WD VelociRaptor 1TB 10K RPM SATA III Hard Drive

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Although solid state drives have generated the lion’s share of buzz in the storage space these last few years, traditional hard drives with spinning media continue to be a mainstay of the industry, and have evolved to offer higher capacities and more performance than ever before. Of course, even the fastest of today’s hard drives can’t compete with solid state drives in terms of peak transfer speeds and especially access times, but the release of the new WD VelociRaptor we’ll be showing you here today helps close the gap just a bit.

WD’s VelociRaptor hard drives have been popular amongst enthusiasts since their initial introduction in 2009. The drives don’t offer the huge capacities of their true 3.5”, 7200RPM counterparts. The latest VelociRaptor, however, increases the capacity of WD’ flagship consumer drives to the 1TB mark, while also doubling up on the cache and offering the same 10K spindle speeds the drives are known for. New, lower capacity 500GB and 250GB VelociRaptors are on the way as well, that offer the same enhancements as the flagship 1TB drive. Take a look at the specifications below and then we’ll dive in and see what WD’s latest VelociRaptor can do...

WD VelociRaptor 1TB Hard Drive, Model WD1000DHTZ  

Western Digital VelociRaptor
Specifications & Features

Like the original WD VelociRaptors that came before it, this latest iteration has a unique aesthetic versus standard 3.5” hard drives, thanks to the WD IcePak tray / cooler. While the actual drive itself conforms to a 2.5" form factor, having it mounted into the IcePak essentially transforms it into a 3.5" drive with enhanced cooling characteristics.


WD VelociRaptor 1TB Hard Drive, Model WD1000DHTZ

While the WD VelociRaptor 1TB WD1000DHTZ model shown here does conform to the standard 3.5" form factor, the actual drive mechanics are housed in a 2.5" HDA drive with a 15mm z-height, similar to the original VelociRaptor and many enterprise-class SAS hard drives available today. The drive itself is mounted in what is essentially a large heatsink, which helps wick heat away from the drive, while also adapting its connectors to fit in any standard 3.5" bay or backplane.

The WD VelociRaptor is targeted at performance enthusiasts, workstations, and the enterprise. Like previous-generation VelociRaptors, it's platters spin at 10K RPM and because they are physically smaller than standard 3.5" drives, the VelociRaptor is typically able to access and transfer data much more quickly than full sized, 3.5" offerings. Complementing the drive mechanism is 64MB of data cache, a high-speed controller with newly tweaked firmware and caching algorithms, and a SATA 6Gb/s interface. In addition, the new WD VelociRaptor also supports WD’s Rotary Acceleration Feed Forward (RAFF) technology, which helps maintain performance in vibration prone multi-drive chassis, NoTouch ramp load technology to prevent the recording heads from ever touching a platter, and Pre-emptive Wear Leveling (PWL) that enhances reliability for applications that perform a high incidence of read / write operations at the same physical location on the disk.

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realneil 2 years ago

While I see this as a worthy HDD to have, I can't help but think I would be better served with an SSD for my OS installation, backed up with a more traditional (and less expensive) HDD as storage in my system.

SSD's are coming down in price all of the time. Newegg has a OCZ Agility 3  240GB SATA III Solid State Drive for $199.99 today as a shell-shocker deal.


Drake_McNasty 2 years ago

I agree 100% @realneil. I just picked up a shell-shocker 120gb corsair force gt for $120. After using an ssd for my boot drive I would never be able to go back to a mechanical drive for boot/programs. That begin said this is an amazing drive for someone who needs speed and storage space at the same time. I'm happy to see the 5-year warranty on this puppy. Anything spinning that fast always worries me on the reliability front.

sevags 2 years ago

Nothing spinning this fast worries me when it comes to reliability. I've owned several generations of Raptors from WD, the longest being my 75gb raptor which has been on and running 24/7 (give or take a few days a year down time) since 2004... Yes 8 years and it is still currently running and on. I've never had a raptor die whether in my own systems or in someone else's rig I built

LBowen 2 years ago

Another great review; I purchased one these drives before I knew the joy of an SSD, it served as my game drive. It's still a great purchase but I agree with what has been said that SSD are continually dropping in price and the performance increase is just so dramatic with an SSD.

rapid1 2 years ago

Yeah realneil your right on the money an Intel SSD at 60GB (perfect for an OS drive with performance to spare) and maybe 2 1 TB (one for programs one for media) drives probably for less than one of these things, double the storage space, and at least double the general OS performance if not quadruple.

