3TB Western Digital Caviar Green reviewed

The news that shocked everyone on Tuesday was Western Digital’s formal announcement of the WD Caviar Green three terabytes (TB) spindle hard drive.  For many months rumours had been flying about that Seagate had one ready in the pipeline, but Western Digital was nearing launch. This announcement caught many analysts unaware.

Everyone wants  bigger and faster. Putting four platters of 750GB is quite an engineering feat.  It’s entirely feasible that WD labs are working on a one terabyte platter already.

These new three terabyte drives come with the usual array of Western Digital technology supporting reduced power consumption, perfect for external drives boxes, IntelliPower, IntelliSeek, NoTouch ramp load technology and last but not least Advanced Format (AF) which will make life much easier for many end users.

A lot of end-users are running with some form of Intel X48/X58 platform or the AMD equivalent. 

We know also that many storage units are also built around the X58/Tylersberg platform. Storage servers take on either dual or single socket Xeon’s/Opterons more often than not over Xeons.   So we settled upon a Uni-Processor solution from Supermicro, the X8SAX which is extremely flexible in upgrade paths and, supports Intel Core i7 / i7 Extreme Edition, and Intel Xeon 5600/5500/3600/3500 series processors (QPI up to 6.4 GT/s). 

Installation of the drive was a complete breeze with Western Digital supplying a RocketRaid PCI Express card just in case your mainboard bios does not support UEFI, kudos here for thinking on a long term solution for those who might  yelp “it doesn’t work” .  

Terabyte drive


In most instances end-users will have to remove the half height I/O bracket and slot it into place, for the server market this will be readily worked around.  Therefore our final system build for the this beast is:






We now turn to some real time back up results that unequivocally show the speed at which the Western Digital 3 Terabyte drive can read data.



It has to be said that this drive surpassed its predecessor with flying colours.   The results shown above prove it. If we take the 2TB Caviar Green results shown last year using Sandra 2009 within the File System test we saw 88.2MB/s versus today’s 145.36 MB/s on the 3TB Caviar Green and within the Physical Disc test 83.08MB/s versus today’s 102.49MB/s on the 3TB Caviar Green.   That’s a substantial improvement. 

OEMs, Sis and VARs will already be looking at their storage boxes – both external and rackmounts for data centres and the like.  Costs within these enterprise arenas are rising steeply and this is one area many will be looking to cut back upon but at the same time increasing their storage capabilities.  With the reduction in power with much larger storage capacities and faster read/writes this is an attractive spindle disc backed by Western Digital’s standard warranty. 
WD’s PR says you can store around 600,000 digital photos, 750,000 MP3 songs or 230 hours of Digital Video or, 360 hours of HD Video.   That’s a whole load of movie and MP3 storage.  

On going to print, these monstrous drives are already hitting e-tailers and suppliers. High demand is expected.  MRSP for the Western Digital Caviar Green 2.5 TB hard drive is £155.00 and the  three terabyte  hard drive swings in at £195.00 (all prices before shipping and taxes).