not smaller increase.
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,166
580
Finland
I want the OWC SSD, but the 60gig is too small, but the 120gig is way too expensive to leave 70+ gigs of it unused. The Intel SSD looks good, but the reports are that the OWC beats the Intel in the degradation prevention.

With the VR, I figure I can partition it out a bit. It just seems like very small gains for the cost. Am I wrong here?

Hellhammer help me! I take back everything I've ever said!


edit: It's not a money thing, I don't mind the cost either way. I just don't want to take a small increase over a slightly not smaller increase.
How much space do you actually need? You shouldn't put anything else but OS X and apps in it so IMO 60GB should be enough. You can move the apps you rarely use to a hard drive.

Degradation isn't that big issue unless you write a lot to your SSD, so if it's just OS X & apps which is mainly reading, you should be fine with Intel. Besides, there is some evidence of TRIM in latest version of Snow Leopard so that would take care of wear leveling and block management and thus slower the degradation.

So, if you can squeeze your data into the 60GB OWC, buy it, if you can't, the Intel is better choice. I wouldn't buy VelociRaptor unless you do heavy writes where HDs still beat SSDs (not in speed but HD doesn't wear out)
 

Sean Dempsey

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Aug 7, 2006
1,617
3
How much space do you actually need? You shouldn't put anything else but OS X and apps in it so IMO 60GB should be enough. You can move the apps you rarely use to a hard drive.

Degradation isn't that big issue unless you write a lot to your SSD, so if it's just OS X & apps which is mainly reading, you should be fine with Intel. Besides, there is some evidence of TRIM in latest version of Snow Leopard so that would take care of wear leveling and block management and thus slower the degradation.

So, if you can squeeze your data into the 60GB OWC, buy it, if you can't, the Intel is better choice. I wouldn't buy VelociRaptor unless you do heavy writes where HDs still beat SSDs (not in speed but HD doesn't wear out)


I tried to squeeze my OS drive down, and I got to 57 gigs. I didn't think about moving less-used apps to a different HDD, I can see what that does. Alot of the space was from the CS5 suite, which I use all the time, and then there seemed to be some other larger installs of things I rarely use, but being a former "Windows User", it never occured to me that I can just move entire app folders to a different drive with little consequence.


My follow up then is this: If I have a SSD running OSX and Apps, would a Velociraptor now be a better choice for my work files, which there are tremendous amounts of reads and writes each day? I know it's not huge video/3d modeling files, but alot of these indesign/illustrator/photoshop files can be several hundred megs each, with dozens of them open at once, and then placing/copying/pasting all between the two, right now my Raptor churns constantly running the apps, then I have just normal 7200 rpm drives running all the files.

Seems like an SSD for OSX, and then a VR600 for everything else would be the ultimate setup? Then just use the 7200rpm drives I have as backup and archive drives?
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,166
580
Finland
I tried to squeeze my OS drive down, and I got to 57 gigs. I didn't think about moving less-used apps to a different HDD, I can see what that does. Alot of the space was from the CS5 suite, which I use all the time, and then there seemed to be some other larger installs of things I rarely use, but being a former "Windows User", it never occured to me that I can just move entire app folders to a different drive with little consequence.
Most apps can be moved without issues but bigger ones like CS5 suite is more troublesome but if you use it all the time, it's better if it's in the SSD. I have a friend with 80GB SSD in his Mac Pro and he moved pretty much all but normal OS X apps and CS5 to an HD. Saved him a lot space.

You can also remove unnecessary languages and printer drivers, they eat few gigs.

Seems like an SSD for OSX, and then a VR600 for everything else would be the ultimate setup? Then just use the 7200rpm drives I have as backup and archive drives?
Yeah, that's probably the best bang for your buck. VR is also an enterprise drive so it should handle heavier usage better than regular drives as it's designed for heavy usage.
 

Sean Dempsey

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Aug 7, 2006
1,617
3
What about XSlimmer or Drive Genius 3? They have slimming features, but I've never tried them.
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,166
580
Finland
What about XSlimmer or Drive Genius 3? They have slimming features, but I've never tried them.
Neither have I. I wouldn't hassle with them as they can cause more issues that help. You should have a nice amount (~10GB) of free space in the SSD so it won't slow down. Maybe the Intel is better for you unless you jump for the 120GB OWC
 

Sean Dempsey

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Aug 7, 2006
1,617
3
Neither have I. I wouldn't hassle with them as they can cause more issues that help. You should have a nice amount (~10GB) of free space in the SSD so it won't slow down. Maybe the Intel is better for you unless you jump for the 120GB OWC
Do you know why the OWC smashes the Intel in performance tests?
 

