edge929

Next Generation Raptor?

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Anyone know of rumored/actual specs of the next gen Raptor? Looking to buy the 74GB raptor but can hold out for another few months if WD releases the next ugrade to it.

I'm guessing a 16MB cache, same 10K spindle speed, TCQ, seek time of roughly 4.5ms actual (not advertised) and roughly a 140GB drive (actual) if they continue to double the size.

And while we're on the subject, anyone know when SATA 2.0 will hit the streets? That'd be nice, a 140GB Raptor at 10K with a 4.5ms seek time on SATA 2.0 @ roughly 300MB a second throughput.

B)

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SATA 2.0 isn't going to actually give you a suddenly faster drive. Drives don't bottleneck under SATA 1.0, so while the additional bandwidth of SATA 2.0 is nice (for margin), it's not going to make a difference in real life performance on a single drive.

Since WD has not announced a next gen Raptor, I'd guess it's not coming out for a few months, since HDD makers usually announce a month (or two or six :P) before actually shipping a new product.

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Edge,

I'd actually expected an announcement last month (so I was wrong on that one), but I agree with your anticipated specs. If you look at the time difference between the release of the two versions, a new one is due.

Hopefully there'll be an announcement before Christmas.

B'Billy

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Anyone know of rumored/actual specs of the next gen Raptor? Looking to buy the 74GB raptor but can hold out for another few months if WD releases the next ugrade to it.

I'm guessing a 16MB cache, same 10K spindle speed, TCQ, seek time of roughly 4.5ms actual (not advertised) and roughly a 140GB drive (actual) if they continue to double the size.

And while we're on the subject, anyone know when SATA 2.0 will hit the streets? That'd be nice, a 140GB Raptor at 10K with a 4.5ms seek time on SATA 2.0 @ roughly 300MB a second throughput.

B)

I have a good friend that works for one of the largest storage enclosure manufactures. They usually get beta drives about 12 months prior to shipping in volume for testing and environmental validation.

They are currently testing 146Gb WD 10K SATA drives. From what he says they seem to just be a bigger version of the Raptor with some more platters. They look identical from the outside he says and are covered by the Wd "enterprise" SATA warranty. They are due out in early 2005.

More interesting they are testing the 500Gb Seagate "Tonka" SATA drives that are 7200Rpm 3.5 chassis. These supposedly do about 110MB/s transfer on the outter zones which is pretty impressive. Sequential performance is very good he claims, random performance is like any other 7200Rpm SATA. 16Meg cache on these.

The most interesting news is that the Tonka is available in a SATA/SAS or FC SCA40 version. Yes, that's right, the SATA/SAS version talks both protocals so Seagate only needs to build one drive to fill both markets. Guess the small additional electronics cost is less then running two product numbers.

Oh yeah, the 18K 2.5 drives are also still comming.....but right now they are firecrackers!

--SG

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They are currently testing 146Gb WD 10K SATA drives.  From what he says they seem to just be a bigger version of the Raptor with some more platters.

That'd be an odd move by WD then. Considering the relatively long time elapsed between the last Raptor drive, and also considering how their competitors have announced 74 GB/platter drives, why would WD release a 4-disk (more platters) of only 36 GB/platter? It would make more sense to release a 2-disk of 147 GB (if they didn't want a massive redesign to get 4-disks) or a 4-disk of 300 GB (to compete with everyone else).

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>500Gb Seagate "Tonka"

Do you know when these are suppose to come out?

Also because I have a WD bias, do you know if/when WD will release there drives at greater then 250GB capacity?

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If you can keep the heat/noise down then it's easier to move from 2 to 4 platters than it is to double the arial density.

To double the arial density they usually increase the number of tracks and increase the number of clusters per track. That needs better heads, faster electronics, better head placment etc. That costs a lot more than doubling the number of platters using existing technology.

It's all a lot of compromise.

Remember that the faster they spin the disk/platter, the less KB per linear inch.

The faster they spin the disk, the more heat it produces.

The more heat it produces, using smaller platters reduces heat.

Smaller platters mean fast avg. seek, less GB per platter.

The farster the head actuators, the more heat&noise they produce.

Consumers typically want cool and quiet, low $/GB.

Enterprise typically want faster disk IO at the expense of $/heat/noise/capacity.

Enterprise would much rather >double the IO per disk and <half the capacity per disk for at least 4x the performance per GB of storage capacity.

If the existing WD Raptors mange about 75MB/s on the outer, and if the new drive had transfer of about 110MB/s (41% faster) then the arial density could be doubled (1.41x per track, 1.41x number of tracks = 2x density). Enterprise drives running over 85MB/s are just around the corner, it may be another 6 months before someone releases >105MB/s.

As we approach limits to technology it starts getting harder and more expensive. Sure disk technology has room for improvement but

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> Remember that the faster they spin the disk/platter, the less KB per linear inch.

But this isn't about increasing rpm, is it?

And it may cost less to design a 4 platter version, but it probably costs more to produce.

And the research need to be done some time anyway, as you can't keep the current density forever.

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And it may cost less to design a 4 platter version, but it probably costs more to produce.

And the research need to be done some time anyway, as you can't keep the current density forever.

It really all depends on what resources you have available. The current Raptor platform isn't designed to hold four disks, so it'd be a pretty involved redesign to squeeze in two more (from a mechanical standpoint). It typically involves a lot more capital to add disks than it does to increase density. And like Olaf van der Spek pointed out, you have to make the next areal density jump anyway eventually.

