Lake Forest (CA) – Western Digital (WD) is catching up in the PMR race: Following the introduction of a 250 GB 2.5” drive last month, the company has begun offering a 750 GB version of its Caviar SE16 3.5” drive.
The new Caviar arrives more than a year behind the market’s first 750 GB drive, Seagate’s Barracuda 7200.10, and in fact trails today’s largest desktop hard drives (1 TB) by 25% in capacity. However, WD is finally catching up in the perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) hard drive race and is offering its first PMR desktop drive with a 3 Gb SATA interface, 16 MB cache and a proprietary power saving technology right from the start.
Even if power savings aren’t critical in most desktop storage applications, it may become one of the more unique selling points of the Caviar, especially in storage servers or home storage networks. WD says that its “Intelliseek” technology calculates an optimum seek speed to eliminate hasty movement of the actuator: The head can reach the next target sector just in time to read the next piece of information, rather than rapidly accelerating and waiting for the drive rotation to catch up, WD said. According to the manufacturer, the technology reduces the power consumption of the drive by about 60%.
Other features of the 750 GB drive (formatted capacity: 750,156 MB) include native command queuing as well as a technology to reduce the vibration of the motor and stabilize the platters to ensure an increased read/write reliability of the drive.
The 7200 rpm drive is rated at an average seek time of 8.9 ms and a write seek time of 10.9 ms.
Pricing of the drive is set at an MSRP of $250, which is comparable to Seagate’s 750 GB drive: The Barracuda 7200.10 sells for an average of $240, according to Pricegrabber.com. However, some online stores are offering the prices for as low as $200.