When Western Digital launched their first 10,000 RPM consumer desktop drive, enthusiasts quickly took note. Now in its fourth generation, the Western Digital Raptor Series is still unchallenged and dominates the enthusiast and performance user markets.
10,000 and even 15,000 RPM hard drives started long before the Raptor Series but have been exclusively built for workstation and server environments utilizing SCSI and its successor, SAS connectivity. SATA and later SATA II bridged the gap between consumer ATA and SCSI standards and arguably the biggest performance gains came from Native Command Queuing, but the Raptor Series did not utilize this technology, not until now.
The Western Digital VelociRaptor is more than just a platter upgrade. The new controller takes advantage of Native Command Queuing and also reduces access time even more. The changes were enough for the new Raptor to gain a new name, VelociRaptor. I am not too sure if a new name was in order since even enthusiasts will still call this The New Raptor. Let's take a look and see why The New Raptor is so far beyond everything we have come to know and love from Western Digital's flagship enthusiast product.