WD VelociRaptor 600GB RAID review

Conclusion

WD VelociRaptor 600GB RAID review

Conclusion

The "which drive" conflict has raged for a long time. The self-same people who thought the original VelociRaptor was too expensive for the tiny capacity then moved on to complaining how Solid State Drives are too expensive for their tiny capacity.

As someone who was brought up in the days when you had to rewind the tape and turn it over half-way through loading, I still find a plain hard-drive to be surprisingly rapid, but like everything in life the technology moves on and you have to adjust your concepts of "big" or "fast" with them.

Just like the 1GHz processor was once a dream and is now a dinosaur, Solid State Drives have shown that your average 5400RPM hard-drive just doesn't cut it anymore.

But Solid State Drives are, and let's not kid ourselves, eye-wateringly expensive. Sure they are cheaper than they used to be but you're still talking £2 per GB, or about £500 for the example we used for comparison today. Enter our Western Digital VelociRaptor RAID 0 setup. The thick end of 1TB of capacity for about £360 with promises of SSD like speeds is something that just couldn't be ignored. Is the future of cost-effective high-performance storage really the same as it's always been?

The VelociRaptor absolutely creams some hardcore testing giving us close to 290MB/s transfer speeds in the linear tests.The write speeds were equally impressive and some way ahead of the SSD.

As always though the synthetic benchmarks and headline grabbing numbers don't really tell the whole story. Sure it's blazingly fast, be in absolutely no doubt about that, but it's also a lot slower as you reach the edge of the platter. Smaller file transfers suffer because of the inherently slower seek speeds available to a mechanical drive.

Finally, in our PC Mark Vantage testing, which is as close to a real-world test as we can get without loading and unloading hundreds of applications for a week, showed that the SSD is, by a hugely comfortable margin, still the weapon of choice if sheer performance is your goal.

Sheer performance in SSD terms though comes at a massive cost of even a remotely affordable one being limited to an OS drive and ones like the 256GB we have today being useful as an OS and application drive, but not really for storage. That's where the waters get muddied as the VelociRaptor is obviously slower, but also 4 times the size.

So it's horses for courses. At the very bottom end of the market you have cheap, slow, big capicity storage. Here we have medium priced, quick, big capacity storage. Of course at the top end we have expensive, mega-fast, tiny capacity storage.

At the risk of ending up with some "5 computers" quote, this is probably the pinnacle of mechanical drives. With careful use, making sure that you don't fill the drive right up and keep defragging to leave the data near the centre, it's as fast and reliable as you could ever hope for without moving to the non-moving drives.

For the sheer capacity and performance at this price, we have to give it the Silver award. Just a shame the real-world testing doesn't quite bear out the linear speeds.

    

Thanks to Western Digital for providing the VelociRaptors for todays review. Discuss in our forums.

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Most Recent Comments

02-11-2010, 19:15:22

tinytomlogan
Before SSDs there was the Western Digital VelociRaptor. With price per GB seemingly stable, it's time to revisit the HDD performance King.

Continue Reading

02-11-2010, 19:28:38

dipzy
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinytomlogan View Post

Before SSDs there was the Western Digital VelociRaptor. With price per GB seemingly stable, it's time to revisit the HDD performance King.

Continue Reading
They still pretty amazing drives, i got a 120gb ssd for my operating system, 300gb velociraptor for my programs and games also a 2tb sata drive for my music and HD Video's

There still alot of people who would still buy them as they are becoming cheaper

02-11-2010, 19:30:29

yggdrasil
Quote:
Originally Posted by dipzy View Post

They still pretty amazing drives, i got a 120gb ssd for my operating system, 300gb velociraptor for my programs and games also a 2tb sata drive for my music and HD Video's
How dose that setup work for you?

Work well?

I am thinking of setting my system up the same way.

02-11-2010, 19:39:16

dipzy
Quote:
Originally Posted by yggdrasil View Post

How dose that setup work for you?

Work well?

I am thinking of setting my system up the same way.
It works extremely well, you know where everything is and it easy to manage files on the pc. I find that since upgrading to this setup from just one 1tb drive with everything on it, my pc has become so much responsive and storage is not a problem no more

I would recommend a setup like this to everyone

02-11-2010, 19:42:16

yggdrasil
I just would use it for large programs, games and what not and the SSD for windows and smaller programs.

I got to much data to fit on a 600GB drive 5.5TB to much

02-11-2010, 19:45:50

dipzy
Quote:
Originally Posted by yggdrasil View Post

I just would use it for large programs, games and what not and the SSD for windows and smaller programs.

I got to much data to fit on a 600GB drive 5.5TB to much
5.5tb ? that a lot of data, you would need 3 x 2tb drives or more for storage

02-11-2010, 19:49:17

yggdrasil
I got one 1tb, one 1.5TB and 2x 2TB.

But my OS is slow as heck so this 600GB 10k RPM drive would serve nicely next to a Mushkin Callisto Deluxe 60GB SSD

since I'm a Western digital fan and Mushkin seems promising

02-11-2010, 20:17:18

F-alienware
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinytomlogan View Post

Before SSDs there was the Western Digital VelociRaptor.
And 15k LVD Cheetahs

I'm not sold on these drives. I would rather buy 4 Samsung F3 and raid them.

WD need to get with the times and get some SSD going. Infact what better way to progress the Raptor than to bring out an SSD that trumps everything else?

Sadly WD lately are reminding me of Jack Horner in the movie Boogie Nights. They seem to be refusing to get with the times and it's odd Bryan mentioned VCR because WD are living in the VCR age.

It will cost them eventually. By the time they do release a SSD (and let's face it they're going to have to) the entire world will come down on them like we all did on Nvidia for a bitterly dissapointing start with the 4 series (above all price was the deciding factor on that one, at least now they're cheap enough to ignore all the flaws).

Quote:
Originally Posted by yggdrasil View Post

I got one 1tb, one 1.5TB and 2x 2TB.

But my OS is slow as heck so this 600GB 10k RPM drive would serve nicely next to a Mushkin Callisto Deluxe 60GB SSD

since I'm a Western digital fan and Mushkin seems promising
Just be careful. On SATA 3 controllers they can act up and after reading a review on them in Custom PC (though admittedly one, not Raid 0) they weren't anything special. And by the time you raid 0 them for over 400 you can buy a huge SSD.

03-11-2010, 14:15:15

steve30x
Ive been using Raid0 with a year with two 250GB HDD's and it is faster than a single HDD but when it comes to small 4k - 28k files it is a whole lot slower than a single HDD. Sometimes when I am doing a defrag I have to restart the defrag process because the HDD's get stuck on a 4K file no matter what defrag software I use. Ive always liked to get two 300GB Veloceraptors and raid them , but with my current case I cant immaging how much resonance across my computer desk that would cause. With three 7200rpm HDD's the desk resonates horribly from my HDD's
Reply
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