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Hard disk drive maker Western Digital Corp. on Thursday announced beginning of volume shipments of its hard disk drives (HDDs) that feature Serial ATA II capabilities as well as 16MB cache, which is likely to boost their performance tangibly over predecessors.

The new WD Caviar SE16 hard disk drive uses 3 platters to provide capacity of 250GB and has 7200rpm motor. The company declares 8.9ms read seek time and 10.9ms write seek time. Currently the Caviar SE16 is the world’s second desktop-class HDD that has 16MB cache. The new hard drive uses Serial ATA-300 interface and is projected to feature capabilities like Native Command Queuing for higher performance. In addition, the HDD features WD’s technologies to ensure cool and quiet operation of the device.

“WD’s ongoing product innovation allows us to better serve our customers by improving upon the features that matter most – advanced Serial ATA with 300MB/s technology, fast performance, cool running quiet drives with high reliability,” said Richard E. Rutledge, vice president and general manager of WD's PC Components Group.

Suggested retail pricing is $199 for WD Caviar SE16 with 250 GB capacity (model WD2500KS). Customers who order WD Caviar SE16 hard drives from WD’s online store before May 31, 2005, will receive one free WD SecureConnect SATA cable and free standard shipping.

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