Western Digital has been producing high performance hard drives since its original Raptor drive in 2003. The Raptor series is known for its performance and the spindle speed operating at 10,000 RPM. Today, WD moved forward with its first 1TB drive based on its newer VelociRaptor on a SATA 6 Gb/s interface, with a 64 MB buffer size. The WD VelociRaptor 2.5-inch hard drive comes in the IcePack enclosure that fits the drive into a standard 3.5-inch system bay and keeps the drive extra cool when installed in a desktop or workstation system. The WD VelociRaptor will come in capacities of 250 GB, 500 GB and 1 TB, dropping the 300 GB and 600 GB versions from the product page. WD is leveraging the enterprise-class drive not only for the enterprise market but for high-performance PCs, Mac computers and professional workstations that require a balance of high performance and capacity.
Features of the WD VelociRaptor hard drives include:
- Super speed - SATA 6 Gb/s interface and 64 MB cache optimize the 10,000 RPM WD VelociRaptor.
- Higher capacity - WD VelociRaptor SATA hard drives employ Advanced Format Technology to achieve capacities up to 1 TB.
- Rock-solid reliability - Designed and manufactured to workstation standards to deliver stellar reliability in high workload environments.
- Ultra-cool operation - Consumes less idle power and uses similar active power as the previous generation WD VelociRaptor while offering greater capacity and performance.
- Rotary Acceleration Feed Forward (RAFF) - Optimizes operation and performance when the drives are used in vibration-prone, multi-drive chassis.
- NoTouch ramp load technology - The recording head never touches the disk media ensuring significantly less wear to the recording head and media as well as better drive protection when in transit.
- Environmentally conscious - In addition to being RoHS-compliant, this generation of WD VelociRaptor is also a halogen-free design.
Early reviews of the WD VelociRaptor 1 TB has the drive performing around 215 MB/s read and 205 MB/s read for sequential speeds. These numbers show a nice improvement of WD VelociRaptor 600 MB and begin to hit closer to SATA II SSD speeds. Even with the performance of the 1 TB, the VelociRaptor still comes no where close to the access times of a SSD at 7.1 ms versus 0.1 ms of most SSD.
WD VelociRaptor hard drives are available now at select distributors, resellers and e-tailers, and come with a five-year limited warranty. Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the WD VelociRaptor 1 TB (model #: WD1000DHTZ) is $319.99 dollars, the 500 GB version (model #: WD5000HHTZ) is $209.99 dollars and the 250 GB version (model #: WD2500HHTZ) is $159.99 dollars. More information about WD VelociRaptor hard drives can be found on the company website.