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   HDD Article : Western Digital Caviar WD1000BB »  


 Western Digital Caviar WD1000BB - Preamble
 Date  : Sept 19th, 2001
 Category  : Storage
 Manufacturer   : Western Digital
 Author  : Jin-Wei Tioh
With its Expert AC41800, released many moons ago, Western Digital definitely established themselves as a performance brand in the eyes of hardware enthusiasts. However, the Expert was a result of a technology sharing program between IBM and Western Digital, with IBM's Deskstar 22GXP being the same drive. Could Western Digital continue to blaze the trail?

The answer is a resounding yes. With the pioneering release of a 20GB/platter drive in the form of the Caviar WD400BB, Western Digital had a serious challenger to IBM's Deskstar 75GXP. This was followed by the WD800BB, a drive with very similar performance characteristics and increased size (80GB). As mentioned in our IBM Deskstar 60GXP review however, IBM switched to a more conventional 3-platter design, thereby decreasing the 60GXP's flagship capacity to a mere 60GB, instead of a potential 100GB 5-platter design.

What did Western Digital do? Increase the density to around 30GB/platter, and you have a 100GB 3-platter drive : the Caviar WD1000BB. Western Digital is positioning this drive more towards the enthusiast market, which usually scutinizes all aspects of a product. They can already say "we 0wnz j00" to other manufacturers from a capacity standpoint (being the only 100GB 7200 RPM drive), but what about performance? Will it match or exceed the Deskstar 60GXP? And can it fend off competition from the equally competent Seagate Barracuda ATA IV?

Join us as we find out. First, a formal introduction. As implied earlier, the Caviar WD1000BB is the first 100GB 7200 RPM ATA drive. Yet this monstrous sounding drive comes in a compact low-profile, 1" high design. Drive packaging is a standard, sealed ESD bag, encased within a thick foam layering in a retail box. On a personal note, the packaging somewhat reminds us of the Intel retail boxes, but it is nonetheless a good branding move by Western Digital. Like the competition, the Caviar is speced with a 8.9ms seek time, a 2MB buffer and an ATA-100 interface. A full 3-year warranty backs the drive.

Our usual fare, ZD's WinBench 99 is up next...

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