Western Digital Raptor 36.7GB Serial ATA 10000RPM

Review: Allan "Zardon" Campbell


SATA - the SCSI for mainstream. Its been hyped so much since its release that everyone was expecting it to be of comparible performance, unfortunately this hasnt been the case with SATA drives having no performance increases over their PATA counterparts.

Granted installation is easier and overall efficiency is slightly higher, but hardcore users dont really care about that, "its all about the speed". It has been said in the coming years when the technology matures we can be looking forward to data transfer rates of 300mb/s-600mb/s. If this happens then there is a clear winner, but in the meantime Western digital have released several 10,000RPM sata drives, a 74gb version and a 36.7gb version, we will be looking at the latter today.

These drives are proclaimed to be the fastest mainstream drives today, but just how fast are they?

This is the spec list for the 36.7 gb drive

- Rotational Speed: 10,000 RPM
- Capacities: 36.7GB
- Interface: Max 1.5 GB PHY serial Interface
- Average Read Seek Time: 5.2 ms
- 55 MB/sec outer-zone transfer rates
- Buffer: 8MB
- Full 5yr Manufacturer's Warranty

The size of the drive is approx

- Height: 1.028 in
- Width: 4 in
- Depth: 5.787 in
- Weight: 1.6 lbs



Western Digital have been around since 1988 and have produced in my humble opinion some of the best hard drives ever made, of course not everyone will agree with me, and most of us have heard some horror stories about every make of drive dying at some point or another, so your personal preference for a particular hard drive manufacturer is probably based on your own experiences.


The sata power and data connectors along with the legacy power adaptor.


One of Western Digital's technologies is a feature called "Data Lifeguard" which detects and repairs problems on their hard drives. This is done when the hard drive is at idle so you wont have to worry about it interfering with your work or applications. Basically its been marketed as an extension to S.M.A.R.T, meaning Self Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Techology.

This is a brief overview of Data Lifeguard:

  • Repairs ECC (Error-Correction Code) correctable
  • Flags and keeps track of ECC uncorrectable sectors where data cannot be recovered. Subsequent writes to a suspect sector are tested to ensure the user data is readable.
  • Pauses upon any incoming command, resuming again when idle
  • Builds on top of S.M.A.R.T. II’s off-line read surface scan capability, while working independently of S.M.A.R.T. II

Now that we know the theory im not quite sure how efficiently this works in practice and whether it will fix any major problems, but at least Western digital are taking steps to ensure your data is as safe as possible.

Data Lifeguard and other utilities are available from Western Digitals site here



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