Apple made splashes in the technology world this past January with the release of their MacBook Air product with optional Solid State Drive (SSD) technology. Solid State Drives are promising to remake the world of computers in terms of lower heat output, less noise, and faster seek times. Not to mention the reduction in the chances for a mechanical failure. Western Digital has thumbed their nose at the collective SSD groupies by announcing the release of the Velociraptor line of hard disk drives.
The Velociraptor drive sizes in at 2.5". Most desktop drives are 3.5" in size, so what gives? Western Digital thought of that too. They have strapped the 2.5" hard drive into a 3.5" mounting that doubles as a giant heatsink to cool the drive as it spins at amazingly fast speeds. The heatsink has been dubbed the "icepak." The velociraptor will ship in a 300GB size for around $300, not the best price-per-gigabyte ratio, but nothing that will break the bank either.
The Velociraptor drives will ship with the same 16MB cache as their predacessors, the Raptor X line. The 2.5" drive size is one of the main factors in improving speed performance. Laptops have long used 2.5" hard drives. Western Digital is the first to bring the same form factor to the desktop world with their "Icepak" drive bay converter/heatsink. In tests run by labs like Toms Hardware, the Velociraptor is the coolest running drive on the market at this time.
Quieter, faster, better-performing hard drives are constantly evolving. Who knows what the future of hard disk storage will look like in twenty, ten, heck, even in five years. With the way technology has been evolving back towards Solid State Drives, perhaps they are the wave of the future - once their prices drop considerably. Until that time, however, PC enthusiasts will be able to rely on a new breed of platter-based hard drives from Western Digital.
Via Toms Hardware