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Western Digital's VelociRaptor Hard Drive Hits 1 TB

By - Source: Western Digital PR | B 66 comments

The name VelociRaptor has been notorious for performance with hard drives (& dinosaurs, as well), and today Western Digital added another member to its ranks

Western Digital has been producing high performance hard drives since its original Raptor drive in 2003. The Raptor series is known for its performance and the spindle speed operating at 10,000 RPM. Today, WD moved forward with its first 1TB drive based on its newer VelociRaptor on a SATA 6 Gb/s interface, with a 64 MB buffer size. The WD VelociRaptor 2.5-inch hard drive comes in the IcePack enclosure that fits the drive into a standard 3.5-inch system bay and keeps the drive extra cool when installed in a desktop or workstation system. The WD VelociRaptor will come in capacities of 250 GB, 500 GB and 1 TB, dropping the 300 GB and 600 GB versions from the product page. WD is leveraging the enterprise-class drive not only for the enterprise market but for high-performance PCs, Mac computers and professional workstations that require a balance of high performance and capacity.  

Features of the WD VelociRaptor hard drives include:

  • Super speed - SATA 6 Gb/s interface and 64 MB cache optimize the 10,000 RPM WD VelociRaptor.
  • Higher capacity - WD VelociRaptor SATA hard drives employ Advanced Format Technology to achieve capacities up to 1 TB.
  • Rock-solid reliability - Designed and manufactured to workstation standards to deliver stellar reliability in high workload environments.
  • Ultra-cool operation - Consumes less idle power and uses similar active power as the previous generation WD VelociRaptor while offering greater capacity and performance.
  • Rotary Acceleration Feed Forward (RAFF) - Optimizes operation and performance when the drives are used in vibration-prone, multi-drive chassis.
  • NoTouch ramp load technology - The recording head never touches the disk media ensuring significantly less wear to the recording head and media as well as better drive protection when in transit.
  • Environmentally conscious - In addition to being RoHS-compliant, this generation of WD VelociRaptor is also a halogen-free design.


Early reviews of the WD VelociRaptor 1 TB has the drive performing around 215 MB/s read and 205 MB/s write for sequential speeds. These numbers show a nice improvement of WD VelociRaptor 600 MB and begin to hit closer to SATA II SSD speeds. Even with the performance of the 1 TB, the VelociRaptor still comes no where close to the access times of a SSD at 7.1 ms versus 0.1 ms of most SSD. 

WD VelociRaptor hard drives are available now at select distributors, resellers and e-tailers, and come with a five-year limited warranty. Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the WD VelociRaptor 1 TB (model #: WD1000DHTZ) is $319.99 dollars, the 500 GB version (model #: WD5000HHTZ) is $209.99 dollars and the 250 GB version (model #: WD2500HHTZ) is $159.99 dollars. More information about WD VelociRaptor hard drives can be found on the company website

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Top Comments
  • 18 Hide
    mightymaxio , April 17, 2012 6:09 PM
    Good for a server i suppose but for gaming you can get a much faster SSD for that price. Raptors in general died when SSD's came out at the same price.
  • 16 Hide
    alvine , April 17, 2012 6:05 PM
    $319? Thanks but no thanks
  • 14 Hide
    vittau , April 17, 2012 10:50 PM
    hannibalYes velocity raptor is very guiet drive!...

    CDdude55Still running with a 300GB Velocirapter...

    ivan1984They still make these?,SSD's have made VelicoRaptors extinct...

    I'll be down-voted, but seriously, is it that hard to spell VelociRaptor?
Other Comments
    Display all 66 comments.
  • 16 Hide
    alvine , April 17, 2012 6:05 PM
    $319? Thanks but no thanks
  • 18 Hide
    mightymaxio , April 17, 2012 6:09 PM
    Good for a server i suppose but for gaming you can get a much faster SSD for that price. Raptors in general died when SSD's came out at the same price.
  • 7 Hide
    icepick314 , April 17, 2012 6:09 PM
    here is the article benchmarking the drive...

    it's to supplement SSD, not a replacement...obviously...

    wish I can get 2 of them to stripe them...
  • 2 Hide
    nforce4max , April 17, 2012 6:10 PM
    Hmm no thanks but would like to see some benches in crystalmark.
  • -6 Hide
    hellfire24 , April 17, 2012 6:13 PM
    they make a lot of noise.
  • 13 Hide
    jrharbort , April 17, 2012 6:13 PM
    mightymaxioGood for a server i suppose but for gaming you can get a much faster SSD for that price. Raptors in general died when SSD's came out at the same price.

    Last I checked, SSDs just hit $1/GB. The 1TB VelociRaptor is $0.32/GB. They're nowhere near the same price. Although I still think it's a tad too expensive. Somewhere around $0.28/GB would be the sweet spot for the 1TB drive.
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , April 17, 2012 6:16 PM
    Man sure makes my 80 gig velociraptor seem old lol! Tho i wouldnt buy a new raptor anymore, might as well just buy a SSD.
  • 4 Hide
    classzero , April 17, 2012 6:20 PM
    hellfire24they make a lot of noise.

