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June 24, 2006 by Devon
Western Digital Raptor WD1500ADFD
150GB, 10,000 RPM Hard Drive
Western Digital's 10,000 RPM "enterprise class" Raptor has long been
a favorite of the high-end crowd who appreciate the unique combination of a
10,000 RPM drive with a SATA interface that can be plugged into consumer motherboards
without requiring an additional expansion card.
Of course, the Raptor suffers from the usual drawback associated with high-RPM
drives: Limited capacity. For a long period of time, the largest Raptor held
just 74 GB of data large enough for general use, but tiny in comparison
to the 750 GB drive recently
released by Seagate. An update was in order. The most recent generation
of the Raptor, released in the baby days of 2006, doubled the maximum capacity
to 150 GB. At the same time, Western Digital released a flashy gaming edition
Raptor X that finally acknowledged the product's popularity among the gaming
to Storage Review, the two versions "are mechanically and electronically
identical", with the only notable differences being the appearance (the
Raptor X has a window) and the MTBF specifications. Of course, even if the two
drives perform identically, they are not necessarily equal in terms of heat
The higher areal density required to reach 150 GB has a side benefit: Increased
performance. This is fortunate for Western Digital, since several prominent
have reported that Seagate's 7200.10 nips at the Raptor's heels for the performance
The previous generation of
Raptors was been surprisingly quiet at least at idle. Hopefully this
hasn't changed in the newest version. An improvement in seek noise, which consisted
of sharp, sudden clicks, would also be welcome.
|Western Digital WD1500ADFD (quoted from Western Digital's
|FEATURE & BRIEF
designed and manufactured to enterprise-class standards to provide
enterprise reliability in high duty cycle environments. With 1.2 million
hours MTBF, these drives have the highest available reliability rating on
a high-capacity drive.
is always a bit of a question mark, since judging it accurately requires
long term evaluation of failure rates. High MTBF
is far from the only or the best way to judge reliability.
with a next-generation SATA interface, 1.5 Gb/s data transfer rate,
native command queuing (NCQ), and 16 MB cache, these drives
deliver optimum performance.
||Fast it had
better be if it is to be worth the high price per gigabyte.
time-limited error recovery (TLER) a feature unique to WD, prevents
drive fallout caused by the extended hard drive error-recovery processes
common to desktop drives.
the amount of time spent on error correction helps things run smoothly when
a drive is in trouble.
| Rotary Acceleration
Feed Forward (RAFF) optimizes operation and performance
when the drives are used in vibration-prone, multidrive systems such as
rack-mounted servers or network storage.
manufacturers have similar technology.
connector technology that accepts power from either industry-standard
or new SATA power supplies.
with older power supplies is a plus.
| 5-year warranty
an enterprise-class drive.
The specifications below are specific to model that we examined. Capacity,
cache size, platter number, interface, and even performance vary from model
to model even within a single product line. Acoustics and power dissipation
also vary depending on the number of platters in the drive; smaller capacity
drives tend to have fewer platters, and tend to produce less noise and use less
Specifications: Western Digital Raptor WD1500ADFD-00NLR1
Western Digital's web site)
| Formatted Capacity
| Spindle Rotation Speed
| Average Seek: Read / Write
4.6 ms / 5.2 ms
| Buffer to Disc Transfer Rate
84 MB/s (Sustained)
0.822 ± 0.082 kg
| Operating Temperature
5 - 55¬įC
| Power Dissipation: Idle / Seek
9.19 / 10.02 W
| +12V Current: Idle / Seek
375 / 470 mA
| +5V Current: Idle / Seek
875 / 938 ma
| Acoustics: Idle / Seek Mode 0
29 / 36 dBA
The current revision of the Raptor has several identifying marks. The most
visible one is the color of the top panel, which is now painted black like the
rest of Western Digital's lineup. The label has been shrunk slightly and has
changed shape. The photo below shows the old and the new revisions side by side.
The most certain way of identifying the new revision is by reading the revision
number that is appended to the model number. Our new sample was labeled with
the code 00NLR1, while the older model showed 00FLA2.
Old vs. new: The new Raptor (right) gets an all-black paint job and a smaller
Cosmetic details aside, the mechanical design does not appear to have changed.
The two drives share identical casings, right down to the ribbed edges that,
presumably, are meant to improve the drive's heat dissipation. The ribbing can
be seen in the photo below along the top edge of the drive. It is also present
along the left edge.
The drive can be powered by either a SATA or an IDE connector. Using both
will probably fry the drive.
Electronically, however, there do seem to have been changes. The logic board
is different, and a number of new features are supported. These include a larger
16 MB cache, support for Native Command Queuing (NCQ), plus two features designed
to increase the Raptor's appeal in the server market: Time-Limited Error Recovery
(TLER) and Rotary Acceleration Feed Forward (RAFF).
Neither of these latter two have much to offer to single users. Time-Limited
Error Recovery ships disabled by default, as it is useful only in RAID configurations
where in-drive error correction can be supplemented by correction routines in
the drive controller. Rotary Acceleration Feed Forward improves the drive's
resistance to vibration-induced errors by detecting external motion and compensating
by changing the position of the read/write head.
Not much change is visible from this angle. The logic boards are different,
but that's about it.
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