Western Digital Velociraptor reviewed
Western Digital is promising amazing capabilities for their new ultra fast hard drive. We checked if the Velociraptor can do what it is expected to.
The official release event allowed us to catch a glimpse of the Velociraptor, but only a complete check-up in our PCGH Test Lab will reveal the truth.
The Velociraptor is the successor of the Raptor, which was up to now the only SATA hard drive to reach 10,000 revolutions per minute. But in the meantime the Raptor is undersized. 150 Gigabytes aren't enough for most users today. The new hard drive will offer 300 GByte (ca. 279 GiByte) at last. But there is more to it than an increased capacity. According to Western Digital the Velociraptor, aka WD3000GLFS, will be much faster than the Raptor. This is necessary since competition took the lead, especially Samsung's F1 series with its high data density.
Dinosaur in a box
Contrary to the Raptor the Velociraptor is a 2.5 inch hard drive. This way Western Digital take a step closer to server market, where the compact design is getting more popular - it allows you to place more devices in the narrow server racks. The Raptor, actually developed for high-end gaming systems, evolved to an advantageous alternative compared to professional SAS devices. But the new one won't fit into Notebooks anyhow. With 15 millimeters of height, it exceeds the specifications. Anyway you would also have to remove the frame the Velociraptor is delivered with. This wrapping is called "Icepack” and fits into the conventional 3.5 inch rack. Western Digital says that the "Icepack” also cools the hard drive about 7 degrees Celsius. And as amatter of fact it really does decrease the heat of the Velociraptor.
As usual we check data transfer speed and access time with H2benchw. In this process the manufacturer's information is confirmed: The Velociraptor outdistances the Raptor and even takes the speed lead from the F1. Its average read and write rate is above 103 MiByte per second and thus for the first time in the SATA world exceeds the 100 MiByte border. The F1 HD322HJ, with its single platter, reaches only 90 MiByte/s. The WD3000GLFS outperforms its predecessor at about 27 MiByte/s in reading and 38 MiByte/s in writing. Even the minimal transfer rate of the platter's inner area is acceptable. With 79 MiByte/s the Velociraptor is about 20 MiByte/s faster than the F1.
|Name||Spinpoint F1 HD322HJ||Raptor WD1500ADFD||Velociraptor WD3000GLFS|
|Manufacturer||Samsung||Western Digital||Western Digital|
|Price||ca. 50,- Euro||ca. 140,- Euro||ca. 240,- Euro|
|Price in Euro per GiByte||0,17 Euro/GiByte||1,00 Euro/GiByte||0,80 Euro/GiByte|
|Format||3,5 inch||3,5 inch||2,5 inch (3,5 inch frame)|
|Mean Time Between Failures||600.000 hours||1.200.000 hours||1.400.000 hours|
|Capacity||298 GiByte/320 GByte||140 GiByte/150 GByte||279 GiByte/300 GByte|
|Cache||16 MiByte||16 MiByte||16 MiByte|
|Warranty||3 years||5 years||5 years|
|Interface||SATA 3,0 GBit/s||SATA 1,5 GBit/s||SATA 3,0 GBit/s|
|Rotations per minute||7.200 rpm||10.000 rpm||10.000 rpm|
|Automatic Acoustic Management (AAM)||supported||supported||supported|
|Native Command Queuing (NCQ)||supported||supported||supported|
|Number of Platters/Capacity per Platter||1/298 GiByte||3/48 GiByte||2/140 GiByte|
|Transfer Read (average)||91,4 MiByte/s||76,3 MiByte/s||103,6 MiByte/s|
|Transfer Write (average)||90,1 MiByte/s||65,1 MiByte/s||103,3 MiByte/s|
|Average Access Time Read/Write||13,3 ms/6,7 ms||8,2 ms/15,4 ms||7,1 ms/4,0 ms|
|Loudness (Idle/Access, 50cm Distance)||0,2/0,3 Sone||1,0/2,3 Sone||0,4/0,9 Sone|
The access times are also good, which are especially important for loading multitude of small files, like while starting applications or booting the system. This had been the Raptor's domain up to now. Its 8.2 milliseconds read access time left the F1 (13.3 ms) behind. But the Velociraptor is, with only 7.1 ms, even faster - only SSD devices got more speed. When writing the Velociraptor way ahead with only 4.0 milliseconds - there is figuratively no relation to the 15.4 ms of the Raptor or the F1's 6.7 ms.