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Western Digital Starts Shipping 'VelociRaptor' Hard Drive For PC, Mac

Western Digital on Monday started shipping the VelociRaptor, the company's fastest hard drive for PCs, Macs and professional workstations.

The latest version of the 10,000 RPM SATA drive holds up to 300 GB of data, which is twice the storage of previous versions, in a 2.5-inch form factor. The drive is enclosed in a 3.5-inch mounting frame that fits into a standard system bay. The frame has a built-in heat sink for keeping the drive cool when installed in a high-performance desktop chassis.

"We created WD VelociRaptor hard drives to lead PC enthusiasts into the next era of PC and Mac storage performance and satisfy their insatiable thirst for computing speed," Tom McDorman, VP and general manager of WD's enterprise business unit, said in a statement.

The latest VelociRaptor achieves 35% faster performance than previous versions a SATA 3 Gbit per second interface and a 16 MB cache. The new product has a reliability rating of 1.4 million hours of mean time between failures, or MTBF.

The drive also contains technology that protects its rotation mechanism in a vibration-prone, multi-drive chassis. For longer life, the recording heads are parked off the disk service during spin up, spin down and when the drive is off.

The VelociRaptor, model WD3000GLFS, will be available in Alienware's ALX game desktop by the end of the month. Western Digital plans to sell the drive this month through its online store, and offer it through distributors and resellers in mid-May. The manufacturer's suggested retail price is $300 for the $300 GB model.