Performance Summary & Conclusion
Performance Summary: Western Digital definitely has a relative speed demon on its hands with the WD5000KS. While it can't keep up with the company's Raptor, it can definitely win most battles against competing high-capacity hard drives. From our testing, you can see that the WD5000KS was the fastest 500GB drive featured in this article, and it competes quite well when compared to the 750GB 7200.10 Barracuda from Seagate.
With storage getting cheaper and cheaper, you might be tempted to pick up a two or more WD5000KS drives for a nice RAID configuration, and we think that's a great idea. Although we didn't have multiple drives for testing, we can reasonably speculate that RAID performance with the WD5000KS should be quite good. The single drive performance results pretty much speak for themselves -- this is one of the fastest 500GB drives on the market.
There really isn't anything to dislike about the WD5000KS, but it would be nice to see Western Digital (and other storage companies) match Seagate's 5-year warranty. The 3-year warranty offered by Western Digital is good and should be sufficient for most users, but if the competition can offer a 5-year warranty so could Western Digital.
The WD5000KS is currently the largest drive in the Caviar SE16 family, and it's a fine example of a large capacity drive that also happens to offer great performance. We're awarding Western Digital's 500GB WD5000KS SATA HDD a 9 on the Heat Meter.
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