6Gbps Caviar Black hard drive spotted in Japan

— 9:34 AM on February 11, 2010

A 1TB Western Digital hard drive with a 6Gbps Serial ATA interface has found its way into a Japanese store, and the folks at Akiba PC Hotline! were on the scene with a camera at the ready. According to their photos, the new Caviar Black drive (model number WD1002FAEX) was selling for ¥10,580, or just shy of $118.

The retailer mentioned some specs, but we can have a more complete overview by hitting WD's Caviar Black page, where the new 6Gbps 1TB offering is already listed. The new drive has a 7,200-RPM spindle speed and 64MB of cache, twice as much as the 3Gbps SATA model.

Power consumption has actually dropped a little, from 8.4W during seeks to 6.8W for the newcomer, which might hint at a reduced number of platters. However, WD quotes a higher idle noise level for the 6Gbps drive—28dBA instead of 24dBA—and the same seek noise level of 33dBA.

In a more detailed PDF spec sheet, WD claims a sustained "host to/from drive" transfer rate of 126MB for the new WD1002FAEX. That's not anywhere near the maximum 300MB/s enabled by the 3Gbps SATA interface, but it's a little bit higher than the 106MB/s transfer rate WD quotes for the original 1TB Caviar Black. Be sure to check out our review of Seagate's Barracuda XT for a look at the first 6Gbps SATA hard drive. (And thanks to Fudzilla for the link.)

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