Just today (after struggling with BIOS updates accepting my Processor) I upgraded my computer with a GTX 275, and Q9550 Processor.
After running the Windows 7 Experience Index, it scored every single part of my computer as a 7.3. Pretty good considering the max is 7.9.
However, my Hard Drive only received the lowly rating of a 5.8. I know that the base score isn't really reflective of system performance, but it still gave me something to think about.
I have a SATA 7200rpm 500GB hard drive. From what I understand, the only way to go up is into the +10000rpm's which have... well... grotesque price tags.
So does this considerably lower score actually affect how well my computer will perform in games and otherwise? Do I have a huge bottleneck on my hands?
I don't think so, or at least not a noticeable bottleneck, only loading times may shorten, but you wont get a higher in-game framerate.
It will not affect how well your computer performs in games, but it does affect general application responsiveness, OS performance, multitasking ability, and general user experience. A hard drive bottleneck has little impact on frame rates, but it makes using your computer a complete pain in the ass. For example, the difference in loading times when my RAID 1 is perfectly fine and when it's in recovery after a BSOD or a power outage, are immense. Everything takes four or five times longer to do (no exaggeration - Oblivion loading times went from about 4-5s to over a minute). It absolutely sucks.
And as for going up, you don't need a Velociraptor or an enterprise hard drive; you could always get an SSD for your OS/applications, and then keep the mechanical hard drives for things you don't access as frequently or which have no need of SSD-level performance, like movies, music, documents, etc.
My 7200rpm Seagate gets a 5.9 according to Win7.
Your not going to notice it as far as gaming fps goes, like already said the most improvement you would see is in game load times, large file transfers, ect...
I also get 5.9 with a Samsung Spinpoint F3 in Win 7. Apparently 7200rpm is around 6 Windows-points.
If i had win 7, i would tell you what my WD blue scores. 7200rpm as well.
18th November 2004
It doesn't make a difference, really, at least not in terms of what gamers consider important: frame rates. The only things that might be hurt are load times, but once you get into the game itself, there won't be any difference.
A 10,000 RPM Velociraptor just isn't worth it, if you ask me. If you're going to spend that much on a low capacity hard drive, you might as well get an SSD. Me, I'm gaming just fine with my 5,400 RPM 320GB Seagate. ;)