Western Digital Caviar RE2 750 GB - HotHardware

Western Digital Caviar RE2 750 GB

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Visually, the Western Digital Caviar RE2 is near-identical to the Caviar SE16 format we’ve come to know. The drive is based on a standard 3.5” format and features Western Digital’s signature black ring on a silver colored drive, along with a white label. Western Digital flips its circuit board to face the drive itself, so we can’t see what kind of chips they use from an external glance. The drive features standard SATA power and data connectors (no 4-pin Molex power plug), and an array of jumpers if you want access to settings like Spread Spectrum, delayed power-up, or to drop the drive back to SATA/150 mode.

While Western Digital was one of the pioneers in the industry for brining enterprise-class component reliability and warranties to the 7,200 RPM desktop disk market, competition in this arena is certainly quite fierce. Both Seagate and Samsung have competing enterprise-class 750GB / 7,200 RPM disk drives. In addition, Western Digital is also competing against its own SE16 lineup, which is not targeted at the workstation market directly, but is still popular in this arena as well. Here’s a breakdown of WD’s direct competition in 750GB offerings.

  Western Digital Caviar RE2 750GB Western Digital Caviar SE16 750GB Seagate Barracuda ES.2 750GB Samsung SpinPoint F1 RAID 750 GB
Spindle Speed 7,200 RPM 7,200 RPM 7,200 RPM 7,200 RPM
Platter Count 3 3 3 3
Cache Memory 16 MB 16 MB 32 MB 32 MB
Average Seek Time 8.9 ms 8.9 ms 8.5 ms 8.9 ms
Average Latency 4.2 ms 4.2 ms 4.16 ms 4.17 ms
Interface Serial ATA-II/300 Serial ATA-II/300 Serial ATA-II/300 Serial ATA-II/300
Acoustics 28 dBA (Min)
34 dBA (Max)
28 dBA (Min)
33 dBA (Max)
27 dBA (Min) 27 dBA (Min)
29 dBA (Max)
MTBF 1.2 Million Hours Not Disclosed 1.2 Million Hours 1.2 Million Hours
Warranty 5 Years 3 Years 5 Years 5 Years

The Caviar RE2 holds its own against its competitors on paper, but that’s about all. The RE2 doesn’t have any breakthrough features that position it above the competition in any on area. In addition, both Seagate and Samsung boast 32MB cache buffers with their 750 GB drives, whereas WD has half that at 16MB. Both of these competing products also boast slightly lower acoustic measurements, while maintaining the same 1.2 million hour MTBF and five year warranty levels. All three brands use three-platter designs based on perpendicular magnetic recording technology.

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I'm a bit surprised to see that having only half the cache of most of its competitors results in such a minimal difference in performance. I expected a far more pronounced variance in performance for tasks directly related to cache. Interesting.

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any idea if the single platter drives are more silent and have better performance?

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 seems like it would be quiter

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I did some research and it seems that they are pretty good at reading/writing performance too

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