My 1TB VelociRaptor Review

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Zardnok

Senior member
Sep 21, 2004
670
0
76
Thanks for the write-up!

Newegg has the VR 1TB for $250 shipped with coupon EMCNDJA33 (exp.6/25).

Right now I have 200GB of games installed, with a mere 5 games that I have touched in the past few months (around 48GB). Windows and the rest of the software I use (plus random data) is around 39GB. Heck, I should just uninstall the games that I know for a fact I'll probably never play again.

I think I have owned around eight Raptor/VelociRaptor drives over the years (still have most of them). I like what they are and how they perform, but with a 256GB SSD costing less than a 1TB VelociRaptor (just ordered Crucial M4 256GB for $180 -$9 cashback) and more than being able to hold all my stuff, the VR is a tough sell for me even at $250. I am not opposed to owning one. It is merely the $/GB versus current SSD pricing along with my actual capacity needs that makes SSDs my choice.
A few years ago I had my entire system on a Raptor 150 and it was more than fine. As I added MMOs and games, it started to show its limitations. I had a ton of bloated games that I would likely never play again, so I dumped EQ, Vanguard, and EQ2 onto an old storage drive and suddenly there was more than enough space! When making my most recent storage decision, I tried to think about what games I am currently playing and how much space I would need. A quick perusal of my Steam and WoW folder showed that I had 120gb of games so my decision was easy as I went with a Samsung 256gb ssd. I have 95gb free with everything installed and have not even plugged in the Samsung 1tb Spinpoint I bought to go with it for media.

If I was only using one drive, the Velociraptor would be the one to go with. I am a WD fan and have enjoyed using Raptor drives in the past, but I just don't need the space and if I do, I can use a secondary drive at a fraction of the cost while enjoying the speed benefits of an SSD for my primary.
 

exdeath

Lifer
Jan 29, 2004
13,679
10
81
I wait a bit for my LSI card with the raid setup but I have an old nForce4 board that posts in about 3 seconds and an Acer laptop that shows an Acer splash for about 2 seconds before "Starting Windows". Not sure how you guys who aren't running a RAID BIOS are spending 10+ seconds posting.

Disable devices, enable fast boot, explicitly set SATA/IDE devices and disable "AUTO" and unused ports, etc.
 

GrumpyMan

Diamond Member
May 14, 2001
5,778
262
136
What do you guys do that is so important that a button push to desktop in under 60 seconds is a problem?
 

Skott

Diamond Member
Oct 4, 2005
5,730
1
76
What do you guys do that is so important that a button push to desktop in under 60 seconds is a problem?

I think people are wanting a 'system on' as soon as they push the button. Or in the PC world as close to that as possible. It's been something PC users have been wanting from MS and manufacturers for a long time now. Like turning on a TV. Instant use/viewing. SSDs have come closest to having that so far in all the years I have been into PCs.
 

thelastjuju

Senior member
Nov 6, 2011
444
2
0
I think people are wanting a 'system on' as soon as they push the button. Or in the PC world as close to that as possible. It's been something PC users have been wanting from MS and manufacturers for a long time now. Like turning on a TV. Instant use/viewing. SSDs have come closest to having that so far in all the years I have been into PCs.

.. and we've had that capability since hibernate and advanced sleep modes.

Its interesting how nobody cared about being able to almost instantly start using the PC from an off position.. but since SSD's, suddenly fast boot times are all the rage.

Windows 7 can hibernate you in, ready to go with no initial lag in about 10 seconds flat.. even on an HDD.. unless I'm changing hardware, I never turn the PC "all the way" off.
 

Zap

Elite Member
Oct 13, 1999
22,377
2
81
Not sure how you guys who aren't running a RAID BIOS are spending 10+ seconds posting.

Just the nature of the beast. Some platforms as a whole (think X58) just took forever to POST, even without RAID.

.. and we've had that capability since hibernate and advanced sleep modes.

I do that with my notebook and my computer at home, but the computer I'm using right now doesn't want to stay in sleep mode. Always wakes up within a couple minutes. o_O
 

Seven

Senior member
Jan 26, 2000
339
2
76
I don't see anything exciting about this raptor and the price isn't great at all. Maybe for enterprise use, I just don't see the point of it over a regular 7200rpm drive.
 

GrumpyMan

Diamond Member
May 14, 2001
5,778
262
136
.. and we've had that capability since hibernate and advanced sleep modes.

