Back to Article

  • pjconoso - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    The heatsink is quite massive for such a small hard drive. How hot do these things run? The price is very tempting considering that SSDs are VEEERRYY expensive here in our country (Philippines) but if I'm coming from the regulard Caviar Black and considered something like this, would it be worth it? Reply
  • Goty - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    It's not that the drive runs hot, it's that it's a 2.5" unit and therefore doesn't fit well in most desktop cases. I can't remember where, but I remember some tests that were done not too long ago comparing temps with and without the heatsink and there was little difference. Reply
  • nurd - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    Just so. If you actually hold them (well, the 300's at least, and I'm assuming these aren't much different), you'll note that there really isn't a lot of tight contact area for heat to be sunk into it. It's just a carrier; the "heatsink" look is cosmetic. Reply
  • pjconoso - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    In my opinion, they should've opted for the cheap bracket support for mounting this thing as a 3.5-inch hard drive rather than upping the cost because of the heatsink - that would've brought the prices down a bit, don't you think? Reply
  • HillBeast - Wednesday, April 07, 2010 - link

    The thing is though, this drive is designed to be in servers and the like and is designed to handle 24/7 operation so if they just opted for a cheap bracket then it will most likely get VERY hot and would probably seize. I have seen this happen to a Seagate once. Any cooling is better than none and I'd rather pay for quality goods. Reply
  • sxr7171 - Wednesday, April 07, 2010 - link

    What part of "there wasn't any difference in drive temperature" or "the
    heatsink" is purely cosmetic did you not understand?
  • HillBeast - Wednesday, April 07, 2010 - link

    What part of any cooling is better than none did you not understand? What part of running these puppies 24/7 in a server with several stacked upon each other whre they will get almost no ventilation and ANY cooling would be better than a crappy metal brack do you not understand? Reply
  • Calin - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    In a server they'll probably stay in 2.5 inch enclosures (and for OEM, they'll probably bought without the plate extender). As for heat, they're the the coolest of the test (including 3.5" magnetic hard drives) Reply
  • beachlife - Tuesday, August 03, 2010 - link

    Do you have that test result?
    I find it interesting that the VelociRaptor drive with the Ice Pack Heat sink and one without (WD4500HLHX vs. WD4500BLHX) BOTH have the same Operating temp, 0-55, not sure how this is possible, our testing does not confirm this
  • Imperceptible - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    I would have liked to see the 2TB variant of the WD Black series used for the sake of comparison, considering that's currently the fastest mechanical drive (apart from these new raptors). Reply
  • Aezay - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    The model used in this review is the new WD1002FAEX disk, which is the upgrade to the WD1001FALS model. This new drive is considerably faster, even compared to the 2TB Black (WD2001FASS).
  • Imperceptible - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    Not according to this review: Reply
  • Belard - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    Er... either way... that is more up to the user.

    RAID 0 adds several additional points of failure... Considering how fast G2 as it is. G3 with SATA 3.0 would be more exciting thou... :)

    I'd still go with a single drive. That is me.
  • Imperceptible - Wednesday, April 07, 2010 - link

    Replying to the wrong comment? This has nothing to do with RAID. Just simply mentioning that the WD Black 2TB is the fastest single mechanical drive and it would have been nice if it was used in this review. But in the real world, I'd only ever use it as a storage hdd, with an SSD as the main drive. Reply
  • deputc26 - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    I as thinking the same, 2Tb Black is this drives nearest non-SSD competitor. Reply
  • Romulous - Monday, August 30, 2010 - link

    I concur. The WD2003FYYS is no slouch. Reply
  • vol7ron - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    First pass:
    there in while -> there in a while

    Also when typing a comment, if you forget the subject, this is the error message:
    "Account creation was unsuccessful. Please correct the errors and try again."

    I think "account creation" is a little misleading. Perhaps a "Please type in a subject" would be okay.
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    I'm a bit confused. If these are using 200GB platters both the 450 and 600GB versions are both 3 platter drives which doesn't really make sense. A 2 platter 400GB model would be a more reasonable step down from the top. Reply
  • vol7ron - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    Perhaps the 450GB drives, which as Anand has indicated is using 150GB platters, are really using damaged 200GB platters due to the manufacturing anomalies.

    - just a hypothesis that needs testing.

  • DanNeely - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    Where does it indicate that the 450 is using a 150GB platter? The table on the first page lists it as a 200GB. The 150 is the prior generation model. Reply
  • jasperjones - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    I have the same question. How do you get 450GB capacity with a platter size of 200GB?

