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Review of Western Digital My Book VelociRaptor Duo

Thunderbolt ports can be found for PCs and Macs and now that Cactus Ridge has been introduced by Intel, the controller costs of Thunderbolt are falling rapidly. This is good news for consumers as it means there is plenty of competition in the market which should equal a reduction in price. Western Digital has joined the fray with My Book Thunderbolt VelociRaptor Duo, a pair of 3.5” caviar green drives from the company along with a My Book chassis in Thunderbolt form. You receive 200MB per second of sequential IO with your purchase, a reasonable rate though one would have to question if this is enough to help warrant a $900+ price tag.

Software & Chassis

Only a few years ago, the promise of 2TB worth of external storage capacity would have been met with disbelief but in an age of rapidly improving technology, the storage space offered by the VelociRaptor Duo is almost considered to be standard! Of course, capacity is not the real issue at hand; it is always about performance. In this instance, you have a Thunderbolt interface with 2 x 10,000 RPM VelociRaptor drives working hard inside.

The black chassis is not dissimilar to other My Book devices. It is pretty basic when looking at it from the exterior as there is one white LED that indicates whether power is on/off while the absence of a power button should be noted. While the rear of the chassis is not quite as bare, it is hardly a mass of activity either. You will find a lock port, DC input and a pair of Thunderbolt ports.

One of the best things about the VelociRaptor is the fact that it is user-serviceable. Basically, this means you can open up the unit by yourself and change drives if need be. All you need to do is click the button on top of the chassis to open the cover. Then, you remove the top plate before pulling out each drive. This should be a moot point because there should be no reason to change the 10,000 RPM drives at any stage in the near future at least. It is also important to note that this machine only accepts VelociRaptor drives.

Western Digital My Book VelociRaptor Duo

You receive the drives preformatted as a software HFS+ RAID-0 array. You can reconfigure the RAID rapidly to mirror the pair of drives if you wish as Western Digital provides a management utility. This can also be used to conduct simple tests on the drive. If you are looking for advanced SMART reporting, the VelociRaptor Duo falls short as it is not available.


We could spew a huge array of figures across the page but they would mean little without any context or comparison. When compared to other 3.5” Thunderbolt machines, the VelociRaptor Duo does well. For example, its sequential read of around 380 MB per second is only behind Promise Pegasus. Its sequential write outperforms machines such as LaCie 2big and LaCie Little Big Disk at around 381 MB per second though this is nearly half of what the aforementioned Promise Pegasus can do.


You can expect to get your hands on a for around $900. There are other Thunderbolt options such as Promise Pegasus that cost around $3,000. However, when the cost per GB is taken into account, $900 for 2TB seems more than a little steep and is higher than almost every other Thunderbolt device. The other issue with this machine is the level of noise caused by the machine’s internal fan. It doesn’t emit an annoying high pitched noise but it does produce a groaning sound which is quite distracting. On the plus side, the chassis is well ventilated and the temperature of the VelociRaptors tends to stay below 55 degrees Celsius (131 degrees Fahrenheit).


This machine can deal with a huge amount of bandwidth and it is possible to sustain almost 1GB per second transfers with the correct configuration. There is a lack of cumbersome cables to deal with and the overall performance of the VelociRaptor Duo is extremely good. However, it feels as if Western Digital has overpriced their machine because for all its plus points, $900 is a lot when there are similar products available for around half the price.

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