WD Raptor X
Western Digital may be marketing their Raptor family of high-speed hard drives as enterprise-class hard drives but they are also very popular with hardware enthusiasts who just cannot resist its 10,000 RPM spindle speed. Everything just seems a little faster when you use a drive that spins at such a high speed.
To cater to this exclusive group of enthusiasts, Western Digital introduced the Raptor X, a variant of the 150 GB Raptor hard drive that replaces the metal top plate with a clear perspex lens that allows you to see the drive mechanism. This is the ultimate in hard drive 1337ness.
Unlike "regular" WD Raptor hard drives, the WD Raptor X is only available with a storage capacity of 150 GB. Other than the clear lens on the top plate of the drive though, the WD Raptor X is internally similar to the 150 GB WD Raptor. As such, it supports these same features which all WD Raptor drives support :
Enterprise-Class Reliability - Designed and manufactured to enterprise-class standards to provide enterprise reliability in high duty cycle environments. With 1.2 million hours MTBF, these drives have the highest available reliability rating on a high capacity drive.
High Performance - With a SATA interface, 1.5 Gb/s data transfer rate, native command queuing (NCQ), and 16 MB cache, these drives deliver optimum performance.
RAID-specific, time-limited error recovery (TLER) - A feature unique to WD, prevents drive fallout caused by the extended hard drive error-recovery processes common to desktop drives.
Rotary Acceleration Feed Forward (RAFF™) - Optimizes operation and performance when the drives are used in vibration-prone, multidrive systems such as rack-mounted servers or network storage.
The Raptor X hard drive we obtained for this review was an OEM unit. Like most OEM hard drives, it came in just a sealed anti-static plastic packet with a sachet of dessicants to keep it dry. Unlike the other OEM drives though, the drive was stored inside a black pouch with a white card on handling precautions. Other than the sparse packaging (and limited documentation), this drive is no different from the retail version, right down to the 5-year warranty.
All you need to do is just cut open the plastic packet and slide out the drive (enclosed within the pouch). Be sure to ground yourself before removing and handling the drive as static can damage it. In particular, you should try to avoid touching the exposed PCB located at the base of the drive.
If you like your packaging or need to deliver this hard drive by mail, you can always opt for the retail version of the drive. It comes with its own box and proper padding to ensure the drive survives a mail delivery. Of course, the retail package comes with a price premium.