Western Digital ships 2TB Caviar Black

Western Digital has added a new 2TB hard drive to its Caviar desktop family. Unlike the company’s two-terabyte Caviar Green, this latest Black spins its 500GB platters at a full 7,200 RPM. A new dual-stage actuator apparently deserves a lot of the credit for getting such high-density platters up to speed. In addition to a mechanical actuator, this tag-team design puts a piezoelectric motor at the end of the drive arm. The motor offers 500 nanometers of fine-tuning—enough to span five tracks on the platter. WD says the ability to do a "short seek" with just the second stage of the actuator improves the drive’s performance.

Although it probably won’t speed things up in the real world, the new Caviar also sports a beefy 64MB cache. Support for 6Gbps Serial ATA transfer rates is curiously absent, but the omission is not completely unexpected. Obviously, the 2TB Black won’t be able to sustain transfer rates higher than its 3Gbps SATA interface can handle. I suspect that Western Digital also wants to ease the validation of the Black’s enterprise-oriented cousin, the new RE4 2TB.

Like previous RE remixes, the RE4 is essentially a Caviar Black hopped up on RAID-specific features and additional validation testing. WD says that its new dual-stage actuator is particularly helpful at maintaining performance in high-vibration environments, such as tightly packed arrays, making it potentially even more useful to the RE4.

2TB Caviar Blacks start shipping today, and they’re expected to sell for $299. That’s quite a bit more than the Caviar Green, which can be had for as little as $215. The RE4 is still being qualified by OEMs; it’s expected to be available in the next couple of weeks, but a price hasn’t yet been set. Expect a full review of the Caviar Black soon.

Comments closed
    • cynan
    • 10 years ago

    As impressive as the new motor tech sounds, it’s getting kinda hard to swallow spending more than $1/GB on 3.5″ form factor mechanical storage… $1.50/GB is pushing 2.5″ territory.

    • D@ Br@b($)!
    • 10 years ago

    I don’t understand, RE4’s seem to be sold in the Netherlands since the end of april!?

    §[< http://tweakers.net/pricewatch/238731/western-digital-re4-gp-wd2002fyps-2tb.html<]§ or is this a different drive....

      • sircharles32
      • 10 years ago

      Different drive. It’s their green power server version.

    • ish718
    • 10 years ago

    OK, so this means that before SSD actually goes mainstream, we will have 5GB HDDs for $100… O_O

    • 5150
    • 10 years ago

    As a side note, I am extremely disappointed with the price gouging going on over at NewEgg with the Intel X25-M’s. They were $249 last week for the 80GB, now they’re $499!!!!!

    Screw you NewEgg.

      • flip-mode
      • 10 years ago

      It’ll correct itself shortly. I looked at a CPU middle of last week and it was $190, looked at it over the weekend and it was $220, checked again yesterday morning and it was $190 again.

      • SomeOtherGeek
      • 10 years ago

      I think something is wrong with the numbers cuz the 160 is cheaper, so something is not kosher.

        • 5150
        • 10 years ago

        I just chatted with them, they said they can’t see previous prices and that their prices are subject to change without notice. That’s a good BS answer.

      • indeego
      • 10 years ago

      That is shameful. Good eyeg{<.<}g

      • Lazier_Said
      • 10 years ago

      That ridiculous price hike just coincidentally occurred immediately after Anandtech published a major piece on how great Intel SSDs are.

      The 160GB X25 was also hiked from $440 to $999.

      • Kallstar
      • 10 years ago

      Oh my! I just noticed that too… what in the world is going on? This isnt even the already messed up 10-30dollar newegg upswing. This has got to be a new high (or low as per their reputation). Its quite a shame seeing how they are my favorite online store. I hope this trend of markups stops. Its one thing to only have an item on sale for a small window, but its quite another to raise the prices WAY up?? Thats not the newegg i came to trust.

        • 5150
        • 10 years ago

        I’ve sent them a scathing e-mail and a survey after my chat and made sure to post my account number so they will see how many dollars they’re going to be losing. Unless there is a logical explanation for this, I’m done with them.

      • oldDummy
      • 10 years ago

      Paid 230 for the 80Gb G1 on 8-11-09

        • 5150
        • 10 years ago

        Yeah, I just bought five last week, wanted to get four more today.

          • Farting Bob
          • 10 years ago

          Why on earth are you buying so many, especially when you know that in a couple of months they’ll probably be $100 cheaper?

            • 5150
            • 10 years ago

            I’m putting them in new Toughbooks for our outside techs. We go through WAY too many hard drives in those things and so far, SSD’s have been a god-send.