    By using three platters and rending some space on each platter unusuable??????
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    Correct, you use 200GB platters and don't use all of the space. It's like microprocessor binning, but with platters instead :)

    Take care,
  • SunLord - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    Hey Anand in theory wouldn't the 450GB drive be faster then a 600GB drive if they configured the firmware to not use the inner 50GB on each of the 3 platters? Reply
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    Which would explain why there isn't much price difference between the 450 and 600GB models, but as you pointed out the price difference is so little as to be rather meaningless.

    Plus, with the combo of the 80GB X25-M and 1TB WD Black available for $10 more than the 600GB VR, the only consumer use for these I can see is if you are limited to a single drive with a tiny case or something.
  • Spivonious - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    A 400% price increase for 10-15% performance increase? No thanks, I'll stick with my regular old 7200RPM drive. Reply
  • Chloiber - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    These days, I don't see a reason why I should buy a Raptor. I get all my programs on an SSD, even some games. The rest of my data consinsts of music, movies and some archives. So basically I don't care about random read/write performance on these drives. Plus I need BIG drives. 1-2TB HDDs reach nearly the same sequential transfer rates as the raptors. Plus I dont wan't such noisy components in my system.

    If you only want 1 drive, then maybe the velociraptor is the way to go. But getting 1 drive is the worst decision one can make. I would rather get 2 crappy HDDs than 1 fast HDD.

    As you wrote in the conclusion...performance wise, the raptors are really great, but these days, SSD + (cheap) HDD is the way to go imho.
  • vol7ron - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    Agreed. SSDs replaced the need for Raptors, which makes me sad. Other than that, cheap, flexible storage is needed - as attributed by Moore's Law. Reply
  • rpsgc - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    This review is useless without an SSD to compare to. Reply
  • vol7ron - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    You're right, but as stated, go to the workbench and compare for those figures. You'll see that the SSDs would have drastically skewed the graphs. Reply
  • Voo - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    Yeah but they could've been added to some of latter graphs without a problem (the AT bench for example), that would be inconsistent, but would give some nice overviews without clobbering the graphs too much. Reply
  • vol7ron - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    Agreed, it could be done, but it would also cause more confusion when you could see data in one place, but not in another. Not to mention, it's probably easier not to have to worry about it from an editor's standpoint - a bad excuse, but probably true.

  • Muon - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    Skewing the graphs is a ludicrous argument not to include SSD in the test. Why not use a logarithmic scale? I guess maybe people in the USA are too dumb to understand such graphs and would think the performance difference is much smaller then it really is. Reply
  • Earthmonger - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    What would be the point of including SSD results?

    Would you compare a horse and buggy to a turbo-diesel 18-wheeler?

    A wax candle to a halogen headlamp?
  • HotFoot - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    People aren't really selling oxen and wagons to compete with 18-wheelers, whereas the Raptor here is a new product brought into the high-performance storage for desktops market. It certainly is competing against SSDs or a combination of SSD+HDD.

    I think the general consensus is if you're wanting a lot of performance in a desktop, you'd do better to take the $330 and buy an 80 GB SSD and a 1 TB HDD. I think, given it's about the same price for nearly double the storage capacity, it's be a VERY interesting combination to see on the performance charts.

    This entire article basically starts out with the understanding that the new Raptors were obsolete before they ever launched to market.
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    The assumption here is someone who wants a VelociRaptor for whatever reason has already ruled out an SSD. If I threw in SSD results it'd be very difficult to make comparisons between the VR and other hard drives as they'd get compressed in the chart.

    In the not too distant future we'll allow cross technology comparisons between HDDs and SSDs in Bench, but until then I figured just pointing folks at Bench if they wanted SSD results would suffice.

    Take care,
  • jimhsu - Wednesday, April 07, 2010 - link

    Not exactly. Even using this drive in lieu of a SSD for a boot drive is "stupid" (which I think it is), people with hundreds of gigabytes of Steam games or such simply aren't satisfied with the performance of a 1 TB drive. Putting 500 GB of games on SSD is ... expensive. Plus as I have shown in some forum posts, *most* modern games aren't so sensitive to random read/write rates anyways, so the benefit of a SSD is less than for general apps. (MMORPGs, particularly WoW in my testing, are a very clear exception) Reply
  • vol7ron - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    "Skewing the graphs is a ludicrous argument not to include SSD in the test."
    I'm guessing most figures from these tests are not done all at once.  The charts are more likely a compilation of all the singular tests for that product, for that test bed.  Meaning one test may have been run a month ago.  Therefore, the SSDs are included in the tests, the results are just posted someplace else. -- go check the storage bench

    "Why not use a logarithmic scale?"
    Charts are included to have something visible and simple, not something you want to have think about to understand what it represents - that's the whole idea of chart vs table.  Bar graphs are perfect because they are proportional and are able to list quanity, rather than a power or base of that quanity.  Additionally, how would propose introducing a logarithmic chart - instituting a trendline? - if you take each value to the same base log, you're going to have the same problem with scale, and if you're using the trendline, your graph may be relational, but it will be also be visually innacurate for this type of data.

