Western Digital releases RE3 enterprise drives

— 2:00 PM on June 19, 2008

In the wake of its Caviar Black launch last week, Western Digital has taken the wraps off a new line of workstation-class 3.5" hard drives. The company says its new RAID Edition 3 (RE3) drives build upon their RE2 predecessors with higher speeds and better reliability, while retaining the same 7,200-RPM spindle speeds, 16MB cache sizes, 300MB/s Serial ATA interfaces, and Native Command Queuing support.

WD quotes a performance jump of 20%, and it says the new drives outdo the RE2s by up to 60% in "high-vibration environments." Users can chalk up some of those increases to WD's rotary acceleration feed forward (RAFF) technology, which monitors the drive and corrects linear and rotational vibration. The RE3 launch press release also attributes the 20% gain to "dual processors," which it says double processing power compared to RE2 drives.

On top of those technologies, RE3 models includes a time-limited error recovery (TLER) system for RAID applications, an extra sensor to detect and compensate for subtle shocks, and WD's NoTouch ramp load system that ensures recording heads don't touch drive platters. WD puts RE3 drives through an "extensive and enhanced testing process," too.

WD is launching the RE3 in 500GB, 320GB, and 250GB flavors, which it prices at a respective $119, $89, and $79. All three RE3 offerings have 1.2-million-hour mean time between failures ratings, and WD covers them with five-year warranties. The three models "are available now through select distributors and resellers," the firm says.

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