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HD TACH RESULTS
The averge read speed (90.6 MB/s) and maximum burst speed (219 MB/s) of the
Caviar Black were similar to the results obtained for our 640GB
Caviar Blue sample. The random access speed of 13.6ms was a bit higher,
however. These results are a bit disappointing. After all, the Black line
is supposed to be the grand daddy of the Caviar series. The Samsung F1 1TB
had more or less the same read and burst speeds, though it's random access
speed was almost 3 ms slower. CPU utilization was higher by a few percentage
These results are more or less bourne out by the results
at Storage Review, which gives the Caviar Black a modest lead over the
F1, except in multi-user, server-oriented environments where the Caviar Black
was clearly superior.
Turning on AAM resulted in the exact same read and burst speeds with a 4.5
ms increase in random access time. The reduction in noise level is well worth
Very similar to the Samsung F1 1TB drive.
With AAM engaged for lowest noise, random access speed suffered but
read speed and burst speed remained constant.
These recordings were made with a high resolution, lab quality digital recording
system inside SPCR's very own 11 dBA ambient anechoic chamber, then converted
to LAME 128kbps encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard to ensure there is
no audible degradation from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent
a quick snapshot of what we heard during the review.
These recordings are intended to give you an idea of how the product sounds
in actual use one meter is a reasonable typical distance between a computer
or computer component and your ear. The recording contains stretches of ambient
noise that you can use to judge the relative loudness of the subject. Be aware
that very quiet subjects may not be audible if we couldn't hear it from
one meter, chances are we couldn't record it either!
The recording starts with 5 seconds of ambient noise, then 10 second segments
of the drive in the following states: idle, seek with AAM enabled, and seek
with AAM disabled.
The WD Caviar Black 1TB drive is a bigger, louder, and more power
hungry version of the Caviar
Blue 640GB. Performance according to HD Tach was a bit disappointing
though it has a higher areal density and twice the cache, it didn't seem to
be any faster. It did beat out the Samsung
F1 1TB drive in random access time. Of the three drives, the Caviar Black
came in last in both acoustics and power consumption. Of course, this is a limited
set of tests, and more extensive comparisons may show a clearer edge in performance.
Automatic Acoustic Management greatly improves the seek noise
of the Caviar Black, but at the cost of random access speed a price we
think is worth paying. However, even with AAM enabled, audio performance was
not stellar. We also highly recommend suspending the drive as it does vibrate
more than a typical modern 3.5" drive. It is no doubt, a fast drive, but
the higher noise level is disproportionate to its performance especially when
you consider what Western Digital accomplished in the Velociraptor.
The Velociraptor is an incredibly fast yet quiet drive (once taken out
of its icepack mounting frame). Of course, not everyone is willing to pay the
premium Western Digital charges for the drive.
The Caviar Black is likely one of the fastest 1TB drives on the
market, but the extra performance is incremental as far as we can tell
an end-user may be hard pressed to perceive any advantage over the closest challenger.
For those with a quiet PC, the increase in noise level over the drive's we've
recommended over the years (such as the Samsung 1TB F1) is much more likely
to be noticed.
Many thanks Western Digital for the review sample.
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SPCR Articles of Related Interest:
SPCR's Hard Drive Testing
SPCR's Recommended Hard Drives
WD SE16 Caviar 640GB is now
WD VelociRaptor: A Triple Crown
Samsung F1 750GB & 1TB Drives: Fast... and
WD Green Power: A New Benchmark
in HDD Acoustics & Power
Western Digital Raptor 150GB:
New Revision, New Noise?
WD Caviar SE16 500GB: Big Low-Noise
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this article in the SPCR Forums
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