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Old March 11th, 2008, 11:51 AM   #1
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The end of the 10k Raptor

Ever since the introduction of the Western Digital Raptor I've been using them as main/OS/boot drives for their I/O speed and performance and, I've always assumed that because they spin so fast (10,000rpm) that no other drive - with exception to SCSI - would perform better. That's no longer the case.

Bare feats did a test late last year with a selection of TB drives, one them being the Seagate 7200.11, which tested at a *faster* data rate than any Raptor, close to and over 100MB/s! And from a drive that's *only* spinning at 7200rpm, but with 32MB of cache.

So I did my own test and sure enough, the data rate easily attains the 100MB/s mark; the best any Raptor ever tested for me was around 65-80MB/s.

While the increased speed of the Seagate doesn't sound like much at first, I have noticed faster boot times and, faster application loading especially FCP. And, the Seagate is whisper-quiet, the quietest drive I've ever used.

For what it's worth.
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Old March 11th, 2008, 12:54 PM   #2
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I've bought a Hitachi 1TB 7k1000 (32MB cache) about 3 months ago and put it into my G5 (dual 2.3) in addition to a 750GB Western Digital (16 MB cache). Both drives are running at "only" 7200 but they are fast - although not as fast as the new seagate. I'm getting around 80-85 MB/s when copying large files internally between the two.
So I'm quite happy with those two drives. The Hitachi is really nice, fast and big.

Side note: I'm trying to avoid Seagate/Maxtor ever since Seagate bought Maxtor and killed the latter. I remember a good article describing what was happening at the time - essentially they (Seagate) just wanted to take out one competitor in order to have less competition (and they did).

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Old March 12th, 2008, 06:06 PM   #3
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We've tested the Hitachi's against the Seagate and couldn't find a reason to pony up an extra $100 per drive just because of the branding.

The MTBF times on both drives (enterprise class) are near-identical and Seagate's drive-failure rates aren't any greater than any other manufacturer - with exception to the now defunct Maxtor lineup.

Based on recent history (the past 3 years) you'd be very safe using either Hitachi or Seagate as either a stand-alone HDD or in an array. Western Digital is still making "Raid Edition" RE2 drives but they don't have the IO speed or low-noise footprint of either the Hitachi or Seagates and we rate them as a solid 3rd-place in this market. Testing by Bare-Feats and AMUG seems to agree with this assessment.
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Old March 18th, 2008, 12:31 AM   #4
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have you folx turned the write cache off and run the test again? the cache can store things in the memory and do weird stuff to benchmarks.
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Old March 18th, 2008, 01:14 AM   #5
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The WD Raptors still have a much faster seek time (about twice as fast). Faster seeks are the main advantage of 10,000 RPM drives.
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Old March 18th, 2008, 11:10 AM   #6
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The default settings in the AJA system test are highly accurate as it simulates exactly how the drive performs while being used by an application. Turning "on" file system cache actually produces unrealistic and incredulous speeds - like 1000MB/s! Obviously that's not real.

Yes, Raptors do have fast seek times, which means they can find that piece of data they've been instructed to get very quickly but once they find it they simply cannot push it out nearly as fast as these Seagates.

I think we're seeing the limit of what current HDD technology is capable of including SCSI drives. Clearly the next big step in performance and reliability is with the new SSD's (solid-state drive) but just like any newly released technology they are extremely expensive and lack the storage space we all need for AV work.

Bang for the buck, there is no other drive currently available that performs better than the 7200.11 Seagate TB drive and as recent tests prove, not even the venerable Raptors can keep up anymore.
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Old March 18th, 2008, 11:52 AM   #7
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i believe us video editors require faster sustained access, is this what the test is about? random access or seek times matter very little to us when we're dealing with stitching up multi-TB files.
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Old March 18th, 2008, 01:01 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Yi Fong Yu View Post
i believe us video editors require faster sustained access, is this what the test is about? random access or seek times matter very little to us when we're dealing with stitching up multi-TB files.
Video doesn't require very high sustained data transfer rates *if* you are dealing with DV or HDV, neither of which exceed 3 Megabytes/second. If you are doing layering with files on the same drive, the faster disk drive access time will serve you better.

Anyway, we should be seeing a revolution with the solid state drives based on Intel's chips that do 200 MBytes/second read and 100 MBytes/second write with neglibible access times.

