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Western Digital's VelociRaptor 10K RPM SATA Drive 250

MojoKid was one of a number of people to submit about WDs new 10k RPM SATA Drive. He says "Western Digital's Raptor line of Hard Drives has been very popular with performance enthusiasts, as a desktop drive with enterprise-class performance. Today WD has launched a new line of high-performance desktop drives dubbed the VelociRaptor, and the product finally scales in capacity as well. The new SATA-based VelociRaptor weighs in at 300GB with the same 10K RPM spindle speed, but with one other major difference — it's based on 2.5" technology. Its smaller two-platter, four-head design affords the VelociRaptor random access and data transfer rates significantly faster than competing desktop SATA offerings. Areal density per platter has increased significantly as well, which contributes to solid performance gains versus the legacy WD Raptor series."
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Western Digital's VelociRaptor 10K RPM SATA Drive

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  • by Sivar ( 316343 ) <charlesnburns[NO@SPAM]> on Monday April 21, 2008 @11:08AM (#23144194)
    The review is up on on []. You can use the database [] to compare this drive to every other drive out there in different kinds of tasks.
  • Re:Noise Level (Score:2, Informative)

    by Rakeris ( 1114111 ) on Monday April 21, 2008 @11:11AM (#23144264)
    I have one, and it's very quite. It's makes about the same amount of noise as my 500GB samsung. The only difference is it makes a bit of light "clicking" whenever it's doing a lot of reading/writing.
  • Re:Noise Level (Score:3, Informative)

    by skiflyer ( 716312 ) on Monday April 21, 2008 @11:15AM (#23144328)
    Next to my 7800gt fan I don't even hear the two raptors I have clicking away.
  • by Sivar ( 316343 ) <charlesnburns[NO@SPAM]> on Monday April 21, 2008 @11:25AM (#23144552)
    Power usage = heat.

    From the article []:

    When spinning up from a cold start, the WD3000BLFS maintains its prowess with a very economical showing on its 12V rail. At just 9 watts, the VelociRaptor weighs in a full 6 watts (66%!) lower than any other drive SR has ever encountered.

    I think the heatsink is mostly for show, and to make the drive fit into a normal case. Still, it would be nice if they made it easily removable.
  • Re:Laptop drive? (Score:2, Informative)

    by giverson ( 532542 ) on Monday April 21, 2008 @11:27AM (#23144586) Journal
    2.5" != laptop drive. Many SAS drives are 2.5" but they won't fit in a laptop anytime soon.
  • by MP3Chuck ( 652277 ) on Monday April 21, 2008 @11:32AM (#23144720) Homepage Journal
    I know you're trying to be funny, but there is such a thing []. :)
  • Re:Noise Level (Score:4, Informative)

    by Sivar ( 316343 ) <charlesnburns[NO@SPAM]> on Monday April 21, 2008 @11:34AM (#23144760)
    The first 10KRPM drives sounded like what you'd get when you put ice cubes in a blender. I seriously ducked the first time I heard one start to seek.

    The WD Raptor 74GB is alright. I can hear it, but I wouldn't say it's loud or annoying (and I have one of those open Lian-Li cases that have 50000 holes).

    This new one is supposed to be one of the quietest drives ever measured.
  • Re:Laptop drive? (Score:5, Informative)

    by mcpkaaos ( 449561 ) on Monday April 21, 2008 @11:38AM (#23144846)

    When you say 'based on 2.5" tech,' does that mean this IS a laptop drive?
    It is not a laptop drive. Here, take a gander [].

    I assume the power requirements would be intense though
    According to TFA, the Velociraptor consumes the least power [] out of the drives compared (all WD, including a Raptor 150).

    And also being a WD drive, as far as reliability goes you'd probably be better off just keeping your important documents in RAM.
    I've had 1 drive out of over 20 fail on me in the last 6 years, all made by WD (including several Raptors, which run hot as hell but never seem to skip a beat). The one WD drive that did fail did so only after 3+ years of constant usage in a server.

    I guess I don't understand all the WD bashing. They do have warranties, you know, and I hear they even honor them.

