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OCZ SSD vs. VelociRaptor

OCZ SSD vs. VelociRaptor

The OCZ shows that SSDs certain have what it takes to beat their traditional counterparts in the performance stakes.

If you've been waiting for some hard figures comparing the relatively inexpensive OCZ Core SSD drive with the extremely popular Western Digital VelociRaptor high-speed mechanical disk, have I got a treat for you.

The guys over at HotHardware are preparing for another controversial SSD vs magnetic drive group test, and have offered a sneak-peak at the results that may surprise some of you still clinging to the notion that SSDs can't match standard drives for real-world performance in desktop PCs.

The test compared a 64GB OCZ Core SATA II SSD drive to a 300GB Western Digital VelociRaptor SATA II mechanical drive, using HDTach and PCMark Vantage on an Asus P5E3 Premium motherboard featuring the Intel X48 chipset. The results give a surprising winner in read performance – the OCZ SSD, which managed 140MB/s sustained transfer rate across its entire 64GB volume and bested the already pretty nippy VelociRaptor by 8 percent.

The story takes a sudden shift when it comes to write performance, however: the SSD drops to 87Mb/s while the VelociRaptor shows almost exactly the same write performance as it did read performance, beating the SSD by a wide margin at almost 130Mb/s. Clearly SSDs are great for data that is often read by seldom written, but you wouldn't want to keep your swapfile on one – longevity issues aside.

The more real-world test of PCMark Vantage showed some impressive figures, too, with the OCZ SSD beating the high-performance VelociRaptor in almost every test thanks to almost instantaneous seek times and that little edge in read performance. Some tests that rely on rapid random access showed almost unbelievable differences in speed: one test involves importing a selection of photographs into the Windows Photo Gallery, and shows the SSD outperforming the VelociRaptor by 280 percent; another test, which simulates gaming activity, shows the OCZ SSD scoring some 602 percent higher than its mechanical counterpart. In fact, the only test in which the VelociRaptor got one over on its opponent was the Windows Media Center [sic] test, in which the mechanical unit scored 20 percent higher.

Although it'll be a while until SSDs hit a similar price-per-gigabyte to mechanical drives, it's clear that those willing to shell out the extra dosh will find their investment paying off pretty quickly - despite what IDC might claim.

Is the promise of a 600 percent speed boost when loading game data enough to get you saving up for solid-state technology, or is the price still too much of a sticking point? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

23 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
knyghtryda 21st July 2008, 10:04 Quote
space is still too small and price is still too high for SSD to be considered even at enthusiast level. I think once they can reach $1/GB levels (like the raptor), they'll have something that many people would want to pick up. Considering most storage is at $.25/GB or less at this point, I would seriously have to consider whether spending $300 on 300GB is worth it whereas I could get 2TB for the same price in a "standard" 7200rpm drive.
wuyanxu 21st July 2008, 10:09 Quote
apart from speed, CPU and memory performance will also bottleneck you system. eg. i've experienced about the same loading speed on TM Nations Forever when i put it on RAMdisk. me thinks it's the other parts.

