The WD VelociRaptor
Western Digital may be marketing their new VelociRaptor family of high-speed hard drives as enterprise-class hard drives but they are also very popular with hardware enthusiasts who just cannot resist their 10,000 RPM spindle speed. Everything just seems a little faster when you use a hard drive that spins at such a high speed.
To cater to this exclusive group of enthusiasts, Western Digital first introduced the Raptor and Raptor X hard drives with capacities of 36 GB to 150 GB. These Raptors have now evolved into the next-generation Western Digital VelociRaptor hard drives, that not only boast twice the storage capacity but also managed to do it in a much smaller 2.5" drive form factor!
The WD VelociRaptor drives are available in storage capacities of 150 GB or 300 GB. The 150 GB model uses a single platter with two read/write heads while the 300 GB has two platters and four read/write heads. Both models boast these key features :
Killer speed - Built on the performance bloodlines of WD Raptor®, these 10,000 RPM drives, with SATA 3 Gb/s interface, and 16 MB cache deliver mind-bending performance. Not only are they 35% faster than the previous generation WD Raptor drives, but they also beat out all other competitors in the field.
Rock-solid reliability - Designed and manufactured to mission-critical enterprise-class standards to provide enterprise reliability in high duty cycle environments. With 1.4 million hours MTBF, these drives have the highest available reliability rating on a high capacity SATA drive.
Double the capacity - State-of-the-art technology packs twice the capacity per disk compared to its older brother WD Raptor resulting in up to 300 GB of high-performance storage space in this enterprise-class 2.5-inch drive.
Small form factor - This ultra fast 2.5-inch hard drive is engineered to fit into blade servers and other enterprise storage configurations. (Not designed for use in laptop or notebook computers)
Ultra-cool operation - WD VelociRaptor consumes 35% less power than the previous generation of WD Raptor.
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 in transit.
The VelociRaptor BLFS and HLFS hard drives we obtained for this review were both OEM-packed units. Like most OEM-packed hard drives, they came in just a sealed anti-static plastic packet with a sachet of dessicants to keep them dry. Other than the sparse packaging (and no documentation), these OEM-packed drives are no different from the retail versions, right down to the 5-year warranty.
All you need to do is just cut open the plastic packet and slide out the drive. Be sure to ground yourself before removing and handling the VelociRaptor as static can damage it. In particular, you should try to avoid touching the exposed PCB located at the base of the drive.
If you like your packaging or need to deliver this hard disk drive by mail, you can always opt for the retail version of the drive. It comes with its own box and proper padding to ensure the drive survives a mail delivery. Of course, the retail package comes with a price premium as well.
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