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Western Digital unearths VelociRaptor

by Parm Mann on 21 April 2008, 14:22

Tags: VelociRaptor, WD (NYSE:WDC)

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This one isn't from Jurassic Park

Western Digital's Raptor series of hard drives made their debut in 2003 and provided speeds of 10,000 RPM for the enthusiast. In the five years since the Raptor's launch, there has been no direct competition in this performance market.

That is, until now. Say hello to the Western Digital VelociRaptor.

WD VelociRaptor

Competition it seems may be the wrong word, this beast is a direct replacement. The old-but-loved Raptor may have been fast, but Western Digital has upped the ante.

Capacity has doubled, meaning VelociRaptor packs 300GiB of storage space in its 2.5in form factor. The 2.5in VelociRaptor is then enclosed in a 3.5in IcePack, complete with built in heat sink. Users can therefore install the drive easily into a standard 3.5in bay and not worry about the beast getting all hot and bothered.

Add to that a 35 per cent performance increase and surely you've got a winner? Though still rated at 10,000 RPM, this SATA drive is built from enterprise-class mechanics and offers a 16MiB cache.

Tom McDorman, vice president and general manager of WD's enterprise business unit, said:

"Demand for ever-higher PC performance continues to increase and WD is the leader in this category with the WD Raptor. We created WD VelociRaptor hard drives to lead PC enthusiasts into the next era of PC and Mac storage performance and satisfy their insatiable thirst for computing speed. The new WD VelociRaptor delivers the greatest performance and reliability of all SATA hard drives currently on the market."

It's key features, as detailed by Western Digital, are:

  • Killer Speed - Built on the performance of the WD Raptor, these 10,000 RPM drives, with SATA 3 Gb/s interface, and 16 MB cache deliver mind-bending performance.
  • Rock-solid Reliability - WD VelociRaptor drives are designed and manufactured to business-critical, enterprise-class standards to provide enterprise reliability in high duty cycle environments. The design results in the highest available reliability rating of any SATA drive at 1.4 million hours MTBF.
  • IcePack Mounting Frame - The 2.5-inch WD VelociRaptor drives are enclosed in a 3.5-inch enterprise-class mounting frame with a built-in heat sink that keeps this powerful little drive extra cool when installed in high-performance desktop chassis.
  • Rotary Acceleration Feed Forward (RAFF) - Optimises performance when the drives are used in vibration-prone, multi-drive chassis.
  • SecurePark - Parks the recording heads off the disk surface during spin up, spin down and when the drive is off. This ensures the recording head never touches the disk surface, resulting in improved long-term reliability and increased drive protection when the chassis is moved.

Features and speeds aside, we're sure the name has already sold it to you. I mean, who wouldn't want a VelociRaptor, right? Come mid-May, you'll be able to get one for $299.99. If you're really eager, Alienware will be shipping VelociRaptor drives as part of its ALX gaming desktop later this month.

Official product page: http://www.wdc.com/en/products/Products.asp?DriveID=459

HEXUS Forums :: 29 Comments

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Smaller, quicker and double the capacity? :|

Wonder if these are too hot for a laptop. :D
300GiB is a decent size for a change, but in this day & age where fast 1TiB drives such as the F1 are becoming mainstream, is it enought for anyone but the hardcore gamer & enthusiast? But then again, that's always been the raptor marketpoint prettymuch.
And if I'm honest, however much I may want one, does it make any noticable difference when working or gaming…
And if I'm honest, however much I may want one, does it make any noticable difference when working or gaming…
A hell of a lot when working with videos. General usage (gaming included) not so much - certainly not enough to warrant the price. Will wait and see how good this one is - it won't be anything like the 35% increase they're claiming though.
I have 2 x 160 Gb Raptors in RAID0 in my main PC…they fly, but are quite noisy when working flat out. Levels in CoD4 load at an unbelievable speed :)
but at this price, SSDs are looking a tempting option.

SSDs will take you to the bottleneck of your raid controller whislt been silent, drawing less juice, and far faster in seek times.

If your doing video editing, i guess the limitation of space on the SSDs would be an issue, but if your doing that, then surely proper enterprise SCSI drives are the best bet, better performance, better capacity, and much better realiability.