Should you buy a Raptor or go with RAID?

If you are getting a new computer or thinking of upgrading yours, you might have thought about what kind of hard drive to get. If you are looking for performance and speed, people often recommend the Western Digital Raptor. But should you pay $170 for a 150GB hard drive, only to have it load Windows 5 seconds faster?

The Raptor is a great hard drive, but you can get much more value for the money. A solution to both performance and space is RAID 0. RAID works by using two or more hard drives as one. RAID 0 distributes data across several discs in a way which gives improved speed and full capacity, but all data on all disks is lost if any one disk fails. Most of the time a two hard drive RAID 0 setup increases your performance by 1.5 times.

With the new Seagate Barracuda hard drives, you can set up a RAID 0 configuration that will destroy a Raptor in speed, space, and cost. You can buy two 320GB Barracuda hard drives for less than $150. When put in a RAID 0 setup they will be faster than the Raptor and hold roughly four times as much, for less money.

Your computer must also support RAID; otherwise you will need to purchase a separate RAID card for about $50. But overall I recommend RAID 0 as an alternative to a 10,000 RPM hard drive. For more information on setting up RAID, take a look at this tutorial. Find latest, Best selling External Hard Drives from Segate, Western Digital, Buffalo, Iomega at

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