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Western Digital, a leading producer of hard disk drives, announced its new high-performance VelociRaptor hard drive that will appeal to both enterprise and enthusiast customers. The new version of Raptor not only features higher performance and capacity compared to predecessor, but also comes in 2.5” form-factor.

“We created WD VelociRaptor hard drives to lead PC enthusiasts into the next era of PC and Mac storage performance and satisfy their insatiable thirst for computing speed. The new WD VelociRaptor delivers the greatest performance and reliability of all SATA hard drives currently on the market,” said Tom McDorman, vice president and general manager of Western Digital enterprise business unit.

WD VelociRaptor features 300GB capacity, 10 000rpm rotational speed, 16MB cache, 4.2ms read seek time, 4.7ms write seek time and average latency of 5.5ms. The VelociRaptor hard drive is designed for Serial ATA-300 interface and supports such enhancements as NCQ technology.

It is interesting to note that while the new VelociRaptor features lower average read seek time (4.2ms vs. 4.6ms) and average write seek time (4.7ms vs. 5.2ms) compared to predecessor Raptor X, its average latency is higher than that of the 150GB hard drive (5.5ms vs. 2.99ms). Still WD claims that actual performance of the novelty will be higher versus its forefather, probably due to considerably higher record density.

WD VelociRaptor hard drive is built with enterprise-class mechanics and packs 300GB of storage capacity into a 2.5” enterprise form factor. The 2.5” WD VelociRaptor drive is enclosed in the IcePack, a 3.5” mounting frame with a built-in heat sink – a customization that fits the drive into a standard 3.5” system bay and keeps this powerful drive extra cool when installed in a high-performance desktop chassis.

WD VelociRaptor (model WD3000GLFS) hard drives will be available on Alienware’s high-performance ALX gaming desktop by the end of April. WD VelociRaptor hard drives will be shipping exclusively through Alienware this month and will be available through WD’s online store and at select distributors and resellers starting from mid-May. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) for the WD VelociRaptor 300GB is $299.

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