Reviewer Experience and Testing
Before we even attempted to test this drive we wanted to make sure that it would work from the very first try. This meant involving the RocketRaid HBA that was included with the drive itself.
Installing the RocketRAID card was easily, but because the bracket was too short and had to be removed entirely. This is temporary as Western Digital informed us that consumers will get the full length bracket and will not have the mounting issues that reviewers might experience with the shorter bracket. Once installed, the card we proceeded to plug in the SATA cable to it and then connect the power to the drive, it booted with no issues and the drive was immediately detected properly as a 3TB drive, circumventing the problem that some OSes and motherboards may have with this drive.
Once we were done with that part, we ran some synthetic benchmarks using ATTO and CrystalMark
Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB
WD Caviar Green 3TB
Looking at these ATTO speeds, we really don't see anything stellar by comparison with our previously reviewed drives, but we also have to factor in that this is an 'Intellipower' drive meaning that it has a variable speed that isn’t naturally running at 7,200 or 10,000 like our other drives. Going off of this speed, we would have to say that this isn’t a drive we would recommend for a quick boot or even fast data access.
Next, we ran CrystalMark and compared the different speeds between the three different drives.Going from left to right, WD Caviar Green 3TB, Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB, and the VelociRaptor 600GB
Once we did that, we noticed that the WD Caviar Green 3TB once again wasn’t nearly as fast as the other drives we tested. This is perfectly understandable considering the circumstances, but under these conditions we’d have to say that the 3TB drive is starting to look better as a backup drive that doesn’t get too much use. It gives you the capacity you need in a single drive, but it lacks in overall speed. We hope that Western Digital comes out with a Caviar Blue or Caviar Black version of this drive for those who want higher throughput on a larger drive.
Afterwards, we ran SiSandra and compared the drive’s read speeds against those of other drives of 1TB or larger. While the database is somewhat limited, it does increase the amount of drives you can compare this drive to, also recognizing that most of them are 7,200 RPM drives.
Looking at this, we see that when compared to lesser [not as high performance] physical HDDs, the WD 3TB appears to be at the top of the pack, even though it is a green drive. The 750GB platters probably do help the WD Caviar Green accomplish this more easily, but it is a good thing to consider when comparing a 3TB drive against a simple 2TB or 1.5TB.
We also did notice that the 1.5TB drive slightly edged out the WD 3TB drive by less than a percent which indicates there’s room for improvement for WD when it comes to 3TB drive speeds.
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