Western Digital adds SATA 6Gbps to all VelociRaptors

Written by Paul Goodhead

July 26, 2011 // 12:06 p.m.

Tags: #best #data #fastest #hard-disk #performance #quickest #sata-6gbps #ssd #storage #velociraptor #western-digital

Western Digital is seemingly attempting to combat the continued march of solid state drives by updating its range of 10,000rpm VelociRaptor hard drives so that they all carry SATA 6Gbps support.

Previously, only the more expensive 450GB and 600GB versions of the drive boasted native support for the faster connection standard, but Fudzilla has just spotted that the feature has now been introduced to the more wallet-friendly 300GB and 150GB drives too.

Western Digital has also increased the cache size on the two smaller size disks to be in-line with the larger drives. This means that all the drives in the range now sport a 32MB cache.

We’re pretty sceptical about how much difference these changes are likely to make, however. Our own testing of the 600GB SATA 6Gbps VelociRaptor showed little to no performance benefit when moving from SATA 3Gbps to SATA 6Gbps.

Add to this the fact that SSDs have been steadily dropping in price to the point where you can pick up a 64GB Crucial M4 for £87, and it’s clear that the VelociRaptor range has got a fight on its hands.

You can currently pre-order a 300GB drive with the new features for £119.98, compared with £113.19 for its SATA 3Gbps-based predecessor from the same retailer, so at least the new drives aren't commanding a huge premium.

Do you own a VelociRaptor? Is Western Digital now wasting its time with this range now that we have SSDs, or is there still a need for high-speed hard drives in some circumstances? Share your thoughts in the forums.

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