Guest Eugene

Western Digital Raptor WD1500

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Hey, thanks much!

I should have searched the site more before posting the question.

Seems like 128 should be fine.

JLN

JLN: check out SR's stripe size FAQ.

More generally, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with challenging Eugene. Other review sites ought to know better than to use IOMeter for workstation results, and I think that's possibly what may have exasperated Eugene, not the fact that shoek was asking about it. It's in the FAQ list, but most people won't look in the FAQs unless they expect the answer to be there.

It helps to raise the issue now and again, because maybe then some more of the sites that misuse it will see the error of their ways.

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Eugene,

How do you respond to GamePC.com's recent Raptor 150 review, where they show that a dual, triple, or quad RAID0 array of WD740GD's beats a single Raptor. They used the highly respected Areca 1220 PCIexpress card. I assume you used a Silicon Image SATA card? How do you think the nForce4 RAID would fare?

rev-raptor150raid-iometerws.gif

Thanks,

shoek

Well looking with a half cocked eyed I can see that in fact the single 74 beats the single 150,

surely even to the people writing the review, that's got to raise the we've-really-ballsed-this flag

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Eugene would it be possible for you to obtain a copy of Battlefield 2 from someone and do some tests using this program?

I ask because this would be a true gaming test for these drives as BF2 has huge memory requirements - on HIGH settings it requires 2GB of memory to be fitted (one of the few games that requires this - I talk here from personal experience and refer you to this article as well: http://corsairmemory.com/corsair/products/...1GB_vs_2GB.pdf). Loading time for BF2 can be anything from 20 seconds to 5 minutes depending on the machine spec as a result of the huge data transfers that take place.

As a result, I personally would like to see the Raptor 1500 tested with:

1. Battlefield 2

2. SI 3114 Chipset Controller - as this is the one fitted to the Asus A8N Sli line of boards - one of the most common and most popular gaming boards on the market

..and tested with the above vs the 36GB and 74GB Raptor in both single and RAID configs with the 1500 also tested in single and RAID if possible (I appreciate you might not have 2 1500's at the moment).

I think the results would be interesting and a true indication of this drives gaming potential.

Al.

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Just another thankyou for a detailed and comprehensive review.

Eugene is a legend! (and NOT just in his own lunchbox)

Reading all the way through this thread enlightened me to the IOMeter workstation pattern issue (yep - I must have skimmed over the sidebar too). One can often gleam so much more on these great technically-orientated forums.

I feel like a bit of a putz for buying a swag of 36g Raptors recently for a server's raid array. I wanted more drives (for raid5 redundancy) and didn't need hordes of capacity. If I'd known these we coming so soon, I might have just looked at raid1 a bit closer. It would be certainly be nice to see more smaller capacity drives on the market - not all of us need multi-hundred megs of raid storage space.

Mike...

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Hi all!

This is my first post, this :) (I've been wathing Rome)

I couldn't really understand from the article how the Raptor150 would performe as a swap disk? What I understood from the article is that the Raptor74 has better acsess time than the 150...

I have already a raptor74 which runs Xp and swapfile + games + torrents. And a Wd320Gb for storage. I'm well aware that this setup is no good so I'm now wondering which is the better road...

Would you:

1. continue to run XP on the 74 and add another 74 for swapfile?

2. add a 150 to run XP and use the "old" 74 for swap file or vice versa?

If you could be bothered, feel freee to mention which disk should run games, apps torrents etc.

Thanks!

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I'd sooner upgrade to 2 GB of RAM than buy a Raptor just to use it for the pagefile. More RAM will reduce the importance of the pagefile to the point that it doesn't really matter where you put it. Also bear in mind that if gaming is your goal, $300 will buy you a lot of graphics card, and even your processor will make more difference to the in-game experience (after the level is loaded) than a faster hard drive.

Of course, you could always move the pagefile to the 320 GB drive - if it only contains data, it's probably idle most of the time, so you might as well utilise it for the pagefile and leave the Raptor free to concentrate on other things. Alternatively, if you've got plenty of RAM and don't hit the pagefile much, leave the pagefile where it is and do your P2P stuff off the data drive.

If you're definitely planning to buy an additional disk, I'd think about what activity makes you the most frustrated with disk performance. If you find it fast enough in everything else, but demand that edge in games, then leave the rest of the OS & programs on the 74 GB Raptor, and get a 150 GB Raptor just for your games. If you've only got (say) 40 GB of games, you could use the rest of it for something that won't be accessed while you're gaming, just to take advantage of more of that fast storage.

