VelociRaptor

Topper

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 17, 2007
1,186
0
.
I am about to buy a 300GB WD VelociRaptor hard drive.
I'd love to get a 160GB Intel SSD but it's just too expensive and too small (capacity).
Are there any other hard drives I should be looking at besides the VelociRaptor?
 

vogelhausdesign

macrumors regular
Jan 7, 2009
227
0
Columbus, Ohio
The raptor is nice and all.. but if you look at it long term, they're not known to last long.. which means you'll be buying a new drive sooner than you could have just bought an SSD in the first place.. cost about the same, save up your chips and get the real deal
 

Inconsequential

macrumors 68000
Sep 12, 2007
1,977
1
I have a 300Gb Velociraptor as boot and it boots and runs quicker than the 1Tb WD Black I have as well.

Very, very good HD IMO.
 

pprior

macrumors 65816
Aug 1, 2007
1,440
8
.
I am about to buy a 300GB WD VelociRaptor hard drive.
I'd love to get a 160GB Intel SSD but it's just too expensive and too small (capacity).
Are there any other hard drives I should be looking at besides the VelociRaptor?
What is the intended purpose of the drive?

I have a 300GB veloci and a 160gb intel SSD both installed. They are both nice. SSD obviously way faster for random stuff like boot disk.

If this is boot disk, despite the fact that the 2tb disks have higher throughput, the faster random access of the 10,000 rpm disk DOES make a difference in boot and apps use.

I use my raptor for scratch.
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,718
2
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/2tb-hdd-7200,2430.html

According to this report, the VelociRaptor is not as fast as latest 2TB 7200rpm disks.
Newer large capacity drives have caught up with VR's in terms of sequential throughputs, but the VR still has a faster random access time (7ms rather than the 12ms found on the larger 7200rpm drives).

SSD is King-of-the-Hill in terms of random access though, and you pay for it. If the OP wants this level of speed (combination of sequential reads and random access), then I'd recommend saving up until the 160GB G2 Intel can be obtained.
 

Gonk42

macrumors 6502
Jan 16, 2008
288
0
near Cambridge
The raptor is nice and all.. but if you look at it long term, they're not known to last long.. which means you'll be buying a new drive sooner than you could have just bought an SSD in the first place.. cost about the same, save up your chips and get the real deal
I've a couple of velociraptors, one reason I went for them was that their MTBF is supposed to be 1.4 million hours, to quote from Western Digital's site:

"Designed and manufactured to mission-critical enterprise-class standards to provide enterprise reliability in high duty cycle environments. With 1.4 million hours MTBF, these drives have the highest available reliability rating on a high capacity SATA drive"

So are you saying this is wrong?
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,718
2
I've a couple of velociraptors, one reason I went for them was that their MTBF is supposed to be 1.4 million hours, to quote from Western Digital's site:

"Designed and manufactured to mission-critical enterprise-class standards to provide enterprise reliability in high duty cycle environments. With 1.4 million hours MTBF, these drives have the highest available reliability rating on a high capacity SATA drive"

So are you saying this is wrong?
It's not. The VR's are actually enterprise grade drives. The UBE of 1E15 and the MTBF at 1.4 Million hrs. are obvious clues. Consumer models typically have a UBE of 1E14, and a smaller MTBF if it's even listed (in such cases ~800K hrs. typically).
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,718
2
Get an SSD. The only advantage a hard drive has is cost/GB.
In the OP's case, it's been stated the 160GB Intel is too small, so it's not a viable solution.

In general, it comes down to specifics. For the same $$$, you can get better performance (seqential read and writes by a significant margin) out of RAID, if the drive bays are available. There's also the additional capacity, and depending on the RAID level, redundancy that's not possible with a single drive of any kind.

SSD still wins in terms of random access, but RAID even improves that aspect as well when compared to a single drive.

SSD's are still an immature product (i.e. TRIM, garbage collection,... is inconsistent), and they're not yet supported by all OS's (the code still needs to be updated to address the operational differences in some cases).

