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  • bozdee - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    Anand, you've used the French spelling for 'cheap' down the bottom of the first page - great writeup otherwise! Reply
  • Sufo - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    Cheaper? The comparative form of cheap? I didn't realise this was French. Reply
  • PyroHoltz - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link


    cheaper(French) --> cheaper(English)
  • Mr.T - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    There is no French spelling for cheap (or cheaper or cheapest); Cheap translates to "Pas cher" (Not expensive) or "Bon marché" (Good deal) in French. Reply
  • dananski - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    IIRC, bon marché is often mistakenly translated literally to well priced / good deal, but it actually means cheap - an indication of qualitiy as well as price. Quite amusing for the Bon Marché chain of clothes shops in the UK, which obviously aims for the former interpretation, or for an assumption that a Frenchy sounding name makes it well posh. Reply
  • safcman84 - Wednesday, April 18, 2012 - link

    Where did you get that from?

    Bon Marche means good deal. There is no French word for Cheap.

    Mr T got it right.
  • bigboxes - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    In English, something that could be considered inexpensive would be called "cheap." In a comparison of the cost of two or more items the item that is cheapest would be called "cheaper". Next time, stay awake in class. LOL Reply
  • bozdee - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    When the article was first published it read "... however, the VRs are still cheape ..." and has been changed since. When I saw 'cheap' written as 'cheape' it reminded me of how a French person would say the English word 'cheap'.

    It all made sense in my head but I could see how my choice of words (or lack thereof) led to all of the comments below. All I really wanted to do was correct the typo.
  • Tunnah - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    ..The Raptor holds fond memories for me, when I first got enough money to build a serious rig, I used the original Raptor as my boot drive.

    It always stood out as the geek's bootdrive, and WD could easily reclaim that title if they coupled it with some NAND.

    I'd ditch my primary SSD in a heartbeat if they released a VR HDD/SDD combo drive!
  • Makaveli - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    Good luck with that.

    I wouldn't care if they slapped a 1GB of ram on the hard drive its still a hard drive.
  • Stuka87 - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    Seagate would disagree. As they Hybrid drives are nearly as fast as an SSD but have a terabyte of storage. Reply
  • kmmatney - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    I'm pretty surprised at how far behind the Seagate Momentus XT is in these benchmarks, though. This review doesn't make the Seagate look very good at all. Reply
  • exordis - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    IIRC from the Momentus XT review it's performance on the first run through of a given benchmark was basically the same as any other HDD of the same specs. Because of the way it learns common tasks and caches the things you do often it requires a couple of runs of a given task before it's extra performance shows. Reply
  • Samus - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    I not only disagree as well with Makaveli, but can't help but think what a failure it is on WD's part to ignore making this drive a hybrid like the Momentus XT.

    Remember, the Momentus XT isn't tweaked for performance, it's an extremely low power (5-watt) drive that needs to meet the cooling envelope of a laptop drivebay.

    The Raptor doesn't have those restrictions. If this drive were paired with 8 or 16GB NAND, it would have been a monster, essentially a 1TB SSD for <$400.

    The problem must be WD knows nothing about hybrid technology. They can't possibly be foolish enough to ignore the fact that SSD's are the future and hard disks can't survive by only having superior capacity and lower prices. They need to have high performance and reliability as well.

    This launch is a complete disaster. This could have been exceptional if adapted to the times. A 10k performance-oriented drive using Hybrid-NAND technology could have been amazing.
  • kyuu - Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - link


    The only problem is that they'd have been starting from scratch with the caching algorithms and other things that go along with a hybrid HDD. Remember how much of a disaster Seagate's 1st gen hybrid HDDs were? Part of what makes the Momentus XT great is the experience Seagate has with the hybrid HDD platform, which no other manufacturer really has.
  • TeXWiller - Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - link

    I'd prefer to keep those SSD caches directly attached to the PCIe bus and have a more knowledgeable operating system.

    The reliability numbers are quite good, so on paper this would be the most reliable 1 TB consumer oriented rotating hard drive. This way the launch is not a disaster as drives with equivalent theoretical reliability are hard, or much more expensive to buy from the online store near you.
  • Samus - Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - link

    I've replaced a number of Raptors through almost every generation in mail servers and SQL servers that receive a lot of constant traffic within warranty.

