WD took the opportunity presented by the E3 Expo this week to introduce a new line of desktop hard drives, the Caviar SE16 series. In fact, they're now shipping. The platters on these puppies spin at 7,200 RPM, and seek times are cushioned by 16MB of onboard cache. A fast PC should be able to pull data from that cache at rates up to 300MB/s thanks to the SATA-II interface. Initial capacities look to be 160GB and 250GB, with the 250GB model ringing up at $199. WD will cover these drives with a three-year warranty, and they claim "noise levels are virtually below the threshold of human hearing."
I presume since the drives have SATA-II, they will support Native Command Queuing as part of the package, but WD's announcement neglects to mention that detail. We'll try to confirm that with them soon. Not yet mentioned but still on my personal wish list: a new Raptor with SATA-II, NCQ, and way more capacity.
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