Western Digital 2TB Caviar Green Drive Preview

Late last week Western Digital briefed us on their forthcoming release of a new addition to their Caviar Green family of hard drives.  No we're not talking some sort of exotic sushi or cracker-bound fish egg here either but rather a new, rather humongous and environmentally more friendly hard drive from WD, that can be considered an "industry first".  Today marks the day that standard rotational media breaks the 2TB barrier.  Let's spell that out a bit more clearly again here; T-W-O full Terabytes of SATA-based storage on a single, standard 3.5" hard drive.  Those of you on the consumer side of the market, hoarding gigs of music, movies, pictures and other media just got a bunch more breathing room to play with.  And those of you in the enterprise space now have a new option to consider with respect to bulk, low-cost, power-efficient storage.  Perhaps that rack just got a little smaller or the need to cool it a little less?

Today Western Digital is announcing their WD20EADS drive, otherwise known as the WD Caviar Green 2.0TB.  With 32MB of onboard cache and special power management algorithms that balance spindle speed and transfer rates, the WD Caviar Green 2TB claims a top rung spot on the density-per-square-inch and power-efficiency ladders. 

We've had an engineering sample here in house for a few days and have done some preliminary testing on it.  We'll be offering a full performance evaluation with the final revision of this new drive in the coming weeks but we have a sneak peek for you here.  Let's start with the specifications and then we'll take a closer look at the vital signs.



  • Capacity:  2TB (400Gb/sq.in. areal density)
  • 32MB cache buffer
  • Variable spindle speed
  • 3.5-inch form-factor
  • 500GB/platter, 4-platter design
  • 3Gb/sec SATA with NCQ
  • SATA power connector only
  • PMR head technology
  • RoHS compliant


Formatted capacity - Windows Vista 32-bit, NTFS partition

Though our test system and the OS sees the drive as 1.81TB, as you can see here, there are over 2 trillion bytes of available capacity on this new, freshly formatted hard drive, with 147MB used just for the file system alone.  Below are some quick and dirty performance numbers with HD Tach and SANDRA.  We should underscore that we're testing a pre-release engineering sample here, so performance figures could scale higher as firmware revision are made to the product.

SANDRA and HD Tach Preliminary Performance - Engineering Sample, Firmware Not Final

A quick glance at the numbers here show this new big-boy Caviar Green drive from WD offering more than competitive performance versus the likes of Samsung's Spinpoint F1 and Seagate's Barracuda 7200.11 -- both 7200RPM-based products.  HD Tach shows an average read speed of 90MB/s and average writes at 80MB/s.  We'll be digging into performance metrics with other tools like IOMeter in the days ahead but this early view certainly looks good for a disk with this sort of capacity.  We'll be looking at power as well but WD claims this drive drops in somewhere around 7 Watts under read/write load and 5 Watts at idle.  With the ever-increasing demand for bulk storage, this new WD drive offers a smaller carbon footprint as well, with a full 2TB available in a single 3.5" drive. 

MSRP for the new ginormous Caviar is set at $299.  You can catch the official press release from WD, here. Stay tuned for the full HH monty with WD's new big-bad Caviar, coming soon.