    "I guess maybe people in the USA are too dumb to understand such graphs and would think the performance difference is much smaller then it really is."
    That may be.  Again, you'd be losing the quick-glance feature of the charts.  Not to mention, AT probably has some simple charting software (or macros) that they use, which would need to be changed.  If something is so much different, it's not worth including or modifying the portion of your chart.  SSDs are in a league of their own and therefore have their own charts - HDDs are included in them because they won't skew the SSD chart AND the value doesn't need to be legible, all that needs to be seen is that the HDDs are insignificant.  Because this particular value is about HDDs, the visual true-value comparison is necessary.  You would not get that if an SSD was present.

  • vol7ron - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    I'm just curious what the Windows index rating is. I know that doesn't really account for anything, but I like looking at that, for some awful reason. Reply
  • RaistlinZ - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    I can buy two Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB drives ($180.00) and put them in RAID 0 and get way more performance, and way more storage space, for 2/3 of the price of the 450GB Raptor. So what's the point of these Raptors exactly? I still don't see where they fit in. Reply
  • Fastidious - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    Yeah, they seem pointless. I never understood why people buy them. With SSD around now it's just that much worse. Reply
  • HotFoot - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    People used to buy Raptors for the superior seek times. Where these drives were great was for loading programs. Throughput on large files isn't usually the consideration. RAID 0 does boost throughput, but increases seek time.

    But Raptors will never touch even the lowest-performance SSDs for random IO. These drives are completely obsolete as far as I can tell.
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    Not quite completely, but the number of cases where a 7200RPM drive isn't fast enough, several hundred GB of high speed storage space is needed, and a $600-2000 sticker price for several SSDs is too high is much smaller than the raptor market was several years ago.

    I doubt we'll see a raptor revision after this one unless the cost of turning a SAS drive into a raptor is negligible.
  • marraco - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    Worse, to match the storage capacity of the 450Gb raptor, you only need to use 10% of each 2Tb disk. This way you short stroke it, accelerating seek and random times.

    If you own an X58 chipset, you also may use the first partition as RAID0, and the remaining 90% space in RAID 0, or witouth RAID.
  • coolkev99 - Wednesday, April 07, 2010 - link

    Not quite fair to compare the MSRP of a drive that's not even in the retail channel, to the discount OEM price of an existing drive. Reply
  • Belard - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    Anyone else notice that "VR200M" is Subliminal Message to say "VROOM" as in fast? :)

    But these Raptors are simply not worth it any more. $330 for 600GB drive? Also they are the LOUDEST drives you can get over any other HD... and of course SDs wins hands down ag 0db.

    The best setup is still the Hybrid SSD+HD for desktops.

    $225 = 80GB intel X25-M G2 (Come on G3)
    $ 85 = 1TB Seagate 7200.12 (On this review, Seagate are the quietest drives and its what I use)

    $310 = Total for 1.08GB of storage that would dominate any Raptor.
  • synaesthetic - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    No, not one 80GB X-25M.

    Two 40GB X-25V in RAID 0.

  • Romulous - Monday, August 30, 2010 - link

    You need to look at the point of the Raptor. Cheap, fast enterprise drives, which is a middle ground between sata and sas. I've setup several vsphere servers with 300GB raptors in raid 10 (8 drives) and they perform very well. Infact, even better than 8 15k sas drives in raid 5 on the same controller. For Virtual Machines, they work great. Of course this is no SAN thus no clustering is available. Reply
  • Xenoterranos - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    Definitely glad I bought a 1TB caviar black. The performance benefits just aren't there given the loss in drive space, but for a high-end notebook, I could see it being a real competitor. Reply
  • AssBall - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    .... Except that it is too tall to fit in notebooks. Reply
  • Glenn - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    I bought into the first three generations of Raptors for the seek times. That is the single most irritating thing for me when using a higher performance computer. Damn HDs always slow everything down. I have migrated to SSDs now and will never look back.

    And often left unsaid in Raptor discussions, is their propensity to get noisier and noisier over there lifespan, to the point you think there are gremlins living inside your computer!
  • Makaveli - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    I really think they should have gone with 300GB's platters dropped the 450GB model and release just a single platter 300GB's model and 2 platter 600GB model. Sell the 300GB model for $199 and the 600GB model for $299.

