SSD vs WD Velociraptor vs WD Caviar Black

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by musicguy7, Oct 6, 2011.

  1. musicguy7 macrumors member

    Jun 21, 2011

    After 2 OWC SSD failures in 2 months (I know switching SSD brands may improve reliability), I'm looking to switch back to a traditional HD for my boot drive. I currently have 2 WD Caviar Black as storage and media drives, could get a 3rd for boot, but was curious, would the WD Velociraptor be much of an improvement over them?

    Also are the Velociraptors much more stabler than (OWC) SSDs in terms of failure? Are they as reliable as 7200 HDs?
  2. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    They are faster (take a look here at a review for the 600GB version).

    In terms of reliability, Velociraptors are actually enterprise grade disks, not just better platters (1E15 bit error rate, as you get with the Caviar Blacks). Now how they compare to SSD's in terms of reliability, depends on whether or not the SSD is well made or not (they should be more reliable than mechanical, but companies like OCZ's products don't have a good reputation for reliability; Intel would be one of the best to get in terms of reliability).

    BTW, most consumer drives only have a 1E14 bit error rate, which is one of the reasons WD is more reliable than other brands (stay away from Seagate and Hitachi, unless you like bricks).
  3. saulinpa, Oct 6, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2011

    saulinpa macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2008
    Most SSD failures are due to design/firmware issues with new technology. The Velociraptors are a mature technology - really just an evolution of 30 year old designs. That being said, there are reports of failures. It is the luck of the draw. Safer to get 7200 RPM drives.

    Also - if you want some speed put them in a striped RAID configuration. It makes a big difference.
  4. musicguy7 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 21, 2011
    One thing that's come outta this shortlived ssd experience is the whole smaller capacity drive for my boot drive, meaning I really only require 120 gb for my boot drive and the smallest Wd Caviar black being 500 seems like I'll end up with lots of excess space...but if velociraptors for whatever reason are not as 'reliable' as 7200 rpm drives then i guess i could get the wd black 500 since price wise it's still relatively cheap excess space or not...
  5. derbothaus, Oct 6, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2011

    derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    You do know that the failure rate for 7200RPM drives are higher than ANY SSD that isn't OCZ, right? Not sure where you get this 'reliable' dream from. VR's are MORE reliable than a standard 7200RPM drive as nano stated.
    Just get an Intel SSD. I actually have a 600GB velociraptor. It is leagues slower than my OWC SSD's that have not failed. No issues 7 months. I use it for my Home folder. It is very stable, relatively fast, expensive for what you get, and very loud when seeking. Are you filling your boot drive up and only allotting for the space you need, cause that is not a good idea, at all. You should have at very least 25% free. If not the WD Velociraptor for boot get the 320GB F4 from Samsung. It is just as fast but much quieter and 7200 not 10000RPM.
  6. AngryRedTicTac macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2011
    If your sticking with Caviar Blacks, get at least a 1tb, and make an appropriately sized partition to boot from, and use the rest for long term storage. The 1tb blacks are much faster than the 500gb ones. Of course, the 2tb ones are much faster than the 1tb. Either way, especially with the 1tb, you get a bit of extra storage for pretty low cost to go with a bit faster performance.
  7. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    Caviar Blacks are sooo sloooow compared to other options. 1TB or 2TB. Especially coming from SSD's. Any HDD is going to feel maddeningly slow now.
    SSD = 250+MB/s (0.5ms Seek)
    VR = 135MB/s (7.0ms),
    WD Black = 90MB/s, (12.0+ ms)
    Samsung F4 = 128MB/s (12.0+ ms)

    There is no speed improvement in partitioning your HDD. And storage on the same HDD is not storage at all if the drive dies. Why not just create a directory called "Storage".
  8. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    The last 3 years I've bought 5x WDs, two of them have failed.
    I've bought 2 samsungs and 3 seagates. All working

    Might be a coincidence. The two dead WDs was both Scorpio Blues.
    Two WB Black (3.5 inch) doing great, good speed.
    The samsungs are green(slow) 3.5 inch, seems very reliable so far.
    Seagates are one 2.5 inch (Momentus XT) and two external disks (3.5 inches 7200RPM).

    I know that isn't much data to base it on, but two dead WB Scorpio Blues in less then a year is a bit too much if you ask me.

    It's been awhile since a 3.5 inches has died on be before takes out of service.
    I think the last ones was Quantum Fireballs 2 or 4 GB. Must have been almost 10 years ago.

    I usually have 3.5 inch drives in use for about 3 years, 2.5 inch usually about 1-1.5 years, since it's usually a pretty cheap and good upgrade for a laptop.

    SSDs *should* be more reliable, but there has been much problems with firmware for many drives.
    So far it seems to me that the slower Sata2 drives are better than the newer ones.

    If I would get another SSD drive I probably go for something like Samsung 470 series, which have done extremely well in some reliability tests and have decent speed, although far from the fastest ones.

    I myself have a OCZ SSD and it is like a beta product. I've had firmware upgrades that have bricked the drive, twice. And I've had to do destructive firmware flashing to get it running again. Luckily the reps at OCZ will supply you with a destructive flasher if you send them the drives SN.
  9. xgman macrumors 601


    Aug 6, 2007
    I have 3 600 velo's and although not used for the OS drive, I have never had any hiccups from any of them. I just wish they came in terabyte sizes.
  10. jonnymo5 macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2008
    The only thing you can count on with hard drives is that they are going to die. Pick whatever one has the performance you want and buy 2. Redundancy is the only way to get reliability. I have friends who love WD disks but I have sent 6 to a spectacular death in less than a year so I won't touch them.

    It is a much better value proposition to get a lot of cheap disks than buying fewer "high quality" disks.

    SSD is the best for booting and you won't get close with a mechanical drive. There are some growing pains though so I would try a new brand and keep an eye on the warranty period.
  11. musicguy7 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 21, 2011
    "Are you filling your boot drive up and only allotting for the space you need, cause that is not a good idea, at all"

    No, I was using the SSD 120 gb for just the OS and apps and intended to do the same with the replacement drive. Used around 30/120 gb on the SSD. Is there a downside to partitioning the boot drive and storing lots of stuff on it? Say I get a 300 gb Velociraptor, and partition a 150 chunk for storage and use around 50/150 chunk for my boot drive. Still better to just use 50/300 of it solely for OS and apps?
  12. musicguy7, Oct 6, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2011

    musicguy7 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 21, 2011
    It says on various websites the Samsung F4 is 5400 rpm??? Do you mean the go with the F3?

    Edit: ok I see there is a F4 7200 rpm version but can't locate one avail to buy at my usual places, ncix newegg etc.

    F3 vs F4 ?

    and F3 vs WD Black?
  13. fabriciom macrumors 6502


    Feb 17, 2008
    Madrid, España
    I just got 2 3TB Hitachi Ultrastar (RAID0) and Im very happy.
  14. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    The Velociraptors are more reliable than 7200rpm disks (part of what enterprise disk means).

    I don't use the Caviar Blues.

    Just Caviar Blacks for consumer use, REx for enterprise, and Greens for backups.

    But between Seagate and WD, I've seen far more failures with the Seagates, and that includes the enterprise models (built off of the consumer models, and have had problems since the 7200.11 series).

    To put this into perspective, the Seagate 7200.12's have ~31% failure rate, which is insane.
  15. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
  16. musicguy7 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 21, 2011
  17. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010

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