WD announced its 10K IDE drive: the Raptor, or WD360GD.

You can read the press release here. You can read a more interesting statement to investors about the drive here, and get some specifications on the drive here.

In all honesty, it looks like a warmed-over 10K SCSI drive, which is sort of odd, since Western Digital got out of the SCSI business a few years back.

In a nutshell, Western Digital says the Raptor is essentially a 10K SCSI drive that runs SATA instead. It’s built to 10K SCSI performance and reliability standards (including a 5-year warranty), but will cost considerably less than 10K SCSI drives.

Well, not that considerably less: 30% less, which means we’re probably looking at $150+ to start with for a 36Gb hard drive.


If you go over to Storage Review and look through their database, you find something quite curious.

Outside of the File Server and Web Server tests (where IDE drives do get killed, it will be interesting to see how the WD360GD does here, the top-of-the-end IDE drives (the WD JB series and the IBM 180GXP) get scores a lot closer to the 10K SCSI drives than you might otherwise think from the raw rpms.

Even the very best 10K SCSI drive never manages to beat these drives by 20%, and sometimes it’s a lot closer than that.

You most certainly should wait until Storage Review does its testing before you do your buying, but it’s pretty safe to say that these drives aren’t going to blow the doors off 10K SCSI drives or even wipe out the current best IDE drives.

Whom This Is For

Yes, you can buy a 120Gb WD1200JB for this price. The WD360GD is not for MP3s.

It is a drive for those who need to take their data seriously. It’s basically a higher-quality IDE drive built to higher standards, and you’re paying for quality more than for performance.

It’s really a “put-up-or-shut-up” drive for those who wail about declining quality, but haven’t wanted to pay SCSI prices.

All this probably won’t appeal to most desktop users, but then, it’s not meant for most of you. It’s really meant a cheaper but not cheap substitute for corporate SCSI drives.

It doesn’t seem like others will imminently jump on the 10K bandwagon. Nor is it clear if or when WD might come up with a bigger drive, which probably will be somewhat faster.

Email Ed

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