Wolfram

Raptor or Cheetah 15k.3 for Desktop PC?

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Hi everyone,

I'm thinking of upgrading the storage system on my office PC. It's an old (but quiet!) Abit BP6 with Dual Celerons (366@523) and 512MB Ram.

Capacity isn't really an issue, I will leave the current Samsung SV1203 in the machine in case I might need some room.

But I'd really like to have a "snappier" feel. This PC is used for desktop/office purposes, plus some video encoding and audio editing on it (not that important).

What would be the better solution: Cheetah 15k.3 on an Adaptec 19160 or WD Raptor 74GB on a SATA controller? I've read the benchmarks on storagereview, but I tend to doubt that benchmarks cover all performance factors, so my question is: What does feel better, from experience? Alternatives?

TIA,

Wolfram

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Uh oh. Maybe I should search before posting...

http://forums.storagereview.net/index.php?...topic=16299&hl=

http://forums.storagereview.net/index.php?...topic=16049&hl=

http://forums.storagereview.net/index.php?...topic=15371&hl=

But most posts cover technical issues, bottom line: The Raptor is better for desktop use. But does it also feel faster than the 15k.3, from your experience?

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I've had both Drives on a Desktop. I don't seem to remember a difference in the feel of the two Drives other than in my pocketbook. :D

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I am currently using a 15K.1 in my system and am testing a raptor Mk2 to be used the next time I re-install windows.

from my feel of using several 10K and 15 K SCSI drives as boot, I did not notice much difference (except it all were noticibly faster than my 2 year old IDE drives as boot).

From my feelings, and testing, the 2 year old SCSI and the rator are about equal. Testing gives the raptor better sustain transfers but the SCSI is better for random access (windows directories / heavy use).

I am currently looking for a better SATA controller that will make full use of the raptor (tagged command queing?) so that I can compare the drives better. My current SATA controller is just an on board one. and I get the feeling that the controller / drivers are rather crap under heavy use. (the programs I am running slow down - these are video editing / file manuiplation ect). This is not seen on the SCSI drives tho (as expected)

A better SCSI drive might give a little better performance (based on specs in the performace database), but I want to see performace with a good controller. I do not know if the raptor was tested it such a controller.

Hope it helps, but over all, with similar suitable hardware controllers, I would expect it to be 6 of one, half dozen of the other.

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For the same price as a refurbished 74GB 15k.3, you could have a new 74GB Raptor with a 5 year warranty, (and will be off the PCI bus when you get a new board). That said, I went with 15k drives because I already had the controllers.

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You'd be hard pressed to tell the difference. If you don't expect to have any future need of SCSI (that couldn't be supplemented/replaced by SATA), sell the 19160 and buy the Raptor.

I've used both, and I can't tell the difference between my X15-36LP and a first-gen 36GB Raptor most of the time. When I hit heavy disk intensive stuff (particularly random accesses), I can easily tell, but the other 98% of the time it's not a difference I would fret over.

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1 of my 1 yr old 36 gig raptors recently passed on. Now i am big on backups and things of that nature! I am wondering if SCSI is a better choice for reliability reasons. Is a refurbished Raptor worth it. OR Maybe a more ultra reliable SCSI, like the SEAGATE, is the way to go. As i write this, I am thinking that i will RMA the failed raptor, get a new one, then demote it to backup hdd, rather than primary drive. Then buy a SCSI disk, (only for more reliability reasons, and bit more speed too). But, as i have always said, backups are important.\

So yes, i will say to you that go with the SCSI route, you'll thank me later for the advice (all jokes aside)! Go with the SCSI if it is available!!!...\

SCSA

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1 of my 1 yr old 36 gig raptors recently passed on.  Now i am big on backups and things of that nature! I am wondering if SCSI is a better choice for reliability reasons.  Is a refurbished Raptor worth it.  OR Maybe a more ultra reliable SCSI, like the SEAGATE, is the way to go.  As i write this, I am thinking that i will RMA the failed raptor, get a new one, then demote it to backup hdd, rather than primary drive.  Then buy a SCSI disk, (only for more reliability reasons, and bit more speed too).  But, as i have always said, backups are important.\

So yes, i will say to you that go with the SCSI route, you'll thank me later for the advice (all jokes aside)! Go with the SCSI if it is available!!!...\

SCSA

That's not good news I have the 36GB Raptor. It's also possible that the one you purchased didn't have Fluid Drive Motors as I believe the newer ones have.