If you want a more general improvement, you could install your OS and all your programs and games to the 150 GB Raptor, and use the 74 GB Raptor for pagefile and maybe the P2P stuff, whatever will reduce the number of things being accessed simultaneously on the OS drive. You won't get quite the same I/O performance in games while it's accessing something else on the same drive, but when you're not gaming the OS tasks will benefit from the extra speed of the 150 GB Raptor.

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Cheers Spod for your reply!

Well my rigg is "kind of" high end so I should have added it in the signature before I made the post. Done... Well the only bottleneck I can think of are the drives. And I wasn't sure what to do about it. I listen to http://www.cybernetic-broadcasting.net/home/ more than I listen to Mp3s so I did as you said and use the 320 for pagefile for now.

Might buy a 150 or 74 soon though...

Thanks spod.

Ps. Good to see that you hang out @ Spcr spreading the performance word :) Some of those guys can't get it through their heads that the Raptor is the best perfomance /dB Ds.

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SPOD

Quote ( I'd sooner upgrade to 2 GB of RAM than buy a Raptor just to use it for the pagefile.)

Would your reply for gaming be the same for Editing Photos. ie: Photoshop Elements?

A freind has asked me to build him a computer. His main use will be for Photoshop. Pictures not video. HE also does not play any games.

I have no experiance with Photoshop. But from what I have read it uses alot of Ram and a "scratch disk". Which I take to be its pagefile.

My ideas have been to:

1 st HD WD74 Raptor or 150 Raptor OS/boot/programs, first partition. So I can Ghost to backup HD.

2nd HD WD36 Raptor for "scratch disk"

3rd Hd Seagate Sata 160 7200.9 for Data

4th HD Seagate Sata 160 7200.9 for Backup.

Mother Board Asus P5Ld2 Preimium

Intel D 920

Ram one or two GB Corsair Twin 2X1024 -5400 C4

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2. SI 3114 Chipset Controller - as this is the one fitted to the Asus A8N Sli line of boards - one of the most common and most popular gaming boards on the market

..and tested with the above vs the 36GB and 74GB Raptor in both single and RAID configs with the 1500 also tested in single and RAID if possible (I appreciate you might not have 2 1500's at the moment).

I think the results would be interesting and a true indication of this drives gaming potential.

Al.

Why in $DEITY name would you hang anything off a buggy (check the relevant FreeBSD and Linux development mailing lists for proof) PCI connected PoS such as the SiL 3112/3114 when the motherboard in question has 4 SATA ports hung directly from the Nvidia SB ?

The PCI bus will bottle neck 2 drives running raid 0.

greg

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Eugene, your article shows results with NCQ enabled and also disabled.

How is this accomplished? BIOS or utility?

My new workstation is shipping today and I would like to disable NCQ.

An email reply I received from WD says it "cannot be done".

My post #53:

I have this new 150GB 10K Raptor 16MB cache drive being installed today in a new Hypersonic Fusion XGL workstation as the boot drive along with a pair of 500GB Seagate Sata-II NCQ 16GB cache drives (Raid 1). The builder advises the NCQ cannot be switched off. As a single desktop user I agree with your position in the article. How do I turn of the NCQ?

Edited by GBelter

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Guest Eugene
Eugene, your article shows results with NCQ enabled and also disabled.

How is this accomplished? BIOS or utility?

Toggling NCQ occurs at a software level, and therefore, depending on the controller, happens either at the bios or driver level. The process differs for each controller. For our reference SI3124 controller, it takes a registry entry. For other controllers we use (the LSI MegaRaid 300-8 and 3ware 9550SX), it happens via the bios.

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sash, the new 74GB single platter drive will have most, but not all, of the performance advantage of the 150 GB drive. The 150 GB model has some additional benefit due to its greater capacity - see the FAQs for an explanation of why bigger drives of the same design are faster (when all else is equal).

Adam, you're more or less right. It's important to try to keep the scratch disk on a seperate drive from the Windows pagefile, and having the data on a seperate drive from the programs is also a good idea. The scratch disk acts like virtual memory for photoshop - of course, the Adobe website has full explanations and guides for optimising scratch disk performance.

Photoshop is even more memory intensive than games. You could even go above 2 GB, so that Photoshop can access a full 2 GB while the OS, file cache and other things can fit in the rest. Your only limit is your budget, but I'd certainly plan on at least 2 GB for a machine dedicated to Photoshop.

Poodle, I've actually been inactive on the SPCR forums for a while now (though I'm still reading their excellent articles), and feeling a little guilty about not dishing out my wisdom (such as it is) over there... but I'm not altering my system much at present, and since it's quiet enough for me, I'm not putting a lot of time into researching noise reduction techniques.

