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    Western Digital Raptor Hard Drive

Product :

WD360GD 10000RPM 37GB HDD

Manufacturer :

Western Digital

Reviewed by :

Wayne Brooker

Price :

£99.58 + VAT (Dabs)

Date :

July 10th , 2003.


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If you'd asked me back in 1995 where I thought fixed storage technology would be three years into the new millennium I'd have probably launched into a full-on rant about how holographic storage would be standard and magnetic drives a rapidly fading memory, this despite me still getting over the excitement of fitting my first 1GB unit. Nostradamus I ain't because as we now know I'd have been completely wrong, hard drives have barely changed at all other than being faster, hotter, larger and generally less reliable.

Serial-ATA is the technology on everyone's lips at the moment and it's the first radical change in the way the hard drive operates from a user's perspective though even here we're being wooed by promises of ever faster bus speeds far beyond the requirements of even the fastest IDE drives on the market.

Western Digital have worked steadily at increasing their profile among the mainstream desktop users with innovations like their 8MB "Special Edition" cache sizes which made it all the more surprising to me that their first ferret into the realms of Serial ATA was a drive aimed unashamedly at the enterprise market. The Raptor is a single platter, 37GB drive with a SCSI-class 10,000RPM spindle speed and a build quality that comes backed by a full 5 year warranty. You can't fault the vital statistics, but is it all spin?

Let's do the specs:

Physical Specifications
Capacity36.7 GB
Areal Density36.7 GB
Model NumberWD360GD
Formatted Capacity 137,019 MB 
User Sectors Per Drive72,303,840
InterfaceMax 1.5 Gb PHY
serial Interface
Bytes Per Sector512
Dedicated Landing ZoneYes
Actuator Latch/Auto ParkYes
Performance Specifications
Data Transfer Rate
- Buffer to Host 
- Buffer to Disk

150 MB/s max 2
102 MB/s max
Average Read Seek5.2 ms (average)
Track-to-track Seek 30.7 ms (average) 
Full Stroke Read Seek 310.2 ms (average) 
Average Latency2.99 ms
Rotational Speed10,000 RPM
Read CacheAdaptive
Write CacheYes
Buffer8 MB
Drive Ready Time7.0 sec average
Start/Stop Cycles20,000 min
Error Rate 
< 1 in 1015 bits read
Physical Dimensions
Height1.028 in. (25.4 mm) max
Length5.787 in. (147.0 mm) max
Width4.0 in. (101.6 mm) .01 in.
Weight1.60 lb. (0.73 kg) 10%
Power Requirements 4
Mode12 V ( 10%)5 V ( 5%)Power
Read / Write430 mA925 mA9.75 W
Idle 350 mA 5850 mA 9.25 W 
Standby25.5 mA350 mA2.1 W
Sleep25.75 mA200 mA1.3 W
3.3 V Serial ATA power not used in this product.
Environmental Specifications 6
  Operating20 G (write), 65 G (read)
  Non-operating250 G
Half sine wave measured in 2 ms duration, measured without isolation.
  Operating        - Random 0.008 g2/Hz (10 to 300 Hz)
 0.0012 g2/Hz (300 to 500 Hz)
                          - Linear10-300 Hz, 3.0G (0 to peak)
 300-500 Hz, 0.5G (0 to peak)
                          - Rotary 30 rad/s2 (10 to 500 Hz)
  Non-operating - Random 0.05 g2 /Hz (10 to 300 Hz)
                          - Linear10-300 Hz, 5.0G (0 to peak)
Operating Temperature and Humidity
  Temperature5C to 55C
  Humidity5-95% RH non-condensing
  Thermal Gradient20C/hour (maximum)
Non-Operating Temperature and Humidity
  Temperature-40C to 65C
  Humidity5-95% RH non-condensing
  Thermal Gradient30C/hour
Acoustics (average)
  Idle Mode32 dBA average
  Seek Mode36 dBA
  MTBF 71,200,000 hours 
  Warranty 5 years

1Western Digital defines a megabyte (MB) as 1,000,000 bytes, and a gigabyte (GB) as 1,000,000,000 bytes.
2Maximum burst rate running the specified PIO, DMA, Ultra ATA, or Serial ATA transfer mode.
3On reads and writes.
4After 24 power on hours.
5Average current.
6No non-recoverable errors during operating tests or after non-operating tests.
7100% duty cycle at 50 C on base casting.

Other than the warranty and MTBF and of course the speed and access related parameters most of the quoted specs are very similar to those of the 7,200RPM Caviar Special Edition drives. The big talking point is almost certainly that WD have chosen such a low areal density. With just 36.7GB of available storage on its single platter you have to wonder how much of the benefit from the faster spindle motor will be wiped out by having the data so sparsely packed. Let's have a look at what we're testing.



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