Its interesting how nobody cared about being able to almost instantly start using the PC from an off position.. but since SSD's, suddenly fast boot times are all the rage.

Windows 7 can hibernate you in, ready to go with no initial lag in about 10 seconds flat.. even on an HDD.. unless I'm changing hardware, I never turn the PC "all the way" off.


+1...seriously. :whiste:
 

BFG10K

Lifer
Aug 14, 2000
22,703
2,937
126
2) If you're launching 64-128GB worth of game files in a day...just not really possible. Also, you're not going to wear out the drive in its useful lifetime. 10 years min lifetime should be expected. Honestly, it will probably outlast your Velociraptor.
You don’t have to launch that many GB per day. Once the SSD is full, every game you launch that isn’t on the drive will overwrite another game that was already there. Add that to the OS constantly writing to it as well.

If I was really concerned about going that route, it’d be better to buy a ton of RAM and hibernate the system so when it’s reloaded, the disk cache still has the last used games.

10 years is untested and unproven given consumer SSDs haven’t been around that long. We can’t even reliably measure 5 years yet.

How often do you backup and why aren't you backing up automatically when you sleep (a.k.a. do you sit there and watch the backup...about as fun as watching paint dry IMO)?
I don’t sit there for the full backup, but if I restore some of my games (e.g. I mess up a mod installation or patch), I do wait for those to restore. I also do “hot” backups where if I’ve made significant changes to a game’s folder, I back up just that folder.

3) Depends on the game. Also, you lose the ability to multitask productively. Try burning a couple of discs, running a game, recording TV, and recoding some movies on a SSD vs HDD and let me know which system you'd rather use.
That’s a completely unrealistic scenario; I don’t do that and I doubt you do either.

It reminds me of people back in the day given examples of running virus scanner while gaming at 800x600 to show quad-cores make a different.

Quite frankly, I think the 1TB Velociraptor really has no place in the current marketplace, except maybe in a SFF HTPC where you need lots of local storage for files and desire better than a regular HDD performance for other tasks.
It’s the fastest mechanical SATA HDD you can buy, and it’s also viable for mass storage at the same time. It’s perfect for fast random access to a dataset too large to be viable on SSDs due to cost.

It would also be good in server/cloud situations where it offers more usable space than SSDs. There must be a viable market for this product or WD wouldn’t have made it.
 

BFG10K

Lifer
Aug 14, 2000
22,703
2,937
126
I wait a bit for my LSI card with the raid setup but I have an old nForce4 board that posts in about 3 seconds and an Acer laptop that shows an Acer splash for about 2 seconds before "Starting Windows". Not sure how you guys who aren't running a RAID BIOS are spending 10+ seconds posting.
Laptops and older platforms often POST fast. It’s the desktop boards from recent chipsets that can be quite slow. From my 28 seconds above, about 2/3rds of it is POST.

Disable devices, enable fast boot, explicitly set SATA/IDE devices and disable "AUTO" and unused ports, etc.
I already do that. I even disabled USB3 because I don’t use it. Some boards just don’t really get any faster when stripped:

46931.png
 

Golgatha

Lifer
Jul 18, 2003
12,650
1,512
126
1) You don’t have to launch that many GB per day. Once the SSD is full, every game you launch that isn’t on the drive will overwrite another game that was already there. Add that to the OS constantly writing to it as well.

If I was really concerned about going that route, it’d be better to buy a ton of RAM and hibernate the system so when it’s reloaded, the disk cache still has the last used games.

2) 10 years is untested and unproven given consumer SSDs haven’t been around that long. We can’t even reliably measure 5 years yet.


3) I don’t sit there for the full backup, but if I restore some of my games (e.g. I mess up a mod installation or patch), I do wait for those to restore. I also do “hot” backups where if I’ve made significant changes to a game’s folder, I back up just that folder.


That’s a completely unrealistic scenario; I don’t do that and I doubt you do either.

It reminds me of people back in the day given examples of running virus scanner while gaming at 800x600 to show quad-cores make a different.


4) It’s the fastest mechanical SATA HDD you can buy, and it’s also viable for mass storage at the same time. It’s perfect for fast random access to a dataset too large to be viable on SSDs due to cost.

It would also be good in server/cloud situations where it offers more usable space than SSDs. There must be a viable market for this product or WD wouldn’t have made it.

1) RAM + cheaper 1TB HDD would still be cheaper. A SSD cache of 64GB for games are capable of launching at least 8 different games without a recurrence, and it is a cheaper solution as well. I know I don't play 8 different games in a day. Maybe 2-3 at the most.

