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An ode to the 10,000 RPM Western Digital (Veloci)Raptor (louwrentius.com)
121 points by louwrentius on Oct 30, 2021 | hide | past | favorite | 111 comments

~2004 I whiteboxed a db server with 48 raptors (WD800GD) via 3 16-port sata raid controllers (areca ARC-1160 w/1gb dram and bbu modules), I striped all 16 in 3 raid0s and put them in a soft raid4 for ~2.5tb of speedy local attached storage. the datacenter guys thought I was nuts for using consumer stuff in a server but at the time sas prices were out of my reach and I was willing to take the risk.

the server performed great and I eventually made 2 more of them before we were acquired and the pros took over - what's funny is the pros only used dell servers and ended up having to go with some outrageously expensive top-end models to get the iops that my whiteboxes were delivering.

144 raptors in production for 3 years under heavy load and we never lost a single drive. we had the servers sent back to us when they were decommissioned and most of the raptors ended up in peoples' workstations for another couple years and I never heard that any of those drives ever failed.

legendary HDD

Thank you for sharing this!

What does whitebox mean in this context?

A “white box” server not built by a typical server manufacturer. It could be a no-name part or a consumer PC acting as a server. Google were known for not buying traditional servers from Company, Dell and the like.

google bought servers from dell, and from rackspace or some other vendor. I helped run a fleet of dells with 15K SCSI drives for google (mysql workload) that was absolutely critical and it took the company a decade to replace the dell machines with "white box" (really, self-designed and externally manufactured) servers.

What Google did different than the rest back in the days was mostly relying on x86-32 with Linux and not so much RISC (SPARC) with Solaris. Sun's market share was huge back in those days.

These drives felt so amazing back then. I put two in RAID0 in the first PC I ever built and it seemed mind blowingly fast. Super expensive at the time compared to other storage, but it was the best you could get on consumer grade hardware (i.e. SATA). For some reason I feel more fondly about the Raptors than I do about my first SSD (an Intel X25-M). Maybe it's just age...

I dunno.

Like, yeah, I get it. There‘s quite a few sounds that trigger emotional reactions in me.

The whirring and buzzing of the PSU. The Award BIOS beep. The seeking sound of an empty 3.5 inch disk drive. The slight CRT zang between different resolutions - and the electrical drizzle of degaussing such a beast.

But to this day nothing amazes me more than opening a MacBook and it being dead silent.

Maybe it‘s because I have young kids, maybe it‘s because I used to be an audio recording hobbyist (and isolating computer sound was always a pain).

But there‘s nothing I enjoy more than the powerful sound of silence.

Speaking of dead silent, I had an old PowerEdge server that was anything but quiet, let alone silent. That thing sounded like a jet taking off! I had to wait for the wife and kids to leave before I could turn it on and start tinkering. It was real heavy and I would put it on the kitchen bar and hook up an old monitor to it and just geek out for a while.

If there's one thing I don't miss in computing, it's hard drives, especially the noise of hard drives. Clickety clickety. I associate it with my first "real" computer, which had 4MB of RAM and swapped constantly.

It was fun reading your post but then I realized, what are you arguing against? The OP is just reflecting on fond memories like you are. Not saying anything about modern computers.

Can I have fond memories while also appreciate modern hardware? Or they're just mutually exclusive?

I didn't read their reply as merely responding to parent comment about being more fond of the 10k rpm drive than their first SSD, saying that they personally appreciated their first silent computer.

Like you said:

> The OP is just reflecting on fond memories like you are.

In fact, if you read it again, you'll see they are acknowledging the appeal and fondness for computer noises of old...

I know for me there’s something innately gratifying about the hardware actually becoming faster, not just the storage functions. It’s like a faster car, or some other machine actually doing whatever it does with more power and precision.

SSDs are totally better, yeah. But it’s also kind of boring from a mechanical perspective. Insanely beefy mechanical hard drives have a certain charm that SSDs will never have.

This sentiment also maps onto BEV and ICE for me. I love the utility, performance and efficiency of newer tech, but mechanical machines are far more awe inspiring to me. They're more organic somehow, even though that's the definition of an oxymoron. Haha.

