Benchmark Analysis Wrap-up And The Rating
Hands down the Western Digital Raptor WD1500ADFD and its windowed counterpart, the WD1500AHFD, are the fastest standard SATA desktop hard drives we've tested thus far. The WD1500 drives out-paced their predecessor, the Raptor WD740GD, in every single test by a comfortable margin and offered a significantly more impressive performance profile over the DiamondMax 10 7200 RPM drives we tested as well, which historically have been competitive alternatives with their 16MB caches and NCQ.
In short, we'd challenge any other drive manufacturer out there today to offer a standard SATA drive that can compete with this new Western Digital Raptor in terms of performance. The WD1500 series Raptor is simply, in a word, impressive. Those of you looking for the fastest file system, OS and application performance will be thoroughly impressed with Western Digital's third generation Raptor. It may be smallish versus some of the larger current generation SATA drives on the market, but plugged into a high-end system as the main OS drive and supported by a second storage element (internal or external) for mass storage, this new Raptor makes all the sense in the world. Sports Car-like random read/write performance coupled with a 10K RPM spindle speed, 16MB cache and the latest storage command queuing algorithms, adds up to enthusiast-class storage excellence; not to mention what these drives could do in a server environment, as lower cost alternatives to traditional SCSI 320 offerings. After all, WD does technically classify the Raptor WD1500 as a "high performance enterprise" drive, so we can't forget that target market either can we? (wink, wink)
With an MSRP of $299 for the windowless WD1500 and $349 for the Raptor X (street prices are already dipping below these marks), we're confident the drives will be a big hit in the mainstream Performance Desktop market. We can't say enough about the Raptor WD1500, the drives are just that good. With comparatively higher costs versus many 7200 RPM drives, to the tune of almost 2 times the price in some case, we'll have to stop short of a perfect score for the new Western Digital Raptor WD1500 series but you can bet your barracuda we're giving them an Editor's Choice.
|•_Fastest SATA drive we've ever tested
•_16MB cache buffer
•_Relatively cool and quiet
•_Tradition of reliability for the Raptor series
•_A trade-off of speed versus capacity