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Western Digital Intros 600GB SATA HDD

The latest VelociRaptor doubles the storage of WD's fastest SATA hard disk drive.
Western Digital on Tuesday launched a 600-GB VelociRaptor, doubling the capacity of the company's fastest SATA hard disk drive.

The VelociRaptor family, introduced two years ago with a maximum of 300 GB of storage, has a spindle speed of 10,000 RPM and a 2.5-inch form factor. The drives are designed for blade servers, high-performance PCs, Macs, professional workstations, and 1U and 2U rack servers.

WD claims the latest VelociRaptors, available with 450 GB or 600 GB of storage, are the only 10,000 RPM drives in the market that support the SATA 6-Gb-per-second interface standard. WD boosts storage in the new drives by increasing the platter density to 200 GB from 150 GB.

Other specifications include a 32-MB cache and a mean time between failures of 1.4 million hours. To boost reliability, the VelociRaptor line contains technology that protects its rotation mechanism in a vibration-prone, multi-drive chassis by parking recording heads off the disk during spin up, spin down, and when the drive is off.

The new drives come in a 2.5-inch form factor, but with a height of six-tenths of an inch are too thick for the average laptop. Like the previous generation, to fit the latest drives in a standard 3.5-inch system bay, buyers also need WD's IcePack enclosure, which is a mounting frame with built-in heat sink.

The manufacturer suggested retail prices for the 600-GB and 450-GB VelociRaptors are $329 and $299, respectively. The drives come with a five-year warranty.

Despite the speed of the VelociRaptors, the drives are still slower than solid-state drives, which are used in computers and data centers in applications where speed is critical. SSDs are used more selectively because of their much higher cost when compared to HDDs.

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