Years ago I participated in a few adult LEGO robotics competitions with a group in Toronto, and one of the peculiarities about the Mindstorms kit was that each RCX (the control module) had just three motor outputs and three sensor inputs. So you could do a bit of hackery like doubling up your sensors, and obviously in the extreme case you could go multi-RCX and have them talk to each other over infrared.

But that constraint always really pushed people toward finding pure mechanical solutions to problems that in the real world would just be solved by slapping on another servo. One of my favourite examples was a single-motor steered castor, where a ratcheting mechanism switched between wheel driving and castor rotation based on which way you ran the motor.

I think another factor with it is just that LEGO makes the pursuit of a mechanism-type solution inexpensive, effortless, and fun, whereas in "real" industrial automation, every new gear or bearing is another point of failure, one more thing requiring lubrication check-ups and so on.

Yup, I have a model S and it's a great daily driver, but my dad's old foxbody is leagues and bounds more exciting to drive even though it's slower and way older.

I was still in college when the Raptor came out. I had an affluent friend who put two in RAID0 and I never saw Windows XP boot up so fast. He has some kind of solution rigged up for the noise so it was noticeable but pretty muffled. I was so jealous with my standard WD 7200 rpm drive.

The X25-M felt like I V8 swapped my 2006 MacBook. That thing was world changing. The 10k drives were fast, but for mostly laptop users the SSD was such a shift in speed it was uncanny.

+1. Made me realize that the processor and ram aren’t everything when it comes to a responsive system.

Having the operating system in ROM on an Atari helped a lot with boot times. Windows still has a bit left to boot times of old computers...

I still have one in my desktop computer that I built in 2012. I remember looking at how much better my 'windows experience' score was!

Now it's just a secondary storage drive that filled up pretty quickly. It felt good to say, "I'm running a 10K raptor."

Came here to make exactly this post. Thank you.

An SSD is soulless, a Veliciraptor was top of the line unicorn Mike beast of HDDs. I still habe one in my old Tower, happily running. Not even too noisy. Well, at least not if you don't use a SSD equppied machine when bo Fans are running as a comparison.

No idea what auto correct did with that post, I turned of everything I found that could effect the words I'm typing now so. Seems to be impossible to type regularly in thre languages otherwise on mobile...

same, I had these for a decade, and it was great. a little noisy, but I miss the trattatatatata of them seeking.

We got some giant disc drives in our office a while back and I hadn’t heard that sound in maybe a decade or more. It brought me back in a split second when I first heard it again, haha.

It’s incredibly nostalgic.

I used to own an ancient Sun SparcStation with a Barracuda 10k RPM disk, and the noise it made was just ... too much. It sounded like a combination of a fighter jet taking off and a dentist drilling into my skull.

Fortunately, that machine supported diskless operations, which was painfully slow, but ... that machine was painfully slow anyway (by 2005 standards), and it was part of what I liked about it.

Years later, I ran into a CAD workstation with a 10k RPM disk drive, and the noise was just ridiculous. I was so certain it had to be a fan until my coworker replaced the disk drive, I felt rather sheepish afterwards.

I sometimes miss good old HDDs, because you could tell if they were busy just by listening. But considering the godawful noise the really fast HDDs made, SSDs are a blessing.

> I sometimes miss good old HDDs, because you could tell if they were busy just by listening. But considering the godawful noise the really fast HDDs made, SSDs are a blessing.

Oh indeed!

I used to run my HDDs in soundproofed enclosures (a company was selling those back in the days) but of course it would make them overheat. So I'd cut a square hole in the HDD enclosure (and through the soundproofing foam inside the enclosure) and then I'd put a large but quiet fan on top of the HDD. This worked great, for years.

Having owned silent computers like the Commodore C64 / C128 and Amiga the switch to the early ultra noisy PC was particularly painful to me. So back when "silent PCs" weren't a thing I made my own: I'd run fans at 7 V instead of 12 (by using the 12 V and 5 V pins to create 7 V), I had my neighbor (electrical engineer) create me a device I'd put into all my PSUs that'd turn the PSU's fan off when the heat wasn't too high (back then this didn't exist: but I wanted one anyway so I had my neighbor "invent" one and I'd then replicate it in all my PSUs) and... When I found these HDD "quietening" enclosures, I ordered so many the company asked me if I wanted to become the official importer for the Benelux area : )

I'd have super quiet "panaflo" fans shipped to me from Japan and I'd replace all my PSU / CPU / tower fans with these quiet fans.

