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Well, our life is so rich in all sorts of events that the time flies by much faster than we want it to. Having cast a glance at the calendar I was terrified to discover that 9 months have already passed since the first 10,000rpm SerialATA HDD was announced. Yes, three quarters of a year ago Western Digital released a new class of hard disk drives to the market. Featuring the same spindle rotation speed as server SCSI drives, 10,000rpm, the new WD solutions supported a pretty popular SATA interface. Of course, ATA interface was even more popular at that time, but Western Digital positioned its hard disk drive as a solution for high-performance workstations and low-end servers. These systems require HotSwap feature very insistently, so ATA interface didn’t suit there.

As for SerialATA interface, it has just settled down in our systems and not only in the form of a PCI add-on card, but also in the form of integrated chipset controllers. We do not see any grave performance differences between the SATA and ATA storage subsystems, but a combination of Raptor drives and SerialATA interface provided a truly outstanding result. Therefore, many companies which are trying top stress the highest quality of their workstations, use RAID arrays built of Raptor drives. So, we could come across WD’s raptors in almost every computer edition. I believe that most users already associate Raptor with high speed, which is quite natural in the current state of things.

But these are all external proofs of WD’s success. And what does the situation look like from the financial prospective? Hasn’t this risky experiment had a negative effect on the company’s revenues? The things here are flourishing too: the sales volumes and revenues keep growing :)

So, I have every reason to state that the success of Raptor drives strengthened WD’s reputation immensely. But they have to maintain their innovative reputation that is why new products should be released more or less regularly. This new product is the second generation Raptor from Western Digital – Raptor 74GB.

Closer Look

Before we start talking about the advantages of the new drives let’s recall what we were unhappy with by the old Raptor:

  • No Command Tag Queuing support;
  • Marvell serializing converter;
  • Small storage capacity.

And now please meet our today’s hero: Western Digital WD740GD:

  

Compared with the first-generation Raptor drive, the new fellow features firmer and more massive stiffening ribs. But unfortunately, we again see the notorious Marvell controller on the electronics PCB :(

 
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