Today we look at Western Digital’s first entry into the SATA 6Gb/sec arena with their new Caviar Black 1TB. This new drive borrows some features previously available in their enterprise offerings and hopes to be a worthy contender. How will the doubling of interface throughput impact performance? Satisfy your curiosity inside!
Western Digital recently (and silently) slipped a SATA 6Gb/sec model into their Caviar Black lineup.  We obtained a sample to evaluate how this drive stacks up against the other WD models.  We’re also using it as an opportunity to evaluate performance across several controller types.  We’ll be using our trusty ICH10R as well as a few new Marvell controllers sporting 6Gb/sec SATA.

Western Digital SATA 6Gb/sec 1TB Caviar Black (WD1002FAEX) Review - Storage 31

The new and improved Caviar Black.

For those curious, this new drive does not incorporate Advanced Format.  I suspect Western Digital will be leaving that feature to their lower spindle speed drive lines, since larger block sizes have a negative impact on smaller-than-2KB random writes – similar to what happens with a 2KB stripe size RAID.

Western Digital SATA 6Gb/sec 1TB Caviar Black (WD1002FAEX) Review - Storage 32 

The new Caviar Black on our testbed.

Lets get to it!

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