    I'm already using Intel SSD + 1TB Black for storage so I won't be buying one, raptors are dead to me!
  • efeman - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    I have two VR150's in RAID-0. Is there any chance you could compare performance of the new VR's to that (or two VR300's, of course). Reply
  • Hacp - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    Dear Anand,
    It would be helpful if you had some random latency tests, because that is what makes mechanical drives so horrible. Also, would be helpful if you did some short stroked benchmarks with this drive. Finally, I would like to compare it to an SSD drive. I know you are short on time but it would really make the review more interesting. Keep up the good work.
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    The random tests actually give you latency, just represented in MB/s instead of ms.

    For example:

    4KB random write test, 3 outstanding IOs:

    VR200M got 1.9MB/s average write speed

    That's 1945.6 KB/s (1.9MB/s * 1024KB/MB), which is 486.4 IOPS (1945.6KB/s / 4KB/IOP). That gives us IOs per second, or if we take the inverse we get seconds per IO: 2.05ms. Now since we've got 3 outstanding IOs that's 3 x 2.05ms or 6.16ms.

    Latency is represented, just in the form of MB/s :)

    Take care,
  • AstroGuardian - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    Anand, please if you feel like telling us; you mentioned you have 1 x SSD and 2 x 1Tb drives in you personal computer in RAID1. What kind of 1Tb drives did you put there?
    Just a curiosity. I would like to know what your choice was...

  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    I've got a pair of old Hitachi 1TB HDT721010SLA360 drives in my machine. I just used them because I had them laying around with no other purpose :)

    Take care,
  • pjconoso - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    Are you actually using them? :) I could use a couple of those - 'wouldn't mind if they're slow as hell, lol. Reply
  • AstroGuardian - Wednesday, April 07, 2010 - link

    Naaah dude, those drives are just great. We have plenty of those here in Europe. I have seen many defective Seagates, Spinpoints, few WDs but i have never seen a dead Hitachi (except for one of mine which i sent to death myself one angry morning...).

    Great choice Anand, but i still kind a think you chose those drives for a reason (what could that be lol) and not just because they were laying around. Haha....
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    We have had one Hitachi, a Maxtor, a few Seagates, and a bunch of Samsung Drives die here at work. Reply
  • AstroGuardian - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    Haha, there you go. The Samsungs die every day. I have no idea what their issues are, especially those F3 - RAID Class drives. About the Maxtor i think it's time has come to pass away don't you think? Hehe Reply
  • pjconoso - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    Maxtor's with Seagate, so there. Reply
  • ClagMaster - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    These are good drives carrying on the Raptor tradition, but at the asking price at ~$0.60/Gb, way too pricy.

    I am going to wait next year for third generation SSD's at $0.50/Gb and 2-4x the current bandwidth before switching over.
  • leonsk - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    Agree with Anand that SSD bor boot drive and 2 large HDs in RAID-1 is the most effective rig. What controller do you use? Or are you with software RAID? Reply
  • AstroGuardian - Wednesday, April 07, 2010 - link

    Of course not mate. Software RAID is dead. I am sure he is using ICH10R's RAID controller.... Right Anand? Reply
  • bobbyto34 - Wednesday, April 07, 2010 - link

    I have to change my primary hard drive (Samsung Spinpoint F1) because of some read failures...
    I'm hesitating between a good ol' 1TB 7200 drive, an x-25M 160Gb or a new Velociraptor.

    The computer will be used as music station with Sonar and sound banks. The current problem is that it's quite slow when loading those enormous sound banks with a 7200 drive.

    I would like good performance in loading these sound banks, with silence because it's dedicated to music (and some gaming :p), and with reasonable disk space... For the moment, I can't see a good compromise with those 3 parameters. Am I wrong ?
  • slickr - Wednesday, April 07, 2010 - link

    What the heck were you talking there buddy?
    You just buy 2 1TB HD and an SDD drive, to be faster. Do you know how much such configuration would put you back?

    If not, go for the new raptor. Oh really, you just found out hot water. How about you mention its twice as cheap and even more to go for it, ten times more reliable than SSD's, and you can actually store 600gb, instead of 80gb of the intel ssd's or whatever for 250 dollars.
  • Compddd - Wednesday, April 07, 2010 - link

    When will these start shipping? Reply
  • GullLars - Wednesday, April 07, 2010 - link

    Another great test from Anand.
    I have a comment though, and i see i'm a day late, so i may be ignored here :(

    The IOmeter sequential tests, while spanning the entire drive, only run for 3 minutes, and therefore only uses a small % of the drive area, so the speeds you see are near max.
    For the 600GB velociraptor, you have 140MB/s for 3 minutes = 25GB. By looking at the HDtach curve, the drop-off has barely started by that point.

