Saturday, September 8, 2007

Western Digital RaptorX WD1500AHFD 150GB Clear Top SATA Hard Drive Review

The Western Digital Raptor hard drive achieves its remarkable performance thanks to the high rotation speed of its platters. At 10,000 RPM the WD Raptor is definitely one of the fastest spinning Serial ATA desktop HDD on the market, on par with enterprise level SCSI counterparts. While 7200 RPM drives are improving in performance by increasing platter density and putting larger caches on the HDD, Western Digital uses a "brute force" type method in increasing performance.

The only drawback to Western Digital's Raptor family is the premium price it commands, and a relatively small storage capacity. Conventional 7200 RPM desktop HDDs come in capacities up to 1TB (1000GB), and 500GB models can be had for around $100US. Western Digital's 74GB Raptor goes for around $130 USD, so you see what we mean.

Western Digital alleviate the storage bottleneck with the 150GB WD1500AFHD RaptorX, a serial ATA hard drive with a clear window into its inner workings. Western Digital offers two variants of its high performance 150GB HDD, the Raptor WD1500ADFD and the RaptorX WD1500AHFD. The difference between the two is that Raptor 'ADFD' has a solid steel top while the RaptorX 'AHFD' has a crystal clear plastic see through top - so you can see the hard drive platters spinning and the read arm moving rapidly back and forth. The Western Digital RaptorX is the only hard drive on the planet that lets you look into the heart of the drive.

The 150GB Western Digital RaptorX WD1500AHFD SATA hard drive retails for about $206 CDN ($196 USD, £96 GBP), and comes with HDD management software and WD Secure Connect SATA DATA cable.