Conclusion and Final Thoughts
Wrap Up / Conclusion 

Caviar Black 1TB:  Great drive.  I was expecting a little more, but not because of the SATA 6Gb/sec interface.  With dual actuators at play, a massive 64MB cache, 500GB platters, and the same dual core CPU of the 2TB models, this drive should have at least matched those other drives in performance.  It appears Western Digital was not as aggressive with the track geometry in these drives, fitting the same amount 

Marvell Controllers:  The last thing a reviewer wants to see is artificial performance gains from drivers.  Not only do they suck up resources unnecessarily, they risk data loss by caching data being written to the drive.  It wouldn’t be so bad if this was user selectable, but it’s not.  The only way to disable this caching is to stick with the (much) older driver.  This is unacceptable.  Marvell needs to leave the cache settings to the OS and stop trying to mask the fact that their controller can’t burst at full SATA 6Gb/sec throughput without resorting to such trickery.  We’ve been tooting that horn at PCPer since October of last year, and will keep doing so until Marvell stops unnecessarily sucking up system resources to do what Windows already does in the first place.

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

Marvell controllers may be necessary to squeeze additional throughput from next gen SSD’s,
but they have proven to be unnecessary for current spinning disk tech.

Pricing and Availability

As of this writing, the WD1002FAEX is rapidly dropping to just over $100.  I expect it to dip below once volumes pick up.

  • With only 2 platters, offers good performance with relatively low heat production.
  • Performance trails behind the 2TB models.
  • SATA 6Gb/sec interface sees negligible gains for this generation of drives.
Western Digital SATA 6Gb/sec 1TB Caviar Black (WD1002FAEX) Review - Storage 32


All Caviar Black and RE4 series drives come with a 5 year warranty.  MTBF is rated at 1.2 million hours (137 years). 

Final Thoughts

The WD1002FAEX joins a long line of excellent drives from Western Digital, and seems to be as good a time as any for bumping up the interface throughput.  Hopefully the push to SATA 6Gb/sec will help drive adoption of this new standard across the rest of the industry.  That said, it did little to boost performance of this new drive.  We may see better improvements down the road, but we are currently stuck with third party controllers for this speed grade.

Be sure to use our pricing engine to find the best prices on hard drives and anything else you might need. 
« PreviousNext »