WD6400AAKS vs WD6401AALS

-JJ-

n00b
Joined
Jan 15, 2008
Messages
13
I just switched from WD640AAKS x2 RAID 0 to WD6401AALS x2 RAID 0, and here are the results - AAKS vs AALS

System specs on which I ran HD Tach 3.0.4.0 long bench 32mb test un HD Tune 2.54 default test. I run all benches using the same exact OS image ;)

MOBO: Asus P5K-E WIFI-AP (v.1006 bios)
CPU: C2D E8200 (Q744A860) @4,00ghz (1,353v vcore) cooled by TT BT
RAM: 2x1GB Crucial Ballistix DDR2 @1200Mhz (PC2-6400, D9GMH)
HDD: WD6400AAKS x 2 (RAID 0) / WD6401AALS x 2 (RAID 0)
VGA: ASUS RADEON HD4870 (1GB) cooled by TRAD2
SOUND: Creative SOUND BLASTER X-Fi Xtreme Music
PSU: Zalman ZM850-HP


WD6400AAKS x 2 RAID 0 HD Tune 2.54



VS

WD6401AALS x 2 RAID 0 HD Tune 2.54




WD6400AAKS x 2 RAID 0 HD Tach 3.0.4.0



VS

WD6401AALS x 2 RAID 0 HD Tach 3.0.4.0




GENERAL REMARKS:

Unrar(ing) large archives takes even less time. Boot time with AAKS after fresh OS install (using image created with acronis true image) was around 12,5 sec., with AALS boot time after fresh OS install (using the same image as previously) was @10,3sec. Boot time was measured with Bootvis - Trace - Next boot + drivers delays. I clearly noticed that with AALS the hdd starts spinning much earlier in the boot process than AAKS.


StableTrac™ - The motor shaft is secured at both ends to reduce system-induced vibration and stabilize platters for accurate tracking, during read and write operations.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Probably StableTrac is the reason why AALS is so god damn quite!!!

Furthermore I noticed that read speed stayed unaffected, eventhough I was installing stuff at the same time and copying data from external hdd. Not sure whether its due to the bigger cache or to the new invented dual processor technology..
 

-JJ-

n00b
Joined
Jan 15, 2008
Messages
13
Results from the same setup while using the matrix raid (allocated 150gb from each hdd to one 300gb partition):

2 x WD6401AALS in MATRIX RAID 0 (300gb) HD Tune 2.54


2 x WD6401AALS in MATRIX RAID 0 (300gb) HD Tach 3.0.4.0
 

duder

n00b
Joined
Dec 1, 2008
Messages
1
JJ,
Can you relate to noise level of WD6401AALS compared to WD6400AAKS ?

(Asking cause the 1T black caviar is fairly noisy).
 

-JJ-

n00b
Joined
Jan 15, 2008
Messages
13
wow, your numbers are better than my WD800HLFS VelociRaptors
http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1363331
can you post some single drive benchmarks?

see if you would know what intel matrix raid is you would understand why my results are so good and why such benchmark (vs single drive) would be useless ;) .. I can only achieve/get close to velociraptor results with AALS by using intel matrix raid ;) .. intel matrix raid allows you to assign the fastest part of the particular hdd to one raid 0 partition ;) .. single AALS gives avarage read around 95mb/s and access time of 11,6-12,0 sec. ;)

JJ,
Can you relate to noise level of WD6401AALS compared to WD6400AAKS ?

(Asking cause the 1T black caviar is fairly noisy).

WD6401AALS is less nosier than AAKS, although AAKS as most two platter drives as such is not very noisy so no worries about noise here

What is Matrix RAID?
Intel® Matrix Storage Technology
http://www.intel.com/design/chipsets/matrixstorage_sb.htm

Enter The Matrix: Slice out and get the best part from your hard drives

http://www.ocforums.com/showthread.php?t=467848
 

Hunterzyph

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 23, 2005
Messages
159
Those burst speeds seem a bit...out there.

Nonetheless...it looks like there's a place in this world for fakeraid =)
 

-JJ-

n00b
Joined
Jan 15, 2008
Messages
13
Those burst speeds seem a bit...out there.

Nonetheless...it looks like there's a place in this world for fakeraid =)

shut your noob-mouth and do some studies noob .. those bursts speeds are achieved,firstly, because its a raid 0 under intel matrix storage tech + with write-back cache enabled!!
 

Brahmzy

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Sep 9, 2004
Messages
4,955
Some people just don't get it. STILL.

Impressive times indeed man. WD just closed the performance gap even further to the Velociraptors. I think this is why we've seen such a price drop on them. I'm still glad I own them, but I would think a little harder if I was doing it again, now that this drive is out. Access times are improved for sure.
 

zod96

Suspected BAD TRADER
Joined
Feb 23, 2008
Messages
2,709
How is the noise on the 640AALS? My WD 320GB SE16 is pretty much dead silent. I was thinking about getting the 640 but have heard reports that they are loud, I like my drives silent...
 

