Western Digital VelociRaptor 300GB WD3000GLFS Review - Evolution
Internal technical detail aside, the Western Digital VelociRaptor is unlike any other 3.5" hard drive you have ever laid eyes on it.
The actual package of the hard drive itself is a 2.5" HDA with a 15mm height; it is a lesser-known standard more used in high density servers today but could eventually find its way to your PC in the coming years. WD is a savvy company though - rather than spend all that cash on R&D for an enthusiast limited 3.5" drive they decided to aim at a form factor that will give the VelociRaptor life outside gaming PCs (but likely under a different name).
The black heatsink that the VelociRaptor rests in is just that - a large heatsink (called the WD IcePAK) designed to give the drive better heat dissipation and designed to fit perfectly into your current 3.5" drive bays.
For those that are curious - WD does not allow the hard drive to be removed from the IcePAK without obvious warranty-removing actions. Yes there are some screws on the bottom (torx), but you do that at your own risk! Besides, are you going to duct tape it to your case or something?
You can see better in this angle the design of the IcePAK and its fins that transmit the heat over a larger area. These aren't just pretty to look at either:
What you are seeing above is Western Digital's results of running the new VelociRaptor in and out of the WD IcePAK cooling device. The thermal image on the left is with the IcePAK in use; the hottest temperature shown there is 33.8C or so. On the right image you'll notice the hot spot is listed at 41.0C - a dramatic 7C drop.
The drive uses the standard SATA data and power connections - no more legacy 4-pin Molex connectors to be found here.
Finally, just for a point of reference and to prove I'm not lying, here is a shot of the new 300GB VelociRaptor sitting next to its older brother, the Raptor X.