Brian

WD 600GB VelociRaptor Review

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Western Digital has released their 5th generation VelociRaptor, doubling the capacity of the previous 300GB model. The latest models come in 450GB (WD4500HLHX) and 600GB (WD6000HLHX) capacities as 2.5" hard drives with an IcePack, allowing them to fit in a 3.5" drive bay. Beyond increasing capacity, the new VelociRaptors promise a performance boost of 15% over the previous generation and draw less power than their 3.5" counterparts. Read the full review to see whether the drives should find a home in your performance rig or server.

Full Review

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Personally I have been eagerly awaiting this new Velociraptor. There are some things I am wondering about though:

1). The previous/current Velociraptor received occasional complaints for a high pitched whine, which was said to be exacerbated by the Icepack acting as a resonance chamber. Removing the icepack and thereby voiding the warranty was said to eliminate the problem. One suggestion to Western Digital was to give some thought to dampening the connection between the drive and the icepack a bit to avoid the resonance and thereby the whine. Presumably this might be done by placing some rubber shims between the screws attaching the drive to the icepack? Any indication that Western Digital changed the design in that respect?

2). Which leads me to platters. I own a 150GB Velociraptor, which is a single platter drive. No problems with whine, very quiet. I assume that the higher (two) platter count of the 300GB version makes for more noise (and whine). With the new model apparently having 200GB platters, would it be safe to assume that the WD1500HLHX is a short stroked single platter model, the WD3000HLHX a short stroked two platters, the WD4500HLHX a short stroked three platters and the WD6000HLHX a full stroke three platters?

Regards, Christine

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Im very curious about the noise and heat of this new drive as well.

Brian - what can you tell us about the temps and noise of this thing since you actually had one in-hand to do the review on?

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Personally I have been eagerly awaiting this new Velociraptor. There are some things I am wondering about though:

1). The previous/current Velociraptor received occasional complaints for a high pitched whine, which was said to be exacerbated by the Icepack acting as a resonance chamber. Removing the icepack and thereby voiding the warranty was said to eliminate the problem. One suggestion to Western Digital was to give some thought to dampening the connection between the drive and the icepack a bit to avoid the resonance and thereby the whine. Presumably this might be done by placing some rubber shims between the screws attaching the drive to the icepack? Any indication that Western Digital changed the design in that respect?

2). Which leads me to platters. I own a 150GB Velociraptor, which is a single platter drive. No problems with whine, very quiet. I assume that the higher (two) platter count of the 300GB version makes for more noise (and whine). With the new model apparently having 200GB platters, would it be safe to assume that the WD1500HLHX is a short stroked single platter model, the WD3000HLHX a short stroked two platters, the WD4500HLHX a short stroked three platters and the WD6000HLHX a full stroke three platters?

Regards, Christine

1) The drive is also sold without the IcePack. Ours came with the IcePack and had a sticker over one of the screw holes. But the sticker comes off clean, so I suppose you could try to put it back on if you needed to. I can't say if the design changed, but we wouldn't call it loud. In fact the noise when compared to other spindle disks we're reviewing right now, isn't noticeably louder or whinier.

2) There aren't 150GB or 300GB versions of this drive...unless they're to be announced later. And from what I understand, there almost wasn't a 450GB version. Given the pricing, I don't see why they decided to release the 450GB. Only $30 less based on MSRP.

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Im very curious about the noise and heat of this new drive as well.

Brian - what can you tell us about the temps and noise of this thing since you actually had one in-hand to do the review on?

As noted, noise level is good...seek times are quieter probably than other 3.5" drives.

As to heat, we mentioned in the review the external temp. We can jam the VR, Caviar Black and something else in a 3-bay backplane and stress them to get some internals if you like. I just don't really care for internal measurements that much, don't find them to be reliable.

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With respect to heat, my current/previous generation 150GB Velociraptor with the icepack on has no heat problems at all. At this moment after having been running for about 2.5 hours, my WD1500HLFS reads 30C/75F. For comparison the Hitachi 7K1000.B in the same computer is at 38C/100F. That is mostly idle.

