We tested power consumption under load with IOMeter's workstation access pattern chewing through 32 concurrent I/O requests. Idle power consumption was probed one minute after processing Windows 7's idle tasks on an empty desktop.
The new VelociRaptor's power consumption is very close to that of the old model, which is surely a requirement of its underlying enterprise ambitions. While they can't match the low power draw of the solid-state or notebook drives, the VelociRaptors do pull fewer watts than the desktop models.
We're a little OCD here at TR, so we've constructed a Box 'o Silence to test the noise emitted by mechanical hard drives. This 18" x 20" anechoic chamber is lined with acoustic foam, and we suspend hard drives inside it, exactly 4" away from the tip of our TES-52 digital sound level meter. You can read more about the setup here.
To ensure the lowest possible ambient noise levels, we swapped the test system's graphics card for a passively-cooled Gigabyte model and unplugged one of the Frio's dual fans. Noise levels were measured after one minute of idling at the Windows desktop and during an HD Tune seek test.
The VelociRaptor 1TB is a bit of a chatterbox when seeking; it's much louder than any of the other drives, including the old VelociRaptor. I wasn't annoyed by the drive's seek noise when it was running on my open test rack, which sits about five feet away, but the buzzing was more noticeable than the duller whir of the other mechanical drives.
At idle, the new VelociRaptor is less obtrusive, matching the noise level of the Caviar Black 1TB. It's quieter than the VR200M, too, albeit by fewer decibels than the difference in seek noise between the two VelociRaptors.