Western Digital My Book VelociRaptor Duo Review

Article Index

Our Summary & Conclusion

Performance Summary: The VelociRaptor 1TB (10,000 RPM) drives ensconced in the Western Digital My Book VelociRaptor Duo delivered performance that was comparable to (but not exactly equal to) the same type of drive set up as an internal drive. There were a couple of notable performance differences, however. Note again that there is not yet RAID support for the VelociRaptor Duo in Windows, so once that firmware update comes through and you can stripe both HDDs in RAID 0, expect roughly double the performance in Windows, as we demonstrated in our Mac OS X testing.

Running with a Mac, the unit delivered on the performance promise of a RAID 0 configuration. Does it match the performance of a high-end SSD? No, but it’s not terribly far off either.  You also get the notable benefit of spacious 2TB storage that can hit raw bandwidth numbers in the area of 350MB/sec.  For the Mac platform, the WD My Book VelociRaptor Duo is one of the fastest external personal storage devices on the market currently.

Western Digital My Book VelociRaptor Duo

If you’re looking for the best balance between speed and capacity, one WD VelociRaptor drives is currently it, and the VelociRaptor Duo has two of them. Thus, this external storage device is ideal for creative endeavors like video editing and production, that require both lots of storage and robust transfer speeds, a current lack of RAID 0 support in Windows notwithstanding.

The My Book VelociRaptor Duo itself features an attractive enough design considering that it’s essentially just a simple rectangular box, and although some of the plastic pieces feel flimsy, Western Digital gets high marks for making it easy to switch drives in or out. However, we didn’t like how much heat the unit generated, particularly around the actual Thunderbolt port; the device seems like it could use a fan--which of course would unfortunately add a layer of unwanted noise and draw more power. So it goes.

Western Digital does offer a three-year limited warranty on the My Book VelociRaptor Duo, which should be music to the ears of anyone who's used an external storage device for any length of time.  Your data is priceless of course, but at least your hardware is covered.  Mac users looking for data redundancy can setup a RAID 1 for a little more peace of mind.  Again, we're hopeful RAID support comes to Windows platforms soon.

Finally, there’s the issue of price: this bad boy lists at $899.99 MSRP. That’s awfully steep, but bear in mind that other external storage systems typically have 7200RPM drives installed, instead of the 10,000RPM drives that the VelociRaptor Duo has. The premium you’re paying is for the extra throughput and the relatively new Thunderbolt interface that can support the higher speed transfers.

High cost and a couple of rather minor complaints aside, the My Book VelociRaptor Duo is designed with a certain type of user in mind, and for that specific segment, Western Digital offers seriously fast external storage over the fastest external PC link available on the market today.  Mac-powered Video Production mavens should be all over this storage device, though you've got to pay to play.
  • Impressive RAID 0 performance
  • Solid single drive performance
  • Ease of use
  • Three-year warranty
  • No RAID in Windows Yet
  • Pricey
  • Heat dissipation seems inadequate

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