Davin

Western Digital Raptor Wd740gd

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A preview late last year of Western Digital's next-generation Raptor indicated world-class non-server performance coupled with the future promise of competitive server scores through the introduction of tagged command queuing. The WD740GD has hit the channels and been readily available for a bit. How does the final production drive stack up? StorageReview examines!

Western Digital Raptor WD740GD Review

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What about real world winbench scores from real world retail drives ?

The Sub SR review real world retail winbench WD360GD score comes to mind...

Best Regards

Theis

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It will be interesting to see how reliable the drive is - the numbers look impressive, and make me want to put one or two in a kick around box. This seems like a very exciting home/desktop drive.

The invariable comparisons to SCSI always puzzles me, though, as they really do not seem to be in the same market. The SATA interface does not offer anything close to what SCSI offers. For example, for around $200 I can get a dual channel card to run a bunch of drives, external RAIDs, tape drives, etc. with proven enterprise-class performance. And performance is of course not just the sort of stuff in a review like this, but the day in, day out, will last longer than you are to keep the box running level of performance that makes the difference between spending all of your time screwing around with computers or actually using them to make money. This drive is a step in the right direction, but I still see most of the boxes we build for at least the next coupld of years to be SCSI-centric.

I have not seen the marketing on this drive yet - can anyone comment on who are the projected buyers?

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Guest Eugene
I have not seen the marketing on this drive yet - can anyone comment on who are the projected buyers?

WD -wants- the low- mid- server market. As it stands without the necessary SATA controllers, the WD740GD's major market may remain the enthusiast crowd.

Unfortunately, in the latter segment, there are still individuals who will spend MORE money on a louder and slower SCSI drive based on these premises:

1) the Raptor is 10,000 RPM

2) the Raptor does not have a SCSI interface

Therefore

3) there is no way the Raptor can be faster than a SCSI drive.

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I have not seen the marketing on this drive yet - can anyone comment on who are the projected buyers?

WD -wants- the low- mid- server market. As it stands without the necessary SATA controllers, the WD740GD's major market may remain the enthusiast crowd.

That's interesting - is there a reason they would not go after the big retail system boys? I recall that once the general public became aware of drive rotational speed and Dell, Gateway etc. began advertising 7200 RPM drives they fairly quickly became the standard for even basic home systems. Given the way the home/desktop market has gotten crunched I would think that those guys would be looking for something like this to help rebuild a premium PC market.

Are any of the big guys building 10K SATA systems yet? Could WD provide enough to meet the demand of a Dell?

While active & vocal, does the "enthusiast" represent a significant market in the PC industry?

I do not know how typical I am, but with a couple $100K in SCSI hardware it will be some time before I don't need SCSI support in my systems, so they will have it. I could consider one of these drives for OS, but it is just another thing to deal with so I will be conservative there. I tend to think this is the approach most businesses will have - when paying the mortgage is on the line you tend to be careful, particularly when you don't need a new option.

I know a lot of the mid-level RAID builders (e.g., Rorke) are moving to SATA instead of "PATA" (of course, with SCSI interface) and they might appreciate a drive like this if it were produced in a higher capacity format. Of course, I am not sure how significant these sorts of guys are in terms of total units sold.

Given how long we had to wait for this drive, any speculation on when the capacity might double again?

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Given how long we had to wait for this drive, any speculation on when the capacity might double again?

Whenever head technology is ready. That could be anywhere from a few months to sometime next year. This is assuming, of course, that WD doesn't just add two more platters or something, but even that would not be something they could do overnight.

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Why not add platters? Isn't that the usual standard when a "line" of drives is announced? Is there some reason that these units would not have a four-platter version, too?

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Why not add platters?  Isn't that the usual standard when a "line" of drives is announced?  Is there some reason that these units would not have a four-platter version, too?

Well, I can think of a few reasons:

- No physical space inside.

- Motor isn't designed to spin more platters.

- Actuator isn't designed for more platters.

This is assuming, of course, that the platform was never designed with more platters in mind. Trying to shoehorn additional platters AFTER the fact is not a trivial matter.

Now, if the platform *was* originally designed for four disks, then you're right, it shouldn't be quite so bad.

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well wd must have had at least one controller that supported tcq.  if they didn't, how would they know the raptor worked?  heh.

Yes, of course. Point I was trying to make is that Eugene obviously would have liked to test the TCQ features of the Raptor, but that he couldn't find/obtain a controller that supported it. I was just trying to be helpful by pointing him to one :) Although I have no idea if it would be possible for him to get one of these...

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Unfortunately, in the latter segment, there are still individuals who will spend MORE money on a louder and slower SCSI drive based on these premises:

1) the Raptor is 10,000 RPM

2) the Raptor does not have a SCSI interface

Therefore

3) there is no way the Raptor can be faster than a SCSI drive.

*applauding*

I'm glad I read this today. Really made my day so far.

Of course, when SAS makes it to market, the Raptor *will* have a SCSI interface. :blink:

I would think that labeling the drive "Enterprise-class" would suck in folks that like "Pro" and "Ultra" on their consumer goods. (My wife thinks I'm one of those...)

I'm surprised that Dell has not jumped on this and offered Raptor RAID systems in their lower end (mid?) servers. Need to go check... I would not expect to find Raptors in their $400US line-up, but you never know.

