Western Digital VelociRaptor 1TB Hard Drive Review

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The VelociRaptor Swells But Still Smokes

While SSDs have mostly been in the spotlight these days when it comes to storage, the spinning platter hard drives are still alive and kicking. With the proliferation of and the amount of space occupied by digital music and video files, storage needs have skyrocketed and SSDs just haven’t come down in price enough on the large capacity drives for the average user to afford. Before SSDs, drive makers boosted read/write speeds by increasing the spin speed of the platters which eventually reached 15,000 RPMs, but were typically limited in capacity. Western Digital launched their 300GB VelociRaptor in 2008 which was a big success and it brought relatively large capacity storage (at the time) with high performance. Now, Western Digital has upped the ante again with a 1TB version of the 10,000 RPM spinner and sent us one over to run it through our tests.

Western Digital VelociRaptor 1TB

In addition to the increased capacity, they’ve also updated the cache to a beefy 64MB and a SATA interface to 6Gbps so as not to bottleneck the drive. All of this increases performance by 25% according to Western Digital with read/write specifications of 200MB/s. It also offers an impressive 1.4 million hours MTBF and according to Western Digital, this leads the industry for a high capacity SATA drive. To help facilitate this, it features NoTouch ramp load technology where the recording head never touches the media, reducing wear on the recording head. They offer a five year warranty to cover their workmanship as well. For the MSRP of $319.00 you can pick one up starting today.

Western Digital VelociRaptor 1TB

2012 Western Digital VelociRaptor Features and Specifications:

Specifications: 1 TB 500 GB 250 GB
Model number: WD1000DHTZ WD5000HHTZ WD2500HHTZ
Interface: SATA 6 Gb/s SATA 6 Gb/s SATA 6 Gb/s
Formatted capacity: 1 TB 500 GB 250 GB
User sectors per drive: 1,953,525,168 976,773,168 488,397,168
Advanced Format (AF): Yes Yes Yes
SATA latching connector: Yes Yes Yes
Form factor: 3.5-inch 3.5-inch 3.5-inch
RoHS compliant: Yes Yes Yes
Data transfer rate (max):      
Buffer to host: 6 Gb/s 6 Gb/s 6 Gb/s
Host to/from drive (sustained): 200 MB/s 200 MB/s 200 MB/s
Cache (MB): 64 64 64
Rotational speed (RPM) 10,000 10,000 10,000
Average drive ready time (sec) 8 8 8
Reliability/Data Integrity:      
Load/unload cycles 600,000 600,000 600,000
Power Management:      
12VDC (A, max): 1.8 1.8 1.8
Average power requirements (W):      
Random Read/Write: 5.1 5.1 5.1
Sequential Read/Write: 5.8 5.8 5.8
Idle 4.2 4.2 4.2
Standby and Sleep 1.1 1.1 1.1
Environmental Specifications:      
Temperature (°C):      
Operating: 5 to 55 5 to 55 5 to 55
Non-operating: -40 to 70 -40 to 70 -40 to 70
Shock (Gs):      
Operating (2 ms, read/write): 30 30 30
Operating (2 ms, read): 65 65 65
Non-operating (2 ms): 300 300 300
Average acoustics (dBA):      
Idle mode: 30 30 30
Performance seek mode: 37 37 37
Physical Dimensions:      
Height (in./mm, max): 1.028/26.1 1.028/26.1 1.028/26.1
Length (in./mm, max): 5.787/147 5.787/147 5.787/147
Width (in./mm, ± .01 in.): 4/101.6 4/101.6 4/101.6
Weight (lb./kg, ± 10%): 1.10/0.50 1.10/0.50 1.10/0.50

Western Digital VelociRaptor 1TB

The drive itself, like previous iterations, is actually 2.5″ in design that sits in a 3.5″ caddy that acts as a heatsink. It’s 15mm in height and is not designed to be removed from it’s base so don’t get any ideas of yanking it out to drop in your notebook PC. We know how you think!

Western Digital VelociRaptor 1TB

Screw holes are available for a variety of mounting scenarios and from this angle you can see all of the fins that add surface area to the heatsink for better cooling efficiency.

Western Digital VelociRaptor 1TB

Let’s have look a the test system and benchmarks!

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