So basically I had quiet PCs before it was a thing.

Nowadays I just buy Be Quiet! PSUs / fans and a well insulated tower and I'm a happy camper. Things got way quieter : )

Younger generations have absolutely no idea how much noise a computer of that era made, even if it didn't have a 10,000 RPM drive. And most people accepted it.

Thinking back it seems as if the user's needs were much less central back then, and as if each component was trying to win the contest for your attention.

CD-ROM: wrrroooooo

HDD: sssrrrrrrrr clankclankclank ssssrrrr

PC-Speaker when pressing too many keys: MEEEEP

Modem: booooob, boop beep boop beep boop boop bli blu bri bru brrriiiiii BWANG BWANG BWANG KCHHHHHHHHH

Yea. They sounded much more like machinery than the mostly solid state wonders we have today.

I loved when my 386, with two harddrives, turned on.

It sounded like a turbine was ramping up! :D

not much around that's as satisfying sounding as starting up a big full-size ATX case crammed with raptors.

starting up a big lathe or mill spindle, or maybe a large phase converter with a heavy lever switch come close, but they don't scratch that "i'm in a super computer lab" itch as much as the fantastic whir of a raptor RAID.

utilitarian feature : you could hear a bad sector from anywhere in a large room.

I used to work for HGST (now absorbed into WD) in the EMEA Enterprise Support lab. My main role was setting up PoC/testing systems, and support for high capacity SAS/helium drives, although I mostly worked with high-capacity flash boards and arrays.

The 15K rpm drives could sometimes be quite noisy; especially with 48 or more in an array.

Three of the engineers with whom I worked specialised in disk failure analysis; one of their tools was an inductive telephone earpiece pickup coil with suction cup, connected to a small amplified speaker. These guys would put the pickup on top of a drive and listen to all the electronics, spindle motor and head-moving voice coil electromagnetic noise as the drive spun up. This process would generally be followed by comments such as: "Hmm, head 4 sounds iffy", "This unit's on older firmware" and "Sounds like the heads aren't coming off the ramp"...

A lost/fading talent now that 2 out of 3 are retired". It was quite amazing to watch and listen to these guys at work.

I have 300GB wd velociraptors for many years in one of my machines... going back 10 years, only got replaced last year... probably didn't need to be replaced, one drive out of a raid 0 array died, the other probably still works...

but on the note of hearing differences in sounds, back in the day of dial up, since my ISP gave unlimited free dial up minutes, but it had to last no more than 2 hours (it would auto kick you off if you were on for more than 2) my modem would dial every 2 hours... And it got to a stage that I could know, by sound, if it was going to get a 56k link or a 33.6k link...

I can totally relate, I could also tell the link speed by the noises.

Wow, this brought back some great memories :)

one of their tools was an inductive telephone earpiece pickup coil with suction cup, connected to a small amplified speaker.

Ah, yes, the Mark I Real-Time Fourier Analyzer.

I believe this sort of acoustic analysis for failure is still used in wind turbines.

The motors in a Tesla can go up to 18,000rpm (20,000rpm in the carbon-wrapped Plaid motors). They sound pretty cool when you floor it.[1] Though once you pick up speed all you can hear is wind noise.

1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Rg75JbVOpg

For vehicle motors, I think you should look to the Siemens Taurus locomotive.

Though half an hour of clips is a bit excessive.


