August 4, 2011

3TB Western Digital Caviar Green Review

3TB Western Digital Caviar Green Review

It’s unbelievable how quickly storage capacity has grown over the past decade, I can still recall installing a 1GB Hard drive into my PC back in 2001 and now we have hard drives 3000 times that size. Western Digital has been around since then and has brought us its new Western Digital Caviar Green 3TB for review.

Western Digital currently offers three forms of storage for internal Hard disk drives. The Black, for high performance and power. The Blue, which is designed for everyday use and The Green which will be looking at.  The Green line up seems to be the choice for those wanting a storage hard drive and considering we will be reviewing the 3TB version today one can assume it will be used exactly for that.

Specifications wise the HDD uses a SATA 6 GB/s interface, has a cache of 64MB (this is good) and is designed in the 3.5″ form factor. Now remember that this drive isn’t meant for high speeds but as a solid and reliable storage drive. In our day to day testing we were surprised at how quiet this Hard drive was and it did not slow down our work flow at all.

Western Digital 3TB Caviar Green Front and Back

Is it Quick Enough?

For the gritty numbers we used Crystal Disk Mark which is used to measure the read and write speed of the drive. Please note we used a SATA 3GB/s as we did not have a 6GB/s connection on hand. However this should show you the minimum speed you will get from this HDD.

CrystalDiskMark Test

It can be seen that on average the read speed is 131 MBs where the write speed is 129 MBs. This is actually quite good for a HDD when even some entry model SSD’s are able to only get 200MB/s for both.

What is MBR? 4KB? Will this 3TB Work on my PC?

Rather than going into too much depth about MBR it’s best to explain it in a simple manner. MBR stands for Master Boot Record and is an important factor when you look at Hard Drives over 2TB. The reason is if a HDD uses the standard “32bit setup” or “512kbs Sector” a computer can only see the hard drive to a maximum of 2TB. This means as a user if your computer is older than say 1 year it might not be able to see the drive as a 3TB.

What do I need to do to see it as 3TB? 

Your computers motherboard needs to have a feature called “AHCI compliant Host Bus Adapter” this allows the computer to recognise Western Digital’s new way of storing information. Basically Western Digital has made the HDD Sectors “4K” rather than “512kbs” to allow computers now to recognize HDDs larger then 2TB. With this new method computers are able to recognise HDDs up to 16TB in size. Pretty neat.

Final Thoughts

If you are planning to use this drive for media storage then the Western Digital 3TB HDD performs exactly as it is advertised. It is quiet, efficient and gets the job done. However we do not recommend it for an OS Drive as Western Digital does offer the other Blue and Black versions for that task.

Considering you are able to pick these up for under $200 AUD it’s not bad value. However the Western Digital Green 2TB is in the sub $100 price point. This means you are able to buy two of these and get 4TB of storage for the same price. It also means if you have an older PC you won’t have issues with not being able to utilize the entire HDD.

Product Feedback is happy to recommended the 3TB Western Digital Green Caviar however based on price that you can get two 2TB Western Digital Green Caviar, it’s hard to justify the extra, but definitely a step in the right direction.

We give this product 4 out of 5 Stars, only issue being price and a Product Feedback Silver Award.

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