Western Digital My Book VelociRaptor Duo Review - HotHardware

Western Digital My Book VelociRaptor Duo Review

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While we were testing the WD My Book VelociRaptor Duo, a funny thing happened. At one point, we reflected on our first external hard drive--a 40GB unit salvaged from a laptop--and remarked at how quaint it seems in comparison to WD's powerful, spacious storage beast. Indeed, external storage has come a long way in a relatively short time. Hampered in the past by relatively slow interfaces such as USB and FireWire, Intel’s Thunderbolt interface promises comparatively blazing fast speeds, and available storage capacities are now in the multi-terabyte range.

Thunderbolt, originally dubbed “Light Peak”, is a dual-protocol interface that combines PCI-Express and DisplayPort into one metaprotocol with bi-directional speeds of up to 10Gbps.  The technology makes even the relatively speedy USB 3.0 interface (5Gbps) look downright pokey by comparison.

The technology supports 8 channels of HD audio, daisy-chaining, and hot-plugging and was co-developed by Intel and Apple. Although Apple got first dibs on implementing the new speedy interface on its products, plenty of other manufacturers were involved early on as well, including Western Digital.



What would you do if you were a storage company and had this next-gen I/O technology in hand? Probably more or less what Western Digital has done, which is to make an external storage device that teams Thunderbolt’s impressive interface bandwidth with a pair of the company's fastest 1TB VelociRaptor 10,000RPM HDDs. WD calls it the My Book VelociRaptor Duo.


WD My Book VelociRaptor Duo

Western Digital My Book VelociRaptor Duo
Specifications & Features
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VelociRaptor Specs
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WDBUWZ0020JBK
Thunderbolt
2TB
Mac OS X 10.6.8 or higher
RAID 0 (pre-configured), RAID 1, JBOD
6.5 x 6.2 x 3.9 (HxDxW)
4.18lbs


SATA 6Gbps
3.5-inch
1TB
10,000
200MBps (sustained)
64MB
5 years


These days, 2TB of external storage capacity in a single unit isn’t mind-blowing, but it’s certainly spacious enough for most users. Capacity is only a small part of the story here, however. WD focused on performance, with the Thunderbolt interface (including a second port for daisy-chaining) and the two 10,000RPM VelociRaptor drives spinning inside.



     

Although you can format the My Book VelociRaptor Duo for use on a Windows machine, the unit ships ready for Mac OS X with the HFS + Journaled file system, and it can be used as a boot drive with Mac OS X’s Recovery feature. The drives come pre-configured in a RAID 0 for optimal performance, although the VelociRaptor Duo also supports RAID 1 and JBOD configurations. (Note that there is not yet RAID support for this product in Windows. More on that later.) The VelociRaptor Duo also ships with WD Utilities installed, so users have a handy tool for configuration options.

One of the convenient features of the VelociRaptor Duo is that it’s user-serviceable, so you can easily open up the unit and swap drives in or out--not that you’re going to want to replace those snappy 10,000RPM drives anytime soon.


There’s not much in the box, which is to be expected with an external unit such as this one; it contains a three-foot Thunderbolt cable, AC adapter, and a little installation guide.

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Good review by Seth and certainly the best use of the Velociraptor drives that I've ever seen. I won't be investing in one after looking at the PcMark 7 scores for gaming and starting applications but for video editing pros this seems like a good compromise over stuffing the desktop full of HDD's in a raid.

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WHen I can afford to upgrade my Mac Book Pro to one of the current models with Thunderbolt, this will be one of the first accessories I'll buy for it. The price is alittle high but worth it for the performance.

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I like that it come with a 5 year warranty

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Wish the  Mac Raid 0 configuration had more detailed data like the other benchmarks. The general summary of 2x speed of benchmarks with the Raid 1 configuration is good news. Running this (current street value) $700 storage device in Raid 1 would be a huge waste of money. Only the performance from the combination of Raid 0, 10,000 rpm drives, and dual thunderbolt 6gbs interfaces makes the cost/benefit ratio rational.

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