REVIEW: WD Caviar Black 1TB WD1001FALS SATA II Drive

A few years back, having a hard drive that boasts 250GB of capacity is the bomb. To conform to uber standards computers need to have hundreds of gigabytes of storage. Nowadays the mention of gigabytes is a common thing, nothing out of the ordinary. Gigabyte is out.. Terabyte is in.

What we have for review is the Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB WD1001FALS desktop hard drive. It has a generous 32MB of cache which, as you may notice, is becoming quite common to desktop drives as well. How does this drive perform? Please allow us to share our experience.

In our review of the Seagate ST3640323AS 640GB, we found out that the cache and platter areal density contributes or influences the overall performance of the drive. The WD1001FALS has three (3) 334GB platters that allows the drive to reach the terabyte mark. Up 14GB from the quick Caviar SE16 product line.

The drive also features WD's StableTrac which according to the Western Digital website is:
StableTrac - The motor shaft is secured at both ends to reduce system-induced vibration and stabilize platters for accurate tracking, during read and write operations.

The WD1001FALS also has a dual processor system to maximize performance. See below how it performs under HD Tune.

It is good to see drives hitting average transfer rates above 100MB/s. The WD Caviar Black 1TB WD1001FALS goes over the watermark with ease, averaging close to 110MB/s. Judging from the graph, its performance is almost uniform from the beginning of the disk to the outer end.

The drive is also quite quick, which is apparent from the lower access times in the benchmark.

And one of the many aspects common to all desktop drives now is the lengthy five (5) year warranty. It seems every hard drive manufacturer is ever growing confident with the quality of their hard drives. True enough in the last few years I have experienced DOA drives but I have yet to experienced a drive give out mid-life. DOA means manufacturing or transport induced defects. On the other hand mid-life death is more likely due to wear and is expensive -- both to the end-user and to the manufacturer.

With desktop grade drives offering fast transfer speeds, healthy amounts of cache and about the same five-year warranty the aspect that would separate each from its competitors is its price. But in the Philippines the WD1001FALS sells for about PHP 1000 more than its 1TB competitors.

There must be something in the drive that warrants a price premium but it still stands as a puzzle to us what that is. If you think paying about $20 more for the same size, then go for it.

As said in the beginning of this review, gigabyte is out terabyte is in. The WD Caviar Black 1TB WD1001FALS has just that, and it will definitely pimp your rig!

Acknowledgments to my good friend Xavier Zulueta for the review of the WD1001FALS.

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