Western Digital VelociRaptor 150 GB,Internal,10000 RPM,3.5" (WD1500HLFS) Hard Drive Reviews

Western Digital VelociRaptor 150 GB,Internal,10000 RPM,3.5" (WD1500HLFS) Hard Drive

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Fast and cool, but could be quieter

Mar 10, 2009 (Updated Mar 11, 2009)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Fast, cool, and high quality.

Cons:Little bit noisy.

The Bottom Line: Get this hard drive as the primary operating system drive if you are building a multiple hard drive system. There is no better choice.

First of all, thanks to another reviewer's information, I realized that I have Western Digital VelociRaptor WD1500HLFS 150GB 10000 RPM hard drive, a newer model than the one listed here. So this review is for the model I have.

Very impressive speed. The nearly 40% increase in RPM over the 7200 RPM drives is a significant improvement.  The system start-up is noticeably faster. But the benefit to actual application programs varies. For example, programs that require small amount of data exchange will see minimal benefit.  The speed of these programs is largely determined by the processor speed and RAM, as nearly everything is loaded into the RAM and not dependent much on the hard drive. On the other hand, applications like virus scanning which heavily depends on disk activity to access files will see the biggest benefit. I did a controlled test which showed that virus scanning is at least 30% faster with this disc than a 7200 RPM disk.

Noise is an issue. Anyone who claims this is quiet is probably used to noisy computing environments. If you have a quiet computer in a fairly quiet room, you hear this hard drive distinctively. I have an Antec 900 with all fans running at low speed. It is a quiet case but by no means a silent case.  This hard drive is clearly the most audible component of the entire computer. It is not terribly noisy, and is actually quieter than most old hard drives. But the consumer grade hard drives have improved so much in noise in the last five years that most of them have become near silent. This hard drive is noticeably noisier.

Despite the noise, the hard drive runs cool. My computer has a second hard drive (7200 RPM) in addition to this one. Both have very cool temperatures. The VelociRaptor is even 1° cooler. This is very impressive.

To those who are concerned about the small storage capacity of this hard drive, I'd say, think in terms of your true needs, not numbers. I believe this hard drive is ideal for computers that have multiple hard drives. In a two hard drive system, for example, the faster VelociRaptor can be the primary hard drive for running operating system and programs, and the second hard drive can be a regular large capacity drive for data and backup. For running the operating system and programs, 150 GB is more than enough. I have Windows 7 and tons of programs, which all together occupy only 50 GB, making the VelociRaptor more than sufficient. In fact, I could have just got a much cheaper 74 GB Raptor and still be plenty happy.  For your need of greater capacity, just get a 1 TB drive as a dump drive to hold everything else including data and backup.

All in all, I recommend this hard drive to anyone who is building a multiple hard drive system. There is no better choice for the primary operating system drive.

Recommend this product? Yes

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