Eric-PTEK

macrumors 6502
Mar 3, 2009
450
2
Funny you should ask.

Not a Mac Pro but a hack...on my wife's i3 2.93Ghz desktop with a Raptor we went to a Velociprator and it was a significant speed increase.

too bad you didn't catch me earlier I just sold my 6mo old set of 150's that I used in RAID0.

Still, for her machine being so much faster, and my Hack Q6600 with a same HD my MB Pro, or even her Macbook with the 2.26 Ghz Core 2 was faster with an SSD.

I just have one of the cheaper Kingston's 64 gig Value series(the new one with TRIM) that I picked up for $95.

The MB Pro(2.4ghz C2D) was so much faster I sold both my desktop and her desktop and switched to just the laptops as desktop replacements.

Now I don't do encoding or anything like that but the SSD made enough of an improvement elsewhere that the process mattered little.

If your not doing encoding then the SSD is your biggest increase in performance. I think the Kingston V Series 128 gig based off of the new controllers i not too bad, around $200 on sale.

Is it as fast as an Intel, no, but its way faster than the Velociraptor.

All our data is stored on a server so I only use 1/2 of the 64 gig but between the complete silence of the laptop now and speed its a great combo.
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,719
2
I tried to squeeze my OS drive down, and I got to 57 gigs.
Even if you can peel out more (delete, move to another disk, whatever), you need to keep ~20% of the SSD unused for wear leveling (10% in the case of Intel, as they've a "hidden" 10% already).

Something to keep in mind. ;)

My follow up then is this: If I have a SSD running OSX and Apps, would a Velociraptor now be a better choice for my work files, which there are tremendous amounts of reads and writes each day? I know it's not huge video/3d modeling files, but alot of these indesign/illustrator/photoshop files can be several hundred megs each, with dozens of them open at once, and then placing/copying/pasting all between the two, right now my Raptor churns constantly running the apps, then I have just normal 7200 rpm drives running all the files.
In terms of raw performance, a stripe set consisting of multiple disks may make more sense (faster, and can be done for similar funds). There is the "cost" of reduced reliability/redundancy, but a proper backup implementation would make up for that.

If the data is critical however, you may want to consider another solution, particularly a RAID card and redundant level (mention of video/3D is why I mention this). Such files tend to require more performance than a single mechanical disk can deliver (including the newest VR's). If your content with the necessity of fixing a problem yourself (i.e can afford down time to repair a stripe set and restore data from the backup source), you'd be OK with a RAID 0 (stripe set). If not, you need to consider the RAID card, as you'd want to move to a parity based array, such as RAID 5 IMO (requires a proper RAID card in the MP, as Disk Utility can't do it, and other software based solutions aren't actually sufficient, given the write hole issue - see RAID wiki for further information if you're interested).
 

Sean Dempsey

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Aug 7, 2006
1,617
3
Even if you can peel out more (delete, move to another disk, whatever), you need to keep ~20% of the SSD unused for wear leveling (10% in the case of Intel, as they've a "hidden" 10% already).

Something to keep in mind. ;)


In terms of raw performance, a stripe set consisting of multiple disks may make more sense (faster, and can be done for similar funds). There is the "cost" of reduced reliability/redundancy, but a proper backup implementation would make up for that.

If the data is critical however, you may want to consider another solution, particularly a RAID card and redundant level (mention of video/3D is why I mention this). Such files tend to require more performance than a single mechanical disk can deliver (including the newest VR's). If your content with the necessity of fixing a problem yourself (i.e can afford down time to repair a stripe set and restore data from the backup source), you'd be OK with a RAID 0 (stripe set). If not, you need to consider the RAID card, as you'd want to move to a parity based array, such as RAID 5 IMO (requires a proper RAID card in the MP, as Disk Utility can't do it, and other software based solutions aren't actually sufficient, given the write hole issue - see RAID wiki for further information if you're interested).


Data is not critical, I already have multiple FW800 "backup" drives that get daily/weekly backups. All files are in 3 separate locations at any time.

I tried using the Mac Pro tray to do a RAID0, but then I started reading about the hangups about using OSX as a software raid as opposed to using a hardware controller, and I moved them back to individual drives.

I had considered doing an OWC RAID0 external enclosure and hooking it up through eSATA, and not really using the internal bays for anything but the boot SSD.