    That would never happen with an SSD, where you can do 20GB/day for 5+ years.
  • mercutiouk - Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - link

    One thing you COULD do with this is throw it in the intel rapid storage raid 5 setup. Sit the fastest 40GB SSD you can find (or a partition of a larger SSD of course) with 4 of these behind it.

    While not cheap (you'd need to drop about 1k on your storage alone) you'd be looking at 3TB of "rather quick" storage that could suffer a drive failure and keep things together.

    4x 200MB sustained (so about 550/600MB once the raid 5 etc has dampened performance a bit) with an SSD doing all the responsive bits of access the raid had to deal with would make an impressive setup.

    I run a hardware raid-5 with an SSD for boot at the moment and it's rather nice for most things.
  • GreenEnergy - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    Microsoft actually got a fine picture on my HDs are such a huge bottleneck in todays PCs.
  • glasspelican - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    I am supprised that thy dont have any flash on this drive. I got the momnentus xt in my laptop and it makes a huge difference Reply
  • ltcommanderdata - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    I admittedly only did a quick read of the article so I may have missed it, but were there any comments on noise and vibration compared to previous VelociRaptors and other mechanical drives? Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    My Raptors have always been smoother and quieter than other drives. I have 2 of the first-gen 2.5" mounted on the 3.5" form factor heat sink, and I can't even tell they are running, except to see the drive light on the front of the computer flicker (and, of course, the computer is running properly).

  • retrospooty - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    I agree with the conclusion... "if I needed to buy a high-performance mechanical hard drive, it's the one I'd pick."

    I always had a raptor until SSD became affordable to me (about the time of the Vertex2's release). With a 120gb Vertex 3 drive currently $139 after $20 rebate at Newegg, why bother?

    Use the SSD as your OS and apps and several of your favorite games and a large cheap HDD for storage, movies MP3's old games, etc - things that don't need fast access. 120gb is plenty big for that. My Vertex3 is set up that way and has 50% space free still. Fast as hell.

    Is so fast it doesn't even allow the Win7 colors to touch on the launch screen. Before the 4 colors swirl and then come together and strobe, its it Windows. sigh...
  • mcnabney - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    Anybody know how the multiple drive setups will work under Win8?

    Apparently the Drive Extender from the original Windows Home Server (which was ripped out of the sequel) is part of Windows 8. What kind of control will be available concerning which files go where when using this in Win8?
  • Sufo - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    It's irresponsible to recommend the Vertex 3. Reply
  • LB-ID - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    It's irresponsible to recommend OCZ products, period. Their strategy of bringing products to market six months early, then using their customers for the validation phase has long since shown its true colors. Combine that with a policy of ridiculing anyone who dares question them has turned me from a customer to running away from anything they produce. Reply
  • dananski - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    I have somewhat mixed opinions about Vertex 3's since we upgraded to them at work. Probably about 50% extra cost hidden in the man hours wasted trying to sort out firmware, and we're still not completely BSOD-free. The price has come down and they're fast, but not faster than my problem-free Intel 510.

    But to generalise to all OCZ products is unfair. My reapers are still great after 4 years, and the SSD bugs are partly down to Sandforce.
  • Samus - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    LOL, it's irresponsible to recommend ANY OCZ SSD ;) Reply
  • landerf - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    Access time? Reply
  • Scott314159 - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    I think there is still a role for the raptor in the budget server market where enterprise SSDs are still too expensive. While in the consumer SSD space confidence and longevity are still not where they need to be (any disagreements or counter arguments with references??).

    I will probably use these drives in my next server build...
  • c4v3man - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    Exactly. Dell offers these drives in their workstation lineup, and I think at one point offered them in their 100-300 series servers. It would be great if Anand would compare the drive to a modern 10K SAS drive, to see how close the two technologies are nowadays.

    That being said, 600GB 15K SAS drives are under $500 I believe from Dell, so it would only make sense as mass storage.
  • dananski - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    I think you're on to something there - SAS drives are getting expensive enough that you start to think about SSDs, so maybe these would fill that big price gap between standard and enterprise drives.

