Western Digital Intros Ultra-Fast VelociRaptor Hard Drive

SATA workstation

WD's new WD VelociRaptor 2.5-inch hard drive provides up to 300 Gbytes capacity, and is based on the company's enterprise-class drive technology.

The drive is enclosed in WDC's IcePack. IcePack is a 3.5-inch mounting frame with a built-in heat sink which the Lake Forest, Calif.-based storage vendor said fits in a standard 3.5-inch system bay and provides extra cooling for high-performance desktop PC and workstation applications.

"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 Tom McDorman, vice president and general manager of WD's enterprise business unit in a statement. "The new WD VelociRaptor delivers the greatest performance and reliability of all SATA hard drives currently on the market."

The new WD VelociRaptor hard drives' performance comes from its 10,000-rpm speed, a 3-Gbytes-per-second SATA interface, and a built-in 16-Mbyte cache. The company said the drives have a mean time between failure (MTBF) rate of 1.4 million hours.

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Also included are such SATA features as rotary acceleration feed forward to optimize performance in vibration-prone, multi-drive chassis, and SecurePark, which parks the heads off the disk surface while the drive is spinning up, spinning down, and off to ensure that the head never touches the disk surface, the company said.

The drives are expected to be available through WD distributors and solution providers starting in mid-May with a suggested list price of $299.99. However, they will also be available in April as an option to the ALX gaming desktop PC from Alienware, Miami, Fla., which was acquired in March of 2006 by Dell, Round Rock, Texas.