Western Digital's Caviar RE2 hard drive

Built for enterprise, perfect for power users?

WESTERN DIGITAL'S RAPTOR hard drives are perfect examples of how enterprise-class hardware can become popular among PC enthusiasts. The drives are targeted at servers, workstations, and network attached storage devices, but that hasn't stopped droves of enthusiasts from popping them into desktop systems and gaming rigs that would look rather out of place in an enterprise environment.

Enthusiasts covet the Raptor for its blistering 10,000-RPM spindle speed and five-year warranty, but the drive's storage capacity stalled at 74GB over a year and a half ago. 74GB is peanuts by today's standards, and the Raptor's relatively high price tag makes for a cost per gigabyte that's grim at best. Fortunately, Western Digital recently launched an enterprise-class Caviar RE2 hard drive that offers more than five times the capacity of the 74GB Raptor. Weighing in at 400GB, the RE2 spins at 7,200RPM, boasts 16MB of cache, supports Native Command Queuing, and is covered by Western Digital's five-year enterprise warranty. Best of all, the drive's cost per gigabyte is actually lower than 400GB desktop drives from other manufacturers.

Technically, the Caviar RE2 is targeted at servers and network attached storage, but that hasn't stopped us from running the drive through a punishing gauntlet of performance tests that cover server, workstation, and desktop loads. Read on to see how the Caviar RE2 stacks up against Western Digital's best, and the fastest Serial ATA drives from Hitachi, Maxtor, and Seagate.

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