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WD Caviar Black - SATA 3, SATA 6, 32MB or 64MB?

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July 5, 2011 3:05:04 PM

Ok, I'm going to make this relatively short. I've got an Intel Core i7-920 based system. It has four WD Caviar SE16 (now called Blue) SATA3 Drives with 16MB Cache. The system runs Win7. I'm looking at replacing them, just to play it safe, as 2 are now out of warranty and the other 2 are going out in a few months. I'm particular to WD. The drives below are what i'm considering:

WD Caviar Black 750 GB (WD7502AAEX) SATA6/64MB = $59.99
WD Caviar Black 1 TB (WD1002FAEX) SATA6/64MB = $79.99
WD Caviar Black 1.5 TB (WD1502FAEX) SATA6/64MB = $109.99
WD Caviar Black 2.0 TB (WD2002FAEX) SATA6/64MB = $149.99

All pricing is from NewEgg with free shipping, as of 7/5/2011. The 1TB reflects a promo price. There are also the previous models with SATA3 and 32MB Cache, but those models cost more than the newer ones above. Just a note, my motherboard has two SATA6 ports on it, but all other ports are SATA3. How much should I notice, performance wise going from a 640GB Caviar SE16 SATA3 Drive to one of the above? The 750GB or 1TB would be the most appropriate replacements from a space perspective. Thoughts?

-- MaSoP
a c 103 G Storage
July 5, 2011 4:05:56 PM

You may be able to see a performance increase between the old drive and the new one, but it will be a small one. A rule of thumb is that a part has to be about 30% faster than the old one to notice a seat of the pants increase on performance. That is without running a benchmark on the system, just someone going "whoo that IS faster". I don't think the new drives will be 30% faster.
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July 5, 2011 4:23:21 PM

hang-the-9 said:
You may be able to see a performance increase between the old drive and the new one, but it will be a small one. A rule of thumb is that a part has to be about 30% faster than the old one to notice a seat of the pants increase on performance. That is without running a benchmark on the system, just someone going "whoo that IS faster". I don't think the new drives will be 30% faster.


Ok, I'll keep the rule of thumb in mind. As far as the tasks I do with these drives; it includes not only the usual stuff, but working with large files such as 1080p mkv's (8-24GB each typically) as well as related rar and zip archives, so I am constantly copying/moving/extracting large files. I also do occasional video encoding, and also do alot of newsgroup downloading with newsbin; which would entail the processing of alot of smaller files also. To sum things up, I really put my drives to work, beyond the norm. How would the 4 fold increase in cache affect working with large files? I'm aware the increase in interface bandwidth won't be noticed since SATA3 doesn't even come close to being saturated, not to mention SATA6. Also, would it make any sense to try to defragment the drives? I stopped doing that task many many years ago. Thanks!

-- MaSoP
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