WD is obviously targetting this drive to the low-end (internal or small array) SCSI market. I hope it succeeds. As the "low-end" enterprise discovers it is a excellent performer, it will move up market.

DogEared.

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Unfortunately, in the latter segment, there are still individuals who will spend MORE money on a louder and slower SCSI drive based on these premises:

1) the Raptor is 10,000 RPM

2) the Raptor does not have a SCSI interface

Therefore

3) there is no way the Raptor can be faster than a SCSI drive.

There's the point! :D :D :D

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Hi!

Got some questions, and I would be really happy if I received some answers.

1: I wonder if I can use the Raptor 36/74 GB in a Silentmaxx HDD? (look here!).

Think it will work, and if so, will it reduce the noise significally, and handle the heat?

2: Is the noise on the Raptor disks really annoying?

3: Is there a difference in noise, between the Raptor 36 GB and the 74 GB?

4: Which disk do you recommend me buying, and why?.

Kindest regards

Dan

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Yes, of course. Point I was trying to make is that Eugene obviously would have liked to test the TCQ features of the Raptor, but that he couldn't find/obtain a controller that supported it. I was just trying to be helpful by pointing him to one :) Although I have no idea if it would be possible for him to get one of these...
Yes, of course. Point I was trying to make is that Eugene obviously would have liked to test the TCQ features of the Raptor, but that he couldn't find/obtain a controller that supported it. I was just trying to be helpful by pointing him to one :) Although I have no idea if it would be possible for him to get one of these...

boekhold, welcome to the forums. Just a few notes:

1) The Marvell product you linked to is just the IC (ie. the controller chip), as opposed to an actual PCI controller card that Eugene would require.

2) Even if this IC was utilized by some card manu., its intended for the PCI-X interface. Although PCI-X cards should be backwards compatible with the vanilla PCI interface (i.e. what the static SR testbed has), it probably wouldn't make much sense to spend money on a PCI-X card without utilizing it in its intended role.

3) Lastly, although I'm sure that Eugene appreciates your good intentions, I imagine he was already aware of its existence.

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Hi!

1: I wonder if I can use the Raptor 36/74 GB in a Silentmaxx HDD? (look here!).

Think it will work, and if so, will it reduce the noise significally, and handle the heat?

They're funny; they say the aluminum cooling profiles will lengthen the life of your drive, yet at the same time do not certify it for 15k rpm drives. I'd say that if this enclosure really improves cooling over a bare disk, it should still be true for 15k drives... Draw your own conclusions...

2: Is the noise on the Raptor disks really annoying?

3:  Is there a difference in noise, between the Raptor 36 GB and the 74 GB?

As you probably read, the newer model has a FDB motor. If not really quieter in decibels, the nature of the noise will be very different.

4: Which disk do you recommend me buying, and why?.

The new drive is faster, has fdb's, and offers twice the storage space. It's also twice as expensive. What else do you need to decide?

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And the price of the Raptors decrease constantly if you look at various online shops.

I would buy one WD740GD for a boot drive & games, and a Hitachi 7K250 for storage, which is still the best 7200RPM SATA drive despite of the sometimes annoying calibration sounds...

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BTB4, I saw Raptors on the config pages of Dell...

(I didn't look for me, but for the company I work for)

I am amazed to notice that only one person entered info about the Raptors on the reliability survey.

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And the price of the Raptors decrease constantly if you look at various online shops.

I would buy one WD740GD for a boot drive & games, and a Hitachi 7K250 for storage, which is still the best 7200RPM SATA drive despite of the sometimes annoying calibration sounds...

Thats exactly what I have done. The HK250 is quieter than the raptor and still very fast.

Regarding the question about the raptors noise. At idle its silent. When seeking it is louder than most recent 7200rpm drives but it is not annoying. A mate of mine's seagate 7200/7 is as loud but the raptor sounds much much better!

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And the price of the Raptors decrease constantly if you look at various online shops.

I would buy one WD740GD for a boot drive & games, and a Hitachi 7K250 for storage, which is still the best 7200RPM SATA drive despite of the sometimes annoying calibration sounds...

Thats exactly what I have done. The HK250 is quieter than the raptor and still very fast.

Regarding the question about the raptors noise. At idle its silent. When seeking it is louder than most recent 7200rpm drives but it is not annoying. A mate of mine's seagate 7200/7 is as loud but the raptor sounds much much better!

Could you perhaps record your Raptor seeking, save it to MP3 and upload somewhere? :) I'm very interested.

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BTB4, I saw Raptors on the config pages of Dell...

(I didn't look for me, but for the company I work for)

I am amazed to notice that only one person entered info about the Raptors on the reliability survey.

Hmm, interesting - thanks. My prediction is that this is where 10K SATA will or will not make its bones.

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It's too bad that since the Raptor has a PATA-SATA adapter, that they don't sell the same drive in a PATA version. It's probably a "marketing thing", as one drive can't exceed UDMA100 speed anyway. (And there are no SATA controllers that support TCQ yet.) The general population probably thinks that PATA is automatically faster. :)

Might be nice for older systems and servers that would not otherwise have space for a card, or those that have an older PATA RAID card. Probably a small market...

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