A Western Digital VelociRaptor, that is.

My desktop PC is almost two years old now. (I purchased it back in October 2006.) It's an HP Pavilion m7690y tower machine with a 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo E6600 processor, so it's getting a bit long in the tooth, though it's been very reliable overall. As is so often the case with my machines, I've upgraded some components over time. I bumped the RAM from 2 GB to 4 GB immediately, which was sort of a no-brainer given the price of memory. I also upgraded the very basic video card it came with, twice, first to an ATI Radeon X1600 at purchase time and then earlier this year to an ATI Radeon HD 3850. (Both were midline 3D cards when I bought them.) I've upgraded the display a few times as well, though I suppose that's technically a separate issue.

From a storage perspective, I also purchased a 500 GB HP Personal Media Drive for the PC (it has the full-sized PMD) and have more recently begun using a second USB-based external drive as well. Both are easily removable, so I keep my documents, media files, and so on there, allowing me to wipe out the internal drive more easily for reinstalls. Until now, I've kept the 400 GB drive the system came with in the PC. But this past week I purchased a 300 GB WD VelociRaptor with the idea of extending the life of the PC a bit. I usually upgrade every two years, but I think this might put it over the top. The drive is a 10,000 RPM unit, compared to the more typical 7800 RPM drives you typically see today. So it should be pretty quick. I certainly seems so in just a few day so use. As or more important, it's completely and noticeably silent. I love silent.

So if I'm lucky, this will fend off a desktop upgrade until at least next spring.

I've also begun a new data replication strategy that works in tandem with what I'm doing with Live Mesh. I'm storing one copy of my Documents, Pictures, and Music folders in the normal place (C:\Users\Paul\*) and then replicating them to the PMD with SyncToy 2.0 nightly. (It's all backed up to WHS as well, and the most vital content is also replicated to Live Mesh.) So far so good.

Here are a few shots of the drive install...