WD VelociRaptor 600GB: Fastest Hard Drive Ever - HotHardware

WD VelociRaptor 600GB: Fastest Hard Drive Ever

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With all of the press solid state drives have received over the last year or so, it would be easy to think that few advancements have been made in the hard drive space. After all, hard drive capacities have seemingly hit a plateau at 2TB, performance can't come close to even a mid-range SSD in most scenarios, and it's hard to imagine prices falling any lower, when some drives can be had for about 7.5 cents per gigabyte.  However, Western Digital, despite releasing their very own line of SSDs recently, continues to push the performance envelope with traditional spinning hard drives. Need evidence? Then feast your eyes on the brand new WD VelociRaptor 600GB...

WD's VelociRaptor 600GB, Model WD6000HLHX

Like the first-Gen VelociRaptor, the new 600GB variant you see pictured here employs a 2.5" form factor, with a 10K RPM spindle speed. This new offering, however, sports denser platters, more cache, a SATA 6Gb/s interface, and a dual-core processor; all features designed to crank performance up a notch or three. Will the new VelociRaptor hit the same speeds as an SSD? No. But it is the fastest HD we have ever tested. Read on and see for youself.

WD VelociRaptor (BLHX / HLHX Models)
Specifications and Features

Product Description
  • WD VelociRaptor
  • 2.5-inch bare drive
  • 3.5-inch w/IcePack configurations
  • 10,000 RPM
  • 32 MB buffer
  • Data X-fer Rate (Buffer to Disk) 145MB/s
  • 15mm z-height
  • 3-platter design, 200 GB/platter
  • Capacities of: 450 GB and 600 GB

Data path protection

  • Manufactured to Enterprise Reliability Standards
  • 1.4 million hours MTBF
  • 24x7 Power on (8760 annual POH)
  • Error Recovery
  • RAID-specific time-limited error recovery (TLER)
  • Vibration Tolerance
  • Rotary Acceleration Feed Forward (Enhanced RAFF)
  • 600k Head Load / Unload Cycles
  • Data LifeGuard 3
  • 5-year Warranty


Product Features

  • Halogen free
  • Full dual core processor
  • SATA 6 Gb/s


Looking at its specifications and features, one could easily confuse the WD VelociRaptor 600GB drive with a less advanced offering. It has "only" 32MB of cache, whereas many other current high-end hard drives feature 64MB, and its capacity its capacity is only 600GB. The WD VelociRaptor 600GB drive's 10K RPM spindle speed, SATA 6Gb/s support, and dual-core processor / controller, however, hint at the ultra high-performance this drive is capable of, relatively speaking of course.

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These are really looking good!

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Wow, most impressive. Do want!



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I like these drives just for the performance you get,........and I'm still not sold on SSD's either. I read the reviews on them (SSD's) and they sometimes just have too many weird problems.There are a bunch of people out there crying the blues after having bought one of them and run into problems.

They are a new technology still, but they're way too expensive for me.

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I was wondering when WD would drop the SATA 6 drive, I imagine a pair of these in Raid O would run pretty well. I know they would not be SSD speed, but imagine a decent SSD boot drive and 2 of these in raid for storage etc, then throw one of your old drives on the backside for full backup of the 0+1 array! I would imagine you'd have a fast stable fully backed up PC..........

After reading this whole article the prior assumptions stand. Many of those speeds actually seem to be in the realm of if not even slightly better than some low end SSD's as well. So I would say the SSD/ 2x raptor3/ 1x old 500ish GB backup setup would be nice.


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Nice! I liked all the graphs :), It shows its great for gaming :P

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Looks good against traditional spinning hard drives,,,,,,but with SSD's hitting the market and prices coming in this is a hard sell for me personally. I would have liked to see the Caviar Black 1TB or 2TB thrown into the mix, as if I remember correctly the Caviar Black could almost hang with the 300GB VelociRaptor.  

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We really like PCMark Vantage's HDD Performance for its real-world application measurement approach to testing.  From simple Windows Vista start-up performance to data streaming from a disk drive in a game engine and video editing with Windows Movie Maker, we feel confident that these tests best illustrate the real performance profile of our SSDs in an end user/consumer PC usage model.

Indeed, I couldn't agree more. I think this gives users the best estimate in terms of performance, instead of just putting numbers up on the benchmark. Speaking of which, the chart that was shown blew me away. It's amazing how effective the HDD is at overall gaming, making the lesser programs look weak in comparison. It makes sense though, since you have a 10,000 RPM drive, so the data transfer will be amazing either way. 

Honestly I thought that the Seagate Barracudas were really good performing HDD's for gaming, but this new VelociRaptor just completely changed my entire perception. 

Talk about a blow-out. The new WD VelociRaptor 600GB drive annihilated the competition in these four tests from the PCMark Vantage suite. None of the other drives came close to touching it.

What I like the most about that, is that Western Digital managed to 1-up themselves by a very, VERY  high degree. The increase in performance in very impressive. 

Once again, the new VelociRaptor 600GB drive significantly outpaces the competition in every test (while the actual margins may look small in some tests, the percentage gains are significant). The older 300GB VelociRaptor comes close to the new drive in a couple of the tests, but there is no contest in the others.

Again, just domination across the board. Haha. Since this test was targeted at video editing and media related material, I wonder how programs like Sony Vegas would fair. I imagine very well. The same thing with Adobe After Effects. These programs have to read a re-read High Definition videos in real time, and then edit them appropriately so the HDD can play them back again. In After Effects, its even more intensive when you add effects like motion blurs, and particles. The read out using this HDD is probably astounding and would probably take a load off of the GPU when composite rendering in real time. 

With that said, the new WD VelociRaptor is still the fastest hard drive money can buy. And it offers much more capacity than a similarly priced SSD, while at the same time being measurably faster than any other single HD thanks to its larger cache, increased areal density, and beefed-up dual-core controller versus the original. 

This is what troubles me. It's obvious that the future is Solid State Drives: No moving parts, very little (if any) heat conduction, reliable, quiet, and will probably never break. 

However, they are still very new, and are only available in low storage capacities. 

On the other hand, you have a VelociRaptor, that spins out incredible performance, but will be obsolete in a few years once SSD hits the big time. The only question is, how long will that be? 

It stands though, this HDD is the fastest on the planet....for now. 


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Well, maybe once Intel puts out smaller nm chips in their SSDs, that will be it for this drive. Aren't they planning on 25nm by the end of this year? That should help with pricing and capacities.


Even now, I would personally RAID SSDs than get one of these Raptors. For the price, I might now have as much space, but I won't need that much space for my essential programs.

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I think this will be the last of the VelociRaptor series as SSD's come down in price and grow in size we will hit that inflection point where it is no longer feasible to build a high speed spinning disk as the reasons Maruis Malek pointed out. Again how long will this be....we do not know, but if I was in the market for a hard drive I would go for a SSD and pair it with a Caviar Black 1TB and your set. Again this is dying technology and I am not one to catch a falling knife. Again very impressive what they accomplished with this drive make no mistake, it's just not for me. 

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wow i was wondering about these new velociraptor and now they released so fast..they looking good but i just wished the price was more lower

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