Acoustics and Thermals

Our acoustic tests measure the decibel levels while the system is at idle and under load while running the Hard Disk test suite within PCMark Vantage. We take measurements at a distance of 5mm from the rear and front of the drive in a separate enclosure and report the highest reading. The test room has a base acoustical level of 20dB(A).

- dB(A)@5mm

- dB(A)@5mm

At 27.2 dB(A), this drive is almost one of the quieter drives we have tested and the results are just exceptional for a 10k RPM product. While the numbers indicate a very quiet drive at idle, the subjective take indicates a drive that has the slightest of whirling noise not present in the current 7200RPM 2.5" notebook drives. At load, this drive finishes in the middle of our test group. Like its predecessor, you know the drive is working during seek operations but the sound pressure is definitely muted. Unfortunately, our drive developed a slight clanking noise and we could not complete AAM testing on the drive.

Our thermal tests utilize sensor readings via the S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology) capability of the drives as reported by utilizing the Active SMART 2.6 utility. We also utilize thermal sensors and infrared measurement devices to verify our utility results. We test our drives in an enclosed case environment. Our base temperature level in the room at the time of testing is 25C.

Operating Temperatures - Celsius

Operating Temperatures - Celsius

By way of its reduced power dissipation, the VelociRaptor leads our test group in both idle and load thermals even though its platters are spinning away at 10k RPM. We are still running thermal tests with and without the IcePAK chassis (do not try this at home as it will void your warranty). Western Digital's internal testing showed a 7.1C drop in temperature with the IcePAK system under normal operating conditions. We measured a 5.1C drop with the chassis attached without active cooling and an 8.2C reduction in temps with airflow across the chassis. This indicates to us that operation without the IcePAK will be fine in the enterprise market.

Hook Me Up Hitting the Wall


View All Comments

  • DeepThought86 - Thursday, April 24, 2008 - link

    Why oh why do you people insist on using new benchmarks all the time? How stupid is it that I can't go to your review of the Seagate 500GB from just last year and be able to compare performance with this new Velociraptor.

  • Zak - Sunday, April 27, 2008 - link

    Hm, so I guess this is not going to fit in a Mac Pro due to non-standard connector position. I bet there will be 3rd party replacements, but will this void the warranty?

  • mvrx - Thursday, April 24, 2008 - link

    I still find it strange that a drive only has 32MB of cache.. I'd think a gig or two would be on some high end drives.. Reply
  • Xean - Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - link

    Is it suitable for laptops? Reply
  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - link

    As they mentioned, only ones that accept unusually tall 2.5 inch drives. Reply
  • Fricardo - Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - link

    What happened to the hard drive review article that was supposed to come out a month or so ago? I'd really like to see a full comparison, especially of the new WD and Samsung drives. Reply
  • Deusfaux - Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - link

    #1. Tech Report says:

    "Western Digital says it's also working on a single-platter version of the drive, but that's not ready yet."

    Gary can you verify this one way or another? What would the timeframe be?

    #2. I have a couple spike drops when I bench one of my 2 Raptors with HDTach/HDTune. They're not right at the start, but they're there all the same.

    What do they mean? I don't have them on my other Raptor.
  • Araemo - Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - link

    Haven't all raptors(and indeed, most 10k and 15k rpm drives) used 2.5" platters in their large casings? I thought that most/all high-end drive manufacturers used 2.5" platters due to the high angular velocities and vibration.

    In that case - the smaller drive size shouldn't have any negative impact on performance at all.
  • GhandiInstinct - Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - link

    In 2008, for their next generation Raptor, only 16MB Cache? Reply
  • CK804 - Monday, April 28, 2008 - link

    Do people read anymore? The explanation is given on the second page:

    While the hot option on the latest 750GB~1TB drives is a 32MB buffer, WD is once again staying the course with a highly optimized 16MB cache. WD states they did not see any advantages to a 32MB cache on this drive and instead spent their engineering resources on optimizing the cache algorithms.

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