As you might expect, the WD740 Raptors run
hot. Western Digital specs the drive to operate between 5 and 55 degrees Celsius, and in
the open air (not installed in a case) our test drives reached a peak of about
47 Degrees during operation.
Considering that most 7200RPM drives can reach
the same temperature level, this isn't all that worrysome. Obviously you
do not want to stack these drives (or any 7200 or 10,000RPM drive
for that matter) one on top of the other in an enclosed case, but if you
give them a little airspace they should do fine without any form of HDD case fans,
or adjacent active cooling.
In operation, the 74GB WD740 Raptors produce a slight
high-pitched whine which was inaudible from a closed case
or from more than a meter away. Drive access sounds were mostly inaudible
unless we pressed our ear to the side of the drives. Overall, the pair
of Raptors were exceptionally quiet in use. Not what we were expecting given the
racket that 10,000 RPM SCSI drives used to make. Western
Digital specifies 32dBA idle and 36dBA while in seek mode - both admirable acoustic
figures for lower-noise computing requirements.
WD740 Raptor can use both SATA and standard Molex power connectors, but
obviously not both at once.
Each drive came with an unusual blue 'SecureConnect' SATA cable
with an interesting fastener that clips to the SATA power slot as well as
the standard SATA plug.
Since the cable does not
provide power, we assume that this serves the dual purpose of providing a firmer connection
for the cable ("500%" firmer according to WD, and we kind of
believe it) as well as preventing novice users from plugging in both SATA and
Molex power connectors at once. This seems like a good idea to us and
the cables certainly fit very securely. The motherboard side of
the blue SATA cable is normal. Standard SATA cables can also be used with
these drives of course.
The packaging included a copy of Western Digital's
Digital Lifeguard software, which we have used in the past and found to be
excellent. Also present is an informative and well written help sheet,
printed on both sides and containing installation and configuration instructions for both the
drives and the software.
Benchmarks and Test System
We tested the Western Digital WD740 Raptors both singly
and in RAID 0 and 1 arrays. For comparative purposes, we also provide equivalent
benchmarks for a pair of 80GB, 7200RPM Seagate Barracuda ST380013AS drives in
the same set of configurations. All drives were defragmented between each test
run. NTFS was used as the file system throughout. For our RAID tests, we used
the VIA SATA RAID controller built into VT8237 Southbridge chip of the Soltek SL-K890Pro-939
|PCStats Test System Specs:|
AMD Athlon 64 4000+
12 x 200 MHz = 2.4 GHz
2x 512MB Mushkin PC3200
40GB Western Digital Special Ed (OS)
2 x Western Digital WD740
2 x Seagate Barracuda ST380013AS
||Aopen DVD-RW/CD-RW Combo Drive|
||Aopen SilentPower AO400 400
WindowsXP Build 2600
SiSoft Sandra 2005