    Would be pretty good for some other situations too. Games, video editing, music production and image editing need space and sequential speed and this gives both those things at a lower budget than an SSD.
  • shin0bi272 - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    What surprised me about this is that they didnt try pushing it to 15k rpm. Some nand would have helped too but as you said in the opening paragraphs... about the only way you can increase speed in a spindle disk is to increase rotational speed or area density. So why not do both? Not sure if they use perpendicular recording on these or not but that would be another way to increase the density and the speed.

    Of course the down side is that not only is nand still MUCH faster and getting cheaper by the day but, we also have PCM drives coming (hopefully) soon which is 100x faster than flash and lasts for millions of write cycles rather than thousands... Unless its $1000 per gig for the next 10 years who's going to buy a spinning disk when its 10,000X slower than a pcm drive?
  • Stahn Aileron - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    Last I recall, bumping up the spindle speed would counteract the areal density increase. Every time I see a spindle speed bump across drives in a similar price bracket, the capacity goes down. I'm guessing it has to do with how quickly the heads can actually read the data under them before its move out from under them. (Perhaps ECC as well.)

    Still, the last time I saw a 15k RPM drive, the max capacity I think was around 320GB or so. I can't say for certain now as I don't track 15k RPM drives. I don't have the need for enterprise-grade HDDs of that performance. (And to be honest, most storage coverage these days is about SSDs. HDDs don't get into the news much except for the ocassional model revision, if that.)
  • piroroadkill - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    I have some 600GB 15K SAS drives right here. Reply
  • Stahn Aileron - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    Well, like I said, it;s been a while since I bother to look at 15k drives, even in passing, much less recall the numbers. On the other hand, 15k 600GB SAS drives do sound/look familiar. Still, that's the upper end of the capacity spectrum for 15k drives right now, no? Reply
  • shin0bi272 - Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - link

    actually I feel you on the not paying attention to 15k drives. That's kinda why I was hoping WD was going to push their Vraptors faster and maybe keep the size around 300-500gb... They are usually so expensive that individuals arent even aware they exist. WD could have changed that but they didnt. They could have made huge changes to the slowly dying spinning disk market... but they didnt. They just increased the size of their current 10krpm drive.

    Dont get me wrong a 10krpm 1tb drive is cool (especially for the price) but no one needs this drive in their home. A gamer will have an SSD and a plain old drive for storage to keep their files on. A graphic designer might do the same. And people who dont need the performance of an SSD (like lets say my dad) just throw in a 7200rpm drive and call it close.

    But yeah no one does reviews of spinning disk anymore because they are becoming obsolete pretty quickly with the falling costs of SSDs (even in the enterprise market) and like I said originally PCM drives.
  • shin0bi272 - Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - link Reply
  • Arnulf - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    "... the only 3.5" hard drive with a 10,000 RPM spindle speed ..."

    There have been many real 3.5" drives with 10K (and higher) spindle speed before WD's (Veloci)raptors. It wasn't WD who changed anything, they merely copied what other manufacturers have done years before them.

    While others manufacturers went to 15K for performance drives WD is still stuck in 1990s with everything but recording density.
  • Stahn Aileron - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    I think Anand means at the consumer level. All 10k and 15k drive other than the VR from WD are aimed solely at enterprise. They are engineered/marketed as such from what little exposure I have of that market space. In all the time I've been into computer news (about a decade), the WD Raptor and VelociRaptor line were/are the only consumer-level 10k RPM drives. All other high performance drives in the consumer space have been 7200RPM drives. I don't ever recall seeing another 10k or 15k drive from any other manufacturer aimed at the consumer space (even if just at the enthusiast level.) Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    15K drives are exclusively SAS/SCSI, and capacities are lower than WD while prices are higher. In fact, the 15k drives are right in SSD territory for price per GB. Looking at Newegg, they range from as low as $1/GB to around $2.50/GB, with maximum capacity topping out at 600GB. A 512GB Crucial m4 will only cost around $550, for example. Still, for enterprise workloads you'd need an enterprise HDD most likely. Anyway, I've clarified the statement to say "mainstream 10k" -- we know 15k has been around for enterprise for ages. One might argue that the reason WD even came out with the Raptor is that they didn't have a 15k enterprise offering to protect. Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    Name them.

