Review Index:

Western Digital VelociRaptor 600GB Review - Can the king return?

Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: Western Digital

Specs, Testing Methodology and System Setup


This drive adopts some features previously only available in the RE4 and 2TB Caviar Black: 

  • NoTouch™
    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).
  • 32MB
    cache — Up from 16MB on the 300GB VR.  Increased cache helps boost random access performance.  
  • Dual
    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

Back in our Caviar Black WD1002FAEX (6Gb/sec SATA) review, we determined that the current Marvell 6Gb/sec controllers and drivers, while decent, fall a bit short of Intel's native ICH10 solution.  Any advantage possibly seen by the greater interface throughput was countered by inefficiencies in the Marvell device driver.  Combined with the lack of proper S.M.A.R.T. reporting and other missing features, we will for the moment avoid clouding our HDD results with controllers suffering a 15% drop in write speeds (for some benches).
Marvell controllers and drivers are not sufficiently refined for comparative HDD testing.

Testing Methods  

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)
Motherboard Asus P6T
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)

Sound Card N/A
Video Card BFG Geforce 8400 GS 512MB PCI
Video Drivers Geforce 181.22
Power Supply Corsair CMPSU-650TX
DirectX Version DX9.0c
Operating System Windows XP X64 SP2

  • PCMark05
  • Yapt
  • IOMeter
  • HDTach
  • HDTune 

  • PCPer File Copy Test

October 11, 2011 | 09:14 AM - Posted by Webcrea (not verified)

superb your products...

July 20, 2012 | 05:23 AM - Posted by Evelina (not verified)

Great device. Western Digital is always on the top.
Evelina from adventure games

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