We'll be comparing the performance of the Caviar Black with that of a slew of competitors, including some of the latest and greatest Serial ATA drives from Hitachi, Samsung, Seagate, and Western Digital. These drives differ when it comes to external transfer rates, spindle speeds, cache sizes, platter densities, 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||Capacity|
|Caviar SE16 (640GB)||300MB/s||7,200-RPM||16MB||320GB||640GB|
Performance data from such a daunting collection of drives can make our bar graphs a little hard to read, so we've colored the bars by manufacturer, with the Caviar Black appearing in brighter blue than the rest of Western Digital's drives.
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|
|North bridge||Intel 955X MCH|
|South bridge||Intel ICH7R|
|Chipset drivers||Chipset 188.8.131.523
|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|
|Graphics||Radeon X700 Pro 256MB with CATALYST 5.7 drivers|
Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1TB SATA
Seagate Barracuda ES.2 1TB SATA
Samsung Spinpoint F1 1TB SATA
Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000 1TB SATA
Western Digital RE2- GP 1TB SATA
Western Digital Caviar GP 1TB SATA
Western Digital VelociRaptor 300GB SATA
Western Digital Raptor WD1500ADFD 150GB SATA
Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB SATA
Western Digital Caviar SE16 640GB SATA
|OS||Windows XP Professional|
|OS updates||Service Pack 2|
Thanks to NCIX for getting us the Deskstar 7K1000 and Spinpoint F1.
Our test system was powered by OCZ PowerStream power supply units.
We used the following versions of our test applications:
- WorldBench 5.0
- Intel IOMeter v2004.07.30
- Xbit Labs File Copy Test v1.0 beta 13
- TCD Labs HD Tach v3.01
- Far Cry v1.3
- DOOM 3
- Intel iPEAK Storage Performance Toolkit 3.0
The test systems' Windows desktop was set at 1280x1024 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.