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WD My Book VelociRaptor Duo review: WD My Book VelociRaptor Duo

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The Good The WD My Book VelociRaptor Duo offers stellar performance, includes a Thunderbolt cable, and is easy to service.

The Bad The My Book VelociRaptor Duo doesn't offer any other connection types and is relatively pricey.

The Bottom Line The My Book VelociRaptor Duo is one of the best storage devices thanks to its balanced combination of excellent performance, practical design, and relatively friendly pricing.

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8.4 Overall
  • Setup 8
  • Features 8
  • Performance 9
  • Support 8

The new My Book VelociRaptor Duo drive that WD announced today is basically a combination of the company's previous My Book Thunderbolt Duo and its cream-of-the-crop VelociRaptor hard drives, which are arguably the fastest consumer-grade hard drives on the market.

That said, if the Thunderbolt Duo is budget-friendly and flexible in terms of capacity, the VelociRaptor Duo comes in a fixed 2TB capacity and costs noticeably more: $900.

To make up for the higher price, the drive includes a 3-foot-long Thunderbolt cable; with the Thunderbolt Duo and most other Thunderbolt drives, you have to shell out another $50 to get your own cable. And, most importantly, the drive was superfast in my testing. In fact it's by far the fastest dual-bay Thunderbolt drive among those I've worked with.

The fact that it uses hard drives instead of solid-state drives (SSDs) means that it's the perfect fit for professional digital-content editing applications, where the demand for both high-speed and lots of data-overwriting are required. Unlike SSDs, hard drives don't suffer from the limited program-erase cycles. (Read more about P/E cycles and the SSDs here.)

If you're a professional in the market for a noncompromising storage device that costs less than $1,000, look no further than the My Book VelociRaptor Duo.

Design and features

Drive type 3.5-inch-based dual-bay external hard drive
Connector options Thunderbolt
Size (WHD) 3.9 x 6.5 x 6.2 inches
Weight 5.2 lbs.
Available capacities 2TB
Capacity of test unit 2TB
OSes supported Mac OS 10.6.8 or later / Windows 7 or later
Software included WD Drive Utilities

The My Book VelociRaptor Duo shares the same signature design found in other products in WD's My Book line, such as the My Book Thunderbolt Duo, or the My Book Studio Edition II. It looks like a closed book that's standing up. On the front the new drive has a tiny power/status light and on the back, you'll find its power port and two Thunderbolt ports.

The top of the drive can be opened with a push to reveal the internal drives inside. These drives can be replaced easily without any tools. The My Book VelociRaptor Duo comes with two of the latest 1TB VelociRaptor hard drives; you don't want to use any other hard drives other than these. This is because the VelociRaptor (or just Raptor in previous models) family is the only hard-drive line on the market that offers exceptional performance and durability. These are enterprise-grade hard drives made for general consumers. They spin at 10,000 rpm, sport 64MB of cache memory, and are designed to work 24-7. They also come with WD's highest warranty -- five years. Personally, I've never had a bad experience with them. Note that the My Book VelociRaptor Duo drive itself comes with a three-year warranty, however.

Individually, the VelociRaptor hard drives, like all hard drives, are generally slower than SSDs, but when two of them are set up in RAID 0, which is the default setup of the My Book VelociRaptor Duo, they turn out to be much faster. Generally, I am not a fan of RAID 0 because if one of the drives in the RAID setup fails, you lose information on all of them. However, the VelociRaptor drives have been so reliable that I have no problem using two in a RAID 0 setup. Users with lots of important data, however, should use two My Book VelociRaptor Duo units and use RAID 10 (the combination of RAID 0 and RAID 1) with their four hard drives.

Other than RAID 0, the My Book VelociRaptor Duo also supports RAID 1 and JBOD. You don't want to use it in anything but RAID 0, however.

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