    The only 10-15k hard drives to exist before the VR were SAS drives; if you think these are expensive, check out the price of SAS drives. (They are quite a bit cheaper than they used to be, too.)

  • jabber - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    My old Mk2 75GB Raptor sit as the OS drive for my gaming rig. Noisy but still surprises me now and then.

    I have moved my Gf over to SSD tech but I haven't as yet. If I got SSD in one machine I'll want them in all my machines and I just cant afford that.

    Would like to see some testing of this with a 40GB cache drive just for giggles.
  • Denithor - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    Actually, this is a fantastic suggestion.

    Look at whether there's any advantage to a VR + 40GB cache SSD versus a typical 1TB 7200 with the same cache drive.
  • Golgatha - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    2x500GB or 1TB in RAID0

    Faster, cheaper, but somewhat less reliable due to RAID0. If you have space for 2 drives, I think the RE4 line is a much, much better value.
  • marraco - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    And a 100 Gb partition for OS would use the 5% faster sectors, which runs around 210 Mb/s (more than 400 Mb/s in RAID0). That partition would also be short stroked, so 4kb random should give good numbers for an HDD Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    I dont care if it is just one 8GB MLC chip, with 67% of the chip reserved for wear leveling. Even just 2GB of flash would make the poor random I/O performance much more bearable, and bring this close to Momentus XT type performance. Reply
  • magreen - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    "The advantage of the NAND equipped Seagate Momentus XT is just as large."

    That should read the "advantage over the NAND equipped...," correct? It seems to say the opposite of what you mean right now.
  • MrSpadge - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    "If users are able to fit all of their program, apps and data into a 128GB SSD, I have to believe that a well managed cache can deliver compelling performance with half that space."

    It definitely does. Using an Agility 3 60 GB as cache with SRT.
  • sixmoon - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    Hi, I enjoyed the review, I somehow got tired of all the SSD reviews lately. I somehow expected this drive was going to be compared with SSD's and this is fair, however if you compare it to the new generation of 3-4TB, this HDD really doesn't find its place anymore. It's more expensive and smaller, and in the HDD world, being smaller also affects performance.

    I find the new Hitachi 7k4000 drive to be on par with the new Velociraptor, take a look here:
  • JNo - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link


    This drive line sadly is like a dinosaur in more than just one way...

    Honestly not trolling and I still own a 60GB raptor myself but we're in a new era where I find it hard to understand what this brings to the table. I'm not saying *someone* might need it but you'll almost always do better with small SSD + HDD or an SSD acting as cache for a cheap HDD.
  • Metaluna - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    I think a lot of OEMs and enterprises shy away from multi-drive setups because of the perception that they are harder to set up and manage than just having everything on one big drive, especially if you are trying to support naive users who tend to splatter files all over the place, particularly for Windows installations.

    Plus, as far as I know, the only company that supports SSD caching is Intel, so you need their chipsets and their drivers, which only work on Windows.

    Then you have laptops, which only have one physical drive bay usually, but this drive won't fit in them anyway so that's a moot point.
  • gwolfman - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    Please short stroke an affordable, yet high performance HDD to a 1TB capacity (e.g., a 3TB HDD short-stroked to 1TB) and compare performance. I'd wager a bit that the short-stroked HDD would perform equal to or better than the new Raptor. ;) Please, pretty please!?!
  • bollwerk - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    I don't see why anyone would buy one of these for ~$300, when you can get a 750GB Momentus XT for ~$150. Reply
  • kyuu - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    Agreed. The Momentus XT outperforms the Velociraptor in the more meaningful benches, can be put into a laptop, runs quieter and cooler (by far), and is half the $/GB. If you need the faster sequential speed, you can RAID0 two Momentus XTs, pay the same price as one of these and get better performance and more capacity.

    Or, y'know, just get an SSD and pair it with a normal HDD (or pair your SSD with a Momentus XT, like I did).

