Western Digital’s Caviar SE16 640GB hard drive

Manufacturer Western Digital
Model Caviar SE16 (640GB)
Price (Street)
Availability Now

When Western Digital introduced its GreenPower line with the terabyte Caviar GP last year, we wished aloud that the drive’s new 250GB platters would make their way into a performance-oriented model. The GP wasn’t even particularly slow—in fact, it was the fastest terabyte drive at the time. But by dialing back the GreenPower’s spindle speed to close to 5,400RPM in a bid to improve energy efficiency, WD effectively left some performance on the table. We’ve been waiting to get that performance back ever since.

Unfortunately, it seems Western Digital had no plans to sate our desire for a terabyte Caviar with 250GB platters spinning at a full 7,200RPM. Instead, the company has almost done one better by launching a new batch of 7,200-RPM Caviars that pack an impressive 320GB per platter. These new drives are only available in capacities up to 640GB, so they won’t challenge for the terabyte crown. With prices hovering around $130 for the 640GB model, however, this latest crop of Caviar nails the cost-per-gigabyte sweet spot that most enthusiasts covet.

The question, of course, is how this new Caviar SE16 640GB measures up. Can Western Digital’s new Caviar models match up with Samsung’s best-in-class SpinPoint F1? And with only two platters, does this new SE16’s noise levels and power consumption compete with energy-efficient drives like the Caviar GP? Keep reading to find out.

Mo’ areal density

320GB platters are easily the most interesting component of the Caviar SE16 640GB; they allow Western Digital to hit the 640GB mark using only two platters, lowering the odds of a catastrophic head crash simply by reducing the number of platters a head could crash into. Using fewer platters also reduces the rotational load on the drive motor, which should allow it to run quieter while consuming less power than drives with more platters.

By far the biggest benefit of the SE16’s new platters comes in the form of performance potential. The 320GB platters boast an areal density 28% higher than that of Western Digital’s 250GB discs, giving the drive head access to substantially more data over shorter physical distances. Increases in areal density can dramatically improve sequential transfer rates, although it is worth noting that WD’s 320GB platters don’t have the highest areal density on the market. That honor belongs to the 334GB platters in Samsung’s SpinPoint F1.

Maximum external transfer
Maximum internal transfer
Average rotational latency 4.2ms
Average read seek time 8.9ms
Spindle speed 7,200RPM
Available capacities 320, 640GB
Cache size 16MB
Platter size 320GB
Idle acoustics 25 dBA
Seek acoustics 29 dBA
Idle power consumption 7.7W
Read/write power
Warranty length Three years

The new Caviar SE16 falls a little short of the F1 on the overall capacity front, as well. Samsung offers the SpinPoint in a three-platter configuration that serves up a cool terabyte of storage, but Western Digital is only packing up to two platters in its latest SE16s, limiting their maximum capacity to 640GB. We’ve seen three-platter Caviars before, and it should be possible for WD to put together a 960GB drive with its new 320GB media. However, the company hasn’t announced plans for such a product. A single-platter 320GB Caviar SE16 model is available if you don’t need quite as much capacity, though.

Interestingly, Western Digital is sticking with a 16MB cache for its new Caviars. Hitachi, Seagate, and Samsung have all put 32MB of memory into their latest drives, leaving the Caviar looking a little light. However, WD says it has done extensive performance profiling that shows little benefit to jumping from 16 to 32MB of cache.

Like other recent Caviar models, the new 640GB SE16 features an IntelliSeek actuator mechanism that only moves the drive head as fast as necessary (rather than as fast as possible) to get it into position for the next data point. This just-in-time delivery scheme is designed to reduce seek power consumption, noise, and vibration, and Western Digital says it has no impact on actual drive performance.

To further combat vibration, the Caviar SE16 is equipped with a SecurePark mechanism that moves the head completely off the disc when the drive is powered down, as well as during spin-up and spin-down. This mechanism ensures the drive head is only flying over the platter when needed and that it never actually rests on the surface of the platter.

Caviar SE16 hard drives are covered by a three-year warranty that matches the industry standard for desktop drives. Three years of coverage should be enough for most folks, especially considering how quickly capacities have ramped over the last few years. However, enterprise-class products like Western Digital’s Caviar RE2 line enjoy five years of warranty coverage. Seagate also offers a five-year warranty for all its internal hard drive products, including desktop Barracudas that compete directly with the SE16.

