Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 (Supplied by Intel)
Motherboard: XFX 680i SLi (Supplied by XFX USA)
Memory: 2x 1GB DDR2-1200 (Supplied by Winchip)
Graphics Card: ASUS HD 3870 TOP (Supplied by ASUS)
Cooling: GIGABYTE 3D Galaxy II (Supplied by GIGABYTE)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate
Drivers: NVIDIA 15.17
Controller: Areca ARC-1231ML (Supplied by Areca)
The above setup is what will be used for all hard disk reviews hereon. Hard disks designed primarily for use in notebooks are also tested in the above system. However, some tests which are for determining the effect on battery life simply cannot be run on a desktop. All battery related tests are performed on a Lenovo T61 with WiFi and Bluetooth enabled.
While I would have loved to add six more hours to my testing, I was unable to source a pair of 74GB Raptors for RAID testing. Last year I gave a set of three to a veteran for use in his home system after he returned home from Iraq. I had a 36GB generation 1 Raptor in my personal arsenal as well as several 150GB drives, two of which were used in RAID 0 to compare against the VelociRaptors in matching tests. All tests were performed on the same system back-to-back on the same drivers and hardware.
RAID 0 tests were performed on both the NVIDIA 680i chipset and an Areca ARC-1231ML, the new enthusiast standard SATA RAID controller.