2) Fair enough. My figures are based on what I know about the technology, but you're right, we don't have 10 years of actual data yet. Theory guides, experiments decide applies here.

3) I regularly do in fact run VM instances, burn discs, record TV, play a game, and recode movies at the same time on any given day, and I do at least 2-3 those tasks simultaneously on a very regular basis (let's say 80%+ of the time. Do I do this all the time? No, but I have the option to and I'd otherwise be waiting for a task to finish before I start another major task if I had a mechanical HDD when I do perform multiple tasks. I wouldn't have a SSD (because they're expensive) if I didn't get some real value out of owning one.

4) Unless you're pulling all the data from a dataset at the same time, a caching scheme still makes more sense. The job needing done in your case is launching games quickly, which doesn't meet this criteria. Also, companies put products on the market all the time which have no business being there. They base the need for the product on past product success and forget to check if there is really a current job needing done (or if there is a better way to do the same job for cheaper) for the newer product.
 
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Golgatha

Lifer
Jul 18, 2003
12,650
1,512
126
Laptops and older platforms often POST fast. It’s the desktop boards from recent chipsets that can be quite slow. From my 28 seconds above, about 2/3rds of it is POST.


I already do that. I even disabled USB3 because I don’t use it. Some boards just don’t really get any faster when stripped:

46931.png


Yeah, I have an 80GB SSD in my Lenovo laptop. It boots within 10-15 seconds due to it having a really really fast POST.
 

BFG10K

Lifer
Aug 14, 2000
22,703
2,937
126
A couple of weeks later, I’m quite satisfied with this drive.

1) RAM + cheaper 1TB HDD would still be cheaper. A SSD cache of 64GB for games are capable of launching at least 8 different games without a recurrence, and it is a cheaper solution as well. I know I don't play 8 different games in a day. Maybe 2-3 at the most.
You don’t have to play 8 games in a day, just one that isn’t on the drive. Every time you launch a game that isn’t on the drive, it writes to the drive and removes whatever replaces it.

Let me put it this way: I have 129 games installed right now. With 8 on the SSD, that means I only need to launch one of the other 121 to cause an overwrite.

And yes, I can easily launch 8+ different games per day, especially when benchmarking, modifying them with patches/mods, and/or other testing. If I launch 8 and none of them are on the SSD, the entire SSD will have been overwritten.

3) I regularly do in fact run VM instances, burn discs, record TV, play a game, and recode movies at the same time on any given day, and I do at least 2-3 those tasks simultaneously on a very regular basis (let's say 80%+ of the time. Do I do this all the time? No, but I have the option to and I'd otherwise be waiting for a task to finish before I start another major task if I had a mechanical HDD when I do perform multiple tasks. I wouldn't have a SSD (because they're expensive) if I didn't get some real value out of owning one.
Burning a disc has nothing to do with SSD or HDD speed; the bottleneck there is the optical drive.

If you’re recording TV or recoding big videos you’ll run out of space on a caching SSD if data-set is too big to be cached. Also you’ll overwrite your previously cached data for a workload that will probably be never repeated again, thereby gaining nothing by having that particular data cached.

VM instances have nothing to do with HDD usage unless you’re constantly booting, paging and/or launching uncached applications in those sessions, in which case the solution is hibernate + more RAM.

Yours is an exaggerated scenario which isn’t even bottlenecked by storage as much as you think it is, and a caching SSD won’t benefit it as much as you think it will.

Just because you run multiple things at once, it does not mean it’s primarily I/O bound. I regularly multi-task as well, but my multi-tasking is not primarily I/O bound.

4) Unless you're pulling all the data from a dataset at the same time, a caching scheme still makes more sense. The job needing done in your case is launching games quickly, which doesn't meet this criteria.
Already answered in the first paragraph.

Not to mention that SSD caching only works on one Intel chipset, and results from other schemes can be flaky (some benchmarks I’ve seen show results slower than just a single HDD by itself).

Also the entire system needs more administration than a single HDD.

Also, companies put products on the market all the time which have no business being there. They base the need for the product on past product success and forget to check if there is really a current job needing done (or if there is a better way to do the same job for cheaper) for the newer product.
Take a look at some of videos WDC has made; they interview some of the people who actually purchased the drives. These people often work with large datasets - too big, too write heavy, and too random to benefit from a small SSD.
 