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Does the ability of having FDB or BB make really that big of a difference! I have found that even though FDB are quieter, does not mean more reliable! That i know!

I think that it depends on how it was made or shipped, vs. bearing design. The bearing is designed to work; wether or not it FDB or BB makes no difference!!!...

SCSA

P.S. i just hope that my new SCSI will work and be the way i had hoped; if not, i'll be pissed!!!...

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What OS?

The 15k.3 is faster than the Raptor but more expensive.

If it's for Windoze then it's up to your financial situation. If it's for a *nix OS then the 15k.3 is definitely it.

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Does the ability of having FDB or BB make really that big of a difference! I have found that even though FDB are quieter, does not mean more reliable! That i know!

I think that it depends on how it was made or shipped, vs. bearing design.  The bearing is designed to work; wether or not it FDB or BB makes no difference!!!...

I have always said that the handling of a drive during shipping and integration affects its reliability, but a corollary to that is: FDB can increase the non-operating shock tolerance of a drive, and a drive so equipped may be able to withstand greater "abuse" during transit than their balled cousins.

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Of course, FDB does not automatically ensure reliability -- just ask Seagate about their Medalist Pro 7200. It wasn't until the X15-36LP and Barracuda ATA IV when Seagate regained enough confidence in FDB technology to use it as the exclusive bearing type on a product.

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But I'd really like to have a "snappier" feel. This PC is used for desktop/office purposes, plus some video encoding and audio editing on it (not that important).

What would be the better solution: Cheetah 15k.3 on an Adaptec 19160 or WD Raptor 74GB on a SATA controller? I've read the benchmarks on storagereview, but I tend to doubt that benchmarks cover all performance factors, so my question is: What does feel better, from experience? Alternatives?

IMO, snappiness is largely dependent on access time, especially when the file requested has not been cached yet (as is typical when you turn on your PC)

If you want the ultimate in snappiness, it's got to be the 15k.3.

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I went the SCSI route (15k.3) for reasons mentioned by SCSA: reliability. SCSI is a mature technology. SATA is new. I have never used a Raptot-based system, but noticed a dramatic increase in "zippiness" after ungrading to the 15k.3 (from 7200rpm WD 8mb cache).

I upgraded to SCSI more for reliability than performance. As Steve indicates, the back-up lesson is a hard one to learn. The extra cost of the SCSI drive was paid gladly. I've had other drives die since (one IBM ATA and one WD ATA), but no problems with the SCSI. (knocks on wood)

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Don't get hung up on the reliability issue. I purchased 28 Cheetah X15s and about 20 Raptors. All were new. I've had 2 of the X15s fail and none of the Raptors.

You spend your money, you take your chances.

Bozo :D

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Here is the thing that a lot of people seem to miss: SATA is only an interface, not a way a hdd is made. All drives are made the sam way: As in: they have a platter bearing(s) and aluminium case. The difference is how the data is accessed (written and read) --> by means of either fibre channel, SCSI interace, EIDE / ATA, or the new serial ATA. But the data itself is stored no "real" different than the rest of the hdd's!!!...

So for the record: SATA is just a way by which you connect a hdd to a computer or controller. The fact that it is SATA is not a factor in reliabilty. I am saying that SCSI is better cuz it is made to go 24/7 guaranteed. Whereas the raptor too is made for that, but maybe a few years of being in the market may make it a better product.

Don't get me wrong: I have preached that it is a good product and it is. It is just that when I have to compare SCSI to the raptor. I truely believe that SCSI beats raptor hands down! Now, i am strictly speacking of RELIABILITY here. Performance is another issue altogether! So for the record, the raptor is good, I still have it and will have it for the next 4 years as the warranty is still good.

But i am contemplating that reality that maybe i should go with SCSI for the main drive and then use the raptors (i have two), and make them into A RAID 1 for ultra reliabilty! And even then make another backup of that on to my server!!!...

SCSA

P.S. Raptor is still very good, i just now prefer SCSi due to what happened with mine failing after 1 yr. of 20 hours a weeks' worth of use! Therefore: the raptor ROUGHLY had like 1040 hours of use over the year! Or like 12% of a year's worth of use!!!...

