The 1TB WD VelociRaptor WD1000DHTZ is the first hard drive I have reviewed in a long time and that's because it's among only a few on the market that can be considered an alternative to standard solid-state drives (SSDs).
Among other things, the VelociRaptor is different from its peers by offering the spinning speed of 10,000 rpm, which translates into the best performance among consumer-grade hard drives. Compared with SSDs, it's not clearly behind either, in fact outdoing some in certain tests. On top of that it doesn't suffer from limited P/E (program/erase) cycles, which all SSDs do.
That said, if you are a professional who needs an internal drive that can handle lots of data writing and re-writing, such as editing movies, the new 1TB WD VelociRaptor WD1000DHTZ is the way to go. It's best to use two units in a RAID 0 configuration, or use it as a secondary hard drive on your computer with the main one being an SSD.
|Drive type||3.5-inch desktop internal drive|
|Connector options||SATA 3 (6GBps), SATA 2, SATA|
|Product dimensions||3.5-inch standard|
|Capacity of test unit||1TBGB|
|OSes supported||Windows, Mac, Linux|
The new 1TB WD VelociRaptor WD1000DHTZ looks exactly the same as the previous version, the 600GB VelociRaptor. While made for a desktop, the drive combines a 2.5-inch hard drive mounted on a heat-sink that also works as a drive-bay converter, making the whole package take the shape of a standard 3.5-inch hard drive. Even when taken out of its heat-sink, the VelociRaptor can't be used in a laptop since it's extra thick at 16mm, compared with the 9.5mm of a traditional 2.5-inch standard hard drive. That said, it's impressive that the drive now offers 1TB of storage space.
What's more impressive is its spinning speed; at 10,000 rpm, the drive's internal platters move some 30 percent faster than other high-speed hard drives (7200 rpm). Still, WD gives the drive the full five-year warranty and in my personal experience with previous versions of the VelociRaptor, the drive proves to be the best and most reliable on the market. The drive supports the lastest SATA 3 (6Gbps) but works with all existing SATA standards.
As I mentioned above, like all hard drives, the VelociRaptor doesn't suffer from limited program/erase (P/E) cycles. A P/E cycle is when you write data to a place on the drive, erase it, then write something new on the same spot. You can do this indefinitely with hard drives. With SSDs, however, there's a limited amount of time you can do that before the spot becomes unreliable. A SSD's limit is very high and virtually poses no problem for most people, but for those who need to do a lot of erasing and re-writing, such as editing big movies, hard drives are better suited for the job. The new VelociRaptor has that, plus comparatively large storage space, affordability, and very fast performance.
Cost per gigabyte
(Measured in dollars, based on current street pricing)
The new WD VelociRaptor WD1000DHTZ is not cheap. With a price of about $290 for 1TB, effectively some 29 cents per gigabyte, it's about the most expensive hard drives on the market. Compared with SSDs, however, it's still just one third of the price in terms of cost per gigabyte. It's also very hard to find an SSD that offers 1TB of storage space, and generally a 480GB SSD easily costs more than $500. Now the only question is if the new hard drive's performance is worth its price.