for desktop use, you really want a 32GB SSD for Windows, 150GB Veloci-Raptor (they are making one) for page file and games, 1TB drive for data.
alexandros1313 21st July 2008, 10:18 Quote
I really like SSDs (in theory of course, I don't have one). Using an SSD promises smooth gameplay without stuttering (due to speedy access times) which would be excellent. I'd like for Bit-Tech to include a section in their SSD reviews, where they describe the subjective experience of playing games with an SSD. I really want to know if having an SSD improves smoothness of gameplay. Could someone from the bit-tech staff tell us about it?
BlackMage23 21st July 2008, 10:26 Quote
nice performance gains if you have the dosh to spend on one and want to wait the hours that it would probably take to install windows on one.
TheCherub 21st July 2008, 10:33 Quote
I think that is actually a more tempting proposition than people have so far mentioned. The only issue with these things is their size / value. However, most people that run something like a Raptor for their primary hard drive then run a 500Gb / 1Tb hard drive for data. This makes the size of the primary hard drive much less of an issue, and it reduces it down to a pure speed / value ratio. Given that Scan have the OCZ drive at about £10 cheaper than the Raptor, it doesn't look quite so expensive.
Dr. Strangelove 21st July 2008, 10:35 Quote
Is it just me or is it a bit odd to compare a 64Gb disk to a 300Gb disk? Does the size of the mechanical disk not give it a disadvantage, as in would a lower capacity VelociRaptor (if such exists) not perform better than the big one?
iwod 21st July 2008, 10:47 Quote
For people who dont know the OCZ core series is now very affordable. Most people buy the Raptor not because of its capacity but its speed. While 64Gb is only slightly faster. Two 32GB SSD Raid 0 would only be slightly more expensive but a huge gain in performance. Not to mention the price will drop much faster then HDD.
Intel has promised a 200MB/s Read SSD this year. Although we have yet seen any news from it.
mclean007 21st July 2008, 11:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Strangelove
Is it just me or is it a bit odd to compare a 64Gb disk to a 300Gb disk? Does the size of the mechanical disk not give it a disadvantage, as in would a lower capacity VelociRaptor (if such exists) not perform better than the big one?
Not at all - all other things being equal, a higher capacity disk will outperform a lower capacity disk, because of the difference in data density. Think of it like this - the read / write heads on a 7,200 rpm drive "see" one track of the disk platter(s) in 1/7,200 minutes (1/120 seconds), so the more data you pack into that track, the more data you can read or write in 1/120 seconds, so the faster the drive will perform.
impar 21st July 2008, 11:27 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu
apart from speed, CPU and memory performance will also bottleneck you system. eg. i've experienced about the same loading speed on TM Nations Forever when i put it on RAMdisk. me thinks it's the other parts.
Agree with you.
The sinthetic tests that make for the bulk of HDD reviews usually dont represent the actual drive performance in real tests.


PS:
Quote:
Originally Posted by mclean007
Not at all - all other things being equal, a higher capacity disk will outperform a lower capacity disk, because of the difference in data density.
But, if you only factor the initial 64GB of the HDD, you get a better perfromance average than from the entire HDD.
TheCherub 21st July 2008, 11:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mclean007
Not at all - all other things being equal, a higher capacity disk will outperform a lower capacity disk, because of the difference in data density. Think of it like this - the read / write heads on a 7,200 rpm drive "see" one track of the disk platter(s) in 1/7,200 minutes (1/120 seconds), so the more data you pack into that track, the more data you can read or write in 1/120 seconds, so the faster the drive will perform.

Surely, given that solid state drives work in a completely different fashion to conventional drives, this isn't really relevant? I would still argue that there is a worthwhile comparison to make, as you are effectively comparing two system disks (as opposed to data disks).
Denis_iii 21st July 2008, 12:33 Quote
once 64GB SSD is sub 100quid I'll def get one, faster boot times and load times well worth the cost. If WD did a 65GB Raptor I'd consider it as want a small fast system drive for windows apps n games and 64GB is plenty as I never had more then 3games installed.
Omnituens 21st July 2008, 14:42 Quote
Currently I have a 74GB Raptor OS+apps drive, the velociraptor as my games drive and a 1TB lollerdrive.

I was thinking of having the OS on a SSD, but I forgot that you can change the location of the pagefile. Price is the only thing stopping me now really.
mclean007 21st July 2008, 14:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCherub
Surely, given that solid state drives work in a completely different fashion to conventional drives, this isn't really relevant? I would still argue that there is a worthwhile comparison to make, as you are effectively comparing two system disks (as opposed to data disks).
Yes, absolutely. The original question to which I responded was "would a lower capacity VelociRaptor (if such exists) not perform better than the big one?" so I was just clearing that up, but of course with SSD the concept of platter density doesn't exist.
Firehed 21st July 2008, 17:30 Quote
File copy times really don't mean a whole lot. The biggest advantages to SSDs over spinning platters are (effectively) zero seek time and greatly improved physical durability. You can't set up a clean system and just do file copying benchmarks and come to a conclusion - the improvements should really start to manifest themselves after several months of use when you start to get some heavy disk fragmentation.

Give me some useful benchmarks in areas that I actually care about and we'll talk. You know - how fast apps open, how snappy my day-to-day interaction is, etc. It's certainly more subjective overall, but so is my experience with using the computer so that's what I really care about.
ParaHelix.org 21st July 2008, 17:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by knyghtryda
space is still too small and price is still too high for SSD to be considered even at enthusiast level. I think once they can reach $1/GB levels (like the raptor), they'll have something that many people would want to pick up. Considering most storage is at $.25/GB or less at this point, I would seriously have to consider whether spending $300 on 300GB is worth it whereas I could get 2TB for the same price in a "standard" 7200rpm drive.