      • Kurotetsu
      • 10 years ago

      Doesn’t Newegg have some weird automated system that increases or decreases the price on a product depending on how many hits its page gets or something? That would explain why the support people have no idea how much something costs at the moment.

      • Nereid
      • 10 years ago

      It looks like the X25-M G2 drives are gone from Newegg now.

        • 5150
        • 10 years ago

        Yeah, I like how they’re completely missing, not “out of stock”.

      • 5150
      • 10 years ago

      “UPDATE (9/1/09 @ 6:02pm): Just got word that Newegg has pulled ALL of the listings for Intel’s X25-M G2 SSDs. Looks like outside pressure is being put on them it seems…

      In other news, I did get this statement from Intel:

      Intel has not raised prices on the 34nm G2 product to distributors who sell to e-tailers such as Newegg, since our launch.

      That pretty much puts this pricing “adjustment” all on Newegg. Waiting for more information… ”

      From PCPer

      • jackaroon
      • 10 years ago

      I agree that it’s a horrible price, but It’s a minor inconvenience and no one’s getting screwed. There’s nothing holy about MSRP. It’s as likely to be too high as it is to be too low. You just don’t buy one, or you buy it from someone else (if they come back in stock), or you wait for a price cut or a competing product. I’m assuming there is a relative shortage of stock, and it makes perfect sense to raise the price. It’s supply & demand, one of the most basic things in the world. This isn’t drinking water or insulin, it’s a fast storage device.
      Am I happy about it? No, not at all, but if someone else wants it more than me what am I going to do? I have $1000. I just don’t have $1000 for a 160 gb drive.

      This debacle has, however, encouraged me to stop looking up SSD prices on newegg, and instead I just added a price alert down in some more sane territory. If they want to do business, well, now they know how low they need to go for mine. I guess we’ll just see if they can do it.

      • StashTheVampede
      • 10 years ago

      Why is this such a big deal? Just don’t buy it, no big deal. If you don’t like the price, just shop around.

        • indeego
        • 10 years ago

        1. Because it is from newegg, a trusted retailer for like OMG forevs.
        2. You are absolutely right, now I have to shop around. previously, I would simply buy from newegg, knowing is I spent 1-10% more, it didn’t really matter because of their great service/RMA policy/shipping speed.
        3. Not the end of the world, it’s just like finding out that your favorite food actually has a 1/100 chance of having a rat turd in it each biteg{<.<}g

      • reactorfuel
      • 10 years ago

      Who cares? Price gouging is despicable on food, necessary medical supplies, and stuff people need to live. For new gadgets, there’s no problem setting the price to whatever maximizes their profit – that’s how a market works when there’s not much supply and a ton of demand. Nobody’s going to die, or suffer in any way, because they can’t afford a new SSD. You probably wouldn’t be able to get one anyway even if they had kept the price stable, because they’d have sold out practically instantly, gone on Ebay or various forum for-sale threads, and still sold for ridiculous prices.

      If you want to get one RIGHT NOW I WANT IT RIGHT NOW, pay a thousand bucks or whatever they’re asking. If you can muster up the patience to wait a month or two for supply to increase and extreme demand to drop off, you’ll probably get it for MSRP or less.

    • willmore
    • 10 years ago

    Interesting. There are two things that stand in the way of great sequential performance–the inability to hold all heads on track at once, and the tendency to mux the channels down before they leave the enclosure.

    This nano-seeking motor should eliminate the first of those issues as each actuator can/should now be able to hold its head on track independently of the main actuator position–as long as the tracks in a ‘cylinder’ don’t diverge more than the nano seeking actuator can compensate for. But, a five track range may be good enough.

    The MUX issue is just a cost reduction. Plus, the drive control boards never supported more than one read channel, so there’s no point in bringing more signals to it that it can decode, but for an RE series drive, that may not be the case.

    If they go to multiple channel read/write, we can easily see sequential BW of high end drives increase 2x, 4x, 6x, or 8x–depending on the number of platter. We’ll be back to the days where a large number of platters was a *good thing* instead of something to be avoided.

      • pragma
      • 10 years ago

      A piezoelectric element makes a minuscule linear motor with even smaller range, calling it a “motor” here is a stretch. Using piezo actuators to track both heads on a platter could work! Essentially, they could arrange for a single logical sector to live on both sides of the platter. Parallelism beyond that seems unlikely (for now).

    • Kent_dieGo
    • 10 years ago

    Interesting. When will the review come out?

    • StashTheVampede
    • 10 years ago

    Upgraded my Mac Pro this weekend with a couple of 1TB Black Edition drives. So fast! Regularly >90MB/sec read/write — very impressive.