    By not including some form of NAND caching, Western Digital doomed these drives to obsolescence before they were even released.

    I'm wondering when Seagate is going to get around to releasing the new Baracudda XT so we'll have a 3.5" HDD with NAND caching for desktops, although even the older 500GB Momentus XT is doing a bang-up job as the companion HDD to my SSD in my desktop rig.
  • Jeff7181 - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    I have to admit I was disappointed to see that Western Digital went conservative on the new VelociRaptor design and didn't include any on-board NAND to really mix things up.

    This sucks. Should have included at least 20 GB of NAND.
  • marraco - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    Anand, please do a roundup of PCI/PCI-e cards with Sata 6gbps expansion. My mother is an x58, and the only fault it haves is lack of SATA III support.

    Is not worth upgrading the mother, memory and processor just to update SATA, and there is little information on SATA cards.
  • Nihility - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    I'm in the same boat.

    Got 2 SSDs hooked up to SATA 2. It's such a waste :(
  • LordConrad - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    Two of these new VelociRaptors in RAID 0 would be awesome for video editing. Great performance without thrashing the life out of an SSD. Reply
  • twotwotwo - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    The 3.5" form factor is really 101.6mm wide (says Wikipedia) and 2.5 inch drives are 69.85mm wide, leaving 31.75mm of width "free". An mSATA/mini-PCIe SSD is 30mm wide. So, without opening up the HDD black box, there'd be room (just barely) for an mSATA SSD and a splitter/adapter--you'd have to figure out heat dissipation, and it'd present itself to the system as two drives, but a product with a big-enough SSD and a huge HDD in one bay would be kinda interesting.

    And there're probably very good engineering reasons not to do this, but putting the mSATA SSD in at an angle would make a bit more horizontal room if the HDD needs space for heat dissipation, etc.

    (Frankenstein idea #3: stack one of the many existing <7mm-thick 2.5" SSDs (e.g., an Intel one minus the spacer) on top of a a 7mm, 5400-7200rpm laptop hard drive, throw in a SATA splitter, and put it all in a box shaped like a a 3.5" HDD. As you see in reviews here, some existing SSDs are very thin PCBs surrounded by empty space/thermal pads/spacers on top, so the geometry, at least, could work.)
  • justniz - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    As this is apparently just a 2.5" SATA drive attached to a big heatsink, would there be any issues if you unmounted it from the heatsink and put it in a laptop?
    Does the drive really generate so much heat it needs a heatsink to run?
    I'm guessing that the only real problem would be because its a 10k spin speed it consumes slightly more power than a conventional drive, so your maximum time on just battery power would suffer a little.
  • kyuu - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    Sticking one of these in a laptop would probably be a bad idea due to power usage, noise, and heat. Reply
  • kyuu - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    Oh, and vibration. Reply
  • jabber - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    Yeah and arent they thicker too? Reply
  • Nihility - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    It's twice as thick as a 7mm drive. Reply
  • kmmatney - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    For a laptop, the Seagate Momentus XT is just a way better option... Reply
  • TiGr1982 - Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - link

    It is . Recently I upgraded my laptop (Acer 7552G, AMD Danube platform, SB850 sourhbridge) with Seagate Momentus XT 750 GB, and now it runs MUCH faster than before, because HDD is no longer the bottleneck. Reply
  • eanazag - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    I won't buy the mobile Seagate XT with NAND simply because it does not support RAID. Has anyone RAIDed an XT and have some reliability experience on this in RAID 5, 1, and 0? I would opt for a few of these for cheap storage servers and when SSD caches fail to hold the requested data. I do wish the power usage was a little lower, but this is a really inexpensive enterprise drive.

    I bought 74GB Raptors when the max size was 150GB. I had 2; one is still chugging and one keeled over after 6 years. The dead one died in a VMware server where I was using it to hold install ISOs. I have been happy with them.

