If you need 2TB of storage but don't want to sacrifice performance, Western Digital's Caviar Black (WD2001FASS) might be for you. This SATA II 3.5in internal hard drive lacks the power-saving features of the company's GreenPower drives but provides a faster spin speed and better overall performance.
The 2TB of storage offered by the Caviar Black (WD2001FASS) is spread over four 500GB platters. Like the enterprise-targeted RE4 (WD2003FYYS), these platters spin at 7200 revolutions per minute (rpm), which is significantly faster than both the Seagate Barracuda LP and the Western Digital Caviar Green.
The Caviar Black (WD2001FASS) has a 64MB drive cache and features two processors on the drive's circuit board to improve performance when conducting multiple tasks involving with large files. The hard drive had an average access time of 9.8 milliseconds and a burst transfer speed of 130MB per second.
The company's StableTrac technology helps reduce drive vibration. While it won't shake your computer case, the Caviar Black's faster spin speed means it is still audible during operation.
We tested the Caviar Black's performance by transferring files between it and a PC equipped with Western Digital's high performance Velociraptor hard drive. The first test comprises 20GB of large files (about 3 or 4GB each) while the second test involved 3GB worth of 1MB files.
The WD Caviar Black (WD2001FASS) wasn't the fastest 2TB hard drive during all of our benchmarks, but it did manage to outpace the more expensive RE4 in the small file transfer tests. When dealing with large files, performance is significantly faster than the energy-saving 2TB drives, and it is acceptable compared to other 7200rpm hard drives.
Our own tests indicate that the internal hard drive consumes 6.91-9.73 Watts of power during operation. This is slightly higher than the RE4 (WD2003FYYS) internal hard drive, which offers some power-saving features missing on the Caviar Black. Power consumption is also significantly higher than the 2TB Caviar Green, which consumes 3.7-6W according to Western Digital.
Western Digital's Caviar Black has a cost per formatted gigabyte of 20.8c, which is reasonable considering the drive's storage capacity. The Caviar Black is a good compromise between storage capacity and performance.
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