So, is the hard drive's performance worth its cost? The answer is, for the most part, yes.
I stacked up the new WD VelociRaptor WD1000DHTZ against some SSDs I recently reviewed and the hard drive, while clearly behind in terms of boot/shutdown/wake time, was very impressive in terms of data copying speed.
I tested the drive both when it was used as a secondary hard drive and as the main hard drive that hosts the operating system. I also tried using two units in a RAID 0 setup.
When used as the secondary drive, the new VelociRaptor registered 150MBps when used as a single drive, faster than SanDisk Ultra SSD. When two units were used in a RAID 0, it was even faster at 263MBps. In this test, the drive performed only the writing.
When used as the main hard drive that hosts the operating system, the VelociRaptor also did very well, especially compared with other hard drives, at 62MBps. Note that in this test, the drive performed both writing and reading at the same time, since I copied data from one folder to another on the same drive.
From these numbers, it's clear that the hard drive is best used in a setup when it's the secondary drive of your computer where hot data is stored, with the main drive being an SSD.
(Measured in seconds, shorter bars mean better performance)
(Measured in MB/s, longer bars mean better performance)
|As Secondary drive||As OS drive|