Power Consumption

Western Digital promised that the new VelociRaptor would use no more power than its predecessor. To find out we measured the current going to the drive across all voltage rails and determined total power consumption at the drive level in both idle and while performing our 2MB sequential write test:

Idle Power - Drive Only

Power consumption did go up by 4.3% at idle, but hardly anything to complain about. More performance at roughly the same power isn't a bad thing. Do pay attention to how much more power the larger 3.5" drives consume. This isn't really an issue on the desktop, but in a server with tons of spindles it quickly adds up.

Load Power - Drive Only

Load power is a similar story. The new drive uses a bit more than the old one, but still far less than any 7200 RPM 3.5" drive.


At 10,000 RPM these things are going to be louder than your standard 3.5" desktop hard drive. To find out how loud I put a sound meter 1" away from the front of the drive and measured pressure at both idle and while performing a torture 4K random write test. The torture test basically keeps the drive in constant seek mode so it's a good indication of how loud the drive will be when it's really crunching away.

Note that the system these drives are connected to is my standard SSD testbed, which is a fairly high end desktop that isn't optimized for noise. The decibel readings may be high (particularly because of the 1" distance they were taken at) but they will give you an accurate comparison of which drives will be the loudest.

Idle Noise - 1" from Drive

Load Noise - 1" from Drive

Obviously these 10K RPM drives are loud when they're accessed. The new VR is not much louder than the old one, but compared to a newer 7200 RPM drive they are noticeably louder when seeking. At idle or when performing sequential operations the gap is far narrower, but under load it's pronounced. These drives have never been for silent PCs.

AnandTech Storage Bench Final Words


View All Comments

  • 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

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