It is 2010 and mechanical hard drives are soon to be displaced by solid state drives (SSD’s) which offer superior performance. At this time, there is still one problem to be overcome by solid state drives; price per gigabyte. Solid state drives are still 2 to 3 times the cost of their mechanical cousins. This makes the WD Digital VelociRaptor 10,000 RPM drive perhaps the last great mechanical drive. In 2010, in the coming age of SSD’s, WD has even released a 600 GB version of the VelociRaptor, the VR200M. This tells you something of the VelociRaptor’s performance that WD would invest in the VelociRaptor line during the current push toward SSD’s.
Recommend this product?
I have been using the 150 GB version of the VelociRaptor for about 2 years. It offered instant performance gains at boot, shut down and at program loading.
My decision to install the VelociRaptor was simple back in 2008. This drive offers several features critical to my needs as a business user. I maintain “mission critical” data for both programming and e-commerce. That made the VelociRaptor’s “enterprise reliability” designed for high duty cycle environments a major plus. This drive is rated at 1.4 million hours MTBF. This drive will probably not let you down!
An added plus is that the WD VelociRaptor consumes 35% less power than the previous generation of WD Raptor drives. Not a big deal, but every watt counts these days!
The 2.5-inch WD VelociRaptor is enclosed in a sturdy 3.5-inch mounting frame with a built-in heat sink. This aids in heat dissipation and lessens vibration. For a mechanical drive, this unit is very quiet. I have a few drives on other PC’s that sound like rattle traps! Not this baby!
The real selling point for the VelociRaptor is its speed. Even when compared to SSD’s the VelociRaptor holds up pretty well. I noticed faster boot times and program start ups after installing XP to the VelociRaptor.
Although the VelociRaptor 150’s performance is of course slower than the current 2010 SSD leader of the pack, the Intel 80 GB X25M, the VelociRaptor offers top performance when compared to most other mechanical hard drives. Compare these two dries by price and we find that the 160GB VelociRaptor can be found on Amazon.com for $118.00 while the Intel 80GB SSD sells for $230.00. This represents roughly half the cost for double the capacity. Of course, the SSD will stomp any mechanical drive in performance. This is where the current buyer’s dilemma lies. Fork out the extra 100 bucks for superior performance or save the cash?
There is another possibility for those with performance at the top of the wish list. Intel offers a new “value” SSD, the 40GB X25-V. This drive offers near X25-M performance for about $118.00 on Amazon. Granted this is a small drive, but could easily perform duty as an OS drive and primary applications drive. Note that the price is identical to the VelociRaptor 150.
With the coming of SSD’s we are starting to see mechanical drives relegated to the role of data storage and backup. With the VelociRaptor line dropping in cost and increasing in capacity, we no longer need to settle for loud and slow data storage/backup drives. As I see it, mechanical drives like the VelociRaptor line will be solidly placed for such use for at least 5 years, perhaps longer. SSD’s will offer the performance users demand while the mechanical drives will offer volume data capacity. I do have to wonder what the general public is storing on 2 terabyte drives. I can see how music and video production requires such large drives, but for the average user, a 2 TB drive seems a bit much.
For what it is worth, I plan to perform an install of Win 7 to an Intel SSD in late 2010. I will be moving my VelociRaptor 150 into a backup role. I will report on my experience when that time comes! Until then, I am very pleased with the speed, reliability and quiet performance of my VelociRaptor 150.