I got bored the other day and started looking at SSD’s with their read/write speeds and got to thinking. Yes, when I get bored and start thinking, it can be scary, especially to my bank account. However, for once, I had everything I needed to satisfy my curiosity and my bank account is grateful! Let’s get this show on the road … Shall we?
This is a good question, and hopefully, I can answer that. From my perspective and from how I set my systems up, I have always had plenty of HDD space leftover. I normally only run 2-3 HDD’s at a time. As you know, in most all modern cases, I would say there is room for 6-10 HDD’s depending on the case. Even in my heavily modified water-cooled case, I have room for 6 HDD’s.
Now the next big thing is money. Everyone knows SSD’s are very expensive in today’s market place. The cheapest one I found on Newegg was $82 for 32GB. We all know this is not recommended for an OS drive. Most people can agree that you want to be in the 50-60GB for an OS only drive, as write performance can start to suffer once the drive starts getting full.
So I sat out to see what kind of performance I could get out of old cheap 36GB Raptors. You can find used ones with warranty left on them for around $30 each, which would make a total of $120 for 144GB of storage in RAID-0.
RAID-0 (also known as a stripe set or striped volume) splits data evenly across two or more disks (striped) with no parity information for redundancy. It is important to note that RAID-0 was not one of the original RAID levels and provides no data redundancy. RAID-0 is normally used to increase performance, although it can also be used as a way to create a small number of large virtual disks out of a large number of small physical ones.
A RAID-0 setup can be created with two or more disks of the same size or disks of differing sizes, but the storage space added to the array by each disk is limited to the size of the smallest disk. For example, if a 120 GB disk is striped together with another 100 GB disk, the size of the array will be 200 GB.
Crystal Disk Mark:
Thoughts So Far:
With all four drives installed into Raid-0, we saw a 282% increase in Read speeds and a 282% increase in Write speeds, going off the CrystalDiskMark. Just going off the sheer percentage gain, this is a massive increase in speeds. With final read/write times at 337.9 and 330.2, respectively, it turned out to be an extremely fast RAID-0 setup. So far I am very impressed with the performance of the RAID. Let’s move on and see how this would compare to SSD’s and new generation Raptors.
* For comparisons I went to manufacturer’s websites and took their speeds that they have listed. *
The poor single 36GB Raptor catches a severe beat-down by the other drives in this area. With the results here, a Raptor would definitely not be recommended do to sheer lack of performance.
The start of our RAID-0 and the two Raptors start to catch back up to the performance of the other drives in this region. It gets beaten easily by the other drives in read speeds, but makes up for it with higher than most write speeds. You still would probably have better luck not going with Raptors in this area as well.
The 3x36GB RAID-0 is still showing its age in this test also. Even though the performance is getting closer and closer, the Raptors still seem to be lacking overall.
Finally! I found the sweet-spot for these drives in RAID. It just happens to be 4x36GB in RAID-0 to stand out and take the crown. From these tests, you can see they actually dominate the other drives of this size. The Raptors, just by massively out numbering the opponent, finally beat them into submission and dominated the performance charts.
I used a $30 price point for each Raptor drive. Then for the SSD, I chose the best performing one in each section to use for the comparison.
30GB Area HDD’s:
The Raptor drive caught a nice beat-down from the other HDD’s. This was to be expected, and was not surprising at all. If the 36GB Raptor did win this battle, the hard drive manufactures are doing something very wrong. It’s not worth owning just one Raptor hard drive when other hard drives are at least double and getting close to triple the speeds of the Raptor.
60GB Area HDD’s:
Once we finally got the Raptors in RAID-0, it helped make them a little more respectable, but still lacking. They are still getting beaten handily in the read area but put out an outstanding write time, which was one of the best we saw in this hard drive capacity area. Now you could almost justify buying two of these drives. You would be spending around $60 for the Raptors versus at least $120 for the cheapest SSD we saw on Newegg.
100GB Area HDD’s:
Well, our three Raptors in RAID-o ended up at the bottom of the charts on this one, getting beaten by about 20-30 MB/s on the read and write speeds. They are still gaining on the competition, but a little slower as you can see. Now, you have to think to yourself whether 20-30 MB/s is worth $260 for an SSD or will $90 be sufficient for you, even though a little slower?
120-140GB Area HDD’s:
Now we get to the big difference in performance. We finally found the tipping point in the drives, and it ended up being with four Raptors in RAID. The Raptor read times were about 80-100 MB/s faster than the other hard drives in this area. The write speeds were 120-190 MB/s faster than the other hard drives as well. This would be a noticeable performance boost in running your system. The great thing with this is that you could spend $130 or so to get this performance. The cheapest SSD would be $194 from what we have found on Newegg.