Slow performance on WD1500ADFD FW21.07

Hi all,

I have a frustrating issue that I’m trying to resolve. I have 2 10K Raptor drives - a WD1500ADFD-00NLR5 (FW 21.07) and a WD1500HLFS-01G7U0 (FW 04.04) in a Dell Dimension 9200 (HTML specs here) running Windows XP Pro SP3 x86. I would like to use these Raptors in a RAID0 array to use as a data drive for pro audio sample libraries, audio/video editing, etc. I realize this provides no redundancy so will be backing up this data regularly. I need the performance of RAID0 for video & audio editing functions/apps.

The Intel P965 motherboard uses Intel ICH8R and BIOS (latest version) is in RAID mode. I currently have each drive in the first 3 SATA slots (including System drive) and no RAID array is currently configured. Here is where the problems start - I have benchmarked the 2 150GB Raptors and consistently receive similar results for each… I will post a typical HD Tach result for each drive below:

WD1500HLFS 150GB 10K VelociRaptor:

WD1500ADFD 150GB 10K Raptor:

Why is the WD1500ADFD so much slower than the first drive?? I realize it is an older model, but has the performance increased that dramatically for Raptors? I would like to combine these 2 drives in a RAID0 config, but am very reluctant at this point because of the huge differences in performance. Also, why such large dips at the beginning of the test (down to 10MB/s at one point!)? These huge dips in performance were occurring in every test on this drive. Hoping these dips in performance may provide a clue as to what the issue is…

Just to be sure, here are some of the other things I have tried to ensure it wasn’t an issue with my setup. I have a VIA VT6421 addon PCI RAID card ( Rosewill RC-212) and connected both drives to this addon card instead - same test results. I then tried connecting the drives to different SATA ports on the motherboard - same results. I then tried setting the jumper on the WD1500ADFD to turn on 1.5GB/sec - see Jumper Setting #4 on this page - same results. Finally, I reformatted the drive as NTFS (default allocation unit size) and did not use the “Quick Format” option to ensure a clean, completely formatted disk. After all these steps, the drive still produces the same results in both HD Tach and HDTune.

My questions are:

  • Why does the HLFS have 7.1ms Random Access time while ADFD has 8.1ms?
  • Why does the HLFS have 251.4MB/s burst speed while ADFD has 132.1MB/s (slower than ATA UDMA6!!)
  • Why does the HLFS have relatively consistent read speed while the ADFD experiences several severe drops in speed, especially towards the beginning of each test. This was the same for HD Tach and HDTune.
  • As mentioned, the drive has FW v21.07 - is there an updated version available from WD tech phone support? There is none available on the support page for the drive.
  • Should I leave the jumper for 1.5Gb/s enabled? Should I also enable the jumper for Spread Spectrum Clocking (see #2 on Jumper page)? Currently this jumper is not enabled.

Is there anything else I can try to improve the performance of my WD1500ADFD drive?

Hoping someone out there can give me a hand with this, as I am at my wit’s end! Thanks for any help or info you can provide!!

All the best,


Yes, the newer drives have improve that much. The reason why they are different is because the older model (Raptor WD1500ADFD) has an interface of SATA 1.5Gb/s and the newer model ( WD1500HLFS) has an  interface of SATA 3.0Gb/s. Not much you can do to improve it. I heard that you can still RAID 0 the hard drives but I have not tried this yet. I would try it with out that RAID card, just you the mother board RAID and than try using your RAID card to see which one is better. As far as I know and from what I read, you really need to spend some money on a RAID card to see a difference. And as far as the jumper goes, I don’t use them at all.

I have 4x Raptor X 150GB in RAID 0 and using a areca ARC-1220 controller card and I only get 298 MB/s average read and 700 MB/s burst speed with 8.8ms access time.