Even the published reliability can be misunderstood, as the numbers generated are based on the best 90th % of the cells (those that exceed the Flash maker's write limit specifcations). The other 10% fail much sooner, and can be a problem if there's insufficient unused capacity for the wear leveling to map around them (why you want 10 - 20% of the capacity unused). If 100% of the cells were used to generate the reliability statistics, they'd be much lower. It comes down to marketing IMO. Lower numbers would make users think they don't compare as favorably to mechanical units in this regard.

That doesn't mean SSD's are useless/dangerous,... Just that they're best suited for OS and application use with the current drives available. As the price comes down, and the tech matures, it will eventually replace mechanical units until it's the dominant drive media.
 

300D

macrumors 65816
May 2, 2009
1,284
0
Tulsa
In the OP's case, it's been stated the 160GB Intel is too small, so it's not a viable solution.
Not enough storage capacity + mac pro = not possible.
160gb is too small? Add another drive. All 4 slots used? Get an eSATA card. Don't want another card? Put the SSD is some empty space inside the case. Since an SSD doesn't vibrate or make heat, location is not very important.

For the same $$$, you can get better performance (sequential read and writes by a significant margin) out of RAID
Yes, but you'll still have 10x the seek time no matter how many drives you add. This is why Google uses RAM to store its entire active search database.

There's also the additional capacity
This is why SSDs are used for boot/application drives and a second HD is used for mas data storage.

redundancy that's not possible with a single drive of any kind.
Its known as a "nightly backup".

SSD still wins in terms of random access, but RAID even improves that aspect as well when compared to a single drive.
False. RAID is still limited by each drive's 7ms seek time. Adding more drives cannot change physics.

SSD's are still an immature product (i.e. TRIM, garbage collection,... is inconsistent)
False. That is an OS support issue, not a drive issue.

Even the published reliability can be misunderstood
What part of "they will live longer than the computer's useful life" is unreliable?

The other 10% fail much sooner, and can be a problem if there's insufficient unused capacity for the wear leveling to map around them
False. This is exactly why Intel SSDs are odd capacities, they have built in wear leveling capacity not accessible as storage space to the user.

Just that they're best suited for OS and application use with the current drives available.
...thats what consumer drives are being marketed as...
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,718
2
Not enough storage capacity + mac pro = not possible.
It is possible with the system as it arrives (4x HDD bays, an empty optical bay, with perhaps 2x unused ODD_SATA ports <depending on the specific model>).

In the case of the '09's, it's even possible to exceed the ICH10R's throughput limit before filling all the HDD bays when using SSD's (i.e. 3x Intel SSD's = 750MB/s in a stripe set, but the ICH10R hits the wall ~660MB/s).

160gb is too small? Add another drive. All 4 slots used? Get an eSATA card. Don't want another card? Put the SSD is some empty space inside the case. Since an SSD doesn't vibrate or make heat, location is not very important.
Using cards helps, but even that has limits. (i.e. the max you can go in drive count is 3x SAS RAID cards that can run 256 disks each <ATTO's SAS cards + SAS expander enclosures>). And it will cost as much as a modest house in some areas. :eek: :p

Eventually, even in a fairly modest drive count, you will have to go externally with the drives. SSD or mechanical. For example, you could squeeze in up to 12x disks internally (and need card/s to interface them to the system), if you pulled all optical drive/s, and used 2x (4bay* 2.5" backplanes = 8x 2.5" disks) + 4x HDD bays (1:1 drive per port ratio). Less if it's 3.5" drives (8x max).

Many have budget restrictions, and $$$ can't be ignored.

Yes, but you'll still have 10x the seek time no matter how many drives you add. This is why Google uses RAM to store its entire active search database.
It will depend on the usage. In some cases, random access is the primary usage pattern, while others will spend most of the time doing sequential transfers (i.e. large file video/graphics work).

In the end, the specifics matter, and general statements can cause problems if the needs aren't so simple.

