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Western Digital Raptor WD740GD (SATA)
By CPU-zilla
Category : Storage
Published by Jimmy Tang on Friday, 27th February, 2004
Rating : 5 out of 5 stars  


Introduction

The Western Digital Raptor just got bigger, better and faster with the recent introduction of their latest 10,000RPM Raptor drive based on the latest Serial ATA interface. The previous Raptor had a smaller capacity of only 36GB while this latest predator is packed with double the amount of space. Known not so much of being a SATA drive for the average consumer, Western Digital is redefining this new range of drives for the enterprise environment. For those who don't already know, these high performance drives were built with the same kind of reliability one can expect from enterprise class SCSI drives - which explains why WD is providing a generous warranty period of five years.

Compared with the previous 36GB Raptor, the new 74GB wonder uses two disk platters instead of one in the former model. However, in order to achieve double the capacity, the WD740GD uses up to four heads. This allowed Western Digital to bring us the new 74GB Raptor in a rather quick manner as it's just a matter of adding another platter to the drive.

Other than those changes, the layout and the components on the interface board also experienced a couple of alterations. However, the use of the SERDES bridge based on the Marvell 88i8030 solution is still quite obviously seen on the back of the drive. Those hoping to have Native Command Queueing (NCQ) support on these drives, we're disappointed to say that they have not yet been implemented on these drives, and neither were there any controllers available that officially support them.

The Western Digital Raptor WD740GD


The back view of the Raptor drive.


The familiar Marvell 88i8030 SERDES bridge is utilized in this drive.


The rear end of the drive is similar in layout to all other SATA-based WD drives. Here, you're given two choices, either to use the legacy four-pin Molex adapter or the new SATA power connector.


The PCBs of both the new WD740GD (left) and the older WD360GD (right) compared. Can you spot the differences?

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