I know at least a couple of you have asked for it, in particular Colleen and TWiTs building their Ultimate Gaming Machine, and now Western Digital officially has SATA backplane compatible VelociRaptors available. 

If you want to see why I love the WD VelociRaptors as much as I do, check out our review of the 300GB speed demon!

World’s Fastest 10,000 RPM, 2.5–inch, 300 GB SATA Hard Drive Just Gets Better

LAKE FOREST, CALIF. – August 12, 2008 – WD® (NYSE: WDC) announced today that it is now shipping the new backplane-compatible WD VelociRaptor™ hard drive, the latest generation of its popular 10,000 RPM SATA WD VelociRaptor series of drives. The new backplane version of the WD VelociRaptor is specifically designed for 3.5-inch drive-based servers, PC and Mac® computer enthusiasts and professional workstations that require the need for a backplane structure. A favorite among enthusiasts, the WD VelociRaptor comes packed with twice the capacity and a 35 percent performance increase and runs 35 percent cooler over the previous “Raptor” generation.    

     The comparatively low cost and high reliability of SATA technology increasingly has been deployed into servers in both 2.5- and 3.5-inch form factors. Additionally, an increasing number of workstations are configured with backplanes to streamline design of multi-drive systems.

     “This newest product is a perfect solution for the changing enterprise environment,” said John Kim, vice president of TrendFocus. “It delivers leading-edge storage capacity and performance with lower power consumption.” 
     Built with enterprise-class mechanics and packed with up to 300 GB of storage capacity into a 2.5-inch enterprise form factor, the 2.5-inch WD VelociRaptor drive is enclosed in the IcePack™, a 3.5-inch mounting frame with a built-in heat sink — a customization that fits the drive into a standard 3.5-inch system bay and keeps this powerful drive extra cool when installed in a high-performance desktop chassis.

     “We designed the latest version of the WD VelociRaptor due to the increasing amount of systems that require a backplane mounting system. We have had overwhelming demand of our WD VelociRaptor as it provides enthusiasts with the computing speed and capacity they thirst for,” said Tom McDorman, vice president and general manager of WD’s enterprise solutions storage business unit. “The new WD VelociRaptor further demonstrates WD’s commitment to the enthusiast and server market by delivering the greatest performance, compatibility, and reliability of all SATA hard drives currently on the market.”

     WD VelociRaptor is the next step up for the speed-craving PC enthusiast, and as with all WD drives, attention to detail in features, performance and reliability is a top priority. Features of the new WD VelociRaptor hard drives include:

Killer Speed – Built on the performance of the WD Raptor® hard drive, these 10,000 RPM drives, with SATA 3 Gb/s interface and 16 MB cache deliver mind-bending performance.

Rock-solid Reliability – WD VelociRaptor drives are designed and manufactured to business-critical, enterprise-class standards to provide enterprise reliability in high duty cycle environments. The design results in the highest available reliability rating of any SATA drive at 1.4 million hours MTBF.

IcePack Mounting Frame – The 2.5-inch WD VelociRaptor is enclosed in a backplane-ready 3.5-inch enterprise-class mounting frame with a built-in heat sink that keeps this powerful little drive extra cool when installed in high-performance desktop chassis.

Ultra-low power operation – WD VelociRaptor consumes 35 percent less power than the previous generation of WD Raptor.

Rotary Acceleration Feed Forward (RAFF™) – Optimizes performance when the drives are used in vibration-prone, multi-drive chassis.

NoTouch™ ramp load technology – The recording head never touches the disk media ensuring significantly less wear to the recording head and media as well as better drive protection in transit.

Compatibility – The new WD VelociRaptor is now compatible with systems using a backplane. A backplane is a circuit board that contains sockets for expansion cards, or connectors that interface with drives without cables (http://isp.webopedia.com/TERM/b/expansion_board.html).

Price and Availability

     WD VelociRaptor (model WD3000HLFS and WD1500HLFS) hard drives are available through select resellers and distributors. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the WD VelociRaptor 300 GB and 150 GB are $319.00 and $229.00 respectively. More information about WD VelociRaptor hard drives may be found on the company’s Web site at http://www.wdc.com/en/products/Products.asp?DriveID=495.