Product Type: Western Digital hard disk drives
Newest Review: ... up your drive regularly depending on how important your data is, once a month for none important data, once per week for not so important... more
Need for speed Hard drives, then try the WD Raptor series
Western Digital Velociraptor WD3000HLFS 300 GB
Member Name: handsondave
Western Digital Velociraptor WD3000HLFS 300 GB
Advantages: Fast, Quiet, Reliable and a 5 year warranty!
Disadvantages: Higher cost than standard drives, but well worth it
300GB Western Digital WD3000HLFS VelociRaptor
---------------- Super Fast drives ------------------
If you need fast access to data be it for gaming or media (photo editing) then this is a must have. The drives are very quiet and super fast, with access speeds of 4.2ms which is twice as fast as standard PC hard drives on the market. I have two of these drives and use them in a Raid 0 configuration, which in English means, when writing a 10megabite file it has the potential to write 5 megabytes to one drive and 5 megabytes to the other. The result is a file that is written to your hard drive 4 times faster than a single standard hard drive. BEWARE! There is always a catch; if your raid fails you could lose all the data on both drives. This is mainly due to a configuration file that is created when the system creates the raid; if it gets corrupt you lose the lot. If you back up your drive regularly depending on how important your data is, once a month for none important data, once per week for not so important data and once a day for important data using one of the many software packs on the market today you can rebuild the raid and the data from your last backup in a matter of an hour or so. With Raid 0, you get double the capacity, so it would be 600GB.
I have accidently deleted a raid once and managed to recover all the data, via backups. On my last PC I had two of the old Raptor drive 36.7GB and in four years lost the raid twice, so it does happen. These drives are still going 7 years on! The performance out ways the risk if you backup your system regularly, and not click on cancel when you are reminded by the software!
Most systems today come with an onboard Raid system, which is fab for this purpose.
What if you want fast data and reliability, well with two of these drives you can set them up in Raid 1 which basically mirrors the contents of the main drive onto the second at the same time, resulting in fast access and a complete copy of the hard drive if in the event that the main one fails. If your main drive fails all you need to do is swap them over test the one that is faulty, if it just got corrupt you can rebuild it using the mirrored copy in an hour or so, depending on your system speed. How to use your onboard raid is covered in your motherboard manual or the manufacturers user guide. Raid 1 only gives you a single drive capacity so in this case it would be 300GB.
When you get your drive you will notice that it is made up of about 50% heat exchanger (IcePack frame) and two 2.5" drives back to back. This is how they stay so cool. These are absolutely fantastic. Currently priced at £158.07 Inc VAT from Scan.
Point to note is you want the fastest access and reliability you can if your pockets are deep enough get 4 of these drives and configure and Raid 5, which is a Raid 0 and a Raid 1 together, the downside is that all the processing to send data to each of the drives is done by your CPU and you will lose some performance, compared to 4 standard drives you would still notice a massive increase in speed. If any of your drives fail, simply test the drive and pop it back in and the system will rebuild it for you, in a few hours. In this situation you would have 600GB of storage for four hard drives. Once you get to these extremes you really need to invest in a Raid card that will perform the processing for you, normally a valued requirement for workstations. For examples if you use CAD or Photo editing software for a living.
-------------------- Conclusion --------------------
Value for money Yes, if you need them
Overall performance, fantastic 5 stars
Reliability yes 5 stars, a 5 year warranty says a lot
Quiet operation, yes 5 stars, they are quieter than my power supply fan
Summary: If you need the speed get two of these and you will not be sorry, just make sure you backup regular
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