This is why SSDs are used for boot/application drives and a second HD is used for mas data storage.
This can work for some. Others, not so much or it's not the best use of the budget to fulfill the requirements.


Its known as a "nightly backup".
That's not what redundancy is.

Redundancy = System keeps running even after a drive/s fail (depending on the array level used). Say it with me, RAID /= BACKUP. And the R in RAID = Redundant. :rolleyes:

A backup isn't capable of allowing the system to continue to run in such an event (i.e. OS goes, and the system stops working). A backup is another copy of a file to retain the data in case of a total disaster on the primary disk/array (for when the **** hits the fan scenario). It's hoped that proper practice, equipment,... will prevent a total disaster from happening, but it still does. Statistically, the longer an array runs, it will eventually fail. It's not actually a question of IF, but WHEN. That's one of the biggest reasons for a MTBR (Mean Time Between Replacement) policy.

Think of servers which are not supposed to go down. Ever. Until the IT dept. EOL's the system (which is even after it's replacement is operational). :rolleyes: You can swap out drives, and the system can still run. It's done either for online expansion or as an MTBR cycle, though they usually are the same (planning for coincedence saves time, effort, strain on the system, and money).

False. RAID is still limited by each drive's 7ms seek time. Adding more drives cannot change physics.
It's not incorrect. Yes, each drive is fixed, but the speed is increased as a result of parallelism (the files are distributed across the members, and are feeding simultaneously). That's why it's sped up as well. It's just not as significant as sequential, because of the fixed seek rates of each drive, and the heads must be moved far more often than large files (which does seriously improve the sequential rates).

False. That is an OS support issue, not a drive issue.
No it's not. It's a combination of multiple factors.

1. Drive firmware (many of such features have an aspect in the firmware, and there's no set of standards just yet in effect)
2. OS
3. Flash chips used (in terms of reliability)

What part of "they will live longer than the computer's useful life" is unreliable?
Those numbers are misleading. It appears that they'll last as long as they're listed, given the methodology used in the statistical analysis.

If it was done on 100% of the cells, it's no where near what's listed on the specification page. That 10% they toss out is that detrimental, and why they throw it out. Their only other choice is to bin the Flash chips prior to assembly. That generates waste from failed parts, and increases costs. Simply put, they took the cheaper route.


False. This is exactly why Intel SSDs are odd capacities, they have built in wear leveling capacity not accessible as storage space to the user.
In Intel's case, yes they included user unaccessible capacity to deal with the issue (set aside for wear leveling, and it's 10% of the drive's capacity, according to Intel). So for a 160GB drive, there's an additional 16GB that's hidden from the user. Now keep in mind, even 10% of that hidden amount will fail sooner than the specs too. That's were the additional capacity can help if the drive is used in a high write usage pattern.

For primarily reads, it's not really an issue comparitively speaking anyway. And currently, SSD's are aimed at the enthusiast user. Not the enterprise sector or mainstream consumer sector.

That's not the case with other vendors though, and the statement was written towards ALL SSD makes out there, not just Intel.

...thats what consumer drives are being marketed as...
The enthusiast market is a sub-section of the consumer market.
 

justit

macrumors 6502a
Dec 1, 2007
640
1
Just love all the SSD fan boys, one solution for everyone's needs right? :rolleyes:

I think the velociraptors are going to be extinct due to limited size and higher price. The only way to get real desktop performance is either SSD or RAID0.

For the price of the velociraptor, you can buy 2 WD 640GB Black caviars with software RAID 0 and you will surpass the speed. The 640s each use 2 320GB platters with 32MB cache each, that gives you 1.2 TB of fast (yes not *as* fast as SSD) performance, and it won't be as loud as the velociraptor. And yes the usual disclaimer still applies: have backup ready.
 

ildondeigiocchi

macrumors 6502a
Dec 30, 2007
695
0
Montreal
I strongly suggest an Intel SSD. Use it as a boot drive and buy a larger HDD for archive purposes. I used to think whether or not all these claims of SSDs were true and then I got two and my computer experience has forever changed. :)
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,718
2
Just love all the SSD fan boys, one solution for everyone's needs right? :rolleyes:
It's easy to get into that frame of mind.

