Fortunately, Western Digital appears ready to come out with a version of its 10K rpm Raptor series which doubles the capacity of the drive up to 150Gb.
Unfortunately, initial indications are they plan on doubling the price on one, too.
True, we have just one price for one of the two models (more on that later), but even after discounting for European VAT and generally higher prices, we’re still looking at a $300USD drive.
The 74Gb Raptor costs about $160. Charging almost $150 more for what is likely just a couple extra platters seems a bit much given the relative pricing of 7200 rpm drives when platters are added.
Yes, they’re built to higher standards and all that, and I own Raptors and I like them, but I think a price of $225-250 would be more like it.
But then again, attach the word “gamer” to anything these days, and the people tagging also attach a bigger price tag. After all, enough damn fools will pay it for their moment of glory. Right, damn fools?
For those who are not damn fools, see how their pursuit of glory puts an extra tax on your wallet?
P.S.: You Cannot Serve Two Masters
As Storage Review recently pointed out, half the Raptors have been going into the enterprise channel, and half into the end-user/enthusiast channel. These are two different groups with different priorities and needs in a hard drive.
Western Digital acknowledges this in this product release by offering two versions, an enterprise version (WD1500AD) and a “gamer” version (WD1500AH). No doubt firmware will be different, optimized for each group.
What will be interesting to see is 1) how much of a difference firmware does make in performance and 2) whether people will be able to flash their way back and forth (handy if one model costs less than the other).