Problem is - I don't collect movies/music, and as a web/print developer, I don't need much storage. Right now, my "work" folder is maybe 30 gigs? It grows slowly, but I usually archive old work, so all I ever really have is a few dozen gigs of work files, and OSX/Apps.
 

CaptainChunk

macrumors 68020
Apr 16, 2008
2,142
6
Phoenix, AZ
I tried using the Mac Pro tray to do a RAID0, but then I started reading about the hangups about using OSX as a software raid as opposed to using a hardware controller, and I moved them back to individual drives.
I experience no such hang-ups using a software RAID-0 (two Seagate 7200.11 1TB drives) as a scratch disk for Final Cut Pro. And that setup has been running strong with no issues for over a year, with an OS upgrade to Snow Leopard in between (after a full backup of that volume, of course).
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,719
2
I experience no such hang-ups using a software RAID-0 (two Seagate 7200.11 1TB drives) as a scratch disk for Final Cut Pro. And that setup has been running strong with no issues for over a year, with an OS upgrade to Snow Leopard in between (after a full backup of that volume, of course).
This matches what others have posted, so I'm not sure what he's reffering to, save perhaps multiple SSD's on the ICH (throttling if the set can exceed ~660MB/s) or the issues RAID users had with 10.6.3 (problematic even with proper hardware RAID cards - users had to roll back to 10.6.2).
 

Sean Dempsey

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Aug 7, 2006
1,617
3
When I first did a RAID0 in OS X using the Mac Pro trays, there was alot of talk here on MR.com about how the software raid wasn't as fast as a hardware raid, and if you wanted to use a striped raid, a hardware controller was much more desirable.
 

VirtualRain

macrumors 603
Aug 1, 2008
6,304
114
Vancouver, BC
Just get the Intel SSD. It holds up as well if not better than any other SSD (even without TRIM which OSX doesn't provide). Plus it's a great size for your needs.

The most important drive performance metric for an OS/Apps drive is Random Read performance... Note how well the Velociraptor performs in this test... The Intel also out-performs the OWC by about 25%

 

Eric-PTEK

macrumors 6502
Mar 3, 2009
450
2
When I first did a RAID0 in OS X using the Mac Pro trays, there was alot of talk here on MR.com about how the software raid wasn't as fast as a hardware raid, and if you wanted to use a striped raid, a hardware controller was much more desirable.
Actually I'd saying Mirroring is the least intensive to do in software RAID, Striping is not going to get you a whole lot going hardware.

RAID5 on the other hand has to be done in hardware, it is a performance hit in software.
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,719
2
When I first did a RAID0 in OS X using the Mac Pro trays, there was alot of talk here on MR.com about how the software raid wasn't as fast as a hardware raid, and if you wanted to use a striped raid, a hardware controller was much more desirable.
The hardware solution makes sense when you're talking about SSD's (aggregate throughputs exceed what the ICH is capable of), or a lot of disks (but you don't want that many mechanical disks in a stripe set, as it's too likely to fail <single disk failure rate * n>).

The cache on the card does improve performance, but it's not worth the funds necessary to obtain it. You're better off sticking with the system's controller and software implementation (the point of a stripe set is cheap performance). Granted it's at the price of lower reliability and zero redundancy, but that's the compromise. A few % of a single CPU core isn't anything to worry about.
 

Sean Dempsey

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Aug 7, 2006
1,617
3
I went on a move/delete spree and got the folder down to 43 gigs so far!


I was able to get my home folder down to about 5 gigs, there were tons of large, useless files in there like old cache's and log files. VisualHub had about 3gigs of log files alone.

I'm moving the home drive now, that should get me down to around 39 gigs. It's almost a challenge now, to get the smallest system drive possible.
 

Sean Dempsey

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Aug 7, 2006
1,617
3
Firefox didn't seem to like me moving my home folder. Even though the firefox profile says its located in thew new location, a bunch of addons and core firefox components are giving errors every time I start it up now.


edit: false alarm - I re-dragged Firefox to the applications from the download DMG, and it reset the profile and addons.

Down to 36 gigs now. That's probably plenty small for a 60gig SSD.

MR.com can be such a helpful place when you don't spend your time trolling.
 

Sean Dempsey

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Aug 7, 2006
1,617
3
Man Apple and Adobe include a TON of sample files and templates.

I'm down to 28 gigs now by moving my home folder, and just mass-deleting garage band loops and iDVD templates, neither of which I'll ever use on a Mac Pro.