Those of us who are always looking for the bigger, better and faster storage solutions have the end in sight. Lately, more and more SATA enhanced 3.0Gb/s drives are hitting the market. Western Digital one company offering solutions to those of us who aren’t satisfied with second rate speeds, those of us with large home movies, and those of us who store everything we can find on a computer that sits in the corner with dust bunnies the size of basketballs. Enter the Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD2500KS hard drive.
This drive sports some features we have come to expect of drives today with a few exceptions. First, the drive spins you dizzy at 7200 rpm’s. Not so impressive when you look at drives like the Raptor that WD offers. We do see that WD has opted to make a drive with a 16MB cache to compliment the rotational speed of the drive. Outside of the cache, the only number that really sticks out is the 3.0Gb/s buffer to host speed. The other numbers, are pretty much normal for most 7200 rpm drives; 8.9ms read time and 10.9ms write time. Where is my NCQ?
I have to say, I have only made the switch to SATA drives recently, my Raptor and one other 80gig’er. The cabling is much easier for the guys that are obsessive compulsive about the appearance of the inside of their computing power houses. Although we seldom leave the same configuration for too long, we do like clean cases. Classic IDE cables are bulky and cumbersome.
For those of you who haven’t made the jump into the current era of storage, there are things out there called DVD Burners now, and SATA is the current ring for HDD’s. SATA offers things like increased speeds and neater cabling. Neat features like NCQ (Native Command Queuing) and more versatility with regards to speeds.
If you remember, IDE took the road map that older processors were following. The old 33 increase: 33MB/s, then to 66 and so on; currently maxing out at 133MB/s. If you haven’t guessed yet from reading our articles here, THAT ISN’T FAST ENOUGH! WE NEED SPEED. Already with SATA you have seen a theoretical double in speed from SATA 150 to SATA 3.0Gb/s. I can assume that this pace will not keep up, although SATA-io.org plans on rolling out specs up to 600MB/s or higher over the next 10 years, but I welcome the performance increase now.
Test setup for this drive
- Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe
- AMD Athlon 64 3700+ (San Diego)
- Asus 6800GT
- 74 GB WD Raptor
- LiteOn DVD-RW SOHW-1673S
- LiteOn DVD-RW SOHW-1693S
- 1GB (2x512MB) TWINX1024-3200XLPRO
For testing, some standard benchmarks will be used along with some real world situations. Software applications included in the benchmark testing will include: HDTach, HD Tune, and Windows Speed Test. For real world transfers I will clock the time it takes to create a 3 gig file, read a 3 gig file, and copy a 3 gig file.