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Western Digital Raptor WD1500


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#1 Eugene

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 06:53 AM

WD’s long-awaited update to the 10,000 RPM SATA Raptor has arrived! The family’s new bellwether ups capacity up to 150 gigabytes and claims to significantly increase performance while maintaining the line’s admirable power and noise levels. Join StorageReview as we pit the Raptor WD1500 up against every currently available SCSI and SATA flagship in our comprehensive test suite!

Western Digital Raptor WD1500

Updated Jan 5th, 10 PM with the differences (or lack thereof) between two different versions of the drive.

#2 bokchoy

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 07:41 AM

The clear window is a little smaller than I imagined. Still cool!

#3 Schlotkins

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 07:57 AM

Wow - fast drive. I wish I knew if my 100 meg SAS database work would fall under single user or server work.. hmmm...

Chris

#4 Seb Mouren

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 08:55 AM

Hi,

I'm pleased to see SR keeping up with reviews of recent drives.

Don't you think it would be interesting to test this drive and eventually other SATA or SATA 2.5 drive with the LSI SAS1068 adapter?

It would offer us a first glimpse of current state of interoperability between SAS and SATA, and allow us to evaluate performance and stability of this solution as well as the current HBA driver implementation.

Regards,

Sébastien Mouren

#5 Eugene

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 08:59 AM

Don't you think it would be interesting to test this drive and eventually other SATA or SATA 2.5 drive with the LSI SAS1068 adapter?

Sébastien Mouren


We've got a a look at how various SATA drives change performance wise when running off of different controllers such as the Si3124, LSI MegaRAID 300-8X, 3ware 9550SX, and the LSI1068.

Generally speaking, there's not much difference. To address your specific question, the 1068's single-user performance slightly lags the 3124. Multi-user exhibits a greater difference- the 1068's NCQ implementation isn't that great.

#6 bjorn44

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 03:27 PM

I just want to thank you for an very good review as always. Storagereview.com is my only source for news on storage news and reviews and I'll never look elsewhere. No need to!

Keep up the good work!

#7 Ender17

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 04:51 PM

I just want to thank you for an very good review as always. Storagereview.com is my only source for news on storage news and reviews and I'll never look elsewhere. No need to!

Keep up the good work!

why was the part about the Raptor X and the differences between them removed?

#8 continuum

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 04:51 PM

Nice. Very nice.

Very tempting indeed...

#9 Buzz

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 05:03 PM

Great thorough review Eugene :)

#10 m54

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 05:10 PM

This is absolutly incredible. Thank you for a solid well written review Eugene. Any idea where you can buy this drive at? Also did WD say anything about continuing to tune for multi-user performance or is this all we're going to get?

#11 Live

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 06:39 PM


I just want to thank you for an very good review as always. Storagereview.com is my only source for news on storage news and reviews and I'll never look elsewhere. No need to!

Keep up the good work!

why was the part about the Raptor X and the differences between them removed?


This is the part that really bugs me in an otherwise excellent review that is out before everyone else. Good work!

But back to the problem. There is according to many sources 2 versions of this drive. Not even mentioning this in the review (at least it wasn’t mentioned in the one I read) is discouraging. WD complained about you stealing thunder from there CES announcement?

As a desktop user a “gamer” version seems very enticing if it’s not all bling bling. Single user firmware could potentially be a big improvement. I was hoping to press the order button right about now but I guess I have to wait.

Anyone who read the review while it contained info on this like to share some info?

Whatever the reason for not sharing the info on the different version of the 1500 I think you could at least mentioned the problem and said something about it even if its just we cant comment right now.

#12 tntomek

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 06:43 PM

Will there be a single platter version? For those of us using this as a boot drive size was never an issue, I still have my GD360 with plenty of leftover space.

#13 Eugene

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 11:05 PM

I think you could at least mentioned the problem and said something about it even if its just we cant comment right now.


Allow us until 10 PM EST tomorrow.

Thanks,

Eugene

#14 infirm

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 11:14 PM

Looks like you can get the drive directly from WD online store. At least they say it is now in stock.

WD info page for new Raptor

#15 Katatonic

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 11:39 PM

Hopefully this will drive the prices down of the 74 as I only want it for a nice faster OS and a bit of gaming, where it clearly has an advantage :)

Is there anyway you can review these two hard drives (WD1500) in RAID?

#16 Guest_888_*

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 12:34 AM

These may be just a few little typos:

1.
http://www.storagere...1500ADFD_7.html
Noise graphs:
WD740GD is 42.8 (Raptor vs. SCSI graphs)
WD740GD is 42.5 (Raptor vs. SATA graphs)
also on noise graph on
http://www.storagere...1500ADFD_9.html
WD740GD is 42.5
Looks like the 42.8 is a typo (or is it 42.5 ?)

2.
http://www.storagere...1500ADFD_9.html
Quote sentence:
"Let us take a look at how the Raptor family's performance, noise, and power characteristics have evolved over the line's 3.5 year history"
I think the 2.5 year history is more close to the real count?

3.
Just wondering why there's page no.2 of the review not existing:
http://www.storagere...1500ADFD_2.html

#17 Eugene

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 01:08 AM

Looks like the 42.8 is a typo (or is it 42.5 ?)


Fixed, thanks.

I think the 2.5 year history is more close to the real count?


3(.0) is actually the closest, changed.

Just wondering why there's page no.2 of the review not existing:
http://www.storagere...1500ADFD_2.html


Page 2's content remains under NDA until tomorrow 10 PM EST. The article should have waited for complete publication until then, but since the cat is out of the bag, rather than pulling the entire writeup (one option), we've honored WD's request and modified certain parts of the article regarding another product. The full version will be restored tomorrow evening.

