Choose Raptor-X With Moon Roof
Comparing the clear cover of the WD Raptor-X with a moon roof for cars is not quite adequate, as you should never open the hard drive. Yet the insight into the hectic goings of a hard drive is fascinating time and time again. The clear part of the top cover extends from the center of the rotating platters over the arms that are used to position the read/write heads. These movements are exactly what is so interesting to watch, since this happens at an amazing speed. All your brain will perceive is a wild shiver of the arms.
The drive manufacturers usually place their product stickers onto the top of the drive, which is why they had to be relocated on the Raptor-X. WD chose the bottom part that is not covered by the circuit board. Traditionally, Western Digital mounts the ICs on the top of the board, which is why you never see any chips on it. This is done for the sake of protecting the chips from physical damage. The downside, however, is an increase in susceptibility to high temperatures, which is why the Raptor is only allowed to reach 55°C. Drives such as the Seagate Barracuda 7200.9, while running twice the number of rotating platters, is specified for operation at up to 60°C.
We could not find any noticeable difference between the Raptor-X and the regular WD1500AD. Obviously, the integration of the crystalline polycarbonate clear cover does not seem to have a measurable effect on performance or temperature.
The Raptor-X looks a bit naked because there are no stickers or serial number labels on the top. Even the opening vent has been moved to the bottom.
Western Digital places the chips in such a way that they cannot be damaged physically. The image also shows the product sticker. In the middle is a gap whose shape points at the compensating vent, which must never be covered.