In the introduction we talked about how the VelociRaptor used the IcePAK to help reduce heat while being able to mount in 3.5″ drive bays. Western Digital sent over a FLIR image of the VelociRaptor to show the hot spots with and without the IcePak.
The thermal image on the left is with the IcePAK in use; the hottest temperature shown there is 33.5C. The thermal image on the right is of the VelociRaptor without the IcePAK; the hot spot is listed at 41.0C. This means that the WD IcePAK reduces the drive temperature by 7.5 degrees C. Western Digital said when doing this test a number of times the real average is 7.1C, which is impressive
When we were testing the drives we noticed that at idle HD Tune Pro 3.00 noticed a 19C internal temperature difference between the WD1500ADFD and the WD3000GLFS. Not only has our testing shown that the VelociRaptor is the quicker of the two drives it is also the hands down temperature winner!
Final Thoughts and Conclusions:
The Western Digital VelociRaptor was a blast to test since it’s not every day something this new and innovative comes across the test bench. The Western Digital VelociRaptor is hands down the fastest single hard drive we have ever tested and it is hard to believe that the firmware is still being improved. It will be exciting to see how much more performance Western Digital will be able to get out of the VelociRaptor before it hits retail stores in May. As it stands right now having a burst speed of over 250 MB/s and a sustained read speed pushing over 100 MB/s is enough to put a smile on our face. Just imagine running RAID 0 with a pair of these!
If the performance hasn’t sold you maybe the doubled capacity of the VelociRaptor has. The new 300GB capacity will be a welcomed addition to those wanting more space and needing an upgrade. It would have been nice to see ever larger capacities, but Raptor users have becomed used to giving up space for extra performance. The other highlight of the drive is the move away from the standard 3.5″ form factor to the new 2.5″ HDA design that the VelociRaptor uses. Obviously this small form factor with smaller platters means that Western Digital has some serious density going on, which in turn helped performance. The small form factor also allowed for better cooling possibilites thanks to the WD IcePAK. Down the road when chassis designers come out with 2.5″ hard drive mounts it should be get really interesting.
Right now the Western Digital VelociRaptor 300GB drive is only available in several Alienware Computer systems. The WD VelociRaptor will be made available to the channel in mid-May if everything works out the way WD is planning. When it comes to cost the MSRP is set at $299. This might seem a bit high to some people, but keep in mind the 150GB Raptor WD1500 is selling for $143 plus shipping still two years after it was launched. Both drives are right about $1 per GB and the price versus performance winner is clearly the VelociRaptor!
Legit Bottom Line: The Western Digital VelociRaptor doesn’t disappoint and has just raised the performance bar for hard drive makers. The VelociRaptor will be the hard drive to use in performance systems until SSD drives come down way down in price and up in capacity.