Test notes
We’ll be comparing the performance of the Caviar SE16 640GB with that of a slew of competitors, including some of the latest and greatest Serial ATA drives from Hitachi, Maxtor, Samsung, Seagate, and Western Digital. These drives differ when it comes to external transfer rates, spindle speeds, cache sizes, platter densities, NCQ support, and capacity, all of which can have an impact on performance. Keep in mind the following differences as we move through our benchmarks:

Max external
transfer rate

Spindle speed

Cache size

Platter size


Native Command

Barracuda 7200.7
150MB/s 7,200-RPM 8MB 80GB 160GB Yes

Barracuda 7200.8
150MB/s 7,200-RPM 8MB 133GB 400GB Yes

Barracuda 7200.9
300MB/s 7,200-RPM 8MB 160GB 160GB Yes

Barracuda 7200.9
300MB/s 7,200-RPM 16MB 125GB 500GB Yes

Barracuda 7200.10
300MB/s 7,200-RPM 16MB 188GB 750GB Yes

Barracuda 7200.11
300MB/s 7,200-RPM 32MB 250GB 1TB Yes

Barracuda ES
300MB/s 7,200-RPM 16MB 188GB 750GB Yes

Barracuda ES.2
300MB/s 7,200-RPM 32MB 250GB 1TB Yes

Caviar GP
300MB/s 5,400-7,200-RPM 16MB 250GB 1TB Yes

Caviar SE16
300MB/s 7,200-RPM 16MB 83GB 250GB No

Caviar SE16 (500GB)
300MB/s 7,200-RPM 16MB 125GB 500GB Yes

Caviar SE16 (640GB)
300MB/s 7,200-RPM 16MB 320GB 640GB Yes

Caviar SE16 (750GB)
300MB/s 7,200-RPM 16MB 188GB 750GB Yes

Caviar RE2
150MB/s 7,200-RPM 16MB 100GB 400GB Yes

Caviar RE2 (500GB)
300MB/s 7,200-RPM 16MB 125GB 500GB Yes

Deskstar 7K500
300MB/s 7,200-RPM 16MB 100GB 500GB Yes

Deskstar 7K1000
300MB/s 7,200-RPM 32MB 200GB 1TB Yes

DiamondMax 10
150MB/s 7,200-RPM 16MB 100GB 300GB Yes

DiamondMax 11
300MB/s 7,200-RPM 16MB 125GB 500GB Yes

Raptor WD740GD
150MB/s 10,000RPM 8MB 37GB 74GB No*

Raptor X
150MB/s 10,000RPM 16MB 75GB 150GB Yes

Raptor WD1500ADFD
150MB/s 10,000RPM 16MB 75GB 150GB Yes









Spinpoint F1
300MB/s 7,200-RPM 32MB 334GB 1TB Yes

Spinpoint T
300MB/s 7,200-RPM 16MB 133GB 400GB Yes

Note that the 250GB Caviar SE16 and the Raptor WD740GD lack support for Native Command Queuing. The WD740GD does support a form of command queuing known as Tagged Command Queuing (TCQ), but host controller and chipset support for TCQ is pretty thin. Our Intel 955X-based test platform doesn’t support TCQ.

We have test results from several versions of Western Digital’s Caviar SE16 and RE2. To avoid confusion, we’ll be listing their capacities in parentheses in each of our graphs.

Since Seagate makes versions of the 7200.7 both with and without NCQ support, the 7200.7 in our tests appears as the “Barracuda 7200.7 NCQ” to clarify that it’s the NCQ version of the drive. The other drives aren’t explicitly labeled as NCQ drives because they’re not available without NCQ support.

Finally, we should note that our WD1500ADFD has a slightly newer firmware revision than the Raptor X sample we’ve had since February 2006. The drives still share identical internals, but firmware optimizations could give our newer Raptor an edge over the X in some tests.

Performance data from such a daunting collection of drives can make our graphs a little hard to read, so we’ve highlighted the Caviar SE16 640GB in bright yellow. To frame the drive against its most recent competition, we’ve also highlighted the Barracuda 7200.11 and ES.2, the Deskstar 7K1000, the SpinPoint F1, the Caviar GP and RE2-GP, and the Caviar SE16 and RE2 750GB in pale yellow. We have two sets of IOMeter graphs, as well: one with all the drives, and another with just the Caviar and its direct rivals. Most of our analysis will be limited to how the new SE16 compares with its direct rivals, so it should be easy to follow along.

