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Moving to solid state drives is becoming increasingly common amongst laptops- especially Macs. Apple has moved their entire MacBook Air lineup to SSDs and the new Retina based MacBook Pro laptops also only come with Sold State Drives. While SSDs are fast, they are still too expensive for mass storage. You could argue that cloud storage is becoming cheaper by the day and although that works with documents, transferring bigger files such as videos on still limited bandwidth is just not feasible.

What works for me is having a smaller, faster solid state drive in my MacBook Air and then a larger, possibly protected storage that I can connect to, to dump my files. My MacBook Air has a Thunderbolt port which is perfect for something like this so I had no issues saying yes to WD when they asked me if I would like to test out their My Book VelociRaptor Duo.

The My Book VelociRaptor Duo basically has the same enclosure as the My Book Live Duo, except that it has two Thunderbolt ports that can be used to interface and pass-through along with the super speedy 10,000RPM VelociRaptor drives. My review sample came with two WD 1TB Velociraptor drives installed that could either be configured for speed in RAID 0 mode or safety with a RAID 1 backup.

The VelociRaptor was pretty much my go-to drive before SSDs became cheaper. In fact, it was used as a benchmark to measure earlier SSDs, so I figured it would be a good idea to see how two of the latest generation models perform in RAID 0 as compared to the 64GB SSD that my MacBook Air came with. Using Blackmagic Disk Speed Test, here is what my 64GB MacBook Air (2013) SSD scored:

WD_Duo2

And this is what the WD My Book VelociRaptor Duo scored:

WD_Duo3

As you can see, read speeds are similar between the two, but the WD My Book VelociRaptor Duo in RAID 0 setup was almost twice as fast in write tests. Granted, the SSD I have in my MacBook Air 2013 is only 64GB and possibly slower than higher capacity models, it is enough storage for me to do my daily work and does not feel slow with either reading from it or writing to it. Where this setup helps considerably is transferring files quickly to the external drive.

If you prefer an additional backup, you can switch to RAID 1. Like My Book Live Duo, the drives in the enclosure could be replaced with other drives in case the capacity isn’t enough for you. But as far as speeds are concerned, you won’t find anything faster with mechanical drives. Priced at AED 3500, the My Book VelociRaptor Duo can be purchased from leading tech outlets in the UAE.

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