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|27th August 2008, 19:23||#1|
Join Date: May 2002
Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000BLFS
The majority of today's desktop machines still expect standard 3.5" drives. While some users seeking the ultimate in acoustic and thermal performance have taken to mounting notebook-oriented 2.5" designs into their home rigs, the consumer world remains a 3.5" landscape. Many readers have found out that desktop cases, 2.5" drives, and rails that convert such units to 3.5" form factors don't always get along. Screw holes frequently fail to line up and necessitate custom solutions such as drilling to get everything aligned.
WD has addressed the issue by outfitting initial shipments of the VelociRaptor in a custom 2.5" to 3.5" converter. Dubbed IcePAK, this aluminum chassis permits the drive to be mounted in any standard 3.5" bay. Though it's somewhat stylishly cut with heatsink-like fins, IcePAK's purpose is primarily form factor conversion, not heat distribution. It should be noted that an IcePAK-mounted VelociRaptor does not perfectly mimic a true 3.5" drive when it comes to rear-connection alignment; IcePAK drives won't work with the standard SATA/SAS backplanes found in many rack-mounted servers. Standard SATA cables, of course, work just fine. For enterprise use, the firm plans to ship VelociRaptors sans the 3.5" chassis.
The VelociRaptor's 2.5" design, as one would expect, incorporates two reduced-diameter platters packing 150 gigabytes each. The narrowed span leads to a manufacturer-claimed seek time of just 4.2 milliseconds, a 12% improvement over that of the WD1500ADFD.
Though a roomy 32-megabyte buffer accompanies some of today's terabyte drives, WD has chosen to stick with a more conservative 16 MB cache. In contrast to the 1.5 Gb/sec-equipped WD1500ADFD, the VelociRaptor represents the first iteration of the family to ship with a 3 Gb/sec SATA interface. Reflecting the series' continued enterprise-orientation, the WD3000BFLS ships with a claimed MTBF of 1.4 million hours and a 5-year warranty.
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