Our testing methods
All tests were run three times, and their results were averaged, using the following test system.

Processor Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.4GHz
System bus 800MHz (200MHz quad-pumped)
Motherboard Asus P5WD2 Premium
Bios revision 0422
North bridge Intel 955X MCH
South bridge Intel ICH7R
Chipset drivers Chipset
Memory size 1GB (2 DIMMs)
Memory type Micron DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz
CAS latency (CL) 3
RAS to CAS delay (tRCD) 3
RAS precharge (tRP) 3
Cycle time (tRAS) 8
Audio codec ALC882D
Graphics Radeon X700 Pro 256MB with CATALYST 5.7 drivers
Hard drives Hitachi 7K500 500GB SATA
Western Digital Caviar SE16 750GB SATA
Maxtor DiamondMax 10 300GB SATA
Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 NCQ 160GB SATA
Seagate Barracuda 7200.8 400GB SATA
Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 160GB SATA
Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 500GB SATA
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 750GB SATA
Western Digital Caviar SE16 250GB SATA
Western Digital Caviar RE2 400GB SATA
Western Digital Raptor WD740GD 74GB SATA
Western Digital Raptor X 150GB SATA
Western Digital Raptor WD1500ADFD 150GB SATA
Western Digital Caviar RE2 500GB SATA
Western Digital Caviar SE16 500GB SATA
Seagate Barracuda ES 750GB SATA
Samsung SpinPoint T 400GB SATA
Maxtor DiamondMax 11 500GB SATA
Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000 1TB SATA
Western Digital RE2 750GB SATA
Western Digital Caviar GP 1TB SATA
Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1TB SATA
Seagate Barracuda ES.2 1TB SATA
Samsung Spinpoint F1 1TB SATA
Western Digital Caviar SE16 640GB SATA
OS Windows XP Professional
OS updates Service Pack 2

Thanks to the folks at Newegg for hooking us up with the DiamondMax 11 we used for testing. Also, thanks to NCIX for getting us the Deskstar 7K1000 and Spinpoint F1.

Our test system was powered by OCZ PowerStream power supply units. The PowerStream was one of our Editor’s Choice winners in our last PSU round-up.

We used the following versions of our test applications:

The test systems’ Windows desktop was set at 1280×1024 in 32-bit color at an 85Hz screen refresh rate. Vertical refresh sync (vsync) was disabled for all tests.

All the tests and methods we employed are publicly available and reproducible. If you have questions about our methods, hit our forums to talk with us about them.

WorldBench overall performance
WorldBench uses scripting to step through a series of tasks in common Windows applications. It then produces an overall score. WorldBench also spits out individual results for its component application tests, allowing us to compare performance in each. We’ll look at the overall score, and then we’ll show individual application results.

The 640GB SE16 gets off to a great start in WorldBench, eclipsing the performance of its closest competitor by a full two points. That might not seem like much, but it’s a decent margin considering the six-way tie for second place.

Multimedia editing and encoding

MusicMatch Jukebox

Windows Media Encoder

Adobe Premiere

VideoWave Movie Creator

Among WorldBench’s multimedia editing and encoding tests, only Premiere really stresses the storage subsystem. There, the SE16 is just a few seconds off the pace set by Samsung’s F1, with the older 750GB Caviar nipping at its heels.

Image processing

Adobe Photoshop

ACDSee PowerPack

Photoshop doesn’t give the drives much room to stretch their legs, but ACDSee manages to spread the field a little. In that test, the 640GB Caviar leads the pack by six seconds, although that only works out to a little over 1%.

Multitasking and office applications

Microsoft Office


Mozilla and Windows Media Encoder

Scores are close through WorldBench’s office and multitasking tests.

Other applications



Nero and WinZip provide plenty of opportunity for drives to differentiate themselves, however. The 640GB SE16 takes advantage, topping the field in both tests—and by an impressive 30-second margin in Nero.

Boot and load times
To test system boot and game level load times, we busted out our trusty stopwatch.

