Western Digital unveils speedy 2.5-in. hard drive

The VelociRaptor will be offered through the company's online store and resellers in May for about US$300

Western Digital has launched the first model of its new 2.5-in. VelociRaptor VR 150 hard-drive product line, which company executives said offers about twice the capacity of the 2.5-in. Raptor hard drive it will replace.

The new VelociRaptor WD3000GLFS hard drive stores up to 300GB and is designed for high-performance gaming systems and video editing applications running on PCs, Macintoshes and low-end servers. The new two-platter drive can write and read data at 5.9 and 4.7 milliseconds, respectively, which outpaces the data-access times of its predecessor, the 150GB WD Raptor EL 150 by 355, said Steven Bell, manager of the enterprise product alliance at Western Digital.

The new hard drive will ship on Alienware's ALX gaming desktop in two 300GB drive configurations by the end of April.

The VelociRaptor will be offered through the company's online store and resellers in May for about US$300.

Bell said will phase out its Raptor EL 150 products, but he declined to disclose details.

Western Digital said the new drive will be shipped with a new 3.5-in. mounting frame, called WD IcePak, which enables the hard drive to fit into standard workstation slots. The IcePak frame includes a built-in heat sink that can reduce the drive's heat output by as much as 7 degrees in a high-performance desktop chassis, noted Bell.

The new four-head VelociRaptor drive features a sustained data rate of 120MB/sec., spins at speeds of up to 10,000 rpm, supports a 3Gbit/sec. interface speed and has 16MB cache. Western Digital said the new drive has a 1.4 million-hour mean time between failure (MBTF) rate.

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