funkyfresh computers and accessories

Western Digital VelociRaptor 1TB Review

Western Digital’s VelociRaptor has been one of our preferred SATA drives for video editing for many years. This time around Western Digital improved the performance and raised the capacity to 1TB while maintaining low noise levels for a 10,000 RPM drive. We swapped out a 7200RPM HDD in our workstation with the 1TB VelociRaptor model #WD1000CHTZ and could not discern any change in overall noise levels coming from our system.

The increased capacity of the VelociRaptor will be welcomed by video editing professionals everywhere. We commonly edit multiple tracks of HD video in P2 format, MPEG4, Avid DNxHD and QuickTime ProRes. These projects balloon in size quickly even when using aggressive HD codecs so it’s critical to have enough capacity and overhead on a drive to confidently work on a few projects. RAID arrays are required for more extreme bit rates but we were happy with the performance of the 1TB VelociRaptor when editing DNxHD and ProRes timelines.

A few years ago we had a 300GB 3.5 inch form factor VelociRaptor fail on us and that was very disappointing. We were not even 1 year into using the product. However, since the move to the 2.5 inch form factor wrapped in the 3.5 inch heat sink not one VelociRaptor has failed on us. It’s been a rock solid “online” drive and we’re very happy to see Western Digital continue to make it.

However, we have to wonder if this is the last pure HDD version of the VelociRaptor that will be brought to market. SSDs and hybrid drives are the future and it’s only a matter of time before SSDs replace HDDs, especially at the lower capacities.

For now, the VelociRaptor remains the best price/performance option in a 1TB drive for video editing professionals.

Visit Western Digital for more information.

G-DRIVE 2TB External Drive Review

The G-DRIVE is a 7200RPM hard drive packaged in an attractive aluminum case / heat sink with USB 3.0 and Firewire 400/800 connectivity. We love most everything about the design except the incredibly cheap power supply. The wall wart doesn’t do this product justice.

We’re currently working on a project with about 500GB worth of files that we needed to transfer to a vendor for additional work. The 2TB G-DRIVE was a good choice for the project. It had enough space to get things started and adding additional files and master edits won’t be an issue. It’s also helpful that the 7200 RPM drive is fast enough to preview with and even work on directly without having to move the entire data set on and off the drive. Plus with USB 3.0 and Firewire connections it drops right in to any PC or Mac NLE. We would like to see eSATA on the back panel too but this will be less of issue as USB 3.0 becomes more common.

The G-DRIVE comes formatted for the Mac OS and that’s fine. We typically run Mac Drive on our PCs to access Mac disks when we need to and many of our vendors still edit on Macs so reformatting the drive wasn’t an issue.

The G-DRIVE features a big white light under the G on the front chassis that we find incredibly annoying. We just don’t need that much blinking light in an edit suite to know the drive is working. The product team should update this with a more subtle ice blue LED. We’d advise testing this in a fairly dark edit suite environment where a little bit of blinking light goes a long way.

We’re glad we finally got our hands on a G-DRIVE. It’s a solid, quiet design with good connectivity. The G-DRIVE worked great with our editing programs and we passed it around to a couple of vendors without any issues. That’s basically what we need and expect from an external hard drive.

Next, we want to see some SSD based solutions with integrated power supplies and Thunderbolt connectivity. It’s about to get crazy with external designs for creative work and we can’t wait.


Visit G-Technology for more information.

Dell T7600 Workstation Review

Dell does a good job of making quiet powerful workstations. The T7600 is the flagship of Dell’s workstation lineup targeted at professional users. It’s smaller and lighter than the previous T7500. However, the case is less spacious and we’re not entirely sold on the new industrial design.

Dell T7600 promotional video touts the design of its latest workstation which is very modular and clean. We like the built in handles and removable power supply. However, we prefer horizontal orientation for our optical drives. The compartment for HDDs/SSDs makes it easy to swap drives in and out but the release mechanism is a bit flimsy and could easily be broken.

Also the front cover is not on hinges and takes more time than it should to replace. We find it much simpler to just pop the side off of our T7500 and swap drives in and out.

Performance wise the T7600 is a great machine for video editing and it’s very quiet. Dell has really mastered the art of cooling and airflow with large fans and efficient designs. You can have the T7600 right next to you under a desk and barely notice it’s there.

Overall, the T7600 didn’t have quite the quality feel we were expecting. It’s like that “soft-touch” experience you expect from today’s new cars. Not a huge deal, it just feels less expensive than the price tag, which adds up quickly. However, what puts Dell on our list every time we consider a new workstation is the combination of computing power and acoustic performance. The T7600 is one powerful church mouse of a workstation.

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