For whatever reason, our test system doesn’t boot all that quickly with the latest crop of drives we’ve tested. The 640GB Caviar is faster than many others, including every terabyte model on the market, but it’s not nearly the fastest drive here.

The SE16’s game level load times aren’t that inspiring, either. Only a few seconds separates the fastest drives from the slowest here, and while the 640GB Caviar does reasonably well with Doom 3, it’s not even in the middle of the pack with Far Cry.

File Copy Test
File Copy Test is a pseudo-real-world benchmark that times how long it takes to create, read, and copy files in various test patterns. File copying is tested twice: once with the source and target on the same partition, and once with the target on a separate partition. Scores are presented in MB/s.

To make things easier to read, we’ve busted out our FC-Test results into individual graphs for each test pattern. We’ll tackle file creation performance first.

File Copy Test probes performance with sequential transfers, so it’s a little surprising to see the SE16 overcome an (albeit small) areal density disadvantage to surpass the SpinPoint F1 with four of five file creation test patterns. Only with the ISO test pattern, which includes a small number of very large files, does the SpinPoint prove faster than the Caviar.

The 640GB Caviar’s strong showing continues through FC Test’s file read suite. Again, the SE16 leads the pack with four of five test patterns, only losing ground to the SpinPoint F1 with a handful of very large files. Remember that the SpinPoint has 32MB of cache to the Caviar’s 16MB, as well.

FC-Test – continued
Next, File Copy Test combines read and write tasks with some, er, copy tests.

Things get a little more interesting at the front of the pack when we switch to file copy workloads. The 640GB Caviar still leads the field with two test patterns, but it can’t quite match the performance offered by the SpinPoint F1 in the other three. Interestingly, the SE16 actually sneaks a win with the ISO test pattern here.

FC-Test’s second wave of copy tests involves copying files from one partition to another on the same drive.

When we switch to partition-to-partition file copy operations, it’s only with the ISO test pattern that the 640GB Caviar manages to top the SpinPoint. With the remaining four test patterns, the SE16 maintains a lock on second place.

iPEAK multitasking
We’ve developed a series of disk-intensive multitasking tests to highlight the impact of command queuing on hard drive performance. You can get the low-down on these iPEAK-based tests here. The mean service time of each drive is reported in milliseconds, with lower values representing better performance.

Although the best it can manage is second place, the Caviar SE16 640GB consistently scores well in our disk-intensive iPEAK multitasking workloads. Only in the dual-file-copy workload does the Caviar drop out of the top three, and even then, it’s still faster than most of the direct competition.

iPEAK multitasking – con’t

The Caviar scores its first iPEAK win in our second wave of workloads and manages another third place performance. However, the SE16 falls a little behind the leaders in workloads that include Outlook import operations.

IOMeter – Transaction rate
IOMeter presents a good test case for command queuing and non-sequential read/write performance. To keep things easy to read, we’ve busted out two sets of graphs here. The first includes the Spinpoint and its closest competitors, while the second has results for all the drives we’ve tested. With over two dozen drives, those latter graphs are a little difficult to read, so we’ll focus our attention on the first set and the F1’s direct rivals.

Western Digital’s latest Caviar has been trading blows back and forth with Samsung’s SpinPoint F1, but when we turn our attention to IOMeter transaction rates, the SE16 is clearly superior. The drive’s performance scales up much more aggressively as the load increases, easily outpacing the F1 from one outstanding I/O all the way up to 256. Note that the 640GB SE16 isn’t the fastest drive of the lot, though. In fact, it’s actually a step behind the older Caviar SE16 750GB.

Good luck with these, folks.

IOMeter – Response time

IOMeter response times are close, with the 640GB Caviar largely trailing its 750GB predecessor. Again, though, the SE16 has a significant advantage over the SpinPoint F1.

IOMeter – CPU utilization

IOMeter CPU utilization is low across the board.

HD Tach
We tested HD Tach with the benchmark’s full variable zone size setting.

With only 320GB per platter, the 640GB can’t quite top the sustained transfer rates offered by the SpinPoint F1, which squeezes an additional 14GB onto each disc. The SE16 comes close, though, easily outrunning its other rivals.

Burst performance is quite good for the Caviar, as well. Seagate’s Barracudas are the fastest drives in this test, but the SE16’s 236MB/s peak throughput is impressive nonetheless.

