Western Digital Hard Drive Shows All

At a Glance
  • Western Digital Raptor WD1500ADFD 150GB Hard Drive (Serial ATA, 10,000 RPM, 16MB)

    PCWorld Rating

Western Digital's Raptor X offers a window into its internal workings, and 10,000-rpm speed.
Western Digital's Raptor X offers a window into its internal workings, and 10,000-rpm speed.
Western Digital offers an appealing first with its 10,000-rpm Raptor drive, which features a durable see-through cover that lends a clear view of its spinning hard disk. Reinforcing its allure to appearance-conscious system builders, the $350 Raptor X delivers state-of-the-art performance. And its expanded storage capacity (twice the size of its roomiest predecessor) doesn't hurt either.

The Raptor X improves significantly on its 10,000-rpm predecessors: First, its maximum capacity has leapt from 74GB to 150GB, meaning that a two-drive striped desktop RAID will give you screaming performance and a comfortable 300GB of storage. WD has increased the buffer size from 8MB to 16MB, too, to accommodate more data. The interface remains Serial ATA-150 (instead of SATA-300), which the company says can still keep up with the drive's fastest transfers.

I looked at a shipping model of the clear-cover drive, while the Test Center checked out a shipping version of the $300 enterprise version (the same drive, minus the see-through lens). The drive is the fastest we've ever tested: On the Nero component of our WorldBench 5 test, it whipped its next-fastest competitor by 80 seconds (16 percent).

At press time, the company had yet to establish a price for its retail kit, which will include an easy-to-follow setup poster, WD's Data Lifeguard utilities, and a SecureConnect data cable that provides an extra-sturdy connection. You have to be a real enthusiast to pony up the extra $50 for the WD Raptor X with a clear cover (and you'll also need to buy a special see-through PC case in order to view it), but whichever model you choose, you can't find a faster desktop drive.

Western Digital Raptor X


Expensive 150GB drive offers ultrafast 10,000-rpm speeds and a see-through case.
Price when reviewed: $350 (drive only)
Current prices (if available)

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Expensive 150GB drive offers ultrafast 10,000-rpm speeds and a see-through case.

    Pros

    • Ultrafast

    Cons

    • Low capacity
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