#18 phoenix

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 06:47 AM

Impressive performance & good article....

#19 TechNet

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 09:05 AM

Great review Eugene.

In the review you mentioned :- "This time around, thankfully, TLER ships disabled by default and may be enabled via a utility for installations that would benefit from the feature."

How much do you know about this utility, where is can be downloaded from, can it be used to disable TLER on the RE2 drive etc. etc.

Any help would be much appreciated as I have some RE2 drives I would like to turn TLER off.

#20 Murphy17

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 05:58 PM

Nice review !

So I think comparing hard disk in RAID array would be more representative for server usage. Overthemore it shoud be interesting to compare RAID and none RAID performance depending on hard disk usage (server or single user machine). Today RAID is more and more accessible to none professional constumers and is now integrated on some chipsets.

I'm a in the cathogory of power users, I use a 3ware 8506-12 with 250 Go Samsung spin point Hard drives in RAID 5 array and I would know if my controller will provide good performance with such hight speed SATA drives like the Western Digital Raptor WD1500 or if I should upgrade to 15k SCSI hard drives

I hope other bench in RAID array... :blush:


PS : sorry for my poor english (I'm french)

#21 Eugene

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 10:00 PM

Page 2's content remains under NDA until tomorrow 10 PM EST. The article should have waited for complete publication until then, but since the cat is out of the bag, rather than pulling the entire writeup (one option), we've honored WD's request and modified certain parts of the article regarding another product. The full version will be restored tomorrow evening.


With another NDA lifted, the article has been expanded to include discussion on the clear-window "Raptor X" and the differences between the two versions.

#22 Guest_888_*

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 10:57 PM

Thanks, Eugene!

It really is one of the most in-depth and detailized reviews you have done in latest years! Every kind of comparison charts with every kind of other drives. Especially useful and teaching (for average users but even for advanced users) are just these Raptor Evaluation and NCQ On/Off extra chart pages here. And of course, many not-before published facts on pages 1 and 2 and also on the final page!

BTW, can you say approximately, how many hours it took you to do all the tests, calculations, preparation and writing alltogether related with just this new Raptor's review?

Anyway, this is a gem here on SR!
And finally something published just in right time!
Keep up the good work!

#23 rad73

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 11:57 PM

Excellent review. However a lot of people use raid arrays these days, so some data in this area is needed.
Especially for the 74 gig raptor. Since it is half the price and half the size, it would be nice to see if this beats a single 150gig raptor in raid 0, if this is the case, then it would be better to buy 2 x 74gig drives setup in raid 0 than 1 x 150 gig drive.
RAD

#24 rad73

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 12:06 AM

This is the part that really bugs me in an otherwise excellent review that is out before everyone else. Good work!

But back to the problem. There is according to many sources 2 versions of this drive. Not even mentioning this in the review (at least it wasn’t mentioned in the one I read) is discouraging. WD complained about you stealing thunder from there CES announcement?


Hey Mate
If you read the review carefully, the only difference between the two drives is cosmetic, not performance.
RAD

#25 Eugene

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 08:49 AM

Reading reactions to the reivew around the net has been quite interesting.

It seems there remain, however, many anachronistic assertions that simply don't wash. Let's informally address a couple of them here:

The first:

the Raptor can't hold a candle to my 15K SCSI drive!!


You're right, it can't... as long as you're usiing your 15K SCSI drive run, say, Oracle databases. But as a drive in a single user system? To boast of a 15K SCSI drive there is to brag about a tractor-trailer that's can haul 20 tons when others are discussing the speed and ride characteristics of sports cars. SCSI drives are designed for access patterns vastly different than even the heaviest of single-user loads.

Individuals who spout this garbage:

# 1) Failed to take a real look at the single-user graphs throughout the article

and

# 2) Failed to read and consider this paragraph:

A Word of Caution to Power Users

It is all too common for an enthusiast to believe that his or her usage pattern is closer to that of a server's rather than a desktop's. This idea arises from a variety of sources- "I multitask a lot," "I hear the hard drive grinding away," "I deal with lots of huge files," etc. The truth is, however, that even the heaviest, grinding multitasker experiences disk access patterns that are far more localized in nature than the truly random access that servers undergo. Individuals who choose a hard drive based on its prowess in IOMeter with the belief that their usage habits mimic a server simply do themselves a disservice. It is measures such as the SR Office and High-End DriveMarks that most accurately depict a non-server's response, whether it be the sheer speed experienced under intense disk access or the "snap and feel" associated with intermittent but bursty operations.


Let's move on to the other big misconception:

Twice the price of a 74GB? For that much money I could get 2 WD740GDs and RAID them for much better performance!!


Wrong. Here's a look at how two RAIDed configurations of the WD740GD on a basic RAID controller compare vs. a single WD1500ADFD:

Posted Image

These figures were drawn from a large database of results compiled in perparation for a future article that will examine the performance of the WD740GD, the Seagate NL35, and the WD4000YR in multidrive configurations operating off of three separate RAID controllers. As demonstrated above, even a four-drive RAID0 array matches the WD1500 in only one out of five cases. I can already hear "but RAID0 suxx, what about RAID5??!!" RAID5's performance is -vastly- worse than RAID0s when it comes to single-user patterns. Results have been omitted to avoid muddying the issue.

The internet is huge, and replete with those who will posit premises based on nothing but stubbornness and intractability. I hope, however, that we can -eventually- start moving on and spread the word that servers and desktops, and the drives designed for each, are largely different beasts... and that RAID's applications arise more in the server world than in the desktop, despite what every major taiwanese manufacturer would have you believe.



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