    Besides, why are you relying on a single drive? If you have Important Documents you need redundancy + backups, not a "better" hard drive. You should check this [] out. It's saved my butt on more than one occasion.
  • by SD-Arcadia ( 1146999 ) on Monday April 21, 2008 @11:38AM (#23144854) Homepage
    Actually, you can remove the 3.5" container (I believe running it like this voids your warranty) but it still won't fit in a laptop because apparently although 2.5" form factor, it is several mm too high for a laptop. Not that you should attempt to run a 10K drive inside a laptop in the first place, especially without that heatsink thingy. The performance seems to be equal or better than SSD's. source:,1914.html []
  • Re:Noise Level (Score:2, Informative)

    by mad zambian ( 816201 ) on Monday April 21, 2008 @11:41AM (#23144916)
    I use a striped pair of 36GB Raptors for my system disk. (Data disk is 3 drive RAID 5) Speed is great, but the little brutes do need active cooling, and are anything but quiet. Maybe it is the pair of them doing synchronous seeks that make them so noisy, who knows? They are the noisiest disks I have used since a pair of 250MB Connors about 15 years ago. Happy with them? Oh hell yes. Next computer will have the same setup, but much more noise damping.
  • by jskline ( 301574 ) on Monday April 21, 2008 @11:53AM (#23145228) Homepage
    I've gone through 3 drives now from them for 2 of my 3 laptops. The first one made it 10 months and technically was still under warranty. But because the manufacture date stamp on the drive was more than 12 months, they would not honor my warranty. Yea, I had the receipt but the guy in India was not concerned with that and would only take a credit card number to order another one at full retail price! Screw em'. Drilled a big bad hole through the thing and put in recycle bin.

    Two other drives didn't even make it more than a month! First one died after a month and was sent off to them under warranty, and they send another of the exact same drive. It worked quite well up until last week when it just arbitrarily died on the spot when I got into the office.

    Mind you my Toshiba's, and Seagate have been outlasting these things hands down. And for the naysayers; I know there is not an issue with the laptops since other vendor drives work quite well and last.

    I don't even want to talk about the 3.5" drives! I have had more premature failures with these and I'm officially sworn off of Western Digital. All they make is junk.
  • Re:Laptop drive? (Score:3, Informative)

    by camperslo ( 704715 ) on Monday April 21, 2008 @12:03PM (#23145464)
    Even without the cooling, the 2.5" based core is still way too thick/hot for a laptop.
    At $1/gig it is still way cheaper than solid state drives, but expect those to get cheaper faster.

    It's frustrating that the power benchmark they're using is measuring the whole computer.
    You'd think someone doing benchmarks would use a small separate supply for the drive(s) to do the measurement. If the standby consumption and efficiency under load were measured for a small separate supply (easily determined with resistive dummy-loads), one could then get pretty accurate numbers for the drive by measuring the input power to the supply and doing a few simple calculations.

    If the power and connector locations were compatible it'd be fun to see one of these in a 24" Core 2 iMac. For those using the iMac as a 1080i PVR, it'd really speed things like extracting the commercial-free version of a tv recording.
  • by Guspaz ( 556486 ) on Monday April 21, 2008 @12:21PM (#23145864)
    They did make the heatsink easily removable, but the drive is designed for the 15mm enterprise form factor (servers, for example), not laptop form factors.

    The heatsink (which reduces average temperatures by 5-7 degrees) does work (it's not for show), but these things will never go in laptops.
  • by dfghjk ( 711126 ) on Monday April 21, 2008 @12:23PM (#23145920)
    I would suggest you check out the review since they don't support the claims you are making. In applications benchmarks the margins are far, far less than 50%.
  • Re:Laptop drive? (Score:4, Informative)

    by michrech ( 468134 ) on Monday April 21, 2008 @12:28PM (#23146024)
    Probably comes from people who, like me, used a ton of WD200, WD400, WD800, and some others, that had over 90% failure rate in the first 6 months. The only reason the OEM I worked for even used the drives is that they were cheaper (by only a few bucks, but every buck counts in this business!) than the others.

    Yes, they did replace them all, but when you count in all the time in rebuilding OS installs, shipping, phone calls to get RMA's, etc, it's just not worth it.

    Once we switched to Seagate, we never had to deal with all of that again. Yes, we might have 1 drive go bad once in a blue moon, but no where near what we had with WD.

    I had sworn off of WD drives in the mid/late '90's because of similar issues. No matter what, though, I couldn't talk my boss out of using them. He learned to listen to my opinions after that, though...

    Now, before I start getting modded down to hell, here; yes, I realize there are people (like you) that seem to have had very good luck with WD's drives. Unfortunately (for WD), your experiences seem to be far and few between.

