updated 09:35 am EDT, Mon April 21, 2008
WD VelociRaptor 300GB
Western Digital says it has blurred the lines between drive classes with the release of the VelociRaptor, the latest generation of its Raptor high-speed hard disks. The 300GB drive is targeted as much at enthusiasts as professionals and holds twice as much as the most recent Raptor while outperforming it: while spinning at the same 10,000RPM, the VelociRaptor benchmarks about 35 percent faster, the company claims.
Unusually, the new drive also abandons the normal preference towards full-size, 3.5-inch hard drives by switching to a 2.5-inch disk; the switch lets Western Digital surround the VelociRaptor with a passive heatsink that safely cools the drive inside a hot computer case. The disk also modernizes the Raptor with a Serial ATA II connection and 16MB of cache to cut down on unnecessary hard drive access.
The hard drive ships as an add-in for Macs, Windows PCs, and most other SATA-capable computers in mid-May for $300. Alienware is slated as the first PC maker to offer the drive and will give buyers the option of equipping the Area-51 ALX with the VelociRaptor in late April. Up to two drives will be available in a RAID 0 stripe for even faster performance.