Usage may be too different from person to person to make such a statement though, even if it does apply to quite a few (i.e. enthusiast users). It's not valid in every single situation. Nothing is, save the basic advice to keep a backup no matter what you use for a primary drive system. ;)

I think the velociraptors are going to be extinct due to limited size and higher price. The only way to get real desktop performance is either SSD or RAID0.
The newer mechanical drives have encroached on, and even exceeded the VR in terms of sequential throughputs in some cases. Not so with random access though (SATA only, not considering SAS).

There may be a new version that will release next year. No way to know for sure, though I recall an article claiming WD's working on a 20k rpm version. Assuming this proves to be real, it will be able to outperform whatever the current models produced by WD for the 7200 rpm units. I'm just not sure on the veracity of the article, but it's out there if you're curious.

For the price of the velociraptor, you can buy 2 WD 640GB Black caviars with software RAID 0 and you will surpass the speed. The 640s each use 2 320GB platters with 32MB cache each, that gives you 1.2 TB of fast (yes not *as* fast as SSD) performance, and it won't be as loud as the velociraptor. And yes the usual disclaimer still applies: have backup ready.
A stripe set is an inexpensive way to boost sequential throughputs, and it's very attractive as a result. But there are those who need redundancy, which a stripe can't provide. It's really the bastard child of RAID, as it really doesn't fit (R = Redundant in RAID afterall). :p
 

Doc69

macrumors 6502
Dec 21, 2005
477
23
.
I am about to buy a 300GB WD VelociRaptor hard drive.
I'd love to get a 160GB Intel SSD but it's just too expensive and too small (capacity).
Are there any other hard drives I should be looking at besides the VelociRaptor?
Once you go SSD for your system drive you can never go back. So if money is tight, I would just buy an 80GB Intel X-25M instead. They are good value for the money and cost about the same as the VeliciRaptor. Buy one of those and keep you data off the system drive. That has worked great for me. Why people need to store huge amounts of data on their system drive is beyond me (unless you have a laptop).
 

VirtualRain

macrumors 603
Aug 1, 2008
6,304
114
Vancouver, BC
I strongly suggest an Intel SSD. Use it as a boot drive and buy a larger HDD for archive purposes. I used to think whether or not all these claims of SSDs were true and then I got two and my computer experience has forever changed. :)
Once you go SSD for your system drive you can never go back.
+1 you can argue the merits of mechanical drives in RAID0 vs. SSD's all day long and accomplish nothing... but use an SSD for a day and you will never go back! :D :p
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,718
2
+1 you can argue the merits of mechanical drives in RAID0 vs. SSD's all day long and accomplish nothing... but use an SSD for a day and you will never go back! :D :p
For an enthusiast user, yes. But if you're doing a lot of writes, SSD may not be the best bang for the buck, especially if it's large sequentail data. RAID fills in this gap, as well as redundancy, and large capacity.
 

Inconsequential

macrumors 68000
Sep 12, 2007
1,977
1
Wow, alot of anti-Veloci in here :p

I have mine as my boot drive + apps drive + bootcamp.

Thats all it does and its bloody quick, raw throughput is useless in the above and access time is the crux.

Yes a SSD would be quicker but until you find a 300Gb SSD that doesn't cost the earth then a 300Gb Veloci was the best option, and IMO, still is.

I don't see the point in having a 2TB boot/apps drive :/
 

alphaod

macrumors Core
Feb 9, 2008
22,047
1,106
NYC
I have 4 VelociRaptors in RAID 5 right now; offers me the best compromise between access time and storage capacity.

Of course when I have the funds, I'll get myself 8 Intel 160GB X25s and stripe them. That would be fast enough for just about anything. :p