Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Hardware Reviews: Western Digital VelociRaptor VR150

velociraptorWestern Digital recently announced their fourth-generation "Raptor" design, aptly named the "VelociRaptor" as a nod to its promised capabilities. The capacity is now at 300GB up from previous limitations of 36, 74 and 150 gigs. However that is the least of changes for the new VR150 product family.

Western Digital has moved to a 2.5" form factor with the VelociRaptor, while at the same time providing a unique 3.5" chassis mounting system for the enthusiast desktop market. This mounting system is named "IcePAK" and features a finned aluminum design that offers some degree of thermal dissipation. However, its primary purpose is to ensure this drive works in the multitude of desktop chassis.

The key new features for the "VelociRaptor" are faster connections SATA 3 Gb/s, as apposed to the 1.5 Gb/s for previous models. Faster read/write seek speeds, 4.2 ms/4.7 ms compared to 4.6/5.2. The drives will also show a considerable drop in power dissipation as little as 0.42 Watts in standby and 6.08 Watts during read/write.

Pricing is estimated at $300 for the VelociRaptor and the drive will be available in retail channels in the latter part of May. So these little drive do come with a hefty price tag, however for you geeks out there that are looking for the fastest of the fast early benchmarks do show a reasonable speed increase over current raptor models.

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