Our Summary and Conclusion
Performance Summary: The new WD VelociRaptor 1TB is the fastest consumer-class hard drive we have tested to date. Versus the previous generation VelociRaptor 600GB drive, the new 1TB model comes out ahead virtually across the board, especially in terms of write performance. Versus the higher-capacity 7200 RPM drives we tested, the new VelociRaptor also comes out mostly ahead as well. It was only with the smallest transfer sizes (<4K) in the ATTO Disk Benchmark that the WD VelociRaptor 1TB offered middling performance, but once transfer sizes increased beyond that point, WD’s new flagship sprinted past the other drives and dominated. Sequential and random transfers and access times have all been improved with the new VelociRaptor versus WD’s previous generation.
The WD VelociRaptor
When we first tested the WD VelociRaptor 600GB drive a couple of years back, we began our conclusion with this statement: “The landscape in the PC storage space is very different today than it was when the original VelociRaptor launched in April of last year (2009). Since then, Solid State Drives, while still extremely expensive in terms of cost per GB, have gotten much more affordable and performance has increased dramatically. At the same time, the cost of relatively speedy, high-capacity 7200 RPM hard drives has dropped to right around $.10 per GB (give or take a couple of pennies). In the current market, it would be possible to purchase a 60GB SSD to use as a boot volume and a pair of relatively fast 7200RPM 640GB - 1TB hard drives, for the same price as a single 600GB VelociRaptor. RAID the hard drives together and you end up with a "best of both worlds" type of scenario--a super-fast solid state boot volume and a large bulk storage volume that also happens to be pretty fast. With options like that possible today, it's increasingly more difficult to find the ideal fit for the VelociRaptor 600GB drive in an enthusiast's desktop rig, today. 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”.
Despite some major changes in the storage space in the last couple of years, all of that essentially remains true today, though there are pros and cons to a having to go with a RAID 0 solution to achieve the kind of throughput the VelociRaptor is capable of.
WD’s latest VelociRaptor hard drives should be available immediately. As we mentioned earlier, in addition to the WD VelociRaptor 1TB drive we tested here, 500GB and 250GB models are coming as well. The VelociRaptor 1TB drive (model WD1000DHTZ) will be priced around $319.99 USD, the 500GB version (model WD5000HHTZ) around $209.99 and the 250GB version (model WD2500HHTZ) $159.99, and all of the drives carry a 5-Year warranty. At those prices, the new VelociRaptor line-up is significantly more expensive than similar capacity 7200RPM drives, but as our performance evaluation has shown, WD’s new flagship drives offer clearly superior performance. The performance increases alone don’t necessarily justify the lofty price premium, but if you’re in the market for the fastest desktop hard drive money can buy, and a speedy access to bulk storage, the new WD VelociRaptor is it.