Apple's marketing department has a habit of hiding the truth behind the Reality Distortion Field, and it looks like the company has done it again. The Mac maker released a new version of its Time Capsule network-attached storage device last week, and the spec sheet says it uses a "2TB or 3TB Serial ATA server-grade hard disk drive." The term "server-grade" seems to mean something different in Cupertino, because the new Time Capsules feature standard desktop versions of Western Digitial's Caviar Green hard drive.
Hardmac got its hands on one of the new Time Capsules, and the site found a Caviar Green WD20EARS hard drive inside. The drive has a 5,400-RPM spindle speed, a 3Gbps SATA interface, 64MB of cache, and a three-year warranty. WD lists this model among its desktop Caviar Greens, while server-oriented versions designed for enterprise undergo additional validation testing and sport different model numbers, extra features, and longer, five-year warranties. Without an AppleCare upgrade, the Time Capsule's warranty tops out at just one year.
I've had three desktop Caviar Greens spinning away in a closet file server for a couple of years now, so there's no reason why the drives can't be used in a home server. However, that doesn't make them server-grade. I'd be more inclined to think Apple made a simple mistake if it weren't, well, Apple. The company has a history of misleading marketing claims, and I'm curious to see whether this one will come back to bite it—or at least get the "server-grade" reference removed from the Time Capsule's product page. Probably not. Thanks to TechEye for the tip.