74-gigabyte capacity – perhaps the most significant improvement is the migration to a two-platter flagship design.
37 GB Platters – the aggregate areal density of the new Raptor will remain the same as the first. Linear density, however, has increased, to achieve:
72 MB/sec outer-zone transfer rates – though we’ve pointed out that STR is non-consequential in the large majority of uses, some folks were disappointed with the 55 MB/sec that the first Raptor delivered. WD is confident enough with new yields to spec a transfer rate that rivals the best available from today’s disks.
4.5 millisecond seek time – current Raptor drives spec at 5.2 milliseconds.
TCQ enabled – matching a feature available on all contemporary SCSI drives, the new Raptor will feature tagged command queuing… that is, device-level reordering of outstanding requests for more efficient service times.
FDB motors – though quiet from an emitted sound-pressure perspective, the original Raptor emitted a slight high-pitch idle whine that could irritate sensitive ears. WD has been on the slow side when it comes to migrating to fluid bearing motors when compared to other manufacturers. Fortunately, the new Raptor uses quieter and ostensibly more reliable FDB motors.
There will also be a corresponding single-platter 37 GB unit. Interestingly, the new Raptors will still use an onboard PATA-to-SATA bridge disdained by many enthusiasts. When hot-swap functionality, command queuing, and the potential for blazing performance remain, however, why should we care? Performance and functionality, not PCB layouts, remain the bottom line.