Rembrandt

Gawd
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
596
If there is any noise it is because the drive needs to be defraged; the case is extremely sensitive in transmitting and amplifying noise or the drive is just bad (unlikely). Mine is whisper quiet. After using Raptors for years, it is nice to have a quiet main drive.
 

e2g

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 6, 2007
Messages
472
wow, I am glad I stumbled upon this thread. If I paid more attention to the Raid controller on my mobo, I would have not invested in these loud raptorx suckers....I am going to be selling these and picking up 2 640's and maybe a 1TB green drive for backups or something.

I just have one question. I thought it was better to have Raid volumes on their own sets of disks such that you won't get alot of reading and writing at the same time. hmm....can someone clarify this for me? Thanks.

i am about tired of the noise from my raptors...especially in raid because they are both making noise at the same time and thanks to the holes in my antec 900 case..as well as the big blowhole, it's almost as if the hard drives were sitting outside of the case.
 

Galerius

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May 3, 2008
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That is amazing. I was waffling on the Raptors myself. I was just not sure what boost I would get out of them, especially cost wise. I am probably getting the 640's in RAID 0 and re-evaluating in 6 months to a year, with an eye at SSD's for boot drives.
 

arcanus

Weaksauce
Joined
Nov 28, 2004
Messages
84
I just pulled the trigger on 2 WD6401AALS drives. I intend to make a 300gb RAID 0 partition (150 from each drive), on which I will put Vista 64 and my apps/games, and a ~450gb RAID 1 partition which will store a backup of the RAID 0 image and a few other things with the left over space. I also have another WD6400AAKS which I intend to, at this point, just leave as a normal storage drive (I'd be tempted to put it in the RAID, but I need it to hold all my data during the transition process). My needs are pretty simple: gaming/browsing/media is the main purpose of my machine.

Pretty excited and this will be my first attempt at using RAID.

Do I need to manually load the drivers (from my mobo CD or from Intel's site), or should I just stick with the built-in Vista drivers? Any misc. tips or recommendations?

Edit: oh, and what stripe size should I use?
 

5aboy

Weaksauce
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Sep 17, 2005
Messages
92
completely random, but can i just ask: to make this super partition using the first xx gb from the two drives, does this need to be done in vista using the intel matrix tools? ie. on a system with vista installed, use the matrix driver thing to make the matrix raid drive, and then i can just copy over my vista 64 installation to it using something like norton ghost?!
 

JRS

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 20, 2008
Messages
371
arcanus - if you put the OS on the Raid0 (stripped) intel matrix raid partition and backup to the Raid1 (mirrored) part, if one of your drives fails, I don't think you will be able to boot into it to get at your backups, make sense?

Consider a small boot partition for your OS that is Raid1 - mirrored, so if you have a hard drive fail, you can still boot. Make it as small as possible - I got great access times with a 60gb boot partition with Raid1 on intel matrix raid. imho, access times is better for your OS responsiveness than the share data transfer speed of Raid0.

For apps you are okay with re-installing if you lose a drive and want fast load performance, (games for example) put those on a second partition that is Raid0.

Take your existing third drive after you've moved the data you want off of it and use it to store your backups on, that way if you can't ever get at your intel matrix raid drives (a complete failure of the drives or the array), you can pull that third drive and retrieve your backups.

I think you will need to load drivers as part of the Vista install to get intel matrix raid working correctly.

5aboy - if I understand your question - as far as I know, it is not possible to configure intel matrix raid on an already installed OS. I also doubt you can build configure an intel matrix raid OS, and then place a ghost image ontop of it that was made from a non-intel matrix raid OS and have it still work. I've tried it, and could not get vista to complete the boot cycle - so I got close, but no cigar.

If you experiment, backup your critical data first to drives that are not part of your experimentation.
 

arcanus

Weaksauce
Joined
Nov 28, 2004
Messages
84
Thanks for the feedback. I have little to no experience with backup software, and always assumed I could boot from a CD for an app like Acronis and perform a restore without going into an OS. Is this incorrect?

Alternatively, I could keep an OS installed on my third drive and boot from that, in the event of a RAID drive failure.

Regarding having my OS on a small RAID 1 array, there was a post which dissuaded me from that idea: http://www.hardforum.com/showpost.php?p=1033524473&postcount=9. Basically, it states that the purpose of having a short-stroked RAID 0 array is defeated if you are also constantly accessing data in the RAID 1 array, which would surely be the case if I put my OS on the RAID 1 array. My intention is to use the RAID 1 array sparingly, only to make periodic backups and as storage for a few things.

Lastly, how likely is the event that both drives would completely fail and data from the RAID 1 would be lost?

Thanks again, I really appreciate having someone to bounce my thoughts off of.
 

JRS

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 20, 2008
Messages
371
Yes, generally speaking you can boot from an Acronis CD to perform a restore... and you "should" be able to get at files off the mirrored partition of an intel matrix raid drive even if the Raid driver do not get loaded, but I've never done this, so I am skeptical. I am always skeptical when it comes to technology and the phrase "this should work".

