The latest in Western Digital's performance hard drive range arrives in the channel, doubling capacity over the previous model.
Announced in April, the WD6000HLHX is a 600GB 2.5-inch form factor hard drive with a 10,000rpm spindle speed, 6GB/s SATA interface and with a 32MB cache, twice the former 300GB unit. It's taken three months from announcement to availability with most of the stock taken up by PC enthusiasts on a pre-order basis.
The 2.5-inch drive in this form comes in a 3.5" caddy and has a design pedigree similar to high performance enterprise drives. The WD Raptor series, however, has faced intense competition from the SSD sector as solid state drive manufacturers continued a relentless drive in improving performance, capacity and cost.
The previous models of hard drives were unusual in offering a trade off of high speeds but low capacities which is also the area of the market targeted by SSDs. With even the latest Velociraptor being soundly thrashed by most benchmarks, the 600GB capacity and a relatively low cost per gigabyte is now the main feature.
With the WD6000HLHX hitting retail at prices ranging from £240 (overclockers.co.uk) to £255 (Amazon), the Raptor is about the price of low end 120GB SSD drives. With three to four fold lower cost per GB, the Raptor range has come full circle to appeal to those who are after greater storage rather than the highest performance.
However with stock quickly running dry, demand appears to be outstripping supply.