The 640GB SE16 achieves some of the lowest random access times we’ve seen from a 7,200-RPM hard drive. A 12.8ms access time makes the Caviar nearly a millisecond quicker than the SpinPoint and much faster than Western Digital’s GreenPower drives.

Although the Caviar has the highest CPU utilization of the lot, results are within HD Tach’s +/- margin of error for this test.

Noise levels
Noise levels were measured with an Extech 407727 Digital Sound Level meter 1″ from the side of the drives at idle and under an HD Tach seek load. Drives were run with the PCB facing up.

Despite spinning at a full 7,200RPM, the 640GB Caviar SE16 matches the Caviar GP for the lowest seek noise levels we’ve seen from a 3.5″ hard drive. Idle noise levels still favor the GreenPower drive, but only by a fraction of a decibel.

Power consumption
For our power consumption tests, we measured the voltage drop across a 0.1-ohm resistor placed in line with the 5V and 12V lines connected to each drive. Through the magic of Ohm’s Law, we were able to calculate the power draw from each voltage rail and add them together for the total power draw of the drive.

With only two platters to spin, the 640GB Caviar has remarkably low power consumption both at idle and under a seek load. Western Digital’s GreenPower drives are more energy-efficient, of course, but with the exception of a single-platter 160GB Barracuda at idle, they’re the only ones that are.


Although the Caviar SE16 640GB doesn’t break new ground in storage capacity, platter density, or cache size, Western Digital has struck a good balance between those elements and delivered perhaps the most capable 3.5″ hard drive we’ve ever tested. Throughout WorldBench, the SE16 exhibited excellent performance with common desktop applications. The drive’s sequential transfer rates were exceptionally quick, as well, although not always as fast as those offered by the SpinPoint F1. However, the SE16 also finished near the front of the pack in iPEAK, maintaining reasonably balanced performance across most of our multitasking workloads. That balance carried over to IOMeter, where unlike the SpinPoint, the Caviar didn’t crumble under demanding multi-user loads.

We’ve focused on how the Caviar compares to the SpinPoint because the Samsung drive was our previous performance leader. It still is in many tests, but the F1 has a split personality that causes it to suffer badly in some tests. The 640GB SE16 doesn’t have a Mr. Hyde lurking in the background, allowing it to maintain great performance across a broader range of workloads.

Of course, there’s more to a drive’s performance than transfer rates and response times. Power consumption and noise levels count for a lot these days, and the Caviar delivers on both fronts. Not only does its power consumption flirt with that of Western Digital’s own GreenPower drives, but its noise levels are among the lowest we’ve ever measured, too. Even with a 7,200-RPM spindle speed, the Caviar SE16 640GB is for all intents and purposes just as quiet as a Caviar GP.

Western Digital Caviar SE16 640GB
March 2008

Our only real complaint about the SE16 640GB is the drive’s scarcity. Only one vendor currently lists the drive in our price search engine, and it’s going for close to $20 more than Western Digital’s suggested retail price of $139.99. However, Newegg was selling the SE16 at just $130 before running out of out of stock last week—a price that should be more representative of what consumers can expect to pay for the drive once it’s widely available.

If you can find the Caviar SE16 640GB for around $130, or even at its $140 MSRP, it’s a fantastic value—and at a capacity point that should be more than sufficient for most of us. That’s good enough to earn this drive our Editor’s Choice seal of approval.

Comments closed
    • ccsharry
    • 12 years ago

    Damn!! I think I have got a SLOW 6400AAKS!! Max Read at 108MB/s, average 86MB/s and seek time at 15.8ms… why me?!!

      • MadManOriginal
      • 11 years ago

      You know what, I just got one too and got the same results as you. The access time is espeically bothersome, 15.8 is rediculously high and I tested with both HDTune and HDTach. This is on a Gigabyte DS3R ICH9R in AHCI mode with XP 32-bit.

      I doubt this will get read though, I’ll have to post it elsewhere.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 11 years ago

        In case anyone does actually read this, I found a solution to the seek times. Check here for my posts: §[<http://www.ocforums.com/showthread.php?t=565932<]§

          • mcdill
          • 11 years ago

          I also got a 6400aaks which had c.15ms seek times. To get the expected c.12ms seek times, I had to use WinAAM (google for it) in order to turn off the drive’s automatic accoustic management. WinAAM worked for me because I am currently using XP, with the drive controller in IDE emulation mode (can’t get bothered to get AHCI working until I upgrade to Vista).

