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Our Verdict

For ultimate performance, SSDs rule. But WD's Caviar Black combines huge capacity with reasonable performance at a very attractive price point.

For

  • Lots of performance-enhancing features
  • Good balance between capacity and performance

Against

  • Still much slower than an SSD
  • SATA 6Gbps interface is redundant

Conventional wisdom says solid state drives (SSDs) beat traditional hard drives silly in any performance metric you care to mention. How can the likes of Western Digital's latest magnetic spinner, the Caviar Black 1TB WD1002FAEX, therefore hope to compete?

In a word, capacity. The cost per gigabyte of SSDs, even modestly sized drives such as the new Patriot Inferno 100GB, remains several multiples more than a magnetic hard disk.

In fact, the bigger you go, the more massive the price gap. 1TB SSDs are now available. But where the Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB is yours for just £75, the likes of OCZ's Colussus LT 1TB SSD retails at £2,500.

That's beyond a joke.

Clearly, old school hard drives are still the only realistic option for mass storage of data-hungry files such as video, audio and high-resolution images.

But if you want the best possible performance from your big data bucket, the new Caviar Black 1TB sports a number of speed-friendly features including 64MB of cache memory, Native Command Queuing, dual processors and SATA 6Gbps support.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Contributor

Technology and cars. Increasingly the twain shall meet. Which is handy, because Jeremy (Twitter) is addicted to both. Long-time tech journalist, former editor of iCar magazine and incumbent car guru for T3 magazine, Jeremy reckons in-car technology is about to go thermonuclear. No, not exploding cars. That would be silly. And dangerous. But rather an explosive period of unprecedented innovation. Enjoy the ride.