    With linear scaling I like 2 or 3 of these in RAID 0. 400MB-600MB of seq. read and write.
  • kyuu - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    What? You can RAID the Momentus XTs just fine. Where did you hear that you can't RAID them? Reply
  • Ramon Zarat - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    Still have the 36GB version in my file server boot drive (used to have 2 in RAID0 on my main computer). Has been running practically non stop for nearly 10 years now! Not even a single bad sector. Amazing quality. Reply
  • TiGr1982 - Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - link

    I've read similar feedback from the person running 6 years old Raptor. He wrote the same - S.M.A.R.T. is fully clean after 6 years of intensive use. If so, Raptor robustness and longevity deserves real respect. Reply
  • Casper42 - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    I can still see this being used in a decent gaming rig.

    120 / 160GB SATA 6Gb SSD for OS and Basic Apps
    500GB / 1TB VR333M for Games (my Steam folder just keeps growing and growing) and any Video Editing
    2 / 3 / 4 TB "Green" drive for Data Files and to backup (offline) the SSD occasionally.
    Then a SATA Optical drive as well.

    All that fits easily in most mATX Cases and only needs 4 SATA connections.

    I am running a 64GB / 600GB VR / 2 x 2TB Green setup in my main machine currently and I can say it works very well. Most FPS style games these days are very sequential Reads because when you load a map its usually a several hundred MB file which Windows will try to keep sequential (defragged)
  • MichaelD - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    I finally moved to a SSD for a System drive a few months ago; awesome improvement. However, many gamers (like me) looking for a fast drive to load games from can't afford a large SSD.

    I have a 150GB Velociraptor from a few years back; it can't hold all my games so I'm not using it. The new 500GB model is exactly what I've been waiting for; and it's at a reasonable pricepoint too. I haven't found any online yet. Any idea where to look and when they'd be available?
  • patpro - Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - link

    Unfortunately, the solution consisting in pairing a SSD with a HDD is mostly "Windows only". I'm using Mac OS X, FreeBSD, and Linux (on different computers), and there is no consumer product for me to create a bundle of SSD/HDD with a software caching solution. Needless to say I'm a big advocate of hardware solutions, anything that would work without installing a dedicated software on the OS.
    Hard drives with 32 or 34 GB nand flash read/write cache on top of good old platters would be so great...
  • Traciatim - Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - link

    Is there any way you can test drives in real world scenarios? Sure 4K random reads are nice to show the differences between SSD's and Platters, but in the real world how many scenarios are you really going to see that kind of data access?

    It would be nice if you would run something like Ultimate Defrag and run through some common level load tests games, boot times, Launch three applications sequentially, launch three applications at the same time, a virus scan, and all kinds of other common tasks like these.
  • MichaelD - Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - link

    After reading the comments about the Seagate Momentus XT drives, I did some research and was pretty blown away. The XTs truly seem like the drives to beat. The responsiveness of a SSD with the capacity of a platter-based HD for a very reasonable price. A certain egg-ish etailer even has a sale on them ATM. I bought two of the 500GB drives last night. One for my netbook to replace it's 5400-rpm drive and the other to load my games from on my PC. Thanks for pointing out the XT drives, guys! Reply
  • TiGr1982 - Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - link

    Indeed, Seagate Momentus XT IS the way to go for upgrade. Recently I upgraded my laptop (Acer 7552G, Win 7 SP1, AMD Danube platform, SB850 southbridge) with Seagate Momentus XT 750 GB, and now it runs MUCH faster than before, because HDD is no longer the bottleneck. I hope, so will be the case for you :)

    The only probable caveat is there can be compatibility issues with Momentus XT, but, as far as I know, these problems can happen only on Mac laptops, not PC laptops.
  • TiGr1982 - Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - link

    These are my 2 cents. Everybody, including Anand himself, is complaining about the absence of NAND flash in new Raptors. My personal opinion is as follows: WD ARE HDD guru's, and their overall HDD market record is nice, but, probably, up to now, they didn't make the proper R'n'D effort to integrate the NAND. So now, looking at Seagate, even if they appreciate the advantage of employing internal NAND in HDD for caching, they can't catch up easily.

