The VelociRaptor Duo takes Western Digital's WD My Book Thunderbolt Duo and gives it a significant performance boost by replacing WD's Green drive mechanisms with its VelociRaptor mechanisms. With these 10,000-rpm drives inside--to go along with the 10 Gbps Thunderbolt connectivity--the VelociRaptor Duo is intended to rival the performance of solid state drives, and in our tests, it proved to be more than a worthy competitor. See all: desktop hard drive reviews. See also: WD My Book VelociRaptor Duo review: the way Thunderbolt was intended.
Although the VelociRaptor Duo is touted for its rapid transfer speeds, it has a number of other noteworthy features - particularly for Mac users. The VelociRaptor Duo comes formatted for Mac, which makes it Time Machine compatible right out of the box. The VelociRaptor Duo also includes the necessary Thunderbolt cable (most Thunderbolt drives don't include one), making it incredibly easy to use immediately. The drive's two Thunderbolt ports allow it to be easily added anywhere in a Thunderbolt daisy chain. The drive also comes with WD's Drive Utilities application, which allows you to register, erase, perform diagnostics, and configure RAID settings (RAID 0, 1, or JBOD) with a few clicks of a mouse.
The VelociRaptor Duo is user serviceable, allowing you to replace the internal drives. All you have to do to is open the lid by pressing down gently, then pull the handle on the perforated metal cover straight up and you have quick, easy access to the drives.
With its wealth of attractive attributes, it is hard to find many drawbacks in the VelociRaptor Duo, but there are a couple of which to take note. The VelociRaptor Duo does not have FireWire or USB interfaces; therefore it can only be used with Thunderbolt-ready Macs. The most glaring negative aspect has to be the price; the 2TB model will set you back a hefty £679 inc VAT. While its performance may warrant the high price, some may argue that the best part of £700 for 2TB is way too expensive in comparison with other storage devices.
After hearing about the VelociRaptor Duo's high-speed capabilities, we put it through our series of lab tests. Although in our tests, it never hit the advertised transfer speed of 400 MBps, it came very close. In the AJA System Test, the drive registered an average write speed of 359.5 MBps and an average read speed of 380.9 MBps. To write/read a 10GB file, the drive scored 382.3 MBps and 284.7 MBps respectively, and 354.8 MBps and 261.7 MBps to write/read a 10GB folder.
The VelociRaptor Duo was significantly faster than WD's My Book Thunderbolt Duo 6TB, with a write speed that was 53 percent faster and a read speed that was 56 percent faster in the AJA System Test. It also outscored LaCie's Little Big Disk 2TB by about 85 percent in the AJA System Test, and even posted a faster write speed than LaCie's Little Big Disk 240GB SSD by 43 percent. In fact, the only category that the VelociRaptor Duo didn't win was the AJA Read Test when competing with the Little Big Disk SSD, in which it tested 28 percent slower.