150GB Raptor Reviewed

Storage Review has somehow managed to get their hands on the new 150GB Western Digital Raptor hard drive. Retaining an insane 10,000rpm speed as well as NCQ support and a now larger buffer this new Raptor is easily the fastest non-SCSI drive on the planet. Take one look at the gaming benchmarks in this review and you'll soon find yourself trying to justify the hefty $300 price tag.

Breathlessly waited for by enthusiasts around the world, the Raptor WD1500 improves upon its predecessor by margins of up to 21% when it comes to our single-user productivity and gaming tests. The Raptor WD740GD in and of itself was no slouch; as shown in this review, building upon its predecessor's impressive legacy permits the WD1500 to vie with and arguably top the fastest 15,000 RPM SCSI drives to stake its claim as the world's fastest when it comes to non-server performance. Priced at $300, the standard version commands twice the WD740GD's price; up there, but not out of this world when compared to the disparity buyers experience when moving from a 250 GB ($100) to a 500 GB ($300+) drive. This, of course, may simply complicate the power user's dilemma. Given $300-$350 in cash, should an enthusiast choose the monstrous 500 GB Hitachi Deskstar 7K500 (a great performer in its own right) or sacrifice more than 2/3rds of the capacity to garner the swiftest speeds ever delivered by a mechanical storage device?
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