    I guess I don't understand all the WD bashing. They do have warranties, you know, and I hear they even honor them.
  • by adisakp ( 705706 ) on Monday April 21, 2008 @12:46PM (#23146460) Journal
    FWIW, 2.5" HD's generally use between 2 to 3 watts of power during seek and writes and even less during idle. This is about 1/2 to 1/3 the power of the VelociRaptor (6.9W) during a write.
  • Re:You misunderstand (Score:3, Informative)

    by What Would NPH Do ( 1274934 ) on Monday April 21, 2008 @01:15PM (#23147024)

    I didn't say it was particularly hard in a PC, just that the Mac is much easier. You slide out a little metal tray, put the drive in the tray, slide the tray back in.
    I do the exact same thing in my PC. It's called a hard drive rack. You can buy them for around 23 dollars on Newegg.
  • by Random Destruction ( 866027 ) on Monday April 21, 2008 @01:17PM (#23147086)

    Friction also equals heat. I imagine that a hard drive spinning at 10,000 RPM would generate quite a bit of friction.
    no. input energy = heat.

    more friciton = more input energy, so theres no reason to look any further than how much energy it consumes, no matter what your thoughts are on high RPM platters.
  • Re:You misunderstand (Score:3, Informative)

    by What Would NPH Do ( 1274934 ) on Monday April 21, 2008 @02:53PM (#23148800)

    Actually, if you price a Mac Pro vs. a similarly spec'd workstation from Dell, the Apple frequently comes in a few dollars cheaper.
    That's not really saying much to me as I don't buy anything from Dell. I build my own PCs and cut out the middleman markups.

    Apple really does not have a high margin on base Mac Pros, ie without the ridiculous memory upgrade costs.
    Considering I've spec'd out comparable systems with parts from Newegg and Frys that cost anywhere from 50% to 66% the Mac Pro, I'd say they have a pretty hefty margin.
  • Re:You misunderstand (Score:3, Informative)

    by What Would NPH Do ( 1274934 ) on Monday April 21, 2008 @03:06PM (#23148976)
    Well I just spec'd out a system that matches (and in many cases surpasses) this $2800 Mac Pro, [] , and it cost me all of 1300 dollars. So the question becomes, what's that 1500 premium buying me exactly? Looks like a big fat nothing to me.
  • by freaker_TuC ( 7632 ) on Monday April 21, 2008 @04:06PM (#23149818) Homepage Journal
    I've been buying +300 WD's for over 10 years now; had 2 disks DOA and 4 disks which died later on. Most of the older disks I got stored in a container as extra backup.

    One of these disks dying is even my own fault by tilting it while writing.
    Also, I've been hearing stories at my suppliers; disks made around JUNE-OCTOBER are mostly the ones with the most problems. I wouldn't know it's a general believe although I'm for sure checking my labels before assigning a disk to a server as precaution to myself.

    I've had plenty of other drives dying, IBM, Seagate, Maxtor, Hitachi. My last 2 crashes were my Powerbook PRO and with an IBM disk.
    Had best effects with IBM, WD and Maxtor to be honest. Maybe I was most lucky with WD's? My first choice will always be a WD.

    The Western Digital warranty has always been inbetween 3-5 years, so, I really wonder if your supplier was kosher at all?
    They got a very fast and extensive warranty program which even allows you to send your front-plate and keep the disk with your precious data.
  • Re:1 GB/$, ouch (Score:3, Informative)

    by dfn_deux ( 535506 ) < minus city> on Monday April 21, 2008 @04:16PM (#23150004) Homepage
    Say that 1 expensive drive has a reliability rating of 2u (arbitrary units, where higher is better) and you are advocating using two cheaper drives with a reliability of 1u each, then striping them gives a combined reliability of 1u/2 or .5u... maybe you get performance approaching the 1 expensive disk but at a cost of 75% reliability. Realistically the target market for these drives is deploying them in arrays with parity and spares. I personally don't see any performance increase when going to 2 drives vs a single since, like everyone else doing a job like mine, I'm more concerned with reliability than balls out performance; to wit 2 drives to me never get striped, a single drive is only usable for something non-critical maybe page/swap, 2 drives is always going to be deployed as a mirror pair where I see a bit of an upswing in read perf, 3+ drives will always be an array with 1+ parity drives and 1+ spare drives.

    Storage infrastructure is one of those areas of system work where the nut is much harder to crack than most squirrels would realize ;)
  • by toddestan ( 632714 ) on Monday April 21, 2008 @10:46PM (#23153990)
    Seek time is a mechanical thing, the heads can only move so fast. If you want faster seek times and want to spend some money, look into solid state drives. Though granted, all the ones I've seen run at 0 RPM.

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982