WD Caviar Black 2TB & VelociRaptor 600GB

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A Windows 7 image loaded with our test suite was cloned to a 50/100GB partition at the beginning of each drive (depending on its overall size) and our entire test suite was run start to finish 3 times with a reboot and defragmentation in between runs except for SSDs and the Momentus XT (defragmentation resets optimizations made to the XT's flash memory). The best times were collected for comparison.

Game load times were superb for both the new VelociRaptor and Caviar Black, but the Black took 10 seconds longer to boot. The 2TB model specifications list an "average drive ready time" of 21 seconds, three times longer than the VR600. We've never really been conscious of how long a drive takes to power up until now — in our experience most desktop drives spin-up in about the the same amount of time. The slow power up process on the new Caviar Black was impossible not to notice, though it was more like 10 seconds rather than 21. The old VelociRaptor held up very well in these tests, though its newer sibling booted up seven seconds faster.

The two new WD drives were neck and neck in application performance, easily besting other mechanical hard drives. The Caviar Black beat out its closest rival, the Barracuda XT by 25% in our ExactFile test, while the VR600 was about 29% faster than its predecessor.

When copying files to itself, once again the two drives performed very similarly.

Timed installs of PowerDVD and 3DMark06 favored the SSDNow and Barracuda 7200.11. The Black and new VelociRaptor were a step behind, grouped tightly with the older VelociRaptor and Barracuda XT.

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