Temperatures and Noise
When it came to temperatures, we were able to extremely accurately measure the average temperature of the VelociRaptor 1TB and compare that directly against the 600GB model. Interestingly enough, the 1TB VelociRaptor ran so cool even through multiple heavy load tests that it had an average temperature of 26C. This tied it with the next coolest desktop drive that we had tested, the Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB. The only two cooler drives were both laptop drives which are traditionally cooler.
In terms of noise, we were a little disappointed with Western Digital and the VelociRaptor as we noticed almost no difference between what we had experienced with the 600GB VelociRaptor and what we heard from the 1TB VelociRaptor.Value
At launch, Western Digital will be pricing the 1TB drive (WD1000DHTZ) at $319.99. The 500GB model (WD5000HHTZ) will be priced at $209.99 and the 250GB version (WD2500HHTZ) will sell for $159.99. All three drives will come with Western Digital's 5 year warranty and all three will come with Western Digital's IcePack cooling solution. As has occurred in the past, Western Digital will eventually offer the drives without the IcePacks as well. From what we've seen with this drive, that's entirely doable without any major cooling adjustments. When you take into consideration the speeds and reliability of this drive, the $320 pricetag doesn't seem all too bad.
Especially when you consider that the 600GB VelociRaptor launched for $279. While we would have liked to see WD release this drive for the same price that the 600GB launched at, the company has had to deal with the impact of the Thai floods and there's a likelihood that the $320 pricetag reflects a $40 price premium as a result of the continuing drive shortage. While there is no denying that this drive is pretty pricey, there simply aren't any bigger faster drives out there...Conclusion
Western Digital has taken quite a while with the VelociRaptor 1TB considering that we reviewed the 600GB VelociRaptor back in 2010. It took them a little over a year to deliver a new VelociRaptor, but that was after a catastrophe in Thailand which likely bumped back the launch of these drives by 3-4 months.
Nevertheless, the Western Digital 1TB VelociRaptor does not disappoint, it delivers the absolute fastest performance of any hard drive we've tested and is likely to retain that position for the coming year until Seagate comes out with something to compete with it. We were a little dismayed by the amount of noise that the VelociRaptor 1TB produced and the fact that it was essentially the same as the 600GB predecessor, but that aside this drive is fantastic. You unfortunately won't be able to use this drive in you audio production rig unless you run it in another room, but otherwise this drive is great.
Interestingly enough, if you look at how Western Digital marketed the 600GB drive, you'll notice that it was marketed as an enterprise drive. But this time around, Western Digital has abandoned that marketing/branding and gone for more of a prosumer approach. We believe that Western Digital understands their market for these drives and if they will likely sell plenty of these drives in the enterprise as well, but don't need to brand them as such.
Based on all of the performance figures we've been able to test this drive on and the overall quality and value of the drive, we're happy to award the Western Digital 1TB VelociRaptor our Editor's Choice for Prosumer.
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