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Windows 7: Hard Drive Upgrade


12 Dec 2009   #1
Raptor77

W7 64 bit
 
 
Hard Drive Upgrade

Hi, I asked awhile ago about how to move to a new hard drive and now I'm having trouble deciding on what to move to. Or if it's even worth moving at all.

Current hard drive: Western Digital Caviar 300GB

This is my boot drive. It's rated as 5.9 on the WEI but I have no idea how useful this measurement is, I had a search on this forum and someone got a score of 5.9 with a 300GB VelociRaptor (here: http://www.sevenforums.com/performan...ard-drive.html).

With a drive like that would I actually get any performance increase? It seems as though you should do, but WEI suggests otherwise?

I've searched online but much of the information about HDD's seems contradictory.

E.g.

"Make no mistake, a 10,000 RPM drive will have an enormous impact on boot time and application load times."
Speed up your PC - Fit a 10,000 RPM system drive | Hardware 2.0 | ZDNet.com

"This means that PC enthusiasts are paying twice the money for a slower hard drive with a quarter of the storage capacity!" (on high RPM drives)
How higher RPM hard drives rip you off | George Ou | ZDNet.com

"With a price of 220, this disk is over nine times more expensive per gigabyte than our best buy, and not really any faster." (Regarding VelociRaptor vs Samsung Spinpoint F1 DT 1TB)
http://www.expertreviews.co.uk/labs/249812/western-digital-velociraptor-300gb.html

And loads of places saying that the VelociRaptor is good but expensive.

My motherboard is an Asus P5QL-E, though I have no idea if this is a limiting factor for data transfer to HDD's or not.

Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Dec 2009   #2
bobkn

Windows 7 Pro X64 SP1
 
 

If you're obsessed with the WEI, consider an SSD. They're more expensive, but they make better numbers.

I forget what I got with a WD Velociraptor 300, but a single Crucial M225 gives 7.3.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2009   #3
Nikolay

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 | Windows XP Pro x86 | Windows Vista Ultimate x86
 
 

I'll admit that I'm not too knowledgeable on hardware but I'll contribute in the way that I can. You shouldn't really worry about the WEI score for hard drives, most hard drives will get 5.9, no matter how hard you try. If you want a score over 5.9, then you're looking at solid state disks which are pretty expensive right now.

Quote:
My motherboard is an Asus P5QL-E, though I have no idea if this is a limiting factor for data transfer to HDD's or not.
Your motherboard looks fine, it has 6 SATA slots, though I'm not too sure what you're asking.

Hope I helped in some way,

Nikolay
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Dec 2009   #4
Raptor77

W7 64 bit
 
 

I'm not looking to improve the WEI score in particular, I'm just after a new HDD, preferably a fast one. I mentioned WEI because I find it odd that someone with the VelociRaptor has the same score as me, and I was wondering if this is because the WEI is not a very good representation, or because there isn't actually much difference between different HDD's?

Like when you say:

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Nikolay View Post
most hard drives will get 5.9, no matter how hard you try. If you want a score over 5.9, then you're looking at solid state disks which are pretty expensive right now.
Does that mean WEI is useless for distinguishing HDDs, or does it mean that there truly isn't much difference between them? If the latter is true, then the "high speed" HDDs such as the VelociRaptor are pretty much useless considering the price hike per GB?


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Nikolay View Post
Your motherboard looks fine, it has 6 SATA slots, though I'm not too sure what you're asking.
I figured that the speed of data transfer to and from a HDD would be limited by the specs of the drive, but also by a transfer speed on the motherboard's SATA ports. I may be speaking complete rubbish though.

I'm not sure I want to pay out for a solid state drive, but I might have a look. I was hoping to find out how much difference there actually is between the different HDDs first.

Thanks for the responses guys.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2009   #5
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

The WEI score is calculated in such a way that it limits most mechanical spinning hard drives to 5.9. So, while there are speed improvements in real life with the 10K Velociraptors..you aren't going to see it with the WEI score.

Since your 300GB drive really isn't a performance oriented model, you should see a pretty signficant improvement by upgrading to a 300GB Velociraptor. And if you went with SSD, it would be yet another significant improvement.

Remember before SSD's hit the market...the Velociraptors and the regular raptors were King of the Hill and what every performance oriented person used. So, just because they aren't the fastest overall drives anymore...at one point they were fantastic...so I don't think you would be disappointed with the performance upgrade over what you have now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2009   #6
Raptor77

W7 64 bit
 
 

That's great, thanks. Exactly what I was after.

I'll avoid SSD's for now due to cost. Just need to decide between a VelociRaptor and something a bit slower but with more space and better price like the Spinpoint F1.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2009   #7
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

I have heard anecdotally that there isn't much difference in real world situations for most users between 10k drives and the latest generation of fast 7200 RPM drives, such as WD Caviar Black.

Whether that little difference applies to you or is important to you is another matter.

I'd bet you could google HD Tune results for nearly any drive you can name. Look at gaming-oriented forums for info from those obsessed with small increments in speed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2009   #8
Zahl

windows 8.1 Pro x64
 
 

Look in to the WD Black drives. You get tons of space and great all around performance on the cheap
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2009   #9
nate42nd

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Zahl View Post
Look in to the WD Black drives. You get tons of space and great all around performance on the cheap
I will second this. Western Digital Black 500GB is one of the best for the money right now.

I use these on builds I cannot use SSDs and LOVE them. They are a little "loud" for some, but for about the sound of a mosquito.....I don't see what the problem is.

All this said......just bite the bullet and get an SSD. You will be shocked you had not done it before and NEVER go back to "spinners" again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2009   #10
bobkn

Windows 7 Pro X64 SP1
 
 

Somewhat more sincerely:

For sustained data transfers, a Velociraptor may not be superior to a large 7200 RPM drive. I haven't checked the numbers, but the 10kRPM may be more than offset by the higher density of the platters on the larger 7200 RPM drive.

The armature that positions the read heads of the Velociraptor is more robust than for the 7200 RPM drives, though, so it has shorter seek times. By definition, the average rotational latency of a 7200 RPM drive is about 4.2 ms; the 10k drive. 3.0 ms. In principle, these should speed up random access operations compared to 7200 RPM drives.

(SSDs have seek times more like 0.1 ms.)
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 Hard Drive Upgrade




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