WD Caviar Green 3TB Hard Drive Review

Article Index

Performance Summary and Conclusion

Performance Summary: Although the Caviar Green 3TB drive was not designed for high end performance, we felt it necessary to run these benchmarks to find out how it stacks up in comparison to the other options available on the market. In general, the Caviar Green drive produced the slowest speeds out of all the high capacity drives we tested, but that was expected considering its competition. Keep in mind that the Barracuda XT and RE4 represent two of the fastest mechanical drives on the market. On a positive note, we found the drive turned in surprisingly competitive read speeds throughout testing. It even hit 149MB/s during the Crystal Disk Mark test. However, write speeds were relatively slow in comparison. The Caviar Green drive only reached a speed of 76MB/s, averaged across four different write tests

Let's consider price for a moment. At $239, the 3TB Caviar Green steps into a market loaded with competition. While there are no other individual 3TB drives to compete with (Seagate uses 3TB drives in their new BlackArmor NAS), there are plenty of options for those looking to upgrade their storage solution.  Within Western Digital's own lineup, we found a speedy 1.5TB RE4 at the same price point. Coincidentally, a 2TB RE4 could be had for an additional $10. Furthermore, the 2TB Caviar Green sells for $100 less than the 3TB version, at $139. Seagate drives also provide money saving options for consumers. The 2TB Barracuda XT drive we used in this article for comparison results goes for $199, while their "green" drive, the 2TB Barracuda LP, retails for $99. We also found Samsung EcoGreen and Hitachi Deskstar drives can be had for $129 in 2TB capacities.

The Caviar Green is definitely not the most affordable hard drive available. But a quick glance at the cost per gigabyte graph above illustrates its overall value. Western Digital didn't charge a premium to the cost of the drive, as it lands between the 2TB Caviar Black and the 2TB Caviar Green in terms of cost/GB, right where we would expect to be.

More is better - this old maxim definitely applies to data storage capacity. And now that we've hit 3TB, another milestone has been reached while providing a strong argument for hard drives in the HDD vs SSD debate. With the Caviar Green 3TB, we found a drive with solid read performance to go along with it a staggering amount of storage capacity. Granted, the need for an additional host bus adapter is a small inconvenience for early adopters to ensure compatibility for all users. Of course it's not ideal, but it's a temporary solution while the rest of the industry can catch up to the point where UEFI capable motherboards become the standard. Until then, if you're in the market for the maximum amount storage capacity available, you might want to check out the colossal Caviar Green 3TB hard drive from Western Digital. 


  • Massive Capacity
  • Good Value
  • Decent Read Performance
  • 64MB Cache
  • Bootable only when used with UEFI capable mobo
  • Requires additional Host Bus Adapter
  • Relatively slow Write Speeds

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