The Contenders & The Test

To make these graphs legible I've left out the SSDs, but note that these are the same benchmarks we use for our SSD reviews. If you want to compare, head on over to our SSD Bench database.

I've included the latest 6Gbps drives from Western Digital and Seagate, the Caviar Black and the Barracuda XT. Both are TB-class drives that are the fastest 7200 RPM offerings you can buy for a desktop today.

I've also included the previous generation 300GB VelociRaptor and the old 150GB Raptor to give you an idea of how far things have come if you're still holding on to one of those old drives.

For you notebook users I ran tests on a Seagate Momentus 5400.6 drive. It's not fast compared to a desktop drive but it gives you an idea of the performance difference that exists between 2.5" and 3.5" drives.

Finally I included an older Seagate Barracuda ES to give you a reference point if you have a 7200 RPM drive that's a few years old.

CPU Intel Core i7 965 running at 3.2GHz (Turbo & EIST Disabled)
Motherboard: Intel DX58SO (Intel X58)
Chipset: Intel X58 + Marvell SATA 6Gbps PCIe
Chipset Drivers: Intel 9.1.1.1015 + Intel IMSM 8.9
Memory: Qimonda DDR3-1333 4 x 1GB (7-7-7-20)
Video Card: eVGA GeForce GTX 285
Video Drivers: NVIDIA ForceWare 190.38 64-bit
Desktop Resolution: 1920 x 1200
OS: Windows 7 x64
Meet the VR200M Sequential Read/Write Speed
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  • vol7ron - Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - link

    Agreed, it could be done, but it would also cause more confusion when you could see data in one place, but not in another. Not to mention, it's probably easier not to have to worry about it from an editor's standpoint - a bad excuse, but probably true.

    vol7ron
    Reply
  • Muon - Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - link

    Skewing the graphs is a ludicrous argument not to include SSD in the test. Why not use a logarithmic scale? I guess maybe people in the USA are too dumb to understand such graphs and would think the performance difference is much smaller then it really is. Reply
  • Earthmonger - Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - link

    What would be the point of including SSD results?

    Would you compare a horse and buggy to a turbo-diesel 18-wheeler?

    A wax candle to a halogen headlamp?
    Reply
  • HotFoot - Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - link

    People aren't really selling oxen and wagons to compete with 18-wheelers, whereas the Raptor here is a new product brought into the high-performance storage for desktops market. It certainly is competing against SSDs or a combination of SSD+HDD.

    I think the general consensus is if you're wanting a lot of performance in a desktop, you'd do better to take the $330 and buy an 80 GB SSD and a 1 TB HDD. I think, given it's about the same price for nearly double the storage capacity, it's be a VERY interesting combination to see on the performance charts.

    This entire article basically starts out with the understanding that the new Raptors were obsolete before they ever launched to market.
    +
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - link

    The assumption here is someone who wants a VelociRaptor for whatever reason has already ruled out an SSD. If I threw in SSD results it'd be very difficult to make comparisons between the VR and other hard drives as they'd get compressed in the chart.

    In the not too distant future we'll allow cross technology comparisons between HDDs and SSDs in Bench, but until then I figured just pointing folks at Bench if they wanted SSD results would suffice.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • jimhsu - Wednesday, April 7, 2010 - link

    Not exactly. Even using this drive in lieu of a SSD for a boot drive is "stupid" (which I think it is), people with hundreds of gigabytes of Steam games or such simply aren't satisfied with the performance of a 1 TB drive. Putting 500 GB of games on SSD is ... expensive. Plus as I have shown in some forum posts, *most* modern games aren't so sensitive to random read/write rates anyways, so the benefit of a SSD is less than for general apps. (MMORPGs, particularly WoW in my testing, are a very clear exception) Reply
  • vol7ron - Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - link


    @Muon:
    "Skewing the graphs is a ludicrous argument not to include SSD in the test."
    I'm guessing most figures from these tests are not done all at once.  The charts are more likely a compilation of all the singular tests for that product, for that test bed.  Meaning one test may have been run a month ago.  Therefore, the SSDs are included in the tests, the results are just posted someplace else. -- go check the storage bench

    "Why not use a logarithmic scale?"
    Charts are included to have something visible and simple, not something you want to have think about to understand what it represents - that's the whole idea of chart vs table.  Bar graphs are perfect because they are proportional and are able to list quanity, rather than a power or base of that quanity.  Additionally, how would propose introducing a logarithmic chart - instituting a trendline? - if you take each value to the same base log, you're going to have the same problem with scale, and if you're using the trendline, your graph may be relational, but it will be also be visually innacurate for this type of data.

    "I guess maybe people in the USA are too dumb to understand such graphs and would think the performance difference is much smaller then it really is."
    That may be.  Again, you'd be losing the quick-glance feature of the charts.  Not to mention, AT probably has some simple charting software (or macros) that they use, which would need to be changed.  If something is so much different, it's not worth including or modifying the portion of your chart.  SSDs are in a league of their own and therefore have their own charts - HDDs are included in them because they won't skew the SSD chart AND the value doesn't need to be legible, all that needs to be seen is that the HDDs are insignificant.  Because this particular value is about HDDs, the visual true-value comparison is necessary.  You would not get that if an SSD was present.

    vol7ron
    Reply
  • vol7ron - Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - link

    I'm just curious what the Windows index rating is. I know that doesn't really account for anything, but I like looking at that, for some awful reason. Reply
  • RaistlinZ - Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - link

    I can buy two Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB drives ($180.00) and put them in RAID 0 and get way more performance, and way more storage space, for 2/3 of the price of the 450GB Raptor. So what's the point of these Raptors exactly? I still don't see where they fit in. Reply
  • Fastidious - Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - link

    Yeah, they seem pointless. I never understood why people buy them. With SSD around now it's just that much worse. Reply

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