Western Digital increases capacity of Raptor drive to 150 GB

Lake Forest (CA) - Western Digital (WD) today announced that it has doubled the size of its Raptor harddrive. Already considered to be the best performing SATA device available today, the manufacturer enhanced the drive with I/O performance improvements through native command queuing (NCQ).

The Raptor has been dominating hard disk benchmarks since its introduction in 2003. WD now addressed some of the weak features of its original SATA drive in the first major overhaul in nearly two years. Most significantly, the Raptor's storage space has increased from 74 GB to 150 GB.

The platters of the drive continue to spin with 10,000 rpm, but WD integrated a few new features that should help to increase the drive's performance. The Raptor now supports NCQ instead of tagged command queuing (TCQ) to speed up I/O processes. Also new are 16 MB cache to accelerate data transfer speeds for in networked environments. According to the manufacturer, the drives average seek time has been improved to 4.6 ms. WD said the new Raptor is shipping in volume at this time and is expected to be available for about $300 in retail and etail stores.