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When it comes to gaming hard drives there really has only been one. The Raptor series from Western Digital has dominated the market for some time now. Their most recent Raptor is the 300Gb 10k RPM Velociraptor may be a little aged at over 1 1/2 years but still is a force to be reckoned with. Today I have the chance to see how the Velociraptor performs against other solutions including the SAS drives we have tested in the past and SSD's. Will the top name in gaming hard drives still hold its weight?

 

 

Product Name: Western Digital Velociraptor

Review Sample Provided by: Western Digital

Review by: Wes

Pictures by: Wes

IMG_5622 [lr] [lrsm]

Specifications

Performance Specifications

Rotational Speed 10,000 RPM (nominal)
Buffer Size 16 MB
Average Latency 3.00 ms (nominal)
Load/unload Cycles 50,000 minimum

Seek Times

Read Seek Time 4.2 ms
Write Seek Time 4.7 ms (average)
Track-To-Track Seek Time 0.7 ms (average)

Transfer Rates

Buffer To Host (Serial ATA) 3 Gb/s (Max)

Physical Specifications

Formatted Capacity 300,069 MB
Capacity 300 GB
Interface SATA 3 Gb/s
User Sectors Per Drive 586,072,368

Physical Dimensions

Height 1.028 Inches
Length 5.787 Inches
Width 4.00 Inches
Weight 1.08 Pounds

Environmental Specifications

Shock

Operating Shock (Read) 65G, 2 ms
Non-operating Shock 300G, 2 ms

Acoustics

Idle Mode 29 dBA (average)
Seek Mode 0 36 dBA (average)

Temperature

Operating 41° F to 131° F
Non-operating -40° F to 158° F

Humidity

Operating 5-95% RH non-condensing
Non-operating 5-95% RH non-condensing

Altitude

Operating -1,000 feet to 10,000 feet
Non-operating -1,000 feet to 40,000 feet

Vibration

Operating

Linear 20-300 Hz, 0.75G (0 to peak)
Random 10-300 Hz, 0.008 g² / Hz

Non-operating

Low Frequency 0.05 g²/Hz (10 to 300 Hz)
High Frequency 20-500 Hz, 4.0G (0 to peak)

Electrical Specifications

Current Requirements

12 VDC

Read/Write 225 mA
Idle 200 mA
Standby 6 mA
Sleep 6 mA

5 VDC

Read/Write 675 mA
Idle 425 mA
Standby 70 mA
Sleep 70 mA

Power Dissipation

Read/Write 6.08 Watts
Idle 4.53 Watts
Standby 0.42 Watts
Sleep 0.42 Watts
As used for storage capacity, one megabyte (MB) = one million bytes, one gigabyte (GB) = one billion bytes, and one terabyte (TB) = one trillion bytes. Total accessible capacity varies depending on operating environment. As used for buffer or cache, one megabyte (MB) = 1,048,576 bytes. As used for transfer rate or interface, megabyte per second (MB/s) = one million bytes per second, megabit per second (Mb/s) = one million bits per second, and gigabit per second (Gb/s) = one billion bits per second

Test Rig

Cooler Master Sniper Case
Intel 920 i7 CPU
12 gigs of Cruicial Ballistix Ram (two triple channel kits, one red and one blue)
EVGA Classified
Two Saphire 4870’s in Crossfire
LSISAS3442E-R SAS controller card
Noctua NH-U12P 1366 special edition
Two Samsung Sata DVD burners
Cooler Master Ultimate 1100Watt power supply
IMG_5622 [lr]

Installation

Installing the Velociraptor went extremely simple due to the backplane readiness of the WD3000HLFS model. It installed into my IcyDock hotswap without any problems. If you are looking to install the Velociraptor into any enclosure or case with a built in backplane be sure to avoid the WD3000GLFS model. Surprisingly the IcePack mounting frame didn't cause any conflicts during the installation. IMG_5624 [lr] Performance Putting the Velociraptor against a few drives (RaptorX, Savvio 10k2, Savvio 15k2, Seagate 1.5Tb, Crucial M225 SSD) to get an idea of its performance using HDtune just as we have in the past. Here are the results.

HDTune_Benchmark_CRUCIAL_CT128M225final-lr HDTune_Benchmark_SEAGATE_ST9146852SS HDTune_Benchmark_SEAGATE_ST9300603SS HDTune_Benchmark_ST31500341AS HDTune_Benchmark_WDC_WD1500AHFD-00RAR5 HDTune_Benchmark_WDC_WD3000HLFS-01G6U0

Obviously the Velociraptor didnt outperform the SSD  or a hard drive that runs at 15k RPM but at 124.9 MB/sec it wasn't that far off from the 156.0 MB/sec of the Savvio 15k.2. When compared to the Savvio 10k.2 they are almost a dead match, not bad considering the matching RPM and the Velociraptor having twice the storage space for the same price. Where I was a little concerned was when comparing the results of the Velociraptor to the 1.5Tb 7200RPM drive. The transfer rate of the 1.5TB drive was actually higher than the Velociraptor, where it dominated was the all important Access time besting the 15.4 ms of the 1.5TB drive with a 7ms flat time. Something else to point out is the low temperatures the IcePack mounting frame afforded the Velociraptor. Not only does it adapt the 2.5 inch drive to fit in 3.5 inch drive bays and enclosures. But it also kept the hard drive nice and cool, a considerable improvement over our older RaptorX IMG_5623 [lr] IMG_5625 [lr]

Overall

So after putting the Velociraptor to the test against some of the fastest drives available what do I think? What was once the top dog is now looking aged, when compared to SSD's and super fast enterprise class drives. That really wasn't a surprise, it was the performance of the larger drives that surprised me. Frankly it was uncomfortably close considering the 1.5tb drives run for less and hold a lot more. The Velociraptor would still be the best choice when considering the price/performance with the other high speed drives, but if you are on a limited budget you're going to find the better value sticking with the cheaper large drives. Of course when you do that you give up that great access time that helps load everything so quickly. My suggestion if you're looking to pick up a fast hard drive but can't afford to step up to the SSD's is to check out the Velociraptor. It may not be the top dog anymore but it still can hold its own.

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Author Bio
garfi3ld
Author: garfi3ldWebsite: http://lanoc.org
Editor-in-chief
You might call him obsessed or just a hardcore geek. Wes's obsession with gaming hardware and gadgets isn't anything new, he could be found taking things apart even as a child. When not poking around in PC's he can be found playing League of Legends, Awesomenauts, or Civilization 5 or watching a wide variety of TV shows and Movies. A car guy at heart, the same things that draw him into tweaking cars apply when building good looking fast computers. If you are interested in writing for Wes here at LanOC you can reach out to him directly using our contact form.

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