Western Digital has never advertised their Caviar Green product line for high performance. The Caviar Black fills that space. Looking back, I really should have chosen a different set of drives to compare the Caviar Green to, but I really expected the Green 3TB to perform better. The reality is that the Caviar Green would have performed better if paired with a different HBA. This leads us to why we need to introduce a HBA in the first place. The answer to that is the same as why we use them for SATA 6G drives; Intel has dragged their feet on supporting new storage technology. The slowest subsystem in your computer is the data storage system and any gains made in this area affect everything else. Until Intel gets it together we will need to supplement their shortcomings with products that in many cases hurt performance and add complexity to what should be as easy as installing a hard drive well, two years ago.
The Western Digital Caviar Green is a fairly fast drive when compared to many of the hard drives shipping from systems sold at Best Buy or big box builder. I really wouldn't recommend the Caviar Green as a boot drive, though. To be honest, the complexity involved at this time is a lot higher than what most Joe Sixpack consumers are ready to tackle. Advanced Format, special BIOS support (that many do not have) and the 5,400 RPM platter speeds make the drive unsuitable for just about everyone as a boot drive. Many users already know about the Western Digital VelociRaptor and SSDs; if you want to speed up your computer overall and raise the user experience, then these are the way to go.
The storage drive category is where the Caviar Green really shines. The obvious area is the capacity. Wow, that is a lot of capacity! Do you realize how many 8GB DVDs fit into 3TB? Try roughly 375, but who really rips everything from DVDs? Most are cut down to just 4GB, so double that number to around 750. That is like every good movie that has been made, or quite possibly every movie I have ever seen!
The good thing about media is the rate at which it plays. You really don't care if a drive can play a movie at 22x speed; you are watching it at 1x no matter what. The Western Digital Caviar Green can easily play multiple movies at the same time, so even if someone is watching a movie from the same drive over the network, you can watch a movie stutter free. Getting movies, music or other digital data to and from the drive at record speeds isn't going to happen. Our transfer tests showed 40 to 60MB/s dependent on the type of files. This is acceptable, but far slower than many of the drives currently on the shelves now.
Speaking of the shelves, Western Digital's 3TB Caviar Green will hit them at 239.00 USD. The price is quite reasonable for a launch product that packs so many new tech features. With 2TB drives all the way down to 109.99, some users may opt for two 2TB drives and pocket the 20 Dollars left over. Once we see the price drop below the MSRP things will look a lot better for the 3TB Caviar Green, but twice the price without twice the capacity is difficult to recommend unless you need a single, very large drive.
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