New Performers From Western Digital: 100 GB Hard Disk With 8 MB Cache, Plus A New 120 GB Drive

New Performers: WD1000 With 8 MB Cache And WD1200

The original WD1000 already provides both excellent capacity and performance, but Western Digital isn't sitting idly by - instead, the company is aggressively continuing its campaign to produce a complete line of high-end products with two new offerings. First, the WD1000 is now also available with an 8 MB buffer size, increased from the original 2 MB. Secondly, Western Digital has also introduced a 120 GB drive.

The 120 GB is not particularly exceptional in and of itself, as Maxtor now offers 160 GB at 5400 rpm and IBM is close to releasing their new drive series with capacities up to 120 GB as well, but WD has never really tried to compete in the high-end sector before. Hard drive models from big players such as IBM and Maxtor have typically served as the examples for high capacity and performance in most reviews. Now, Western Digital is pushing their own high-end products, in an effort to improve their reputation.

The 100 GB drive with 8 MB cache could be very interesting for entry-level RAID configurations. RAID controllers supporting Modes 0 and 1 have been around for some time now, but high-end models with RISC chips and support for large caches (e.g. Promise SX6000) are gradually threatening the traditional domain of SCSI drives: servers and workstations. Although IDE drives certainly won't ever be able to replace high-end SCSI drive arrays, they still provide features such as hot-swapping, and thus might possibly gain market share. Whether that's the intention behind the powerful IDE products or not, these new drives make the high-end IDE drives attractive once again.