Let’s see what else the new Western Digital VelociRaptor can boast and compare it side by side with the old Raptor WD1500ADFD:
Transfer Rate (Buffer To Disk)
Although VelociRaptor is designed in 2.5-inch form-factor, it uses the same number of platters and heads as the predecessor. That is why the new hard drive provides shorter access time at the same spindle rotation speed: the heads travel along physically shorter trajectories on the platters. Of course, geometrical changes are not the only changes in the new drive: its electronics has also been updated. High-performance Western Digital solutions have finally began to support the most advanced SATA protocol with 3Gbps bandwidth. As a result, we know for a fact even before testing that the new WD VelociRaptor will outperform any other conventional hard disk drive. And as for a 16MB buffer, it is not a critical drawback, even though a lot of contemporary HDDs already offer 32MB buffer. From our experience, this parameter has very little effect on the performance.
Smaller platter diameter ensures a few other very useful advantages. For example, lower power consumption because of lower workload on the electrical motors used in the HDDs. The HDD acoustics should also improve, although the official specifications do not state that.
We have to point out that Western Digital engineers tried to fit the new drive into a small case not because they wanted to make it notebook-compatible. Moreover, even though VelociRaptor case is of the same width and depth as the 2.5-inch mobile hard drives, it is mechanically incompatible with them. the problem is the height: the HDD slots in mobile systems are designed to accommodate 9mm HDDs, while VelociRaptor is almost twice the height.
So this hard drive is designed exclusively for desktops. And in order to avoid any possible difficulties during its installation into standard 3.5-inch bays, the developers suggested their special in-house IcePack casing. It solves two problems at a time: makes the 2.5-inch hard drive fit for the standard 3.5-inch bays and improves HDD cooling. In fact, IcePack is a massive solid aluminum heatsink with thirteen thick ribs. However, you don’t have to se IcePack and can remove it if you like, although it uses not the most widely spread screws with a hexahedral slot.
Speaking of VelociRaptor’s key features we can’t forget one more thing: its price. Western Digital went all the way with setting the price for their new VelociRaptor hard drive: it sells for almost four times the price of the regular HDDs with the same storage capacity. However, VelociRaptor has no analogues in the market today, so it will undoubtedly find its way into wealthy enthusiasts’ systems, just like its predecessors from the Raptor family did. Especially, since $300 for 300GB is at least 10 times cheaper than contemporary SSDs, which are the only ones that can compete with the new WD VelociRaptor in terms of performance.