The WB 150GB Raptor has been out for years, so we will probably see a Raptor with the higher density plates that deliver higher sustained data rates.
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Old March 19th, 2008, 08:54 AM   #9
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dealing w/a few HDV files here and there are fine, but doing complex montages involving several layers of that same 3MBps will require a higher bandwidth and eventually many content makers make their way towards 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 uncompressed, which obviously requires a boatload of bandwidth. 3MBps per clip is a stepping stone into a MUCH larger world of uncompressed footages =P.

re: SSD, 1st gen is still unreliable:
http://www.engadget.com/2008/03/18/c...ops-in-droves/
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Old March 19th, 2008, 09:59 AM   #10
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Video doesn't require very high sustained data transfer rates *if* you are dealing with DV or HDV...
Unfortunately reality contradicts that statement.

While a single-layer of DV/HDV may in fact have a low bitrate compared to other formats (and especially uncompressed) you never deal with single-layer video at all during editing. As soon as you lay in any filters, titles and especially a second track/layer the bandwidth requirements increase exponentially because you're not simply dealing with transport, but *editing* which requires the most system resources available.

The reason I started this thread wasn't to debate the pros and cons of various drives, simply to point out that the latest HDD technology being used by Seagate has proven to have significant benefit for video/film editing applications and, considering the low cost - especially when comparing the current cost of the Raptor - makes it a "no brainer" when it comes to selecting a new HDD either as a stand-alone or to be used in a RAID.
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Old March 20th, 2008, 08:07 AM   #11
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furthermore i have noticed vista seems to consume disk bandwidth/resources like there's no tomorrow making editing almost impossible sometimes. when it isn't doing anything it's fine, but u never know WHAT it's doing in the background, defragging? cleaning stuff? optimizing memory? who knows.

i'd like to see how raid0 on 7200.11 performs vs. dual raptors. i just invested in 2 pairs of raptor150s across 2 workstations =P.
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Old March 20th, 2008, 09:32 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Yi Fong Yu View Post
furthermore i have noticed vista seems to consume disk bandwidth/resources like there's no tomorrow making editing almost impossible sometimes. when it isn't doing anything it's fine, but u never know WHAT it's doing in the background, defragging? cleaning stuff? optimizing memory? who knows.

i'd like to see how raid0 on 7200.11 performs vs. dual raptors. i just invested in 2 pairs of raptor150s across 2 workstations =P.
At times it is indexing your hard drive for instant searches. You can turn that off on your video drives or all to help with that issue. Right click the drive and uncheck the option for indexing.
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Old March 21st, 2008, 02:23 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Robert Lane View Post
The reason I started this thread wasn't to debate the pros and cons of various drives, simply to point out that the latest HDD technology being used by Seagate has proven to have significant benefit for video/film editing applications and, considering the low cost - especially when comparing the current cost of the Raptor - makes it a "no brainer" when it comes to selecting a new HDD either as a stand-alone or to be used in a RAID.
Well, you started this thread with a measurement of disk bandwidth, but I wouldn't consider that a measurement of benefit in a video editing situation with multiple layers. A more useful proof would be to take your multi-track editing project and compare performance on the two disks.
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Old April 18th, 2008, 07:02 AM   #14
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Morning guys...

I agree the seagates are great. I have been using them in my editing systems for a while now. I tested them against raptors starting with the .09 drives.. They have gotten tremendously faster as time has gone on, and as a consequence, I also switched from the raptors to the segates exclusively. It really is a shame as the raptors were tremendous(and still are) drives as far as speeed. I would have thought that western digital would have come out with new ones by now but they haven't. But the .11 drives are monsters! When I first started using the perpindicular drives and advised a few "raptor finatics" they would say whatever, but most of the time, sooner or later they would try them and find out for themselves.. They are nice drives..

As far as the reliability of the drives, to be honest, I have never had "either" a raptor or a segate fail on me, but then I keep my case extremely cool. If you do that, most if not all of the major mfg's drives will serve you well. All are not the same speeds, no but they will last you.

But the speeds are nice on the Seagates to say the least in both benchmarking and "real world" editing. Especially when you raid them! I am currently runnning 3 in a raid 0 and they are fantastic!!!
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Old April 18th, 2008, 10:06 AM   #15
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that's typically the first thing i do post fresh install. still a lot of activity doing god knows what =P

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Chesarek View Post
At times it is indexing your hard drive for instant searches. You can turn that off on your video drives or all to help with that issue. Right click the drive and uncheck the option for indexing.
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