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Western Digital

Caviar Black: WD1001FALS-00J7B0, 1 TB

Caviar Black: WD1001FALS-00E8B0, 1 TB

 

Caviar Green: WD10EADS-00M2B0, 1 TB

Caviar Green: WD10EADS-00P8B0, 1 TB

 

Caviar Green: WD10EARS-00Y5B1, 1 TB

 

Western Digital is trying to overwhelm us with sheer numbers. This company is constantly releasing new variants of drives, and it is indeed fascinating to watch this evolution. There are as many as five WD-branded HDDs in this review.

The two Caviar Black models, 00J7B0 and 00E8B0, come from the sector of fast 7200RPM HDDs. The former earned our recognition in our previous review of 1TB drives for its superb performance. As for the latter, we had hoped it would prove to have a 2-platter design, but were disappointed. The difference between them is quite noticeable, though, so we will be able to watch the progress of one HDD model from one revision to another.

The other three drives from WD belong to the power-efficient Caviar Green series which has a reduced spindle rotation speed. This series has been a headache for hardware testers since the WDxxEACS models with 16MB cache because it includes too many variations differing in additional markings only whereas the actual difference may vary from negligible to dramatic. The 00M2B0 model is one of the few 5400RPM Caviar Green drives available today in shops.

We were especially curious about the 00P8B0 model. Western Digital adopts an odd policy with respect to its power-efficient products and does not specify the spindle rotation speed for them. Some time ago this provoked a lot of discussions and some people even ventured a supposition that the spindle might vary its speed at work. The tests were absolutely unambiguous, however. The WDxxEACS/WDxxEADS disks had a constant speed of 5400 RPM. But when we ran our tests for the 00P8B0, we found it to have a spindle speed of 5000 RPM. This may have helped ensure the necessary recording density on an “unlucky” head/platter pair or Western Digital just wanted to lower the drive’s power consumption some more, but these are only our suppositions. Anyway, we’ve got this 5000RPM drive (by the way, there are 5000rpm HDDs of other storage capacities, too) and we are very curious as to how it compares with its opponents.

The WD10EARS is a third representative of the power-efficient series. The change of one letter in the model name means a lot: this model has a large cache, being the first power-efficient HDD with 64 megabytes of cache memory. And its platters are divided into sectors 4 KB rather than 512 bytes large. Western Digital calls this Advanced Format and we will discuss it in the next section.

 
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