I see Western Digital has the new Velociraptor up on their website now (it wasn't yet earlier today): http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.asp?DriveID=821

I guess you are right, no 150GB or 300GB models in the new version. I thought I saw a PDF somewhere suggesting there might be. The PDF on the WDC site (http://www.wdc.com/wdproducts/library/SpecSheet/ENG/2879-701284.pdf) says the same thing: only 450 and 600 in the new version.

Regards, Christine

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As noted, noise level is good...seek times are quieter probably than other 3.5" drives.

As to heat, we mentioned in the review the external temp. We can jam the VR, Caviar Black and something else in a 3-bay backplane and stress them to get some internals if you like. I just don't really care for internal measurements that much, don't find them to be reliable.

Sorry - i missed the heat number amongst all the graphs.

110F while just sitting on a desk sounds quite reasonable. No need to do other measurements from my point of view.

Now I just need to figure out how many I can afford fit in my case for when I upgrade.

Also - some interesting numbers from techreport when they hooked this thing to a sata III controller. This makes me wonder if we should wait for a few firmware revisions before getting one.

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I didn't see anything about noise actually in the review, or did I miss it?

Also if you could do a side-by-side comparison chart for power consumption rather than putting in a separate chart for the Caviar Black 2TB, that might be more useful-- I got confused for a second when I scrolled down too fast.

Adding a little arrow to the test charts to indicate which numbers are better-- smaller or later-- might also help, especially since you tend to have MB/s, IOPs, and access time/response time/seek time all in the same cluster of charts.

Listing IOMeter graphs, HTPC graphs, and Productivity graphs (etc..) in both MB/s and IOps for the same test is a bit redundant, no?

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I didn't see anything about noise actually in the review, or did I miss it?

Also if you could do a side-by-side comparison chart for power consumption rather than putting in a separate chart for the Caviar Black 2TB, that might be more useful-- I got confused for a second when I scrolled down too fast.

Adding a little arrow to the test charts to indicate which numbers are better-- smaller or later-- might also help, especially since you tend to have MB/s, IOPs, and access time/response time/seek time all in the same cluster of charts.

Listing IOMeter graphs, HTPC graphs, and Productivity graphs (etc..) in both MB/s and IOps for the same test is a bit redundant, no?

Noise is subjective at this point while we still work out some kinks in our testing methods.

Side-by-side charts for Power and CrystalMark are something we are looking into but we dont want to add so much information into the chart that it is hard to understand. Some of our charts are getting small tweaks here and there. We might have a few samples to go from of various ways to present the comparable data and if one looks good we might go with it.

This is something we might be able to work into the next set. Something as simple as "higher is better" or "lower is better" at the bottom of the chart would probably work.

The reasoning behind listing both MB/s and IOps is the ratio between the two jumbers changes depending on the type of test. Take the HTPC test for example right now in the VelociRaptor review. The ratio between MBs and IOPs is 0.045:1 where in the Productivity test it is 0.029:1. The SSD tests have a similar impact (going by the Intel numbers) it is 0.046:1 and 0.029:1.

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How many platters on the 600GB drive? 3? I'm trying to see when the 1200GB will be released by looking at current platter densities of laptop drives.

If it's 3 platters, then 400GB/platter on the next version probably. We have 7.2K 375GB laptop drives and soon 500GB.. which means the new velociraptor isn't very far off even when accounting for the 10K spindle speed.

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Western Digital has released their 5th generation VelociRaptor, doubling the capacity of the previous 300GB model. The latest models come in 450GB (WD4500HLHX) and 600GB (WD6000HLHX) capacities as 2.5" hard drives with an IcePack, allowing them to fit in a 3.5" drive bay. Beyond increasing capacity, the new VelociRaptors promise a performance boost of 15% over the previous generation and draw less power than their 3.5" counterparts. Read the full review to see whether the drives should find a home in your performance rig or server.

Full Review

Any chance we could get a review with the newest raptor? I see this one is two years old at this point. :)

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Any chance we could get a review with the newest raptor? I see this one is two years old at this point. :)

I'd edit my last post but it doesn't appear to let me...

Anyway, looks like you guys DID review the newer one.. it just wasn't linked from the leaderboard. Whoops, my bad! :(

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