    Obviously, looking "under the hood", soldering the NAND flash to the HDD PCB is surely not enough; you need the SSD controller for this NAND and, more important, you need the proper firmware to use this NAND reasonably, together with the main storage, i.e. disk platters. I believe, developing of this firmware itself is not so simple. Recall that Seagate was polishing the firmware for the first gen Momentus XT (500 GB, 4 GB NAND) for around a year AFTER its actual release on the market. Same thing probably will happen with the second gen of Momentus XT (750 GB, 8 GB NAND) . This circumstance clearly points out that even in Seagate case, the whole hybrid tech is in the intermediate, but not final, stage.
    Also, recall that Seagate started experimenting with flash in HDD in Windows Vista times, with Momentus PSD, around 2007, which is an "ancient time" on computer hardware timescale.

    So, what do you want from WD? :)
  • TiGr1982 - Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - link

    Saying, R'n'D, I actually meant R&D, just the notations, you understand :) Reply
  • JimmiG - Wednesday, April 18, 2012 - link

    I went with a standard 7200 RPM, 1TB drive and then added a 64GB OCZ Synapse Cache SSD. The SSD costs $100, so the total is still lower than the Velociraptor. It's the "dream" mentioned in the conclusion and it's already here (as long as you don't mind running Windows 7, and have the space for two drives). Reply
  • gammaray - Wednesday, April 18, 2012 - link

    Those drives dont make any senses at all at their pricing range. None whatsoever. at 300ish$ you can get an awesome SSD, fast and quite large relatively speaking.

    If you really need lots of GBs then one has to go with the 2-3Tbs for half the price.

    Even with a 25% cut i would never consider the new velociraptor offering.

    What are they thinking?
  • gammaray - Wednesday, April 18, 2012 - link


    while it doesnt affect performance, SSDs are SILENT

    and silence is worth a lot.
  • JonnyDough - Thursday, April 19, 2012 - link

    "There's just one problem: Moore's Law is driving the cost of SSDs down, and their capacities up. The shift to solid state storage is inevitable for most, but to remain relevant in the interim the VelociRaptor needed an update."

    Moore's Law is doing it? Really? All by itself? I'm sure it has nothing to do with economies of scale....

    Maybe someone should take some college courses and not try to sound so smart.
  • DukeN - Thursday, April 19, 2012 - link

    Maybe a 16GB $50 caching SSD, perhaps? Reply
  • superccs - Thursday, April 19, 2012 - link

    a 1Tb WD Black or Samsung/Seagate F3 is $130 and they are fast.
    a 1Tb Raptor is ~$280 if you can find one....

    Is it 2x as fast or did WD just release a product with an impossibly small niche?

    We all know that the smaller SSD + 1Tb fast platter works well for system drives. Would anyone recommend this drive for that 1Tb duty over any of the competitors?
  • UberApfel - Thursday, April 19, 2012 - link

    Nobody knowledgeable buys a VelociRaptor for I/O performance nowadays. They buy them for peace-of-mind; reliability.

    How about some estimated reliability graphs? At least of the previous model?
  • maz35 - Saturday, April 21, 2012 - link

    would a ssd and VelociRaptor be good for a gaming rig? Reply
  • Tchamber - Saturday, April 21, 2012 - link

    Wouldn't be bad at all. I have two of the original 300gb Velociraptors in RAID0, and they're fast enough that I don't feel the need to upgrade to an SSD. Reply
  • Jeff9329 - Tuesday, May 01, 2012 - link

    I understand that SSDs are far faster, but it's seems to me they are still currently well over 3X as expensive. I was just looking at a 600GB Intel SSD but it was over $1,000USD.

    I would like to update one of my video editing machines from a 300GB Velociraptor boot drive (almost full) to a 600GB SSD boot drive, but the cost is awfully high.

    Im also not sure I can use my existing image on the SSD. Re-building the editing suite configuration on a new drive would take days. Can you move an SSD image to another SSD or do you get caught up in re-building the drive image with each new SSD drive?

    As for the 1 TB Velociraptor, it's a little large for a boot drive, but too small for a video editing data drive. However, the price is right, so using it for a boot drive is an idea.
  • astrojny - Friday, May 04, 2012 - link

    Wouldn't that make a lot of sense. For around $400 you should get a very speedy setup no? Reply
  • ghd nz - Monday, January 07, 2013 - link Reply

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