WD announces Caviar Black hard drive family

— 7:00 AM on June 10, 2008

Today Western Digital is announcing a few changes to its Caviar hard drive brand and rolling out a couple of new models for good measure. The Caviar name has been around for more than a decade, and it's now going to be available in three flavors. Caviar Blue drives will serve mainstream markets and bear the closest resemblance to existing Caviar models. "GreenPower" Caviar GP drives will fall under the Caviar Green umbrella and continue to offer slower spindle speeds with an eye toward maintaining lower noise levels and power consumption. Interestingly, WD notes that GreenPower drives have been incredibly popular, and that they now make up 16% of the company's production despite being available at just a few capacity points.

For enthusiasts, Western Digital has cooked up the new Caviar Black family. These drives will be the first to offer higher capacities and new features, and WD says they'll be the fastest models in the Caviar line. Black drives will also get five years of warranty coverage and a model numbering scheme that will clearly reflect the areal densities of different models.

Western Digital is launching the Caviar Black in terabyte and 750GB capacities, both of which will use the same 333GB platters. Shipments begin next week, and we're told that drives may be available for purchase as early as June 20. Expect to pay $249 for the terabyte model and $199 for the 750GB, although WD notes that initial production will heavily favor the higher capacity drive.

Caviar Blacks will feature StableTrac motors that anchor the spindle at both ends to maintain performance in vibration-prone environments, IntelliSeek just-in-time actuator delivery, and off-disk drive head parking that WD now calls NoTouch. WD claims the Black will be the fastest terabyte hard drive on the market, too—something we'll put to the test in a full review soon.

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