Western Digital VelociRaptor 600GB Review - Can the king return?
Specs, Testing Methodology and System Setup
This drive adopts some features previously only available in the RE4 and 2TB Caviar Black:
ramp load technology — Previously called "IntelliPark". Drive heads
take an 'exit ramp' off of the platters instead of landing on the
platters when the drive is spun down. You know how the most damage is
done to your engine when you start it on a cold morning? This means
the drive heads do not have to break stiction each and every time the drive spins up. The heads are able to leave the ramp and float onto the spinning disk.
- Native Command Queuing (NCQ) — The drive
can reorder groups of reads/writes to minimize overall head movement,
and therefore increase effective access time. Beware - this is only
effective with an AHCI-enabled SATA controller.
- Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR) —
Bits are aligned vertically instead of horizontally to get more packed
onto each platter. Think dominoes (the game, not the food).
cache — Up from 16MB on the 300GB VR. Increased cache helps boost random access performance.
processors — Introduced with the RE4-GP line, the additional core helps
the drive keep track of the added cache and increased throughput
streaming off of the head pack.
- RAID-specific time-limited error recovery (TLER) — The drive
limits the 'hang' experienced on a read error in order to avoid a RAID
controller considering the drive dead / offline.
- Rotary Acceleration Feed Forward (RAFF™) — I've got nothing. Just kidding. More on this near the end of the article.
- Memory path protection —
The data path architecture has been modified to prevent silent data
corruption along the internal data buses (i.e. parity bits).
While there is added cache and some new bells and whistles to the feature list, the vast majority of specs remain unchanged. Seek, noise and power ratings remain nearly identical to the previous model. The physical size remains the same despite the additional platter. There was one spec that stood out: Load/unload rating has gone from 50,000 to 600,000 cycles, presumably due to advances in the ramp load tech over the past two years. Remember the ramp concept was a fresh idea with the 300GB VR, but much has changed since then.
Specific to this Review
tests are a good mix of synthetic and real-world benchmarks. PCMark,
IOMeter, HDTach, HDTune, Yapt and our custom File Copy test round out
the selection to cover just about all bases. If you have any questions
about our tests just drop into the Storage Forum and we'll help you out!
Test System Setup
|Hard Drive Test System Setup|
|CPU||Intel Core i7 920 @ 4 GHZ (HT disabled)|
|Memory||Corsair Dominator 6GB DDR3-1600|
|Hard Drive||G.Skill 32GB SLC SSD
WD VelociRaptor 600GB WD6000HLHX
WD VelociRaptor 300GB WD3000GLFS (150GB/platter)
WD Caviar Black WD1002FAEX-00Z3A0 (500GB/platter)
WD Caviar Green WD20EADS-00R6B0 (500GB/platter)
WD RE4-GP WD2002FYPS-01U1B0 (500GB/platter)
WD Caviar Black WD2001FASS-00U0B0 (500GB/platter)
WD RE4 WD2003FYY-01T8B0 (500GB/platter)
|Video Card||BFG Geforce 8400 GS 512MB PCI|
|Video Drivers||Geforce 181.22|
|Power Supply||Corsair CMPSU-650TX|
|Operating System||Windows XP X64 SP2|
- PCPer File Copy Test