I need a relatively fast hard drive (random access). For the same amount of money, I could buy WE Velociraptor (250GB, 10kRPM) or WD Red (1TB, 5400? RPM). SSDs or 15kRPM drives are too expensive even though they are faster.

Now, obviously with a larger drive (assuming I store the same amount of data) the head would not have to move as far, however, the faster drive most likely moves the heads faster in addition to having lower rotational latency.

Of course if two drives have the same capacity then the one that spins faster is faster.

IS there a way to determine from published specs which drive would be faster?

  • There are other factors besides data density and spindle speed that can affect performance. Cache size and even firmware are going to have an effect. The best thing to do would be to look at the benchmarks for the individual drives (particularly for small file I/O, as this will have a greater impact on speed for normal usage than sustained transfer rates). – user55325 May 22 '14 at 4:10
  • Buy a SSD, which is silent and much faster than a traditional HDD. – magicandre1981 May 23 '14 at 4:23
  • @magicandre1981 Silence does not matter. Yes SSD is faster, but also much more expensive than a hard drive and the device I'm building won't need that much IO performance to justify the cost. – Pentium100 May 23 '14 at 6:05
  • what is your budget and how much space do you need? – magicandre1981 May 23 '14 at 17:12

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