    Have you owned one? I can hear my two 30's, but my Hitachi 500 is noisy as hell.
  • -7 Hide
    WyomingKnott , April 17, 2012 6:22 PM
    The icepack enclosure makes an _excellent_ sounding board, amplifying the noise of the drive manyfold. Removing it voids the warranty, but makes the drive noise bearable.
  • 5 Hide
    hannibal , April 17, 2012 6:28 PM
    Yes velocity raptor is very guiet drive!
    But it is getting marginal product. I would very much like to see velocity raptor with ssd cache! It would be nice product! Not cheap, but fast and cheapet than pure ssd version.

  • -4 Hide
    thechief73 , April 17, 2012 6:32 PM
    Based on info from the older models 10,000rpm is noisy(probably still noisy) and the price is still to high to justify getting these drives... Buy a couple 1Tb Blacks, raid 0, and your saving $ over one Raptor and will have twice the storage space. On top of the something spinning @ 10,000rpm is bound to wear faster than standard drives
  • 11 Hide
    LORD_ORION , April 17, 2012 6:33 PM
    My 74GB is still running after 8 years of daily use. :D 

    They are fantastic drives.
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , April 17, 2012 7:06 PM
    This is an excellent drive. The SSD cache only works well for very small workloads. Sequential transfer rates will be a lot higher without it. If you want SSD cache, add a 40 GB drive to Intel's new Rapid Store interface or whatever their SSD cachine technology is called. It is well over 200 MB/s now and at $319, you can buy two of them for the price of an SSD, stripe them, and get over 450 MB/s transfer rates like SSDs but with 2 TB of drive space.

    I like SSDs, but many of the older models (and some of the newer ones) lose performance over time (though TRIM address this), and they are WAY too expensive.

    Using an SSD and having 220 GB of USABLE drive space is just not a useful thing unless you are space constrained such as in a laptop. For desktops and workstations, striping 2 velocity raptors and getting 450 MB/s with 2 TBs of drive space is a much better solution... even with higher access times.

  • -4 Hide
    Anonymous , April 17, 2012 7:19 PM
    They still make these?,SSD's have made VelicoRaptors extinct.
  • 2 Hide
    gamerk316 , April 17, 2012 7:22 PM
    They still make these?,SSD's have made VelicoRaptors extinct.

    Call me when SSD's can last for 20+ years. Until then, I won't touch them. I don't want to be forced to buy a new SSD every 5 years because the flash decided to die on me.
  • 3 Hide
    freggo , April 17, 2012 8:14 PM
    250 GB version is $159.99...
    I realize that quality costs money; but this is getting close (well, sort off) to SSD territory with the speed advantage obviously on the SSD side.

  • 0 Hide
    False_Dmitry_II , April 17, 2012 8:21 PM
    gamerk316Call me when SSD's can last for 20+ years. Until then, I won't touch them. I don't want to be forced to buy a new SSD every 5 years because the flash decided to die on me.

    I would normally agree with such a sentiment, but how long do you really use a single hard drive? I generally end up upgrading simply due to performance.

    Sure nearly all the drives no longer in my desktop are running other things now, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't have done it anyway.
  • 2 Hide
    amstech , April 17, 2012 8:26 PM
    Call me when a spinner can last 20+ years.
    7-9 years is about the most you will get out of the toughest HD's, even the industrial drives we get here at work for our big RAID/backups.

    I'd take an SSD over these anyday.
    Noiseless, rocket ship performance with great reliability. Just don't use over 65% of its space on a SSD to ensure max performance/life.
  • -4 Hide
    __-_-_-__ , April 17, 2012 8:39 PM
    imvho this product shouldn't exist. it's just available in 3.5" form factor, sure 2.5 but with those heat and power and size requirements it can't fit in a notebook. so, with 315$ for 1TB I could buy several very high performance normal sata HDD's and put them in RAID and it would be cheaper and better performing then the velociraptor for the same amount of storage. if you want much better you have SSD's.
  • 3 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , April 17, 2012 8:59 PM
    This would make a great scratch drive for project assets. Why is it that none of the price criticisms above take drive capacity into consideration? Most similarly priced SSDs offer less than 1/3 the capacity. I would think that in order to justify the massive increase in price per gig, you would expect to see a similar increase in average real world performance. Unless you have a top of the line SSD I don't think that'll happen, and in that case the discrepancy in price per GB can grow even further. But I guess the average gaming enthusiast doesn't really care much about that when they can get by just fine with 128-256GB.

    10000rpm drives still have their place in computing, though they may have become far less relevant for the gaming enthusiast over the past couple of years, in workstation environments involving production work mechanical drives are still king. Here both performance and capacity matter, and SSD's are still far too expensive given their incredibly high price per gig and relatively limited performance benefits when rendering/encoding. And yes, these are by far the most time consuming aspects of this work.

    Anandtech did a very good review of the new velociraptor...
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