(Source: Ron Reznick)

Western Digital's 300 GB VelociRaptor  (Source: Western Digital)
Western Digital takes the fight to SSDs with next generation VelociRaptor

With all of the talk these days in the storage industry swirling around solid-state drives (SSDs), it's easy to forget that advances are being made in the hard disk drive (HDD) market as well for consumers. That fact is even more pertinent today with the announcement of the long-awaited update to Western Digital's line of 10,000 RPM Raptor HDDs: the 300 GB VelociRaptor.

The new VelociRaptor takes an untraditional approach for a desktop HDD with its 2.5" drive design. The 2.5" form factor allows the drive to be smaller, lighter, and more power efficient than its 3.5" rivals.

But what good is a 2.5" HDD in a desktop system which typically accommodates 3.5" HDDs? Western Digital addressed that issue by affixing the VelociRaptor to an "IcePack" heatsink which allows the drive to fit into a standard 3.5" drive bay.

"Demand for ever-higher PC performance continues to increase and WD is the leader in this category with the WD Raptor. We created WD VelociRaptor hard drives to lead PC enthusiasts into the next era of PC and Mac storage performance and satisfy their insatiable thirst for computing speed," said Western Digital's Tom McDorman. "The new WD VelociRaptor delivers the greatest performance and reliability of all SATA hard drives currently on the market."

When it comes to performance, Western Digital promises a 30% increase in performance through its SATA 3Gb/sec interface, 1.4 million MTBF, and Rotary Acceleration Feed Forward (RAFF) to improve performance in vibration-heavy environments.

The 300 GB VelociRaptor will be available in Alienware's high-performance ALX desktop system later this month, while end-users can purchase the drive in mid-May for $299.99.

For full performance specs on the amazing VelociRaptor, there is no shortage of reviews highlighting the new drive. You can read reviews from PC Perspective, Hot Hardware, Maximum PC and The Tech Report.

"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive
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