Okay, I think that's about far enough off topic for this one. I'm being my naturally helpful self here, but this thread is supposed to be about the Raptor 150 GB - article and product. Questions about individual configurations and problems should preferably be posted in the Computing forum, which actually sees more traffic than the Article Discussion forum anyway. Promise we'll be nice to you ;)

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I'm a bit confused now... I haven't read all these 4 pages of comments to find out if the question has already been answered.

The review says: "As attractive as the concept may sound to enthusiasts, the two different versions do not feature significantly differing firmware. Creating and maintaining two code bases would increase overhead and product prices that would not proportionally translate into better performance. Here at least, differences really do extend only skin deep." and "As previously mentioned, the two "versions" of the WD1500 only differ cosmetically. As a result, the tests that follow on our "Raptor WD1500ADFD" sample represent results for both the gamer-marketed Raptor X and enterprise-oriented Raptor 150."

And for some time the Performance Database had the same results for both WD1500ADFD (Raptor 150) and WD1500AHFD (Raptor X)... at least I have a recollection that was the case. But when I took a look at Performance Database NOW, I noticed they differ from each other. Did Eugene initially take Western Digitals word that these drives are identical as truth, and benchmarked the Raptor X only afterwards?

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its good to see this drive finally catching up to SCSI drive performance. I've been a big SCSI loyalist and enthusiast for @ 3 yrs and its good to see an upcomer balance out my options and offer an alternative in my enthusiasm for performance.

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Hey,

as i am currently about to have a fiber optic cable installed directly into the house and have the possibility for a nice 100 / 100 mbit connection (starting with 10/10 though :-)) im trying to find hardware for a Web / Http / Database server.

Soo i was wondering how does the Raptor perform when it comes to Database applications ?

Also, can i use the FileServer tests as an indicator for how well it will perform as Web Server?

Web server of course also serves files, but i guess IIS probably have the possibility to Cache some of the data in the memory and as a WebServer it will not be reading on files for longer periods as a FileServer as it is small files.

I was trying to follow the discussion about the 74 gb version in raid compared to the 150 gb.

But i got somewhat confused. It seems that 2x 74 gb isnt better than 1x 150 gb when used in single user enverioment.

But what about when it comes to being used for a webserver / database server ?

Would it be recommended to use raid instead of a single drive for my purpose ?

Are any of the Onboard Raid controllers worth anything ?

Or should I buy a seperate one ?

If soo it seems that it would maybe be better to go straight for a SCSI controller as the SCSI harddrives doesnt seem to be soo expensive when i dont need a lot of storage.

For the Cpu i thought of going for the Athlon X2 4400, because it seems to be just as good as the Opteron, and it doesnt use much power (voltage / current) compared to Intel.

It is only going to be a small webserver hosting a few homepages, and database application (such as etc. ms sql server 2005),

but still i would like to get the best hardware for my money :-)

As you have probably noticed i am not much into all the new hardware and features available at the moment.

I am trying my best to find the best suitable hardware for my purpose.

Soo any help / recommendations will of course be appriciated.

Martin... :-)

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Guest 888
Soo i was wondering how does the Raptor perform when it comes to Database applications ?

Also, can i use the FileServer tests as an indicator for how well it will perform as Web Server?

May-be you can use these test results for comparison you are interested in:

FileServer Benchmarks & WebServer Benchmarks (Raptor WD1500):

http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/02/06/wd1...ead/page11.html

DataBase Benchmarks & WorkStation Benchmarks (Raptor WD1500):

http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/02/06/wd1...ead/page12.html

Edited by 888

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Martin,

The Raptor 150 is the best SATA drive for that sort of usage, but in all honesty, if this is only going to be a web server and won't double as a PC for work and play, then you'll get better performance at a comparable cost from SCSI, though that would involve buying a controller.

If the system will also be your main home PC, it becomes a question of whether you want the best office and gaming performance (Raptor 150) or the best server performance (SCSI). Or whether you're willing to pay for both - it wouldn't hurt to devote a drive to web serving, and using another for PC tasks, even if you can't afford two separate systems.

The file server tests are similarly applicable to modern web servers, more so in fact than the iometer "web server" pattern - see this page from the Testbed 4 article for details.

RAID - it depends on how expensive downtime would be for you if a drive failed. If your livelihood depends on this server, then RAID 1 or 5 would be a good idea, but if you're just hosting for friends, they might be more forgiving if the site was down for a day or two, or a few hours if you keep a spare drive and good backups. Either way, backups are a more important consideration than RAID, because RAID won't protect you from fire, theft, data corruption, virus or user error.

