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Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000GLFS 300GB 10000 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000GLFS 300GB 10000 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
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Η δημοπρασία ξεκίνησε:
07/01/2009 - 22:35
Έληξε στις:
11/01/2009 - 22:35

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Western Digital - The VelociRaptor Arrives

Back in 2003, Western Digital announced the Raptor series of high performance hard drives that were quickly adopted and loved by gamers and enthusiasts around the world.  The Raptor series has come a long way since 2003.  The original 36GB Raptor started off things right with an impressive 10K PRM spindle, but the drive was just too small for the market Western Digital was targeting. Western Digital quickly came out with a 74GB Raptor in 2004 to help give enthusiasts the capacities they needed!  Then in 2006 Western Digital announced the Raptor WD1500 series with a SATA interface that supported 1.5Gbps. The RaptorX took hard drives to the next level with a window that allowed you to see inside the drive while it worked.  Western Digital was living the high life, but that was all back in 2006.  Over the past two years, other hard drive makers have been able to catch up to the performance level of the WD1500ADFD and consumers were left to wonder how Western Digital would respond.

Western Digital VelociRaptor SATA Hard Drive

The answer showed up on our doorstep late last week! Western Digital has moved on from the Raptor it seems, that, or the Raptor evolved.  The latest creation from Western Digital is the VelociRaptor VR150.  It has the same 16MB buffer size and 10k RPM spindle speed as the old 150GB Raptor, but that is about all the similarities one will find between the two drives.

Western Digital VelociRaptor SATA Hard Drive

The VelociRaptor WD3000GLFS 300GB hard drive offers higher performance, both in terms of access times, IOPS, and sustained data transfer rates. Western Digital was also able to double the capacity and interface speed while keeping the noise levels and temperatures the same. Impressed?  Make sure you're sitting down!

Western Digital VelociRaptor SATA Hard Drive

The VelociRaptor VR150 hard drive is not actually a 3.5" hard drive as one would expect. It's actually a 2.5" HDA drive!  If you are thinking about sticking one of these drives in a notebook you might want to think again as the 15mm z-height is higher than a standard notebook.  In order for the VelociRaptor to mount up in a normal ATX, BTX or DTX chassis the folks at Western Digital have placed the drive into a heat sink that doubles as a mounting adapter! Western Digital calls this housing the IcePAK as it is said to lower the drive temperatures by 5C!

Western Digital VelociRaptor SATA Hard Drive

Since the VelociRaptor is more like a notebook drive rather than a desktop drive, some care must be used when connecting it to your computer. We usually use WD SecureConnect cables on the test bench, but they don't work on the VelociRaptor. Since the WD Velociraptor is not a standard 3.5" SATA drive it is incompatible with many external hard drive enclosures and lacks the 4-pin molex connector that has been found on the older Raptor hard drives.

Something else that needs to be pointed out is that Western Digital does not want the hard drive to be removed from the IcePAK. Removing the drive out of the IcePAK will VOID the 5-year warranty.  For those that want to remove the four torx bit screws on the bottom, please keep this in mind. Western Digital said that the warranty voiding is because hardly any desktop cases accept 2.5" hard drives and they will likely be improperly mounted.

The Test System

Before we look at the numbers, here is a brief glance at the test system that was used.

The Test System

All testing was done on a fresh install of Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit. All benchmarks were completed on the desktop with no other software programs running. All of the modules were run in dual channel mode with a 120mm fan placed on top of them to keep them cool. The XFX GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB used NVIDIA ForceWare 169.28 video card drivers and the ASUS P5E3 motherboard using BIOS version 1009, which was the most recent available when testing was done.

Memory Settings:

  • 1333MHz @ 7-7-7-20 (DDR3) with 2.0V

Here is the Intel X38 Express Test platform:

Intel Test Platform



Live Pricing


See Above LGA775 CPUs


ASUS P5E3 Deluxe


4GB Corsair DDR3 1800C7

Video Card

EVGA GeForce 8800 GTS 512

Hard Drive

Western Digital RaptorX 150GB


Corsair Nautilus 500

Power Supply

PC Power and Cooling 1KW

Operating System

Windows Vista Ultimate 64-Bit

The Test Drives

It should be noted that Western Digital sent the following notice to us with the test drives.