I agree with you
leexgx 21st July 2008, 19:50 Quote
SSD would not suffer slow downs like hdds do after time

speaking of page file if you got 4gb of ram its very unlikey the page file is ever going to be used

its Vista auto Defrag and system restore that do more to the drive
[PUNK] crompers 21st July 2008, 20:03 Quote
The technology is great, but i think i'll wait for the market to level out a bit before i spend. Also i view anything below 120GB as useless in this day and age.
DXR_13KE 22nd July 2008, 00:31 Quote
magnetic hard drives have been with us for how much time? how much was that amazing fast 10GB hard drive at the time?

give this technology time and it will ass rape current magnetic data storage with.... something long and wide.... either in speed, either in survivability.
airchie 22nd July 2008, 01:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by knyghtryda
space is still too small and price is still too high for SSD to be considered even at enthusiast level.
I would have to disagree with that.
Enthusiast will spend out on SLi 280s just cos they can.
Why would they not spend out on raided SSDs?
Cost is obviously no major concern for them.

Plus, I'm a student and I'm getting an SSD into my laptop ASAFP. ;)
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
But, if you only factor the initial 64GB of the HDD, you get a better perfromance average than from the entire HDD.
I think that would make it worse.
I'm not 100% but drives fill from the inside tracks outwards.
Since the outer edges of the disk pass the head faster then the inner rings the performance is greater.
But your theory is right, only use the last 64GB of a mechanical HDD and the performance average would be better.
Hang on, now I think of it, HD-Tach's graphs show the drive getting slower and tailing off so I'm probably speaking rubbish above. :(
Quote:
Originally Posted by crompers
Also i view anything below 120GB as useless in this day and age.
It depends really. If its your primary drive and you have no external storage then yeah.
If you have a 2TB raid5 NAS then not so much. :)

I can't wait to get an SSD (or two raided) into a gaming laptop in the future (once I start working). :)
fathazza 22nd July 2008, 01:56 Quote
interesting results...
and i concur with the 64gb at £100 being the buying point :)

what kind of life expectancy do ssd drives have?
Cthippo 22nd July 2008, 07:13 Quote
I want one of these as the OS drive for my fileserver. The issue here for me is power consumption and longevity, rather than absolute performance. I'm hoping to get to a point where my fileserver has no moving parts except when it's actively moving data, and then only the data drives will be spinning.
impar 22nd July 2008, 10:25 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by airchie
I'm not 100% but drives fill from the inside tracks outwards.
Drives fill from the outside inwards.
Quote:
Originally Posted by airchie
Since the outer edges of the disk pass the head faster then the inner rings the performance is greater.
On the same rotation, the head will cover more platter surface on the outside than in the inside, accessing more data. You can use Matrix RAID from the Intel chipsets to take advantage of that, the outer faster part of the HDD gets AID-0 for OS and applications, the inner slower part of the HDD gets RAID-1 for the data.
Sinthetic tests will show amazing performance in the AID-0.
Quote:
Originally Posted by airchie
Hang on, now I think of it, HD-Tach's graphs show the drive getting slower and tailing off so I'm probably speaking rubbish above. :(
;)
CharBroiled20s 12th June 2009, 04:43 Quote
I just built (day before yesterday) a Vista PC with an i7 cpu & 6gb of 1033 ram for home theater purposes. The boot drive is an OCZ 30gb SSD (solid state drive) with no swap file & as i said, it's running Vista Ultimate.

For comparison, I've got a Raptor 150gb drive as my home computer's primary (C2Duo 2.9Ghz, 8gb ram). Both my new media center and my current desktop computer have the same 1tb western digital secondary SATA drive.

I can tell you without a doubt that my new SSD PC's performance is incredible. Granted the CPU's and RAM are different, but the new media center takes 26 seconds to boot Vista (including loading the taskbar items). Thats from the time i press the on button to the time Vista is COMPLETELY ready to go.

I was totally geeked to get a Raptor drive last year, but this SSD blows it away completely. It took slightly longer to install the OS, but who cares! you only do that once, everything else on this SSD is WAY WAY FASTER!!!!

I use the terabyte to store all my data & I had to move my program files (and program file (x86)) to it because of the limited storage space, but that was nothing more than a few registry changes & some file copying...

If your teetering on the edge of SSD or Raptor GO SSD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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