    • Some Llama
    • 12 years ago

    for testing methods, in the future, can you tell us how you setup the drives in regards to stripe size (for RAID tests) and cluster size for partitioning?

    Or do you have a default you always use?

    I have some of the raptors (75 gb) and noticed a big difference in terms of performance with different combinations of stripe size, and cluster size (4k, 8k, 16k etc) when using a RAID 1.

    • absinthexl
    • 12 years ago

    I just bought one of these, and it’s emitting an extremely noticeable high-pitched squeal that overpowers everything else in my case. Hopefully it’s just a bad drive, and an RMA will fix it.

      • Saber Cherry
      • 12 years ago

      Bad drive. Mine is totally quiet except on seek, when it is slightly audible (“grinding” noise) if the room is otherwise quiet. No whine, squeal, or high-pitched noise, ever.

      My 40GB Maxtor emits a high-pitched sound that overpowers everything else in the case (different case), but that’s 8 years old and before quietness was something HDD makers worried about. I rather imagine that /[

    • Bensam123
    • 12 years ago

    “To further combat vibration, the Caviar SE16 is equipped with a SecurePark mechanism that moves the head completely off the disc when the drive is powered down, as well as during spin-up and spin-down.”

    Hasn’t this been a part of SCSI drives for quite a long time?

      • just brew it!
      • 12 years ago

      AFAIK all of Hitachi’s (formerly IBM’s) drives — SCSI, SATA, and PATA — have had this feature for quite a few years now.

    • Taddeusz
    • 12 years ago

    I received the one I ordered from Newegg last weekend. So far I’m lovin’ it. Nice and quiet. MUCH quieter than the 300GB 7200.9 it replaced. Really fast as well. I’m really happy with my purchase. I was really getting tired of my computer sounding like a jiffy pop.

    • gerryg
    • 12 years ago

    +1 more contrasty colors

      • Saber Cherry
      • 12 years ago

      “+1 more contrasty colors”

      Make that +2, with a Crusader enchant. Seriously – nice review, but who came up with the idea (and it has been going on for a long time) that ORANGISH-YELLOW versus YELLOWISH-ORANGE would jump out at the reader?

    • Panoramix0903
    • 12 years ago

    While the WD 640GB drive does not fit in with the industry-standard capacity sizes, we fully understand Western Digital’s rationale behind this move. This allows WD to use economies of scale with their new 320GB per-platter design and allows a natural progression up to the 1TB~1.3TB level by simply increasing platter count for each logical step. Of course, unless you use sub-prime mortgage mathematics, three 320GB platters only equals 960GB of capacity. WD engineering told us they can easily stretch the areal density of the current platter design to get to the magical 1TB capacity to match their competitors and witness the marketing group smiling

      • d0g_p00p
      • 12 years ago

      who is “we” split personality maybe, borg hive mind?

        • sigher
        • 12 years ago

        One wonders, or make that more than one.

    • Sargent Duck
    • 12 years ago

    Excellent review, as always.

    Although in the future, for the bar graphs, could you make the featured drive blue or red or something that really makes it stand out from all the other “yellows”. I’m usually reading TR before I go to school and only just skim through articles, and having the drive stand out more would be nice.

      • Vaughn
      • 12 years ago

      I had the same problem reading the graph’s great suggestion Sargent Duck.

    • GTVic
    • 12 years ago

    Why the long boot times? With the exception of those MB/s file copy tests the SE16 750GB seems like a good choice also.

    • ikjadoon
    • 12 years ago

    Can Tech Report do an article on “short-stroking”?


      • bthylafh
      • 12 years ago

      I expect some of our fanboys are experts there.

    • Kurotetsu
    • 12 years ago

    So glad I grabbed these when they first came out. Got them for $120 each.

      • hans
      • 12 years ago

      Ditto. I haven’t spun it up yet since it will become the OS drive for a Vista test.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 12 years ago

    I’m waiting anxiously for a 3-platter version at 960GB. That would be just about a perfect balance of all metrics.

    • no51
    • 12 years ago

    if the 320’s perform as well as this one. i think it may be time to update my array. if’n they’re under 80? 70?

