2007 HDD Rundown: Can High Capacities Meet High Performance?

Western Digital Caviar SE WD1600 AAJS, 160 GB SATA

Caviar SE is Western Digital's high performance hard drive series with 7,200 RPM spindle speeds. Since Western Digital emphasizes qualities like "fast, cool and quiet", the Caviar SE reaches its maximum capacity at 320 GB. That should be sufficient if performance and efficiency are most important to you.

Western Digital did an excellent job, as the Caviar SE's 80 MB/s transfer rate makes it one of the fastest hard drives on the market. Higher data transfer rates are only reached by Western Digital's Raptor drives, and Samsung's SpinPoint T166. The 13.1 ms access rate is also delightful, only beaten by Hitachi's DeskStar E7K500 and Western Digital's Raptor.

The Caviar SE 160 GB also scores in yet another area: since this model is based on only a single storage platter, it operates extremely silently, reaching the lowest surface temperature we have ever found in a 3.5" hard drive: only 39°C (102°F) in continuous operation. This is a value usually only reached by drives with 5,400 RPM. Kudos!