That one has a bad bearing, as noted in the description. Normally they don't whir nearly as much...

in the mid 90s, i once found a 2gb barracuda (1st gen 7200rpm 3.5" double height hard disk) in the ez-ad. there wasn't much market for huge server type drives where i lived, and the owner was interested in a trade of some random bike parts and a cd-rom drive (a screaming deal, but honestly he just wanted to get rid of it).

it would heat the whole case it was mounted in and make enough noise to be heard rooms away... but it was fast! and two gigabytes was enough for not just one but mulitple linux partitions alongside windows and os/2.

i remember a friend's father losing his shit when i told him i had such a large disk. because it was built for the datacenter, i had to use an external desk fan to cool it. it was simultaneously completely impractical and totally awesome.

ed: there's the beast. shocked you can still buy it! forgot it was scsi (which also made it even faster because the good adaptec scsi adapters of the day offloaded i/o interrupts from the main cpu)! https://www.priceblaze.com/st12550n.html?ref=gshp&msclkid=e8...

In the late 90's/early naughts I was a kid riding my bicycle from garage sale to garage sale and ran across one of these w/all of the random crap to make it work in an early Pentium PC. PCI card and all - I was jacked man. I can remember the neighborhood I got it from and that it was a very hot summer day.

It was obsolete by the time I had gotten my hands on it but I remember being so damn surprised by how loud/hot it was to get it working in one of my legacy systems. It was my first experience as a kiddo with datacenter-esque hardware + SCSI. I think I got Slackware installed on it and then just gave up on it subconsciously due to how much of a PIA it was...

Thanks for sharing that link... wouldn't have realized it was the same drive as my nostalgia-blast if not for the pics. That Barracuda sticker was badass.

Amazing find. Just curious-why would anyone buy this today? For retro-computing/nostalgia??

if i recall a few years later, i had an hp9000 at work that had an array of them. it wouldn't surprise me one bit if there were still hp9000s, as/400s or other similar datacenter class unix(ish) server hardware out there that is still in production where replacing a failed disk with the exact same model, even if refurbed, is the safest option for solving the problem with old hardware that can be difficult to replace running software that isn't backed up that no one even understands, yet is critical to some large business.

as another point of trivia, i'll add that it was easy to find because of the memorable seagate model number scheme.


ST - seagate technologies

1 - 3.5" full height

2550 - unformatted capacity

N - fast scsi

if i recall, this scheme went all the way back to the early 80s.

And who would on to such stock?? Surely these are not still manufactured??

Around that time (2004 or 2005), thanks to a giveaway from a work client who'd downsized, I got a PC with a SCSI card and two 10,000 RPM SCSI hard drives. (No idea what type... all I remember is the RPM.) I'd previously been using my ex-work PC from 2001, so this was a nice upgrade. More MBs, more GHz, bigger HD.

First port of call was a chkdsk, of course - and one of the drives had some bad sectors. It happens. I threw it in the bin, and reinstalled Windows on the other one, which was fine. Mmm... it was so fast! That's what you get from those extra GHz and MBs, of course. 4 years is a long time in computer performance terms.

After about a year of very enjoyable super fast PC use, the hard drive died. I replaced it with some generic UDMA IDE thing - and discovered almost immediately how much the 10,000 RPM SCSI drive had been bringing to the table :/

I still have my Raptor X, the one with the clear window in the top cover. Used it until 2017 or so because the enjoyment I got seeing the head whiz around was far greater than marginally faster loading on an SSD! I'm sure I'll use the drive again on a retro project eventually.

Now I want to build a rig with a bunch of HDD's screwed to a clear side panel and mod each drive with clear covers. It would be mesmerizing to watch all the heads fly.

I have one of these on my shelf, kept as a memento after switching to SSDs.

All my other old HDDs are still here in spirit, stripped of their powerful magnets now decorating my fridge.

Wasn't part of the motivation for moving to 2.5" seek time? The arm has a shorter distance to travel?

I heard about a hack I never tried, myself, where you buy an oversized hard drive and only use the beginning of it. Hard drives store data from the outside in, so you can improve latency by minimizing arm travel, and improve throughput by storing data where the linear velocity is faster. No idea how big of a difference this would make.

Yes, short-stroking - as it is called - was indeed a trick to get better performance out of a hard drive.

However, latency is about both the latency of the arm movement and the rotational latency. The latter you can't overcome by short-stroking.

However, short-stroking does point to an interesting problem when hard drives were still relevant.

If you didn't size your storage right, you ran out of IOPs long before you ran out of capacity.