HCartwright 2 years ago

60GB as an OS drive? That's hardly enough. Consider a 90GB.

inspector 2 years ago

Ya i would have to agree with realneil. Although if i did have the money it doesn't hurt to have some fast HDD on top of a SSD :D.

The price for a this is reasonable but not in my price range to get. Maybe soon SSD will be come as low as a traditional HDD then life is good :D

BMAN 2 years ago

For a while now; I've been using a Corsair Force Gt as my main drive, and a 300GB WD VelociRaptor as my backup/ data drive...doesn't hurt to have to fast drives to run your system.

Very stable HDD's, I've had my WD running now for over 4 years.

Alannis 2 years ago

That begin said this is an amazing drive for someone who needs speed and storage space at the same time. 

dustbeta 2 years ago

I do agree with realneil, but I think you lose some convenience having to path My Documents and some Programs to another drive. I think this drive at 1TB along with a 60GB Intel SSD 330 using Intel Smart Resoponse Technology would be ideal. I am doing a new build next week and will try that configuration out. Best of both worlds I figure.

rapid1 2 years ago

I posted on the HH Bargains post Newegg has OCZ 60GB SSD's on sale for $59.99 now, I saw either a Corsair or a Samsung at 64GB yesterday for $79.99 and then you have the INTEL for $89.99. If you complimented this with a couple of these for Data and Media drives and use a SSD as an OS drive it optimizes the system. They even have smaller than 1TB Raptors of the current build for much less.

OSunday 2 years ago

What do you guys think of Intels' Smart Respone Technology that uses an SSD up to 64GB sort of like a cache or drive buffer for mechanical hard drives?

The Gigabyte Motherboard I won a while back (Thank you HotHardware!) has that on it and I happen to have a 30GB SSD lying around that I got irritated configuring when I first built my PC and had previous forgotten about

The performance differences in the youtube video I saw seemed pretty decent and this seemed like one of the most cost efficient ways to speed up your system on a bang for buck route

Wonder what an SSD Cached with a WD Velociraptor would be be like

Here's the vid if a Smart Respone to Pure Mechanical comparison anyone wants to check it out : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ei7kkOHa0iw

RBaker 2 years ago

Better off Just to use a SSD (now less than £90 for 128gb) and have vast swathes of space on a 3tb drive. The naughty diskers are pushing ppl too the big drives as the small drives (3tb @120 or 500gb for £60) are such bad value. Admittedly if you have tp put a HD into a system for supply to someone else then every penny counts.

BTW the Disk factories are back in full swing, 3tb pouring out de factory doors.

VelociRaptor 2 years ago

I bought two WD6000HLHX a year ago and have RAID 0 setup, these drives run 24/7 most of the time or 24/5 as in need for use. Not had anything but great performance from them. Read and Write speeds outperform all consumer HDDs and many SSDs. I would upgrade to new SSDs if they were more reliable and reasonably priced. Will be buying a few of these 1TB VelociRaptors... Interested in the CSSD-F480GBGT-BK for their speed, but until they can reach the capacity and price as the WD VelociRaptors then I won't buy them. I backup my data onto external HDDS so if they fail I can make a full restoration. I've had very bad expeirnece with Seagate HDDs and constantly returning them for repair.

Just keep in mind that RAID was never meant as a backup solution, not mirroring. And if you want to avoid failure of RAID 0 array during loss of power or improper shutdown/restart of PC, simply disable write-back cache and it won't happen. I've tested mine with this disabled and speeds are just as rapid, and shutdown pc improperly and cut power and no harm done to HDDs or data on them! Always make backups weekly or more often if you can!

Zyperis 2 years ago

Wow this is amazing. It has a lot of space and given that it is a SATA harddrive it is impressively fast.

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