Western Digital Caviar Black: WD2001FASS-00U0B0 2TB
Earlier products from the Black series used to deliver excellent performance, so we were looking forward to testing a 2-terabyte Caviar Black. Finally, we can make it. This model is the best of all that Western Digital offers for desktop PCs. It is equipped with 64 megabytes of cache memory and this amount is going to become standard sooner or later.
The heads actuator of this HDD is special and composite. It uses a traditional electromechanical actuator for moving the heads at large angles (by the HDD’s standards, of course) and then adjusts the position of the head above the necessary track by means of a small piezoelectric actuator. It looks like working with very narrow tracks of 500GB platters is not a simple matter. Curiously, this technology is not new. This kind of an actuator was employed by some HDDs from now-defunct Maxtor.
Western Digital RE4: WD2003FYYS-01T8B0 2 TB
As is often the case, the desktop model is accompanied with a server-oriented cousin. The new HDD series is called RE4 and has all the features of the Caviar Black but is additionally equipped with an acceleration sensor that protects the HDD against vibration.
Western Digital’s new HDDs, both Caviar Black and RE4, have one peculiarity. When turning off, the HDD is producing a very special sound (we’ve even tried to record it as best we could) we have not heard with any other HDD so far. We are not absolutely sure, but it looks like the HDD’s motor begins to rotate in the opposite direction to halt the platters faster.
The following table lists the specs and firmware versions of the tested HDDs: