Western Digital Raptor X 150GB HDD
A hard drive with a view
There's nothing on the desktop hard drive market that can beat the Raptor series of drives when it comes to performance as the extra spin speed puts it clearly ahead of any 7,200rpm drive. The Raptor X was tested using an Asus A8R32-MVP Deluxe motherboard with an AMD FX-60 processor and 1GB of Crucial Ballistix memory.
To see if there was any performance difference using various SATA controllers I tested the Raptor X on both the mobo's ULi South Bridge and its standalone Silicon Image PCI Express-connected SATA controller. Interestingly enough - as you can see from the charts on the previous two pages - the Silicon Image controller performed better in the real world copy tests and the ULi controller performed better in the theoretical tests.
All the test results are very impressive and you'd have to run a RAID 0 setup to beat these results using 7,200rpm drives. The Raptor X even beats the LaCie Two Big drive in several tests, which is very impressive. If you want something faster in your desktop PC you would have to go down the SCSI route, which most people wouldn't even consider any more.
Cost-wise the Raptor X isn't a great investment, costing around £225 or more. The standard Raptor WD1500 would set you back closer to £200, so there's a price premium to pay for the Raptor X's fancy window. Still, if you want a fast single drive for your PC then you can't go wrong with the new Raptor drives, as long as you can live with the trade-offs, as you could get a slower-but-larger 500GB drive for the same money.
Western Digital has by far the fastest desktop hard drive on offer, although you have to do a trade-off in storage capacity to gain the performance. The Raptor X is for the enthusiast, but the Raptor WD1500 is likely to be an attractive option for anyone looking for top-notch hard drive performance at a realistic price. ®
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