Zap

Elite Member
Oct 13, 1999
22,377
2
81
Not to mention that SSD caching only works on one Intel chipset

Not true. Now, if you use the Intel software, then SSD caching only works on certain Intel chipsets and not even all of them.

However, there are 3rd party SSD caching software which in theory works with any chipset. They are often bundled with non-Intel SSDs marketed as cache drives.

Take a look at some of videos WDC has made; they interview some of the people who actually purchased the drives. These people often work with large datasets - too big, too write heavy, and too random to benefit from a small SSD.

If this was for work and if their time = money, then they should get either HDDs faster than the VelociRaptors, or just go with SSDs.

Too random? That's EXACTLY where an SSD shines. After that it comes down to price and time savings. Are the time savings worth the price? If some highly paid employees have to spend time waiting for the HDDs, then even terabytes of SSDs can pay for themselves in short order.
 

BFG10K

Lifer
Aug 14, 2000
22,703
2,937
126
However, there are 3rd party SSD caching software which in theory works with any chipset. They are often bundled with non-Intel SSDs marketed as cache drives.
I already mentioned the other solutions in the sentence you truncated.

Too random? That's EXACTLY where an SSD shines.
Too random to benefit from caching, I mean.
 

Pariah

Elite Member
Apr 16, 2000
7,357
20
81
.. and we've had that capability since hibernate and advanced sleep modes.

Its interesting how nobody cared about being able to almost instantly start using the PC from an off position.. but since SSD's, suddenly fast boot times are all the rage.

Windows 7 can hibernate you in, ready to go with no initial lag in about 10 seconds flat.. even on an HDD.. unless I'm changing hardware, I never turn the PC "all the way" off.

I don't really get it either. PC's have had instant on for pretty much ever. When I am not using my computer, I turn the monitor off. When I come back, I turn the monitor back on. Instant on, no wait.

I'm as big a fan of Raptors as you will find, but I see no scenario at all where the latest 1TB Raptor makes sense for a desktop PC. Anyone who really cares about the speed of their PC, will have an SSD, even if it's just a small one for OS and some apps. A 10k drive serves the purpose of giving more capacity for speed sensitive data that won't fit on an SSD, or for data you don't trust storing on an SSD. For 99.9999% of home user PC's, that will not exceed 500GB's. For that fraction of a percent thatthinks they do need more than 500GB's, you might want to see if A&E is looking for more candidates for their "Hoarders" show.
 

BFG10K

Lifer
Aug 14, 2000
22,703
2,937
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5 year update: the drive still works flawlessly and I just finished running a big backup to it. It's a shame the VelociRaptor line was never updated again.
 

Golgatha

Lifer
Jul 18, 2003
12,650
1,512
126
Nice necro post. I still have two 300GB drives in service at home. I've had each of them for over 5 years. Still clean per SMART.

Also, oh how times change. I'm running SSDs in my main rig and both of my laptops, and one of those 300GB Velociraptors is a dedicated storage drive in one of my HTPC setups.
 

BFG10K

Lifer
Aug 14, 2000
22,703
2,937
126
Also, oh how times change.
Yep, I ended up getting the Crucial in my signature as the sole drive in my system. I always prefer one drive as everything is much simpler and tidier.

But fast forward to today with NAND prices soaring and game install sizes getting obscene, big HDDs are certainly coming back into fashion.
 
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BFG10K

Lifer
Aug 14, 2000
22,703
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8 year update: still running fine.

This is pretty good file copy performance for an 8 year old HDD:

Raptor.png


I still use it for cold storage offsite backup, and it's absolutely reliable.
 
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Insert_Nickname

Diamond Member
May 6, 2012
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I still use it for cold storage offsite backup, and it's absolutely reliable.

Nice to see the old WD Raptors still going strong. They do bring back memories. RAID'ed Raptors f.x. :cool:

Just out of curiosity, are you using it with an external USB case? I would think the Raptors were too power hungry for that?
 

Golgatha

Lifer
Jul 18, 2003
12,650
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Nice to see the old WD Raptors still going strong. They do bring back memories. RAID'ed Raptors f.x. :cool:

Just out of curiosity, are you using it with an external USB case? I would think the Raptors were too power hungry for that?

I think I vastly underestimated the age of my 300GB Raptor. It currently has 67385 hours on it per SMART, or about 7.7 years of powered on time. Still clear of errors and it's the primary OS drive for my home fileserver.