back to article WD VelociRaptor 300GB HDD vs SSD

Although Western Digital's VelociRaptor is a new model name, you can trace the roots of this new hard drive all the way back to 2003. The original WD360 Raptor hard drive was something of a one-trick pony as it had a tiny 36GB capacity but could boast the 10,000rpm spin speed that became the signature of the Raptor family. WD …

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  1. Chris McFaul
    Stop

    its NOT the same as a notebook drive

    "The VelociRaptor takes advantage of the latest advances in areal density by shrinking the platters even further, to 2.5in such that the new drive has the same 99 x 69 x 15mm dimensions as a notebook hard drive. There’s no expectation that anyone will use VelociRaptor inside a laptop as the smaller form-factor is aimed at Enterprise customers who want to stuff their blades with storage."

    The other reason no one will stuff them into notebooks is that notebooks use 9.5 mm and 12.5mm high drives, I have never seen a notebook which could take a 15mm drive (let alone deal with the eat or power issues of this one). So it is NOT the "same dimensions as a notebook hard drive".

  2. Graham Jordan

    Laptop use?

    Ok so i'm on a laptop, currently trundling along at a whopping 5400rpm.

    Do I go SSD or 7200rpm?

    As long as the size is over 60gb I'm not to fussed, my two concerns are battery power and speed. I don't want something sucking up all my juice yet I don't want to have to wait a year for an 8gb rar collection to... unrar

  3. Azz
    Alert

    Fail

    What made you use the Crucial ??? At £320 you could have had

    http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Hard+Drives/Solid+State/OCZ+Core+V2+120GB+2.5%22+Solid+State+Disk+?productId=33318

    Which is 120GB capacity

    Read up to 170 MB/sec

    Write up to 98 MB/sec

    £352.44 inc. VAT

    Lets compare the latest in performance HDD against some second rate SSD...

  4. Tim Spence

    Chris McFaul

    Heat or power issues? If I read the review properly, it seemed to indicate that the VelociRaptor drew little power (compared to the 3.5" drives, granted) and rarely became anything more than warm. This suggest that it shouldn't be a problem - aside from the size issue.

  5. Adrian
    Gates Halo

    Don't bother with OCZ

    - they are pants.

    My Lenovo X61 with a Samsung 32gb SSD starts up XP Pro from cold to a useable desktop in under 17 seconds and shuts down in 8 seconds. It is also silent and cool. Long term storage is on my server so disk space is not an issue.

    It also means I can treat the laptop as it should be treated rather than worry all the time about the disk crashing.

    Thanks St. Bill for XP

  6. James Bassett

    Great advert...

    ...for the Hiatchi drive. I want one of them!

  7. Matt

    SSD

    Well, apart from using poor Americanisms "you'd likely need a regular hard drive ", the main thing you miss out is that better SSDs are already on the market.

    SSD write performance can be fairly good, although it's fair to say you'll pay a price.

    You also didn't pick up on the fact that SSDs don't seem to use less electricity contrary to what we were first led to believe.

  8. Daniel

    Old

    Isnt that hitatchi drive getting on a bit? I believe the samsung F1 Drives have much better performance? similar to that of a velociRaptor. for the same price you could RAID 0 two samsungs, it would be interesting to see how that affects things?

    even better they could compare the velociraptor to a decent SSD?

  9. Filippo Silver badge

    SSD performance

    Why did the SSD score *that* low on PCMark compared to the others? From the other charts, there didn't seem to be such a large difference - especially considering that the main "real life" test, booting Windows, was won by the SSD.

  10. Edwin

    building a Media Centre PC??????

    Unless your media center PC renders Shrek real-time from the source, I would propose that a couple of the Hitachis provide more storage at a lower price. Even if you encase them in sound dampers.

    HDD performance is a bit of a non-issue for media center PCs, so I would see no reason to pay for premium disks like the *raptors

  11. This post has been deleted by its author

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    @Filippo

    "especially considering that the main "real life" test, booting Windows, was won by the SSD"

    In what way? I boot my machine about once a month. Servers will be even less so (a large target audience for Raptors).

    In terms of measurements, it seems the only thing the SSD fared better with was average read. PCMark takes the whole picture (including size I think?).

