StorageReview has published the first test of the new Raptor WD1500AD. Access time has slightly increased compared to the 74 GB version from 7.7ms to 8.0ms reading and 8.4 to 9.0 ms writing. Data transfer rate is the most improved with this new version from 53.9 to 60.2 MB on average. On the outer diameter tracks the gap is even more important and reaches 88.3 MB /s for continuous data transfer as compared to 71.8 MB /s for the previous generation.
In single user's applicative tests, Western takes the lead with the WD1500AD thanks to a score of 775 score in the SR HighEnd Driver Mark 2006 test. In this test, the Raptor 74 GB was only 4 points lower than Hitachi's 7K500 (645 points). This 500 GB driver is very fast mainly thanks to the first dozen of GB of the drive used for this test.
In a server, if the new Raptor confirms Western's supremacy on SATA drives (10k Rpm!), SCSI drives remain clearly superior because of a better multi-user loads especially from 16 and above.
Noise level in use measured is comparable to the 74 GB version. Two versions will be available:
- « Raptor X » - WD1500AHFD, for high end PC
- « Raptor 150 » - WD1500ADFD, for professionals
We could have believed that the difference between the two products would have been a more or less optimised firmware, but it isn't. The only difference is the presence of a polycarbonate plate on top of the X version to see inside the disc. Tuning enthusiasts will appreciate that and other users will certainly choose the less expensive classic version. The two version have a five year warranty, 600 000 hours MTBF and 1.2 million for the 150. They will respectively be available in March and at the end of January.