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What OS?

The 15k.3 is faster than the Raptor but more expensive.

If it's for Windoze then it's up to your financial situation. If it's for a *nix OS then the 15k.3 is definitely it.

OS is Windows 2000 Professional. I have also installed Red Had 9, but I do not really use it.

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But I'd really like to have a "snappier" feel. This PC is used for desktop/office purposes, plus some video encoding and audio editing on it (not that important).

What would be the better solution: Cheetah 15k.3 on an Adaptec 19160 or WD Raptor 74GB on a SATA controller? I've read the benchmarks on storagereview, but I tend to doubt that benchmarks cover all performance factors, so my question is: What does feel better, from experience? Alternatives?

IMO, snappiness is largely dependent on access time, especially when the file requested has not been cached yet (as is typical when you turn on your PC)

If you want the ultimate in snappiness, it's got to be the 15k.3.

Sounds like the 15k.3 would be an even better choice for me. Like I said before, capacity isn't an issue so I could get a a smaller SCSI drive to cut costs.

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I went the SCSI route (15k.3) for reasons mentioned by SCSA: reliability. SCSI is a mature technology. SATA is new. I have never used a Raptot-based system, but noticed a dramatic increase in "zippiness" after ungrading to the 15k.3 (from 7200rpm WD 8mb cache).

I upgraded to SCSI more for reliability than performance. As Steve indicates, the back-up lesson is a hard one to learn. The extra cost of the SCSI drive was paid gladly. I've had other drives die since (one IBM ATA and one WD ATA), but no problems with the SCSI. (knocks on wood)

I have learned my backup lessons from my personal Fujitsu MPG desaster (3 out of four were bad... hmmm.... sounds almost like a Meat Loaf quote :D). So reliability is welcome, but I am careful now anyway.

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Sounds like the 15k.3 would be an even better choice for me. Like I said before, capacity isn't an issue so I could get a a smaller SCSI drive to cut costs.

Ah, but capacity is always an issue, even when we're talking about performance. Assuming the seek velocity is is not significantly slower due to the extra mass the additional heads incur on the actuator stack, bigger is better -- if only by a small amount.

http://faq.storagereview.com/tiki-index.ph...cityPerformance

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...but I digress... I agree, Wolfram. I would go with a 36 GB 15k.3 over a 74 GB Raptor any day of the week.

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Just wanted to tell you that I have a Cheetah 15k.3 in my system now. It's only 18GB, but that' large enough to hold my OSs, office software and data. And it cost me... tataaa... 50 Euros!

And it's really quiet. Nice.

For office use, I do notice an improvement over the Samsung SV1203N, but it's just a tad faster most of the time, only in critical situations (which do not occur too often for me) the Cheetah can really shine.

Just one issue: The maximum transfer rate seems to be limited to 60MB/s, even the burst rate is on that level. The Adaptec 29160 (on a 32bit/33Mhz-PCI-Slot, Abit BP6) BIOS reports "160" for that drive, which should mean the Cheetah is running in U160 mode, right? BIOS is NOT the latest version, it's v2.57.2. Should I flash v3.10.0? Or upgrade the driver (used the one that came with Windows 2000)? Or is that behaviour normal?

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Since the BP6 as a BX board should not exhibit sucky PCI performance (my P2B-D manages up to 110 megs a second with both my U2W HA and the U100TX2), I'd assume the drive is only running in U2W, about 65 megs a second is typical for that. Drivers that came with Win2k are really long in the tooth by now, try the latest ones. That newer BIOS may not hurt either.

BTW, would you mind describing how loud exactly the 15K.3 is? I currently have a Cheetah 36ES 18 gig and a SV0802N. While the Samsung is virtually inaudible at idle, the 36ES, while being very quiet for a drive of this kind and vintage, emits a noticeable whine. I'd like to replace the 36ES with an 18 gig 15K.3 in the future (too broke currently, upgrading has been more focused on audio eq't than computing in the last months, and you can't afford terribly much with 50 EUR a month) and would appreciate it if this were even quieter. Judging from the specs, it should at least be a bit cooler. (Which is what I call a nice improvement.) I had already purchased what was supposed to be an 18 gig 15K.3 in the past, but it turned out to be an 18 gig X15 36LP which is vastly louder, so back it went.

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