The VR150 family of drives is in the process of firmware testing and validation in Western Digital’s Functional Integrity Test (FIT) Lab using proprietary test software and tools. Overall FIT test coverage is approximately 90% complete. CCC: UX being provided on engineering samples is known to have the following issues:

 • Performance results are still being tuned and is not representative of the final released firmware

Basically this article should be treated as a preview since the firmware is not final.

The Test Drives

The firmware on the Western Digital VelociRaptor that we are testing today is 03.03V0X.  When a new firmware version has been released for the final shipping drives, we will take another look at the VelociRaptor performance numbers.


PCMark Vantage

PCMark Vantage provides you with the correct tools for performance measurement of every type of Personal Computer with Microsoft's new Microsoft Windows Vista operating system from Office Productivity computers and Gaming Machines to PCs configured for the creative user. With an easy to use interface and clear scoring, you will be able to select exactly the type of tests you want to use and then choose the right upgrade components or complete PC that will fit your needs. This easy-to-use product gives you the same tools and knowledge that virtually every professional tester in the industry uses. We used the hard drive test in PCMark Vantage to put the two hard drives to the test to see which one is the best!

HD Tach v3.0.4

HD Tach is a low level hardware benchmark for random access read/write storage devices such as hard drives, removable drives (ZIP/JAZZ), flash devices, and RAID arrays.  HD Tach uses custom device drivers and other low level Windows interfaces to bypass as many layers of software as possible and get as close to the physical performance of the device possible.

HD Tach Benchmark Results

HD Tach Benchmark Results

Benchmark Results: The Western Digital VelociRaptor was the clear winner on HD Tach 3.0.4! The burst speed of 251.4 MB/s made the 132.9 MB/s seen on the 150GB Raptor look like a joke. The random access time was 1ms lower on the VelociRaptor and the CPU usage was the same. The Raptor is obviously SATA 1.5 and is the reason that the performance tops off just under 150 MB/s for the burst speed. This just goes to show how badly WD need an enthusiast SATA 3.0 drive!  It should be noted that for this test that both were secondary drives on the same system. The average read speed was found to be 36.6% faster on the VelociRaptor!

PCMark Vantage Benchmark Results

The overall score showed that the VelociRaptor owned the old Raptor! The overall score showed an improvement of 62%.

PCMark Vantage Benchmark Result Details

When looking at the detailed test results we see solid performance on the VelociRaptor on every test, but the test for Windows Media Center really stands out.

HD Tune v3.00

HD Tune Pro 3.00 is an extended version of HD Tune which includes many new features such as: write benchmark, secure erasing, AAM setting, folder usage view, disk monitor, command line parameters and file benchmark.

HD Tune File Benchmark

HD Tune File Benchmark

Benchmark Results: The Western Digital VelociRaptor was the victor in HD Tune! The burst speed of 179.4 MB/s on the VelociRaptor was 67.6% faster than the 107.0 MB/s seen on the 150GB Raptor. The random access time was 1.4ms lower on the VelociRaptor and the CPU usage was roughly the same. It should be noted that for this test that both were secondary drives on the same system. The average read speed was found to be 33.4% faster on the VelociRaptor!

64MB File Test

HD Tune File Benchmark

HD Tune File Benchmark

Benchmark Results: Running the built-in file benchmark test in HD Tune showed once again just how much more performance the VelociRaptor has to offer when moving 64MB files.

Sandra & Crysis Load Times

Sisoft; Sandra XII SP1:

With Sandra XII SP1 you can now easily compare the performance of the tested device with its speed and its (published) power (TDP)! Sandra XII SP1 also has SSE4 (Intel) and SSE4A (AMD) benchmark code-paths, which is great for those of you testing next-generation AMD Intel chips. Since we are testing hard drives today we will be using the physical disk benchmark.

