This Raptor X preview is brought to you by a parnership of the folks of Western Digital and AnandTech, and is approved for all audiences.   While sequels in the movie industry are often worse than the original, in the world of tech, we usually function in the opposite manner.  The Raptor X is no exception, bundling the tried technology that made the past 2 generations shine together with newer PATA technology into one speedy 150Gb drive.
“The latest version of the Raptor was launched as the WD1500ADFD in January of 2006 with a significant list of improvements. The drives still sports the 10,000 RPM spindle speed, 4.6 milli-second read seek time, and a two-platter design now at 150-gigabyte capacity. The platter’s density has been increased to 75-gigabytes and equals those of its 10,000 RPM SCSI competitors. The buffer size has been doubled to 16 megabytes, matching the latest offerings from other drive manufacturers. The Marvell 88i8030 PATA to SATA bridge chip used on the previous two Raptors has been finally dropped in favor of a native SATA implementation. This native SATA implementation brings with it Native Command Queuing instead of the legacy firmware level Tagged Command Queuing. While the impact of NCQ can have a favorable impact in multi-user applications, it can create a performance penalty in single-user applications. Since the drive is still targeted towards the server market, it retains the first generation 150 MB/sec SATA interface instead of the 300 MB/sec SATA interface found in the newer consumer level drives. The reason for this extends to Western Digital’s reluctance to use the newer electronics at this time in a server-level drive until they have been thoroughly tested and approved in an enterprise environment. However, it is almost a moot point as the current SATA drives available have not approached sustainable bandwidth operations anywhere near the 150 MB/sec interface.”

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