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Will WD Refresh The Raptors?

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August 6, 2007 3:53:22 AM

first i'd like to state this isn't any information about a possible refresh. Tried to phrase the topic so I don't mislead people. But I've began to think about this whole WD Caviar SE which has a better MB transfer rate then the raptors...Of course the raptor drives have their own benefits like IO and the 10,000 rpm spin rate... But why not refresh the raptors with PMR and all the current technologies that are running in the current 7,200 rpm hard drives? I don't know if there is a limitation since the raptors spin at 10k which makes it unworkable...but I doubt that would be the case.

Raptor technology is a bit old. Upgrading to 16 mb buffer and all is nice...(Which they have done a lil while back)...But will they make the switch into PMR to push their capabilities even farther? To me it seems like a no brainer..the raptors are getting quite old...and they definitely need a refresh...man I'd love to see one of those perform...especially considering how the hard drive is the biggest bottle neck in our computers...love to see something take it a step farther. Is there a limitation?..or is WD just waiting on something?..Curious on your thoughts.

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August 6, 2007 4:27:17 AM

the last i had read around last year from a representative, was that they wont be doing a major raptor refresh, until they really need to... which might mean even waiting until someone else also releases a 10k sata hdd.

most of the changes so far, aside from the platter densities being increased to 74GB for all the raptors (aside from the dell 160GB raptor i believe), have had less of an impact on performance.

raptors are still the fastest for the majority of desktop situations (access/seek times being the primary reason), but, 7200s are slowly creeping up on them in that way... increasing pmr platter densities largely contibuting to that. this is often not the case, but if STRs were all that mattered though for application performance, then even raid 0 would be on top nearly all the time (if not absolutely all the time), its more the opposite situation for typical desktop uses though.

but, i agree though... if western digital is able to include pmr in the next raptor release, they should, more than anything else it seems, the overall performance improvements should be quite large as a result, assuming the platter densities are able to be increased by much (pmr would be pretty pointless if they didnt).

but, it does appear as if they might just be waiting for the right time, because aside from a few minor refreshes on average, they really havent done a whole lot. its true though that they still dont quite have a reason to release new raptors yet from a performance standpoint, but, it seems that time is indeed nearing... especially with 334GB platter hdds being released (seagate?), and even larger than that not long after i bet.

as far as technically, it doesnt seem theres a reason they 'shouldnt' be able to, not with 300GB 15k scsis available, which more or less throws the density reason out. but, it may just boil down to why they havent yet, waiting/timing?, stability/reliability?, who knows?... i mean, theyre still using sata150 and molex power connectors on the raptor, so, they might be waiting till the technologies have been proven and tested long enough, maybe. it is a server intended hdd after all, and absolute reliability and compatability is what matters most then, in that situation, even more than performance. i guess they might be waiting until other companies start including pmr on their 10k and 15k scsi hdds too, before western digital does with their raptors.

if there is pmr on the raptor refresh, theyll probably start using sata300 as well, as theyll most likely have a reason to use it then.
August 6, 2007 9:07:09 AM

Yea...I was thinking along similar terms. I'd really love to see a PMR raptor. Should theoretically double the size but who knows...they might push it a step further and get us a bit more HD space..it would justify a raptor much more in my eyes. Planning to build a new rig within years end. going to nab 1-2 raptors for my rig...might raid 0 them or might just use them as 2..one with the OS and one with the paging file. Or I might just dual boot Xp and Vista off each drive...with the page file on the opposite drive (hope that makes sense).

But yea..A raptor refresh would be GRANd...so much potential. I just hope we see it relatively soon..within the next year or so. Could you imagine the transfer rate and other increases?...my my it would be grand...truely a waste...But they know what they're doing ^_^...Probably just as you said...more competition or maybe let their current stock deplete to the point where they wouldn't have many of the older ones on the market...who knows ^_^...but of course WD knows =(.
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August 6, 2007 10:03:44 AM

Kamrooz said:
first i'd like to state this isn't any information about a possible refresh. Tried to phrase the topic so I don't mislead people. But I've began to think about this whole WD Caviar SE which has a better MB transfer rate then the raptors...Of course the raptor drives have their own benefits like IO and the 10,000 rpm spin rate... But why not refresh the raptors with PMR and all the current technologies that are running in the current 7,200 rpm hard drives? I don't know if there is a limitation since the raptors spin at 10k which makes it unworkable...but I doubt that would be the case.

Raptor technology is a bit old. Upgrading to 16 mb buffer and all is nice...(Which they have done a lil while back)...But will they make the switch into PMR to push their capabilities even farther? To me it seems like a no brainer..the raptors are getting quite old...and they definitely need a refresh...man I'd love to see one of those perform...especially considering how the hard drive is the biggest bottle neck in our computers...love to see something take it a step farther. Is there a limitation?..or is WD just waiting on something?..Curious on your thoughts.


Like you said "the raptors are getting quite old". Try to google "solid state hard drive".
Once this technology gets refined raptors will be a thing of the past.
August 6, 2007 11:03:19 AM

Well, they did make SATAII raptors but that's not much of an improvement. In Q2 of 2008 I believe, the new 15K raptors are coming out and that should be quite a thing. I know that from a reliable source. Conserning solid state HDD, yea they will be something else as far as speed goes but 250$ for a 150Gb raptor is something everyone can pay but 1000$+ for the same in solid state, isn't. Can't wait to get my hands on that 15K!! (and I will before it's releashed, heheh!!!)
August 6, 2007 11:17:46 AM

Yeah. I should have been more specific when I said that once the ssHD tech gets refined, prices will down and they will rule. I have a 74gb raptor and that thing is loud! Thats the price you pay when you want performance.
August 6, 2007 11:32:03 AM

Indeed..I'mma be nabbing 2 raptors for my build in the next few months. Not looking forward to the noise of my new rig. Getting a Cooler Master Stacker 830 with all the fan slots filled with Scythe fans..the high cfm versions which draw about 68 cfm's at 28 dba. having 11 of them is going to be quite loud..but hopefully since I'm getting those instead of the two current 118 cfm fans I have in my rig should be comparable. Got a lot of high noise parts in this sucker.

But yea..SSHD are still a WAYSSS off from becoming affordable...another downside is you can't recover data if a drive dies...So I believe rotary drives will still be around for a VERY long time.

Blashyrkh...Do you have any links to back it?...really curious if it's true or not. Even though it's a WD drive that has surpassed the raptor in transfer rate...The other competitors should be getting close with PMR technologies..So a refresh should be coming HOPEFULLY soon...if there is some valid info out there then maybe it'll settle the case for me ^_^...a 15k raptor PMR would be quite an astounding thing ^_^..although VERY unlikely...lol..
August 6, 2007 1:50:22 PM

@Kamrooz
Well mate, a family member of mine is very VERY high ranking employ of WD, that's all I'm gonna say. To give you a clue, back in 2000 I played for a couple of weeks with a prototype hybrid 2GB HDD (SS memory plus a 2.5 normal HD) so I've seen some crazy sh@*. I'm positive for the 15k coming out and I'll let you know once I'm holding one which will be next summer. What I don't know is if it's gonna be built around PRM technology. We'll just have to wait and see!
Chears!
August 7, 2007 7:49:11 PM

Would be nice if they did, wouldnt buy one of the new ones but if the old ones came down in price id pick up 3 or 4 of those for a RAID0!!
!