by William Kelley on May 24, 2010 in Hard Drives
Solid-state may be the future of our storage, but for now, the prices for the latest SSD’s (even value models) is still far too high on the $/GB scale. For those looking for mass storage and still-great speeds, mechanical storage is still on top, and WD’s latest VelociRaptor’s, which utilize SATA 3.0, sit comfortably above all the rest.
In the end, there is no doubt we have a new king of the hill. It may not win every single benchmark, but it certainly wins the majority and without a doubt scores convincing wins in areas that consumers are keen to notice. With a capacity of 600GB, this drive is finally a real option for those that do not care for multiple drives in their system. To me, this is the formula that had been missing all along in the VelociRaptor lineup.
Once again we also see that the SATA 3 bus is just not going to be a major factor in terms of mechanical storage devices. This does not surprise me and should not surprise you, either. It has been widely discussed and truth be told only SSD devices will ever saturate the new bus. I still stand by my opinion that there is no reason to not exploit SATA 3 with new mechanical drive releases as even a 10% gain in speed is still a gain.
Pricing has also continued to improve with the 600GB variant coming in at a rather inexpensive (in terms of VelociRaptor drives) $279. With the cost per GB ratio well under $1, this drive is very viable on many levels. Sure, your new SSD is faster, but it just cannot hold nearly as much data as safely. For your money you get a LOT of space as well as blazing speed. While the 2TB Seagate XT can compete in a few of the benchmarks, the VR is faster in nearly every respect while coming in at a lower price.
This drive is not going to appeal to the mass-market; there is no doubt about that. Enthusiasts will also balk at them since the current rage is all about SSD technology. In the end I feel there will be more people willing to buy a VR using proven technology while SSD’s are still cutting edge tech with the bugs getting ironed out as we go. Technology doesn’t rest and neither does the desire to have the best of the best inside your own PC. To me there is just no logic in trusting my data to the SSD when mechanical storage is still so viable.
In my mind, PC storage is possibly the most overdue for the changes it is currently seeing. Mechanical storage had been basically the same other than densities for the better part of the last two decades and it is about time we are seeing one of the biggest system bottlenecks being addressed. While you may not agree, there needs to be further development of mechanical drives, until SSD technology can safely and consistently deliver sub $2 per GB storage (which we won’t see for years), we still need manufacturers continuing to push the envelope.
Western Digital VelociRaptor 600GB
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