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Western Digital Raptor WD740 SATA Hard Drive Review
Western Digital Raptor WD740 SATA Hard Drive Review - PCSTATS
These are the first SATA drives we've seen that reach 10,000 RPM, and we're going to be testing them both singly and in a RAID stripe and mirror.
 92% Rating:   
Filed under: Hard Drives/SSD Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Western Digital Mar 09 2005   M. Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Hard Drives/SSD > Western Digital WD740 Raptor

Western Digital Raptor WD740 SATA Hard Drive Review

Serial ATA is finally making its full impact on the computer landscape, and SATA drives are quickly supplanting the traditional Parallel ATA drives inside our desktop computers. More importantly perhaps, SATA and the new SATA II standard are finally bringing business-class hard drive performance to non-SCSI machines.

Before SATA, there was no such thing as a non-SCSI 10,000RPM drive.... Now with the increased speed, extra features and ease of use built into the new SATA standards, the big hard drive manufacturers like Western Digital are porting their enterprise-class drive technologies over. Ultimately, all users should benefit.

In this review, PCstats is testing out a pair of sleek 10,000 RPM Western Digital WD740 Raptors. These are the first SATA drives we've seen that reach 10,000 RPM, and we're going to be testing them both singly and in a RAID stripe and mirror to see what kind of performance implications we can expect to a standard PC system. The Western Digital 74GB Raptors are also going to form the basis of PCstats' updated hardware test platform, so expect to see a lot more of these drives in our future reviews.

Western Digital WD740 'Raptor' 74GB HDD


Warranty, instructions, SATA cable and screws

Let's get the specifications of these drives out of the way first. An 8MB memory buffer handles data transfer between the drive and the system, and Western Digital claims average read and write times of 4.5ms and 5.9ms respectively. Average latency is 2.99ms while the track-to-track seek time is 0.6ms. Western Digital specifies a mean time between failures of 1.2 million hours, and the WD740 Raptor carries a full 5 year warranty.

These new Raptors are more or less identical to the previous line of 37GB SATA Raptors, with the advantage of slightly faster seek times, higher storage density, and quieter performance.

 Physically, the drives are unremarkable in appearance, but extremely heavy. This is no doubt because WD added an extra-heavy chunk of metal to the drive to assist in cooling. 10,000 RPM drives can produce a fierce amount of heat, as we will see later.

In fact, one side of each drive is ribbed to assist in heat dissipation.

Inside, the drive uses a pair of 37GB disk platters, with a pair of read/write heads servicing each. 8MB of Hynix memory makes up the buffer.

SATA bridging is provided courtesy of a Marvell 88i8030C chip, and the WD740 supports Tagged Command Queuing, a feature we had not expected to see on SATA drives. There's no support for this feature in current SATA controllers, but it is similar to the Native Command Queuing (NCQ) technology that makes its debut with the Serial ATA II standard. TCQ allows the drive and controller to reorder data requests from the system based on the actual physical positioning of the read and write heads on the platters. This should make for more efficient and consistent data transfer.

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Contents of Article: Western Digital WD740 Raptor
 Pg 1.  — Western Digital Raptor WD740 SATA Hard Drive Review
 Pg 2.  Technology and Specs
 Pg 3.  Benchmarks: Winstone 2004, Sandra 2005
 Pg 4.  Benchmarks: PCMark04, Winbench 99
 Pg 5.  Benchmarks: HDTach
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: IOmeter, Doom 3

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