Western Digital Caviar SE Serial ATA - 250GB

Western Digital Caviar SE Serial ATA - 250GB
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5

Pros

  • Quiet,Fast transfer speeds, Low heat

Cons

  • None to speak of.

Bottom Line

The 160GB drive is the perfect fit for a mid-range PC, while the 250GB drive will compliment a top-of-the-line configuration nicely.

Would you buy this?

Compared to a previous generation of Caviar drives that we tested in January 2004, the current crop of Caviar drives have much-improved performance, lower heat emissions and practically silent performance.

Some very clever algorithms have been used to achieve these characteristics--they are employed to manipulate the voltage supply to the mechanical parts of the drive and also to better control the passage of data between the heads, buffer and SATA interface components of the drive.

The noise reduction comes from improved methods of control over the seek, read and write functions of the drive, along with a more efficient power supply design for the drive's motor. In turn, the power consumption of the motor has been more strictly controlled through the drive's firmware, which results in much less heat generation.

The drives we tested in this review are the 160GB WD1600JD and 250GB WD2500JD models. These are both SATA drives.

The 160GB and 250GB models both feature new SATA-style power connectors in addition to the older molex-style power connectors. Both drives also feature SecureConnect, which is a cable mounting design that ensures the SATA data connection on the drive is never compromised. It requires the use of a special SATA cable that plugs into square mounts either side of the SATA port and SATA power connector.

Both the WD1600JD and the WD2500JD feature an 8MB memory buffer and a 7200rpm spin speed. Fluid dynamic bearings also help keep the drive's vibration, noise and wear to a minimum.

During testing, we noticed the WD1600JD had a very low heat emission--just 37.9 degrees. Likewise, the WD2500JD only warmed up to 39 degrees during our 31GB test file transfer. Compared to other drives we have tested, this is a remarkable temperature.

During the data transfer test, both drives were virtually silent and transferred data at high speed. The 160GB drive transferred 927MB per minute, while the 250GB drive transferred 985MB per minute--a very fast result.

The WD1600JD and WD2500JD have competitive costs-per-gigabyte. The 160GB drive is the perfect fit for a mid-range PC, while the 250GB drive will complement a top-of-the-line configuration nicely. Western Digital provides a three-year warranty for both these drives.

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