Western Digital VelociRaptor 600GB Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Performance 9.5
Power Consumption 8.5
Features 8.8
Value 8.9
Distributor: Western Digital
Reviewer:
Joel Williams

9.1


Western Digital VelociRaptor 600GB

Western Digital have been in the storage game for a considerable amount of time and as graphic cards and processors get faster, hard drive performance hasn't really jumped leaps and bounds... until today.

That's right, Western Digital have truly upped the ante in terms of performance and by introducing a variety of new technological advancements, the VelociRaptor is one of the world's fastest hard drives.

This is superb news for all computer users, especially gamers as hard drive speed effects gaming performance and any extra performance booms really improve the overall experience.

Impulse Gamer reviewed the 600GB SATA model, however there a 450GB model is also available and although it may not offer a terabyte of storage, the speed factor is definitely the standout feature. So how did they achieve all this? 

 

Features

Performance Specifications  
Rotational Speed 10,000 RPM (nominal)
Buffer Size 32 MB
Average Latency 3.00 ms (nominal)
Load/unload Cycles 600,000 minimum
Seek Times
Read Seek Time 3.6 ms (average)
Write Seek Time 4.2 ms (average)
Track-To-Track Seek Time 0.4 ms (average)
Transfer Rates
Buffer To Host (Serial ATA) 6 Gb/s (Max)
Physical Specifications  
Formatted Capacity 600,127 MB
Capacity 600 GB
Interface SATA 6 Gb/s
User Sectors Per Drive 1,172,123,568
Physical Dimensions  
English
Height 0.59 Inches
Length 3.94 Inches
Width 2.75 Inches
Weight 0.48 Pounds
Metric
Height 15 mm
Length 100 mm
Width 69.85 mm
Weight 219 g
Environmental Specifications  
Shock
Operating Shock (Read) 65G, 2 ms
Non-operating Shock 300G, 2 ms
Acoustics
Idle Mode 30 dBA (average)
Seek Mode 0 37 dBA (average)
Temperature (English)
Operating 41 F to 131 F
Non-operating -40 F to 158 F
Temperature (Metric)
Operating 5 C to 55 C
Non-operating -40 C to 70 C
Humidity
Operating 5-95% RH non-condensing
Non-operating 5-95% RH non-condensing
Altitude (English)
Operating -1,000 feet to 10,000 feet
Non-operating -1,000 feet to 40,000 feet
Altitude (Metric)
Operating -305M to 3,050M
Non-operating -305M to 12,200M
Vibration
Operating
Linear 20-300 Hz, 0.75G (0 to peak)
Random 10-300 Hz, 0.008 g / Hz
Non-operating
Low Frequency 0.05 g/Hz (10 to 300 Hz)
High Frequency 20-500 Hz, 4.0G (0 to peak)
Electrical Specifications  
Current Requirements
12 VDC
Read/Write 320 mA
Idle 210 mA
Standby 5 mA
Sleep 5 mA
5 VDC
Read/Write 470 mA
Idle 360 mA
Standby 130 mA
Sleep 120 mA
Power Dissipation
Read/Write 6.20 Watts
Idle 4.30 Watts
Standby 0.70 Watts
Sleep 0.70 Watts

As you can see from the specifications, the VelociRaptor is no slouch when it comes to features and performance. Needless to say, by redesigning traditional hard drive technology, Western Digital have included a next generation 10,000 RPM  and of course the SATA 6 G/s interface with 32MB cache for true high speed performance that severely reduces loading times.

WD also gives the user a 5-year warranty and calculate 1.4 million hours mean time before failures and by our calculations... that's quite a bit of run time! Another interesting feature is that even though WD have increased the performance of this drive, the power consumption is actually quite "green friendly".

Installation

The installation was simple enough, connect the data and power cable and presto, the drive was ready to be used. Windows 7 detected the hard drive immediately and for the purists, we used the following system specifications;

  • Motherboard - Gigabyte GA-MA790GP-DS4G

  • Graphics Card - HD4870 X2

  • Memory - 2048MB (2 x 1024MB) DDR2 CAS4 1066Hz Dominator Corsair

  • Power Supply - Titan 850W ATX Intel AMD PC Case Power Supply

  • Operating System - Microsoft Windows 7 (64-bit)

We tested the drive with SiSoftware Sandra 2010 (System ANalyser, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant), one of the world's most definitive benchmarking programs and the results were quite impressive, especially in relation to read, write and seek speeds.

Sandra 2010 SP2
Read and Write (MB)
Sandra 2010 SP2
Random Access Times (ms)
  (114.23MB/s) Write Index
(119.11MB/s) Read Index
(1.79ms) Write Access Time
(6.12ms) Read Access Time

Another testing program we used was HD Tune 4.0 that showed some close results to other drives. The results once again mirrored those of Sandra 2010 with some decent results in all aspects of data access.

HD Tune 4.0
Transfer Rates
HD Tune 4.0
Random Access Times
  (119.23MB/s) Write Index
(121.99MB/s) Read Index
  (6.5ms) Write Index
 
HD Tune 4.0
Burst MB
(254.2MB/s)
 

In conclusion, the Western Digital VelociRaptor 600GB worked like a charm for not only Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010 but also for general gaming. Starcraft 2 had performance boosts of 30% compared to our Seagate drive. BioShock was also another surprise that had another 15% boost and overall, everything loaded considerably faster.  Adobe's CS5 raced along as well, especially the 64-bit applications which loaded considerably faster, without the long delays.

It may be a little price for now but if you're looking for the best of the best, than I would strong suggest you check out this drive. From gamers to PC enthusiasts, this is definitely a dragon... not a dinosaur!






 
 



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