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Western Digital Caviar Green 3TB review


It might have been the first, but the Caviar Green has been surpassed by better 3TB disks.

Review Date: 14 May 2011

Price when reviewed: £144


Reviewed By: Tom Morgan

Our Rating 3 stars out of 5

User Rating 4 stars out of 5

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As the first manufacturer to produce an ultra-high capacity internal hard disk, Western Digital produced a hardware workaround to bypass the operating system limitations associated with capacities over 2.2TB. The Caviar Green 3TB is bundled with a PCI-Express add-in card that can bypass the SATA ports on a motherboard, allowing Windows to recognise the disk.

This is fine if you have spare PCI-E slots on your motherboard, but not ideal for installing the disk in a small-form-factor or home-theatre case. It also doesn’t compare well to the simpler software solutions provided by other manufacturers. Even with the PCI-E card installed, you still won’t be able to use the disk to boot Windows unless you have a motherboard with an EFI rather than a BIOS. Currently these are limited to Intel’s Sandy Bridge boards, so only brand new systems will be able to use the disk like any other.

Western Digital Caviar Green 3TB

Because the spindle speed is set in the factory for better energy efficiency, each Caviar Green disk will perform slightly differently. Our sample managed 90.5MB/s write and 115.5MB/s read speeds in the large file transfer test, which is slightly below average for a 3.5in disk, but still decent. Results from our small files test were slower, with 32.5MB/s when writing and 69MB/s when reading. Crysis loaded in a somewhat leisurely 36 seconds.

Performance isn’t the best and the hardware workaround isn’t as simple as the software utilities produced by other manufacturers. However, now that it has dropped significantly in price, the Caviar Green 3TB is still good value if you’re looking for plenty of storage.

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