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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  • HotFoot - Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - link

    People used to buy Raptors for the superior seek times. Where these drives were great was for loading programs. Throughput on large files isn't usually the consideration. RAID 0 does boost throughput, but increases seek time.

    But Raptors will never touch even the lowest-performance SSDs for random IO. These drives are completely obsolete as far as I can tell.
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - link

    Not quite completely, but the number of cases where a 7200RPM drive isn't fast enough, several hundred GB of high speed storage space is needed, and a $600-2000 sticker price for several SSDs is too high is much smaller than the raptor market was several years ago.

    I doubt we'll see a raptor revision after this one unless the cost of turning a SAS drive into a raptor is negligible.
    Reply
  • marraco - Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - link

    Worse, to match the storage capacity of the 450Gb raptor, you only need to use 10% of each 2Tb disk. This way you short stroke it, accelerating seek and random times.

    If you own an X58 chipset, you also may use the first partition as RAID0, and the remaining 90% space in RAID 0, or witouth RAID.
    Reply
  • coolkev99 - Wednesday, April 7, 2010 - link

    Not quite fair to compare the MSRP of a drive that's not even in the retail channel, to the discount OEM price of an existing drive. Reply
  • Belard - Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - link

    Anyone else notice that "VR200M" is Subliminal Message to say "VROOM" as in fast? :)

    But these Raptors are simply not worth it any more. $330 for 600GB drive? Also they are the LOUDEST drives you can get over any other HD... and of course SDs wins hands down ag 0db.

    The best setup is still the Hybrid SSD+HD for desktops.

    $225 = 80GB intel X25-M G2 (Come on G3)
    $ 85 = 1TB Seagate 7200.12 (On this review, Seagate are the quietest drives and its what I use)

    $310 = Total for 1.08GB of storage that would dominate any Raptor.
    Reply
  • synaesthetic - Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - link

    No, not one 80GB X-25M.

    Two 40GB X-25V in RAID 0.

    :D
    Reply
  • Romulous - Monday, August 30, 2010 - link

    You need to look at the point of the Raptor. Cheap, fast enterprise drives, which is a middle ground between sata and sas. I've setup several vsphere servers with 300GB raptors in raid 10 (8 drives) and they perform very well. Infact, even better than 8 15k sas drives in raid 5 on the same controller. For Virtual Machines, they work great. Of course this is no SAN thus no clustering is available. Reply
  • Xenoterranos - Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - link

    Definitely glad I bought a 1TB caviar black. The performance benefits just aren't there given the loss in drive space, but for a high-end notebook, I could see it being a real competitor. Reply
  • AssBall - Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - link

    .... Except that it is too tall to fit in notebooks. Reply
  • Glenn - Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - link

    I bought into the first three generations of Raptors for the seek times. That is the single most irritating thing for me when using a higher performance computer. Damn HDs always slow everything down. I have migrated to SSDs now and will never look back.

    And often left unsaid in Raptor discussions, is their propensity to get noisier and noisier over there lifespan, to the point you think there are gremlins living inside your computer!
    Reply

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