Western Digital's Raptor WD1500ADFD hard drive


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— 12:00 AM on June 12, 2006

WESTERN DIGITAL'S RAPTORS have long set the performance standard for desktop Serial ATA drives. With the Raptor X, Western Digital also upped the ante on looks by offering a view of the drive's internals. Although the Raptor X's window is certainly an impressive engineering accomplishment, especially given the drive's 10,000 RPM spindle speed, the novelty wears thin pretty quickly.

For those with no desire to spend countless hours staring at the Raptor X's drive head dart back and forth across the platter, Western Digital makes the Raptor WD1500ADFD. This drive lacks a window, but otherwise, it's mechanically identical to the Raptor X—same spindle, cache, platters, and theoretically, performance. The WD1500ADFD also sells for roughly $50 less than the Raptor X, making it even more tempting for enthusiasts looking for a speedy storage upgrade.

Thanks to identical internals, we can expect the WD1500ADFD's performance to at least match that of the Raptor X. But how much faster are these Raptors than the best 7,200-RPM desktop drives on the market? Can they keep up with Seagate's latest perpendicular Barracuda 7200.10? Read on to find out.

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