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Western Digital Ships VelociRaptor Hard Drives

Lake Forest, Calif. — Western Digital is now shipping its WD VelociRaptor hard drives, the next generation of its 10,000 rpm SATA “Raptor” series of drives.

According to the company, the new model features twice the capacity and 35 percent increased performance over the previous generation.

The 2.5-inch drive offers 300GB of storage capacity, enclosed within the IcePack, a 3.5-inch mounting frame with a built-in heat sink; the company said this allows the drive to fit into a standard 3.5-inch system bay and to keep it cool when installed in a desktop chassis.

The 10,000 rpm drive features a SATA 3Gbps interface and 16MB cache. According to the company, the drive has a reliability rating of 1.4 million hours MTBF.

It features Rotary Accelleration Feed Forward (RAFF), said to optimize performance when the drives are used in vibration-prone, multidrive chassis.

Its trademarked SecurePark feature is said to “park the recording heads off the disk surface during spin up, spin down and when the drive is off” to ensure the recording head never touches the disk surface for long-term reliability and increased drive protection when the chassis is moved.

The drives will ship exclusively through Alienware this month and will be available through the company’s online store and at select distributors and resellers in mid-May. The WD VelociRaptor 300GB will carry a suggested retail of $299.