Western Digital Velociraptor 300GB SATA HD

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Our Summary and Conclusion

Performance Summary: Summarizing the WD Velociraptor's performance couldn't be any easier. In every benchmark and test we ran, the new Velociraptor was clearly the fastest drive of the lot, and usually by a wide margin.  In terms of sequential or random reads and writes, access time, I/Os, or burst rates, the WD Velociraptor is the fastest hard drive we have ever tested. CPU utilization was markedly higher than the other drives we tested, but higher utilization is to be expected considering the Velociraptor's performance characteristics.  We should note, that the drive we tested was an engineering sample and testing of the firmware was not 100% complete.  It's possible, tweaks to the drive's firmware could change its performance versus what you've seen here, but WD assures us "it will only get better".

Although they've been relatively quiet on the enthusiast front for quite a while, the Velociraptor proves Western Digital still knows how to produce high performance products for power users.  From a performance standpoint, at least for now, the WD Velociraptor its quiet simply in a league of its own.

Of course, with only a 300GB capacity (279GB formatted) the Velociraptor suffers from the same shortcoming of its predecessors in today's landscape where 750GB can be had for well below $200.  But like Raptors that came before it, we suspect enthusiasts won't mind considering the drives extreme performance.  At an MSRP of $299 though, a price per gigabyte leader the Velociraptor is not.  While some very fast high-capacity drives can be had for roughly .22 per gigabyte, the Velociraptor commands a hefty $1.

The WD Velociraptor will be available very soon in select Alienware systems and it should be in the channel sometime in mid-May.  If you're in the market for some super-fast storage, and can wait just a little longer, do yourself a favor and check out the WD Velociraptor.



  • Extremely FAST
  • Low Power Consumption
  • WD IcePAK Cooling
  • High Cost Per Gigabyte
  • Relatively Low Capacity

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