For instance, if you run VMs on your SAN / storage array, you may have to stop putting VMs on the storage long before capacity is reached.

>I heard about a hack I never tried, myself, where you buy an oversized hard drive and only use the beginning of it.

It's actually kind of funny that "just using the beginning 25%" of the drive is completely unnecessary provided you've got your partitions set up properly- you just create a partition at the beginning of the disk that has the data you want to access the quickest, and use the end of the disk for data that you don't access coincident with the data you want to get the fastest (a perfect place to put a dual-booted Linux install, for instance).

The problem is if you use the other 75% _at all_ in normal use it slows the 25%. A separate operating system would work well though.


Move to 2.5" was mostly about drive slot density, not speed, as for some time it was easier to reach high speed in bigger package.

Specifically for the velociraptor drives however, it was a 2.5" form factor drive that needed to be mounted in a 3.5" form factor heatsink, so you weren't gaining anything in drive density.

Man I'm pretty young relative to most of the big advancements in computing but the HDD to SSD transition is very memorable. Defragging the HDD was probably one of the first computer maintenance things I learned. Upgrading my laptop to a SSD was one of the first upgrades I did.

Meanwhile I still find laptops from the ~2015 era that for some reason shipped with a HDD. I remember the Macbook Air being one of the first computers to make a SSD standard while the rest of the laptop/'netbook' was for some reason surprised that it was so much faster. :/

I still love hard drives for bulk storage but I will never use a HDD based machine... especially not if it is running Windows >=8. If only EC2/cloud providers would make IOPs cheaper - for some reason they seem to be crazy expensive compared to what a $50 SSD can give.

I got 2 - try the smartctl short test on them if you have one available, then record it and send it to your friends :D

Bit of a blast from the past, I did own one of these and certainly it felt faster than anything I had used before. Am I right in saying 10k RPM is about the upper limit for spinning disks?

There are also 15,000 RPM drives but they were exclusive to the server market. They were small and extremely loud.

Their IOPs and latency was even better.



"In summary, 15K RPM hard drives are less dense, use more power and have performance somewhere between 1/4th and 1/300th of a SSD."

20,000 RPM disks were trialed but I don’t know if they ever saw production. Part of the problem is keeping the platters together at those speeds; and about that time SSDs took over.

20k rpm is relatively clunky F1 combustion engine territory.

I find it hard to believe spinning an electric motor and a relatively light and small disc that fast is much of a challenge to keep together, especially in such a coddled environment.

Even back in the early 90s my RC10 had a 38k rpm "modified" motor; the Motown Missile. That thing lived through hell...

Those motors don’t need to keep minuscule tracks lined up with increasingly small read/write heads. A dremel spins at 40k RPM but even though seek times are low total storage is also low.

F1 engines are rebuilt after every race.

Hard drives have slightly higher longevity requirements.

This is 100% not true. The engines are sealed by the FIA and replacing parts of the engine incurs gird penalties. You have a limit of 4 engines a year you can swap without a penalty. In the last 2 races both Lewis and Valtteri took penalties for swapping out the ICE part of the system. When Max had the crash at Silverstone with Lewis, RedBull was not 100% sure of the state of the engine as they are not allowed to disassemble it. They had to use fiber optic cameras to look inside. Even then they got it wrong and Max took a new engine in Turkey.

Being pedantic, the modern engines that you're talking about don't run at 20,000 RPM either, they are limited to 15,000 RPM and I believe they basically never actually reach that limit, usually topping out at 12,000-13,000 instead.

When the engines did run closer to 20,000 they were indeed rebuilt much more often. I am not well versed in F1 regulation history but Wikipedia claims that before 2005 engines were not required to last for two race weekends[1], meaning you could rebuild the engine between each race weekend if you wanted to. At that time there was no RPM limit[2] for the engines and the iconic Ferrari F2004 supposedly maxed out at 19,000 RPM[3].

So maybe the comment you are replying to is referring to pre-2005 F1 engines :) I have no idea myself if a modern F1 engine could run at 20,000 and still be as durable as the current engines or if running at such high RPM inherently means bad durability.

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2005_Formula_One_World_Champio...

2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formula_One_engines#Engine_spe...