From a business standpoint, WD should have gone to a four disk design shortly after the second-gen Raptor came out (if the goal was doubling capacity "easily"). If they're going to wait this long, then they'd have to double density to remain competitive. Shipping twice the number of platters and heads to achieve the same capacity point as your competitor (assuming comparable yields) means you lose your shirt in the profitability department. This is what made the transition to 80 GB/platter so interesting; the yields were so poor in the industry that it was actually cheaper to stick with the older 40 GB/platter technology, which is why it lasted an unusually long time before going end-of-life.

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considering how their competitors have announced 74 GB/platter drives, QUOTE]

Who else has announced 10K SATA drives?

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No one else has announced 10K SATA drives, but I think it's a reasonable assumption to lump the Raptor with 10K SCSI drives in terms of market niche. That's certainly where WD has been marketing it...

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WD Raptors are somewhere between 7200rpm ATA and 10Krpm SCSI.

Their electronics and random seeks are faster then the usual ATA drives but it's still slower than the 10K SCSI.

Raptor is better for single user whereas SCSI is good for multiclient servers.

You think of areal density as what they can achieve for 7200rpm, that's why areal density is lower for 10K Raptor compared to 7200rpm ATA. That's why I mentioned it, simple maths. Just because you can get a 100GB/platter ATA drive does not mean they can make a 100GB/platter 10K drive right now.

7200rpm ATA drive designs and economics can cope with incremental improvement (higher volumes, less rigid sizes growth, more product refreshes per year). 20,30, 40,60,80,100... for 7200rpm drives.

9,18,36,72,144 tend to be the sizes for enterprise drives of the past (SCSI).

They wait for a doubling of areal density before moving to double the drive capacity. SCSI drives 2yr between releases; ATA at least once per year (per company of course). Set sizes make it easier for drive repacment and RAID expansion.

They can experiment with areal density with consumer ATA but wait for maturity and a full doubling of density before releasing new enterprise drive. A 10K drive can only manage about half the GB/platter compared to 7.2K drive using same level of technology (incl. same platter size). Reduce the platter size and the 10K drive looses out even more. 7.2K had 80GB/platter when 10K had 36GB/platter. 7.2K may need to move near 160GB before 10K moved to 72GB/platter

Raptor for low-end business or PC enthusiasts. Still made for desktop use within case with poor thermal designs and 30C room temperature. Enterprise drives get certified with server case, fans dragging ar directly over HD's into case and out the back and like aircon controlled server rooms. Enterprise pay more for servers that are designed to keep drives cool even with 50% more heat produced than desktop drives (and server used 24/7).

The next ~144GB Ratptor will probably have twice the areal density and 40% higher max STR.

Raptors have their own market niche. It's a bridge to 10k SCSI but it doesn't totaly compete eg. Database servers like fast SCSI better than Raptor.

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You'll probably find that anyone company who has a scsi and SATA drive will NOT make a raptor-like drive! Doing so would compete against existing company hdd lines, who needs the headache. I am thinking that if scsi sales start to fall enough, then they might consider it, until then, continue to look at WD for the 10K sweet spot.

SCSA

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I would not be too surprised to see WD jump from the current 74GB all the way too 300GB. The reason why I think that this may be the case is because Maxtor and HP are already starting to ship their 300GB versions of SCSI and Fiber Channel drives, and for WD to ship anything less then 300GB would make it look like WD is lagging behind the times for mass storage, especially if the capacity of the SCSI drives is larger then the EIDE.

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>500Gb Seagate "Tonka"

Do you know when these are suppose to come out?

Also because I have a WD bias, do you know if/when WD will release there drives at greater then 250GB capacity?

Tonka is Q1 next year in the current roadmap, but in the world of drives that can easily slip if problems are found that need to be worked out.

SG

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They are currently testing 146Gb WD 10K SATA drives.  From what he says they seem to just be a bigger version of the Raptor with some more platters.

That'd be an odd move by WD then. Considering the relatively long time elapsed between the last Raptor drive, and also considering how their competitors have announced 74 GB/platter drives, why would WD release a 4-disk (more platters) of only 36 GB/platter? It would make more sense to release a 2-disk of 147 GB (if they didn't want a massive redesign to get 4-disks) or a 4-disk of 300 GB (to compete with everyone else).

Hey, my contact isn't a drive design engineer he's just a storage enclosure guru that has to validate what the drive manufactures are building.

It could be the 147Gb Raptor is 2 platters but his hunch was 4 from the timing on the product as they have been testing for awhile now. Since we are just starting to see 74Gb 10K platters come out in SCSI it is unlikely the Raptor is already using this technology. He also said if it was still the 2 platter design with higher density it shouldn't be taking as long as it is to get the bugs out and the product released to market from past experience - but this one is taking a lot time which means something new under the hood.

SG

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Very interresting info SG, but... we want more :)

You can get 400gb tonkas now, but I havent seen 500gb anywhere, and according to some tests (tomsHW) 7200.8 has high linear transfer rate, but not as high as 110mb/s

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well, it's the end of march and i don't see any announcements on the next gen raptor.. did i miss something or is it simply not time yet?

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Well, it might explain why prices on both Raptors have been climbing the last two months.  WD doesn't want to get caught with a lot of any "older" version in stock.

201227[/snapback]

I assume FMJ means that WD is trying to manage inventory with pricing; satisfying demand while not wasting money on smaller production runs if there is a new version in the wings. Who knows.

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