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Western Digital VelociRaptor 600 GB Hard Disk Drive Review
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Connectors & Jumpers

This is a Serial ATA hard drive, with native support for SATA 6 Gb/s. However, it is backward-compatible so you will have no problem using it with SATA 3 Gb/s or even SATA 1.5 Gb/s controllers. However, at least a SATA 3 Gb/s interface is necessary for optimal performance since this WD VelociRaptor 600 GB drive has a 32 MB buffer and boasts a maximum sustained internal (platter-to-buffer) transfer rate of 145 MB/s.

Like all Serial ATA drives, it comes the standard SATA data (left) and power (right) connectors and is hot-pluggable. That means you can connect and disconnect this hard disk drive to your PC while it's still running. To the left of the SATA connectors is the jumper block.

From what we can tell, Western Digital ships some drives with a jumper and others without a jumper. Since our OEM unit did not come with one, it is likely that only retail drives come with the jumper.

According to Western Digital, jumpering pins 1 and 2 enables Spread Spectrum Clocking (SSC). Placing the jumper across pins 5 and 6 will force the drive to use the slower SATA 3.0 Gb/s transfer speed. This is only a troubleshooting option in case your SATA controller does not properly implement SATA 6 Gb/s speed negotiation.

Although Western Digital is quickly migrating their drives to the new Advanced Format, this is not an Advanced Format Drive. Therefore, there is no Adv Format jumper setting and you need not worry about setting up the drive for optimal performance with older operating systems like Windows XP.

 

Breather Holes

The WD VelociRaptor 600 GB drive has a small, barely-marked breather hole on the top plate. This hole must not be covered.

Breather holes allow condensation inside the hard drive to escape. They also equalize the hard drive's internal pressure with the ambient air pressure. The hard disk drive needs them to function properly, so please make sure you do not occlude any breather hole.

As the IcePack mounting frame occludes any view of the underside, there's no way for us to find out if there are any breather holes there. However, this doesn't matter as the IcePack mounting frame will protect any breather holes from being occluded.

 

 

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