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WD VelociRaptor WD1000DHTZ (1TB review: WD VelociRaptor WD1000DHTZ (1TB

Thanks to its great performance and 1TB of storage space, the new WD VelociRaptor WD1000DHTZ makes a great secondary hard drive for a desktop that uses an SSD as the main boot drive.

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Dong Ngo
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Dong Ngo

SF Labs Manager, Editor / Reviews

CNET editor Dong Ngo has been involved with technology since 2000, starting with testing gadgets and writing code for CNET Labs' benchmarks. He now manages CNET San Francisco Labs, reviews 3D printers, networking/storage devices, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.

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The 1TB WD VelociRaptor WD1000DHTZ is the first hard drive I have reviewed in a long time and that's because it's among only a few on the market that can be considered an alternative to standard solid-state drives (SSDs).

WD VelociRaptor WD1000DHTZ (1TB, SATA-600)
8.1

WD VelociRaptor WD1000DHTZ (1TB

The Good

The <b>WD VelociRaptor WD1000DHTZ</b> offers great performance and offers 1TB of storage space.

The Bad

The new WD VelociRaptor WD1000DHTZ is noticeably more expensive than regular hard drives of the same capacity.

The Bottom Line

WD VelociRaptor WD1000DHTZ makes an excellent storage solution for housing a large amount of data that's frequently accessed and manipulated.

Among other things, the VelociRaptor is different from its peers by offering the spinning speed of 10,000 rpm, which translates into the best performance among consumer-grade hard drives. Compared with SSDs, it's not clearly behind either, in fact outdoing some in certain tests. On top of that it doesn't suffer from limited P/E (program/erase) cycles, which all SSDs do.

That said, if you are a professional who needs an internal drive that can handle lots of data writing and re-writing, such as editing movies, the new 1TB WD VelociRaptor WD1000DHTZ is the way to go. It's best to use two units in a RAID 0 configuration, or use it as a secondary hard drive on your computer with the main one being an SSD.

Design and features
Drive type 3.5-inch desktop internal drive
Connector options SATA 3 (6GBps), SATA 2, SATA
Available capacities 1TB
Product dimensions 3.5-inch standard
Capacity of test unit 1TBGB
OSes supported Windows, Mac, Linux

The new 1TB WD VelociRaptor WD1000DHTZ looks exactly the same as the previous version, the 600GB VelociRaptor. While made for a desktop, the drive combines a 2.5-inch hard drive mounted on a heat-sink that also works as a drive-bay converter, making the whole package take the shape of a standard 3.5-inch hard drive. Even when taken out of its heat-sink, the VelociRaptor can't be used in a laptop since it's extra thick at 16mm, compared with the 9.5mm of a traditional 2.5-inch standard hard drive. That said, it's impressive that the drive now offers 1TB of storage space.

What's more impressive is its spinning speed; at 10,000 rpm, the drive's internal platters move some 30 percent faster than other high-speed hard drives (7200 rpm). Still, WD gives the drive the full five-year warranty and in my personal experience with previous versions of the VelociRaptor, the drive proves to be the best and most reliable on the market. The drive supports the lastest SATA 3 (6Gbps) but works with all existing SATA standards.

As I mentioned above, like all hard drives, the VelociRaptor doesn't suffer from limited program/erase (P/E) cycles. A P/E cycle is when you write data to a place on the drive, erase it, then write something new on the same spot. You can do this indefinitely with hard drives. With SSDs, however, there's a limited amount of time you can do that before the spot becomes unreliable. A SSD's limit is very high and virtually poses no problem for most people, but for those who need to do a lot of erasing and re-writing, such as editing big movies, hard drives are better suited for the job. The new VelociRaptor has that, plus comparatively large storage space, affordability, and very fast performance.

Cost per gigabyte

Internal hard drives' cost per GB
(Measured in dollars, based on current street pricing)

The new WD VelociRaptor WD1000DHTZ is not cheap. With a price of about $290 for 1TB, effectively some 29 cents per gigabyte, it's about the most expensive hard drives on the market. Compared with SSDs, however, it's still just one third of the price in terms of cost per gigabyte. It's also very hard to find an SSD that offers 1TB of storage space, and generally a 480GB SSD easily costs more than $500. Now the only question is if the new hard drive's performance is worth its price.

Performance
So, is the hard drive's performance worth its cost? The answer is, for the most part, yes.

I stacked up the new WD VelociRaptor WD1000DHTZ against some SSDs I recently reviewed and the hard drive, while clearly behind in terms of boot/shutdown/wake time, was very impressive in terms of data copying speed.

I tested the drive both when it was used as a secondary hard drive and as the main hard drive that hosts the operating system. I also tried using two units in a RAID 0 setup.

When used as the secondary drive, the new VelociRaptor registered 150MBps when used as a single drive, faster than SanDisk Ultra SSD. When two units were used in a RAID 0, it was even faster at 263MBps. In this test, the drive performed only the writing.

When used as the main hard drive that hosts the operating system, the VelociRaptor also did very well, especially compared with other hard drives, at 62MBps. Note that in this test, the drive performed both writing and reading at the same time, since I copied data from one folder to another on the same drive.

From these numbers, it's clear that the hard drive is best used in a setup when it's the secondary drive of your computer where hot data is stored, with the main drive being an SSD.

Boot and shutdown time
(Measured in seconds, shorter bars mean better performance)
Shutdown  
Boot time  

Cosair Neutron GTX
5.28 
10 

Sandisk Extreme
6 
11 

Plextor M5 Pro
6.21 
11.1 

Corsair Neutron
6.2 
12 

OCZ Vertex 4
6.8 
12 

OCZ Octane
6.3 
12 

Patriot Pyro
6 
12.5 

Samsung 830 Series
6 
13.3 

SanDisk Ultra
7.2 
13.5 

Crucial M4
6.8 
13.7 

OCZ Vertex 3
5.8 
14.1 

OCZ Agility 3
6.7 
14.7 

WD VelociRapter 600GB
7.9 
45.4 

WD VelociRapter 300GB
12.2 
56.2 


CNET Labs' Data Transfer Scores
(Measured in MB/s, longer bars mean better performance)
As Secondary drive  
As OS drive  

Cosair Neutron GTX
273.62 
161.38 

Samsung 830 Series
261.63 
172.88 

Plextor M5 Pro
251.19 
155.65 

OCZ Vertex 4
246.55 
168.36 

Casair Neutron
237.69 
138.44 

RunCore Pro V 7mm
236.71 
155.89 

Crucial M4
235.51 
117.99 

Sandisk Extreme
234.15 
117.66 

Intel 520 series
230.01 
154.01 

Plextor M3
221.98 
110.4 

Monster Digital Daytona
209.04 
108.32 

OCZ Agility 3
207.75 
101.67 

Patriot Pyro
190.01 
76.44 

RunCore Pro V Max
186.78 
92.55 

OCZ Octane
183.41 
135.43 

Monster Digital Le Mans
177.56 
121.11 

WD VelociRaptor 1TB
149.73 
62.21 

WD VelociRapter 600GB
126.33 
58.05 

Seagate Barracuda XT
115.71 
51.1 

WD VelociRapter 300GB
112.59 
47.12 

Sandisk Ultra
96.4 
65.6 

Conclusion
With larger storage space and excellent overall performance, the new WD VelociRaptor WD1000DHTZ  is best used in combination with an SSD where it is the secondary drive in a desktop that hosts frequently changed data.


WD VelociRaptor WD1000DHTZ (1TB, SATA-600)
8.1

WD VelociRaptor WD1000DHTZ (1TB

Score Breakdown

Design 8Features 8Performance 8Support 9