3. https://www.f1technical.net/f1db/cars/873/ferrari-f2004

In the turbo-hybrid era the rules are as I have outlined, you cannot rebuild between races. The current engine is a V6 @ 15000RPM.


In the past the rules were different.

> F1 engines are rebuilt after every race.

Even if what you said were true, so what?

We're talking about a tiny spinning disc on a brushless hub motor. There's basically a single moving part, maybe a few more if riding on ball bearings.

Do you have any understanding of what is going on inside a many-cylinder internal combustion piston engine spinning at 20k rpm? We can view the flywheel as the hard disk platter equivalent, the real madness is at the reciprocating mass being flung back and forth at the same rate.

Edit: Here's another useful reference point to help put RPM numbers into perspective: a turbocharger's rotating assembly spins on the order of 200-300k RPM without flying apart. A minute is a pretty long time.

You're underselling what HDDs do. The seeks they have to do are so precision, if you made the hard drive the size of the earth, the "head" would still only be a couple meters from the ground and it would have to go any square meter on the entire earth in 1/100 of a second. It's absolutely incredible that the tiny SATA bay in my computer holds an 18TB drive. That's 18 * 8 trillion bits of data, or if the hard drive had the surface area of the earth, 282 bits per square meter.

This precision structure has to be maintained at 10k RPM. Can it be maintained at 20k RPM? Maybe not so easily. Let's not undersell the technology.

You're ignoring the statement I'm actually responding to:

"Part of the problem is keeping the platters together at those speeds"

I'm not speaking to seeking or precision at all, only pointing out there's not really any challenge in keeping the platters together at these speeds.

okay, i guess in my mind I automatically translate “coming apart at those speeds” to “the microstructure stretches to a degree it’s impossible to read/write to the drives”. Nothing catastrophic.

Tesla Model S Plaid electric motor is said to reach 20k RPM but needs to be carbon-sleeved:


NR750 went to 21 thousand

CBR250rr to 20, and those were actually street legal, and there are still a lot of them on the roads.

Yeah that's what I thought, similar to CD's couldn't spin much faster without shattering iirc, rather than being a head read speed issue

Yes I had a 52x drive in the early 00s shatter a cheap writable CD (I think rated at 24x or something along those lines) and I was picking bits out of the drive to get it working again. But then again, a CD is an insanely cheap piece of plastic, so how fast should we expect it to reliably spin at?

A 50x CD drive actually reaches 10,000RPM, and that's with a cheap and wide piece of plastic. So I really doubt holding together is the limiting factor for these drives.

Servers used to have 15k RPM drives but that segment has diminished in favor of SSDs.

15k RPM drives existed too. Seagate Cheetah for instance.

Not as SATA or IDE? The Cheetah is SAS/SCSI I think. I have (somewhere) a 15k RPM 143GB SCSI drive which I used in a home built Windows Server machine for a while. At the time, I had never seen Windows boot that fast. Ahhh.. simpler times.

No. There's a tradeoff. Faster drives means more power, more heat, more vibrations, more noise, less durability. Spinning disk is mainly about price per byte at good performance - there's simply no market.

100%. This is why when I ordered my home NAS I pick 5400RPM NAS drives (FreeNAS Mini). The WD Red drives in my current system have been spinning since 2014, 4x4TB in a mirrored stripped set for a whopping 8TB of space + 2x120GB Evo write caches (mirrored).

The key to speed is having lots of drives, RAM and SSD write cache.

I plan on getting the new TrueNAS Mini XL this year with 8x14TB.

A lot of WD 5400RPM drives are actually 7200RPM unfortunately.


Basically, WD decided if was cheaper to just make 7200 drives and sell some mislabeled as a '5400 class' drive.

Hey, I'm building a computer with lots of storage, you sound like someone who knows what they're doing... maybe you could help me... currently the plan is:

3x Firecuda 4tb NVME


4x WD Ultrastar 18tb.

My use case is I need tons of storage that operates fast and is used for all sorts of things (creative work, gaming, archiving, job processing), sometimes all at the same time. It's a threadripper pro workstation pc, so I have spare PCIE slots to upgrade later.

