Since today is officially the first day of NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) Show 2012
, it makes some sense that Western Digital is launching their newest hard drive and focusing it heavily on content production. The Western Digital VelociRaptor 1TB was originally shown to us back during CES and since then we've been eagerly awaiting to get one in our hands for testing since we had already reviewed the previous generation
Everyone knows that in today's world we currently have two different camps, both of whom very well understand their place in the storage market. Companies like Western Digital and Seagate have finally come to admit that they understand the place for SSDs but also assert that hard drives still are not going anywhere. When you consider the fact that SSDs are still too small and still too expensive to accommodate people's every day needs , you realize that many people are forced to buy a hard drive in conjunction with their SSDs.
In no place is this truth more evident than in the world of content production where people who do things like photo editing and video editing are dealing with ever increasing file sizes. As a result of these ever increasing file sizes, content producers find themselves looking towards ever bigger drives. Since bigger drives are becoming the norm, smaller SSDs simply don't accomplish the job alone. Furthermore, as videos and photos become more high resolution, servers both in the cloud and locally require more and more storage, further feeding the demand of hard drives that was perceived to ahve been lost to SSDs in laptops.VelociRaptor Specs
The 1TB VelociRaptor (WD1000DHTZ) looks much like its predecessor, the 600GB VelociRaptor, but with some notable internal changes beyond the obvious increase of 400GB in capacity which is a pretty significant achievement when you consider that this drive is only 2.5" and spins at 10,000 RPMs. The drive is still mounted inside of an IcePack 3.5" mount meaning that this is still intended as a desktop drive, and with appropriate cooling can be used as a 2.5" inside of servers. This is also a more environmentally conscious drive as it is already RoHS compliant and now features a halogen-free design.
The drive also comes in 250GB and 500GB capacities and abandons Western Digital's previous capacities ranging from 74GB, 150GG, 300GB to the biggest 600GB. Like the 600GB VelociRaptor, the 1TB drive packs 64MB of cache and is also SATA 6GB/s. Western Digital claims that this drive not only draws less power than the previous generation, but that it also runs cooler. A claim that we're sure to check out for ourselves. They also feature Western Digital's NoTouch ramp load technology that enables their recording head to never physically touch the disk media to significantly reduce wear to the recording head and media as well as safer transport of the drive.
This drive also features some technologies which have been brought back from the previous generation VelociRaptors. Technologies like Advanced Format
and Pre-emptive Wear Leveling
, which is a technology mostly reserved for SSDs. These technologies combined with WD's newest technologies enable Western Digital to claim this drive to have a 1.4 Million Hour MTBF (mean time between failures) and a 5 year warranty to boot.
The drive is also extremely low power for being 10,000 RPMs as it only consumes ~5-6W under normal usage scenarios and has an operating sound of up to 37 dBA. This last point is probably our biggest complaint about the VelociRaptor and we will see whether or not Western Digital has made the drives quiet enough to be used inside of quiet environments.
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