I firmly believe you only have a backup solution when you've proved that you can recover from that backup solution. As a best practice, I highly recommend NOT storing backup files on the same physical hard drives that stores the original data. Considering how obscenely cheap storage is compared to just a year ago and you've already got that third drive, I prefer a solution to leverage that third drive for your backups. Also, if you run Acronis automatically, you see much less of a performance hit if it backs up to a hard drive that does not contain the data it is backing up (no drive thrashing).

On short-stroking, I agree the poster on the thread you reference that having a second partion on the same drives negates some of the benefits of short stroking, but I did not see his general point about the second partition being slower than a single drive when I was running a Raid1 OS partion with a Raid0 partition for apps/games. I got great OS access times with a mirrored 60gb boot partion. The Raid0 partition did not load apps or transfer data near as fast as a dedicated pair of Raid0 drives, but I still got better app load times than a single drive. Note that I did not use up all of the drive space with the second partition. My total drive space use was still under half.

For best OS/boot performance using intel matrix raid, go with a single Raid0 partition and only use a portion of your drive space. Make that partition as small as you can get away with. Do not allocate/assign/format the remaining space.

Yes, you could keep a workable boot partition on your 3rd drive, and that's not a bad way to go for recovery.

The typical matrix raid setup is small boot OS Raid0 and then a second partition Raid1 for protection, but you have your third drive, which gives you other options, including just going with a single Raid0 boot partition just big enough to load everything, forgo a second partion on those drives, and store your backups on the third drive.
 

burningrave101

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Messages
11,825
Has anyone compared the performance between the WD6401AALS and the larger 1TB version?? Curious to see if there is much difference between the two since I was about to buy two of the 1TB ones today for RAID0+1.
 

TGA

Gawd
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Jun 26, 2004
Messages
825
My hard drives could use a refresh so I have been looking at setting something like this up on my system. At least no I know I want the 640 AALS drives, thanks.

Now maybe Intel Storage Matrix can already do what I am about to suggest but I don't think it can and it's something I would really like to see.

What I would like is to have it do is what I guess would be considered a 0+1 raid on 2 drives. Now what I mean by this is I would like to be able to take the first half of a pair of drives and use it for Raid 0 for performance. Then when the system isn't in use I would like it to build a mirror and maintain it on the second half of the opposite drive.

Now since this would be done only when the system is inactive you still have a chance of data loss. But if a drive failed upon reboot the system should be able to function from the single drive but at reduced performance do to the files being spread across the drive. Also you would be able to install a new drive and rebuild the array.

I hope I explained that clearly and it doesn't sound to crazy. To me it doesn't seem like that huge a leap from what Intel Storage Matrix already does. So I really hope to see it some day.
 

drgnfang

[H]ard|Gawd
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Oct 13, 2007
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Those speeds are just sick... Anyone know how the new single platter Seagate 500g (7200.12) drives compare to the AALS?

 

leetskeet

Limp Gawd
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Sep 23, 2007
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493
i'm glad to see this...mines coming in the mail tom. hopefully newegg didnt drop kick it across the country like they did my buddies hdd.
 

drgnfang

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Not bad. I'll have 3 of them in tomorrow, should have benches late tomorrow night (short-stroke on ICH9r) assuming the Egg/UPS didn't bust them up. What's the preferred test program?

 

bruceyg

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Mar 15, 2007
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Not bad. I'll have 3 of them in tomorrow, should have benches late tomorrow night (short-stroke on ICH9r) assuming the Egg/UPS didn't bust them up. What's the preferred test program?


I got mine from newegg, packed well. It shows 5yrs warranty from seagate website and runs pretty cool&quiet.
 

-JJ-

n00b
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Jan 15, 2008
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Looks a little bit faster than AALS. The large file copy speed kinda surprised me.
http://forums.anandtech.com/message...ORDFRM=&STARTPAGE=1&FTVAR_FORUMVIEWTMP=Linear

Single platter Seagate 7200.12 (ST3500418AS) 500 GB HDD straight up sucks. Its not even close being faster than Western Digital's WD6401AALS. WD6401AALS is still the fastest 7200rpm HDD around. Access time is what makes the difference, not the fuc*%(# linear // write/read speed, and WD6401AALS is the first and only (at least currently) 7200rpm hdd that "gives" you access time of ~11-12 ms.

In fact this latest seagate crap which gives you access time of 14-16 ms is just as fast my first maxtor hard drives and that was at the time when Micheal Jordan was still ballin, so before making any loud statements do some research..
 

mista ting

Gawd
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Apr 13, 2006
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Single platter Seagate 7200.12 (ST3500418AS) 500 GB HDD straight up sucks. Its not even close being faster than Western Digital's WD6401AALS. WD6401AALS is still the fastest 7200rpm HDD around. Access time is what makes the difference, not the fuc*%(# linear // write/read speed, and WD6401AALS is the first and only (at least currently) 7200rpm hdd that "gives" you access time of ~11-12 ms.

In fact this latest seagate crap which gives you access time of 14-16 ms is just as fast my first maxtor hard drives and that was at the time when Micheal Jordan was still ballin, so before making any loud statements do some research..

this

that's exactly why i sold both my seagate barracuas for the WD AALS. the seagates would get in ~16ms while the AALS ~11ms. the speed difference is huge worth every penny.
 
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