I'm thinking of replacing a couple of the QVO SSDs with Ultrastars and using a couple of the FireCudas as cache drives for the platter drives. Good idea or bad idea? Would I be making a meaningful tradeoff or should I just go for the extra space?

Depends on what OS you are running. In my case I am using TrueNAS so it is made for being a NAS and you can just tell it, hey here is a cache, here is a log drive, etc.

If you are talking about local storage for a workstation then I am not sure. Depends on your workflow. If you have a "work on this on the fast stuff, then when I am done I can move it to the spinning rust" then you might want to figure out largest project size for fast vs long term storage of the projects.

Sorry if this is not helpful.

And if people remember Bryan Cantrill datacenter vibration video, it quickly becomes problematic.

That was Brendan Gregg :-)

oh right, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDacjrSCeq4

it was on bryan's youtube only

Lovely drives - built a system with 3 of them - 2x74Gb one for OS and another for core programs and a 32GB one dedicated to swap/TEMP. Got well over a decade solid use out of those and only just retired the last of those drives last month.

They did do a later generation that could do 15k RPM but by then SSD's were starting to become trusted and more palatable price wise, though I dare an SSD of that ere to work near on 24/7 for ten years solid abuse.

I don't think that the (Veloci)raptor ever reached 15,000 RPM. Such drives do exist but as far as I know, they always were exclusive to the server market.

Ah, takes me back to my first enthusiast build, an overclocked Pentium D 830, 1gb ram, and two of these drives in Raid 0. It felt pretty wild for the time.

I still have my eight Velociraptors I used in a RAID5 (7 used, one backup) back in the day. It's in a box in my garage. I've meant to toss them out, because I know I will never used them, but it's just such a hard thing to bring myself to do. I mean, they're such powerful and capable drives, but like the article mentions, they're obsoleted by even cheap SSDs.

I tried to order a v-raptor around 2009, IT wouldn’t have it, “they burn out at 30% off the useful line of a standard speed drive.”

Still wish I had pushed back!

Wow. Nostalgia...

They were insanely reliable/performant drives and after reading enough reviews I couldn't resist back in the day. Regarding benchmarks, they definitely had a bit more pep by the numbers.

My two 10k WD RPM's ended up in a redundant RAID in my Sun W2100z. They ran over a decade with 24/7 use as a Debian/Ubuntu OS LVM.

I had one of these, same model as the author and around the same time. Was running some sort of desktop Linux, maybe Fedora? Either way, latency really is the key. It’s hard to grasp just how much quicker even a cheap SSD is for random I/O today.

I miss the boot experience of my RAID0 Raptors. You could feel the machine turning on from across the room. I'd upgraded from ~5400 too, so it really was something special.

The edge of a 3.5 inch platter spinning at 10000 rpm moves at 3.5*pi*10000 inches/minute, which is 47 m/s or 104 MPH.

I'm a bit surprised that it's slower than a car.

I'm still using 500GB VelociRaptor (WDC WD5000HHTZ, made in 2012) as my "work drive". It's noisy, but fast enough.

I put a velociraptor in my first PC build back in 2009. I thought the small form factor mounted on a 3.5" heat sink was really neat.

I had a WD740 back in the day, remember them costing a small fortune compared to 7200rpm disks but it felt worth it!

Unfortunately these drives had a high failure rate which probably didn't help their popularity.

I can't remember if they failed as badly as the IBM Deathstar.. sorry, Deskstar (https://www.extremetech.com/computing/326292-why-lying-about...). Those things were notorious for failing.

I wasn't aware of that, frankly. Do you have any sources for that? And are you talking about Raptors or Velociraptors?

I used to work in a PC shop and many of them came back. I had 2 raptors of my own and both of them failed after a few years. I know it's anecdotal but this was a niche item so if you see a lot of returns you know it's bad. This applies to mostly the raptors, we never sold any velociraptors.

Ok, fair enough, thanks for sharing.

Remember short stroking -

Modding A Seagate Barracuda Into A VelociRaptor - http://www.techwarelabs.com/seagate_1-5tb-mod/ (2009)

Is there any reason to mess with the drive settings instead of just making a smaller partition?

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