The X2 4400+ would make a good server processor, assuming you're not budgeting for enterprise quality kit. So much depends on how serious you are about the speed, reliability and uptime of this webserver. I could suggest two dual core opterons in a real server box with 4 GB of RAM, a 5 drive 15K SCSI RAID array, redundant PSUs and a tape autoloader, with a 4 hour fix support contract, but if your server only gets 100 hits a day, and they're mostly looking at text, and not paying for what they see... well, that changes the priorities a bit. The people you're hosting for, are they paying enough to get a percentage uptime guarantee? It takes investment to live up to that sort of guarantee.

So, think SCSI, backups, redundancy, UPS, capacity for expansion, hardware support contract, and if you've still got some budget left after you've planned all that, think about the redundancy and reliability of the hardware you're using, and how easy it would be to add RAM, drives, processors etc. if demand increased, and how much downtime you'd need to resolve a hardware problem.

And as usual, after answering in length, I'll note that you're supposed to ask system-specific questions in the computing forum. But I'll forgive you this time, since part of your question was relevant here. :)

Edited by Spod

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I'm a bit confused now... I haven't read all these 4 pages of comments to find out if the question has already been answered.

The review says: "As attractive as the concept may sound to enthusiasts, the two different versions do not feature significantly differing firmware. Creating and maintaining two code bases would increase overhead and product prices that would not proportionally translate into better performance. Here at least, differences really do extend only skin deep." and "As previously mentioned, the two "versions" of the WD1500 only differ cosmetically. As a result, the tests that follow on our "Raptor WD1500ADFD" sample represent results for both the gamer-marketed Raptor X and enterprise-oriented Raptor 150."

And for some time the Performance Database had the same results for both WD1500ADFD (Raptor 150) and WD1500AHFD (Raptor X)... at least I have a recollection that was the case. But when I took a look at Performance Database NOW, I noticed they differ from each other. Did Eugene initially take Western Digitals word that these drives are identical as truth, and benchmarked the Raptor X only afterwards?

Now your're not the only one that's confused. :unsure: Especially about nosie levels. 0dB @ 3mm. That's a quiet drive! :rolleyes:

So is the 150 better than the X also at single end performance?

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Now your're not the only one that's confused. :unsure: Especially about nosie levels. 0dB @ 3mm. That's a quiet drive! :rolleyes:

So is the 150 better than the X also at single end performance?

The 0dB reading is just because that measurement hadn't been made yet. I think we're seeing a bit of sample variance - perhaps a slightly different zone configuration on the platters, though not necessarily one that's specific to the X. The same zoning cofiguration could appear on other samples of the 150 just as easily.

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Anyone have any experience using the nVidia nForce4 Professional RAID controller for a RAID 0+1 with the 150GB Raptors?

I have a Tyan K8WE (S2895A2NRF) motherboard with one dual-core Opteron, the second processor socket empty (so far). I currently have two 150GB Raptors in a RAID 1 configuration, and I was thinking of putting the extra two Raptors together with them to form a RAID 0+1 array.

Unfortunately, I chose to get this machine with Windows XP x64 (64-bit edition), which turns out to have been a bad idea. So much works doesn't work, or works poorly with this OS, that I'm planning to make this machine dual-boot with the normal Windows XP 32-bit edition.

So the question is, should I just make a second RAID 1 array that would be the 32-bit OS drive, or should I go ahead with the 0+1 array, then partition it into two partitions, one for each OS? I guess with two arrays, I could store the 32-bit OS pagefile on the 64-bit OS array, and vice-versa, but I wouldn't get the general benefit of having the "0" part of 0+1. I also currently have 4 GB RAM for the one processor, so maybe the pagefile isn't so important.

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Sorry, this should have been in the Computing Forum, so I'm moving it there.

If you want to see it, I think you can find it at:

http://forums.storagereview.net/index.php?showtopic=22144

Anyone have any experience using the nVidia nForce4 Professional RAID controller for a RAID 0+1 with the 150GB Raptors?

I have a Tyan K8WE (S2895A2NRF) motherboard with one dual-core Opteron, the second processor socket empty (so far). I currently have two 150GB Raptors in a RAID 1 configuration, and I was thinking of putting the extra two Raptors together with them to form a RAID 0+1 array.

Unfortunately, I chose to get this machine with Windows XP x64 (64-bit edition), which turns out to have been a bad idea. So much works doesn't work, or works poorly with this OS, that I'm planning to make this machine dual-boot with the normal Windows XP 32-bit edition.

So the question is, should I just make a second RAID 1 array that would be the 32-bit OS drive, or should I go ahead with the 0+1 array, then partition it into two partitions, one for each OS? I guess with two arrays, I could store the 32-bit OS pagefile on the 64-bit OS array, and vice-versa, but I wouldn't get the general benefit of having the "0" part of 0+1. I also currently have 4 GB RAM for the one processor, so maybe the pagefile isn't so important.

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