    • boing
    • 12 years ago

    Wow! Defo getting one of these to replace my aging Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 as a systemdrive. Especially since it’s getting damn stuffed..

    • srg86
    • 12 years ago

    Well this drive, and it’s sister 320GB version (what I’d be more inclined to buy) defiantly do sound like the best allrounders overall. This would be especially music to the ears of people with nVidia SATA controllers (including my current machine) who seem to have a problem with the F1. Just a shame for them that the SE16 isn’t available in the same high capacaties as the F1.

      • hans
      • 12 years ago

      Be warned that there were some issues with the 320GB version of this drive. Or perhaps the older version.

        • Kaleid
        • 12 years ago

        The access times for the 320GB version is much higher than the 640GB version. To quote anandtech
        “The one area that really disappointed us with the WD 320GB drive was its pitiful random access times at 16.4ms. After a lengthy conversation with Western Digital, we now understand why the drive performed so poorly in this test…

        Western Digital explained the single platter 320GB drive is aimed at the entry-level market where thermals and acoustics are critical for mass acceptance of the drive by the OEM and retail customers…

        WD sacrificed a small amount of performance on the 320GB drive to meet these goals. This was by design and is not an indication of the performance potential of their new technology…

        With that in mind, WD tuned the 640GB drive for additional performance at the expense of acoustics…”
        Source: §[<http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=3269<]§

    • Saber Cherry
    • 12 years ago

    Why PCB-up? They look kind of naked that way.

    P.S. Since I bought 2 off Newegg before they went out of stock, I did a little informal testing in Windows XP, just to see exactly how badly file copies are broken in Vista. And, well… I expected /[

      • no51
      • 12 years ago

      you win at the internets. srsly

      • Vaughn
      • 12 years ago

      lol DBZ fan much =)

      I’m a huge one also, I have almost all of the DBZ series including movies + specials.

        • Krogoth
        • 12 years ago

        “The balls are inert!”

    • Jive
    • 12 years ago

    Wow, amazing performance for the noise and power consumptions levels, and amazing value on top of it all.
    Makes me wonder though is WD ever going to produce another Raptor, or leave it be?

      • Klopsik206
      • 12 years ago

      I woudn’t be surprised if the next WD’s Raptor be Flash based.

        • Deli
        • 12 years ago

        probably not, since SSD tech isn’t really that good yet.

      • provoko
      • 12 years ago

      Yea, Raptors seem dead. The 160 platter beat it, and now the 320 platter blows them all away especially in price.

      But you have to wonder what a raptor will do with a 320 platter at 10,000rpm. That would be seriously amazing, but WD doesn’t seem to have any plans for a new raptor.

      • Krogoth
      • 12 years ago

      Raptor is RIP.

      It couldn’t match SCSI/SAS counterparts in the high-end market. While, maintream 7200RPMs have caught in overall I/O performance with far superior capacity.

      Performance SSDs are going to replace high-RPM HDDs. The primary hurdle is that GB/$$$$ ratio for performance SSDs still sucks. SSDs are more reliable (graceful death instead of going down with a digital bang) and less prone to enviornment problems that plague HDDs.

        • indeego
        • 12 years ago

        “The primary hurdle is that GB/$$$$ ratio for performance SSDs still sucks. ”

        A massive hurdle that will take many years to overcomeg{<.<}g Right now I think SSD is good to go on the mid/high end notebook range for consumers, not much else though. Look for late 2009/early 2010 to be the year of SSD elsewhereg{<.<}g

        • bthylafh
        • 12 years ago

        Nobody’s going to use IDE or SATA parts in the “high end” anyway. Raptor was always an enthusiast product. I wouldn’t write Raptor off yet.

        Not that I use them, or plan on it. I’m too cheap.

          • Krogoth
          • 12 years ago

          Sadly, SATA is taking a nice foothold in the enterprise market.

          A decent SATA controller is just about as good any SCSI/SAS controller. SATA drives are impressive from a performance and $$$$/GB ratio.

            • stdPikachu
            • 12 years ago

            No SATA in the enterprise? Whilst I agree that most individual servers will be SAS, I have about 80TB of EMC SAN that indicate that cheap SATA certainly has its place.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 12 years ago

    Huh. That’s nice. Where’s the B3 review? I want that sweded.

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