    • Tarx
    • 10 years ago

    That’s quite pricey. I wonder when WD are going to extend their Blue series to higher capacities…
    But really I’m just waiting for the WD 2 platter 1GB drives (either the blue or black series)… (or maybe a 2 platter green if WD gives an option to turn off auto head parking without breaking the warranty)

    • Bombadil
    • 10 years ago

    Where’s the 2-platter 1TB drives? FWIW: I just bought a single platter 500GB F3 (nice but a little small). My 3-platter 1TB Green is noisy and way too slow, and my WD6400AAKS developed bad sectors (which the WD utility was able to “fix”.) I am sick of slow drives. Maybe it is time to get a 30-64GB SSD just for Windows and applications.

    • ub3r
    • 10 years ago

    They can effectively double the read/write speeds by adding another head, and synchronizing their read/writes. That way it’ll have two heads writing at the same time, thus acting somewhat like a raid 0 in a single drive.

    Also, they can half the seek times, by using one head for the inner part of the platter, and another head for the outer part of the platter.

    Just a few ideas for the next model 🙂

      • mesyn191
      • 10 years ago

      There were oooooolllllllllllllddd Seagate drives that did what you’re talking about, I think it was advertised as internal RAID or some such (we’re talking like mid 1980’s…). Never caught on because a) the drives were huge and wouldn’t fit in regular cases and b) very expensive.

      §[< http://www.tomshardware.com/news/seagate-hdd-harddrive,8279.html<]§

        • Anonymous Coward
        • 10 years ago

        Seems like such a drive would offer the performance of two drives at a cost lower than two drives, and at a thermal expense lower than two drives. Sure seems like it would be stupid-simple to implement, just split up the tasks between the heads, use two standard controllers, and don’t even bother telling either one about the existence of the other. How could they go wrong?

        (Perhaps there would need to be some scheme to “lock” areas of the disk so only one head could mess with them at a time.)

        Lots of room for optimization, for example parking one head when the load is low, or using each head (preferentially) only for certain areas of the disk.

        I think dual head drives are a very interesting idea.

          • mesyn191
          • 10 years ago

          I think its a cool idea too (heck, why not put 4 or more sets of actuators in there?), but if the manufacturers don’t think there is money to be made then it won’t be made. Since they already tried the idea and it didn’t pan out I don’t think we’ll ever see something like that again.

          Damn shame. I’d love to get near SSD speeds out of a single drive (won’t ever be able to touch the seek times of a SSD though, perhaps if you put a few GB’s of RAM on there you might get close so long as you didn’t overflow the buffer) with the large capacity of magnetic storage.

      • TrptJim
      • 10 years ago

      I would think that would kill reliability.

        • mesyn191
        • 10 years ago

        Doubling components would certainly increase fault rates, but AFAIK these actuator assemblies don’t tend to fail too often. Not enough to matter anyways, worst case your MTBF would be like 500,000hr vs. the rated 1,000,000hr right?

    • flip-mode
    • 10 years ago

    Yeah, but no. If I’m going to spend $300 on a hard drive, it will be an SSD. I tend to set specific price targets for specific components. For hard drives, I won’t go over the $100 mark unless it is just a small amount to get a drive that very much justifies it.

    Why would any desktop or even workstation need the black drive instead of the green drive? Gimme an SSD or the SE16 640 for my OS drive and one or more 1TB or 2TB green drives for storage.

    In servers, I can understand this drive making sense, but even in workstations I don’t see the point at all, given the additional expense. If it were the same price per GB of the green 2TB then fine.

      • HiggsBoson
      • 10 years ago

      /[

      • oldDummy
      • 10 years ago

      .l[

      • YeuEmMaiMai
      • 10 years ago

      Gamers need lots of space………

      • ish718
      • 10 years ago

      Yeah, where else are they going to store all those pirated games?

        • TheBob!
        • 10 years ago

        My totally legal Steam folder is over 100GBs

    • TheBob!
    • 10 years ago

    Woot. I have the 1TB Black edition. Planning on picking this one up as well. I almost got the green drive a few weeks back, but figured I would hold off a little longer. Glad I did.

      • iatacs19
      • 10 years ago

      I also have a 1TB green and black, I don’t like the green because it keeps parking its heads.

      The black is good performer, but lots of noise and vibration, I did enable AAM and it’s much better.

      I am thinking of trying Samsung F3 hdd next.

    • mesyn191
    • 10 years ago

    That new actuator sounds pretty slick, I wonder if it’ll have any significant impact on seek times?

    • sweatshopking
    • 10 years ago

    woot first again!!!! i want this thing. anybody want to get me an early birthday present?

      • bimmerlovere39
      • 10 years ago

      Ditto. This thing sounds impressive.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This