  13. Steven Raith

    Media centre PCs

    "HDD performance is a bit of a non-issue for media center PCs, so I would see no reason to pay for premium disks like the *raptors"

    I think depends on whether your media centre PC is just going to be a playback device, or if you are going to be doing a lot of encoding/transcoding of home videos for youtube, CDs, etc - or encoding DVDs to iPhone/phone format where a chunky HDD [or two, or four working in an array] can be useful.

    I have a pair of old Spinpoints in RAID0 for doing video processing and playing games on my old workhorse box, makes a difference when it comes to working with big video files - or games with a large footprint - in my relatively limited experience at least.

    Steven R

  14. Steve
    Thumb Down

    @Adrian

    You said

    "Don't bother with OCZ

    - they are pants."

    And then provide absolutely no evidence to suggest why, just some ramblings about your current laptop with a samsung SSD.

    If you're going to criticise and try to justify it your justifications should at least be relevant.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Steven Raith

    All good points (a member of the RAID0 choir myself for those reasons), but why would a "classic" media centre PC be doing encoding/transcoding. The whole point of a 'classic' media centre is that it *is* "just going to be a playback device".

    To be honest though, have never really seen the point of the pure media centre PCs though (i.e. the small quiet devices under the TV) - just get a PS3/XBox360 as a media extender from the workhorse in the office. Works like a charm, normally cheaper, easier to use and quiet (XBox aside...)

  16. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Crucial SSD not exactly fast....

    I spent several days last month comparing SSDs for one of our servers and discovered VERY quickly that there is a huge range of speeds in the things with some running at half (or slower) the speed of an average 7200rpm hard drive and others running significantly faster than an average 7200rpm drive.

    Crucial SSD drives were notably down at the slow end of the pack, with Samsung drives among the leaders.

    This effectively means you're not really comparing apples with apples.

    Is there any chance of benchmarking a Samsung 128Gb SSD or other fast SSD array and publishing the results?

  17. Leo Waldock

    SSDs

    I used the Crucial SSD as it was what I had to hand - I don't have a sample of the OCZ despite asking but when I get one you'll read about it.

    I've reviewed the Intel SSD and expect it to go up very soon and then you'll see how a proper SSD performs ...

    In an ideal world we would have majored on VelociRaptor vs Raptor but the fact of the matter is that Raptor is now rather old and didn't compare especially well to the Hitachi 7K1000 which is indeed a peach and offers superb value for money.

  18. Andy Bright

    HD size?

    Not sure about you guys, but unless you have around 30-50 games you regularly play, gaming PCs simply don't need the hard capacity of a PC devoted to media.

    Nothing wrong with having more HD space of course, but not if it comes at the cost of speed.

    Of course gamers could be using their computers for other things, in which case most would opt for a second drive on it's own channel.

    However most gamers I know would take a 30gb drive (or even less) if they knew it offered even an imperceptible increase in frame rate or an unnoticeable decrease in load times.

    As long as it had the capacity to hold the 1/2 dozen games they regularly play while still maintaining 40-50% free space, they'd be happy.

    Second drives are for media, bothersome office applications or whatever else people do when they aren't playing games. And it better be on its own channel, if it even so much as looks at my main hd, it'll be out of the PC and sitting in the corner thinking about what it did.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Adrian

    I thought OCZ SSDs are effectively rebadged Samsung devices. Is it the OCZ logo that makes them pants?

  20. Gary F
    Paris Hilton

    Grrr - unfair, outdated review

    The Velociraptor is a brilliant drive but why was it compared against a 3rd rate SSD drive? Everyone is talking about the new OCX drives, particularly the V2, which has been shipping in the UK for the past few weeks. Don't tell me El Reg couldn't get its hands on a sample? Heck, you should have just caughed up the readies to enjoy the fastest computer in all of El Reg Towers.

    Paris 'cos I think she organised the review. :-p

  21. Florian Hwigl
    Unhappy

    useless thanks

    so why while you gave proper mb/s numbers you dont give anything that tests heavy random IO which, after all, where the SSD might show interesting benefits, or for example tests using two IO threads (for the gamers: think leeching your new game off a p2p net and recording something with fraps)

    This is an interesting test, but oh so inconclusive, you stopped halfway!

  22. b
    Thumb Up

    well said Andy Bright!

    couldn't have put it better meshelf!

    ;)

  23. Svein Skogen
    Happy

    @Adrian

    You could most likely treat the X61 that way, even if it had a mechanical hdd, and not the SSD device.

    Ever hear of "Thinkvantage Active Protection"? It works, believe me.

    //Svein

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