Sandra XII SP1 Benchmark Scores

First up is the WD1500, which was able to have a drive index score of 63.40MB/Sec with a random access time of 8ms.

Sandra XII SP1 Benchmark Scores

The Western Digital VelociRaptor 300GB hard drive was able to out perform the 150GB Raptor as it had a drive index of 95.33MB/Sec with a random access time of just 7ms.

Results: Sandra XII SP1 showed that WD VelociRaptor hard drive had a 50.4% faster drive index score and a 1ms quicker random access time!

Crysis v1.21:

Crysis Benchmark Results

Crysis is a science fiction first-person shooter computer game that was developed by Crytek, and published by Electronic Arts. It was released on November 15, 2007 in the United States. The game is based off the CryENGINE2 game engine, which is an extended version of CryENGINE, the game engine behind the hit game Far Cry a number of years ago. The full retail version of the game Crysis was used with patch 1.21 for benchmarking.

Crysis Benchmark Results

Results:  Crysis has a built in timer that is used to calculate the amount of time it takes to load a level, which is perfect for testing the differences between these two hard drives. A difference was noted when we loaded the level eight times and took the average of the time it took to load the first level of the game at a point we saved. The decrease in load times was found to be 2%.







Temperature & Conclusion

In the introduction we talked about how the VelociRaptor used the IcePAK to help reduce heat while being able to mount in 3.5" drive bays. Western Digital sent over a FLIR image of the VelociRaptor to show the hot spots with and without the IcePak.

FLIR Picture of the VelociRaptor

The thermal image on the left is with the IcePAK in use; the hottest temperature shown there is 33.5C. The thermal image on the right is of the VelociRaptor without the IcePAK; the hot spot is listed at 41.0C. This means that the WD IcePAK reduces the drive temperature by 7.5 degrees C. Western Digital said when doing this test a number of times the real average is 7.1C, which is impressive

Image Description

When we were testing the drives we noticed that at idle HD Tune Pro 3.00 noticed a 19C internal temperature difference between the WD1500ADFD and the WD3000GLFS.  Not only has our testing shown that the VelociRaptor is the quicker of the two drives it is also the hands down temperature winner! 

The Test Drives

Final Thoughts and Conclusions:

The Western Digital VelociRaptor was a blast to test since it's not every day something this new and innovative comes across the test bench. The Western Digital VelociRaptor is hands down the fastest single hard drive we have ever tested and it is hard to believe that the firmware is still being improved.  It will be exciting to see how much more performance Western Digital will be able to get out of the VelociRaptor before it hits retail stores in May.  As it stands right now having a burst speed of over 250 MB/s and a sustained read speed pushing over 100 MB/s is enough to put a smile on our face. Just imagine running RAID 0 with a pair of these!

If the performance hasn't sold you maybe the doubled capacity of the VelociRaptor has.  The new 300GB capacity will be a welcomed addition to those wanting more space and needing an upgrade.  It would have been nice to see ever larger capacities, but Raptor users have becomed used to giving up space for extra performance.  The other highlight of the drive is the move away from the standard 3.5" form factor to the new 2.5" HDA design that the VelociRaptor uses.  Obviously this small form factor with smaller platters means that Western Digital has some serious density going on, which in turn helped performance. The small form factor also allowed for better cooling possibilites thanks to the WD IcePAK. Down the road when chassis designers come out with 2.5" hard drive mounts it should be get really interesting. 

Right now the Western Digital VelociRaptor 300GB drive is only available in several Alienware Computer systems. The WD VelociRaptor will be made available to the channel in mid-May if everything works out the way WD is planning. When it comes to cost the MSRP is set at $299. This might seem a bit high to some people, but keep in mind the 150GB Raptor WD1500 is selling for $143 plus shipping still two years after it was launched. Both drives are right about $1 per GB and the price versus performance winner is clearly the VelociRaptor!

Legit Bottom Line: The Western Digital VelociRaptor doesn't disappoint and has just raised the performance bar for hard drive makers. The VelociRaptor will be the hard drive to use in performance systems until SSD drives come down way down in price and up in capacity.

Legit Reviews Editors Choice Award

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