    I also have something i want to get out there. Off-topic to this test, but relevant for high-performance HDDs.
    Why hasn't any HDD maker yet added a flash read-cache?
    By adding a single 4-8GB MLC NAND chip, costing roughly $2-3/GB = $8-24 added cost, and using it for read-caching hot-files, you can get around 4-5000 4KB random read IOPS = 16-20MB/s (@QD 1) and roughly 40-60MB/s sequential read for the cached data.
    Tracking hot-files should be easy to implement simply by logging read-access to LBAs, and with a slight bit more effort, filtering LBAs being read in a small block random pattern. Possibly also caching file-table and folder/file structure and metadata, as well as the data typically read the first seconds after power-up or spin-up.
    Using this type of caching would have a noticable effect on typical usage patterns, and especially multi-tasking, but would likely not make an impact on benchmarking since it would take time for new data to reach cache.

    Larger hot-files could benefit from the cache as they could be read from both flash and disk at the same time with the speed of both combined (80-140 + 40-60).

    Any thoughts about using flash read-cache people?
  • ETR - Wednesday, April 07, 2010 - link

    Thats all i want to know,

    Does this drive have it or not???

    not one reviewer anywhere has that info... nor did WD's website.

    gezzzz how can anandtech skip that info................?
  • BoFox - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    Dear Anand,

    I'm looking to upgrade to 15000rpm SAS drives since my Foxconn Bloodrage motherboard has 2 SAS ports (it's an X58 motherboard and there are couple other from Asus and Gigabyte that include SAS ports, IIRC..).

    How would this 600GB Velociraptor fare against a Seagate 15k.7 600GB Cheetah in terms of speed/performance?

    Sure, a 15k drive might be a bit more noisy and power-hungry, but I'm ok with this since I have other noisy stuff (including a noisy blu-ray player). I'm thinking that having a couple 15000rpm 600GB SAS drives is still a better investment than those tiny SSD's. Over at, it's shown that SSD's (including Intel's) have some serious performance issues with certain real-world applications and that they "degenerate" in performance whether TRIM is being used or not. Stability is another question, right?
  • Per Hansson - Saturday, April 10, 2010 - link

    I agree and would also like to see how a drive like the Cheetah 15k.7 would perform vs this VelociRaptor Reply
  • Den - Monday, April 12, 2010 - link

    I have the (old) 150 GB raptor. What happened to make the 2.5" ones (300 and 600 both) so much noisier than the old 150? 8.5 - 9 dB(A) louder is about three times as loud! Reply
  • bakedalaskan - Friday, April 16, 2010 - link

    Though not a price/performance issue along the lines of this article, I notice the position of the SATA connectors appear to be relocated through some kind of adapter compared to the original design 300GB VelociRaptor/ICEPAK combination. My complaint with the original 300GB drive/ICEPAK is that they don't fit in the drive tray system that I like to use on all my PC's. It appears that the new design would address standard SATA drive tray and hot swap backplane standards. Reply
  • dude117 - Tuesday, August 17, 2010 - link

    would this make sense as a datastore for a ESX4.1 home lab to run around 20 VMs , mostly Win2003/2008, off?

    I would prefer a SSD drive but i am not sure how fast the drive will be dead if the VMs are constantly utilized.
  • Romulous - Monday, August 30, 2010 - link

    I have configured several vsphere 4 servers running 8 * 300G raptors in raid 10 on a 3ware (now LSI) 9650SE controller. This configuration is very fast. (8 drives in raid 5 takes a fair performance hit though). A single drive would only work if only one operation happened at a time. This configuration would not make a serious server. It all depends on the work load you anticipate. The production servers we run for one type of VM service have 48GB ram and dual quad xeons, plus the 8 raptors in raid 10. They run over 30 VMs. File system space is the real limiting factor without a SAN. Reply
  • GTXRaptor - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    What would really be a mind = blown moment would be a VelociRaptor SSD.
    Fastest SSD on the planet :).

    One can dream.
  • crackedcoms - Thursday, January 12, 2012 - link

    Learn about the latest Xrumer news today its cool and has stuff and ewrwe yeahhh Reply
  • radx44 - Sunday, July 17, 2016 - link

    this is very good information. i will really like to share this with my friends. thanks Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now