Western Digital brings SATA 6Gbps interface to Caviar Blue lineup: Cheap SATA 3.0 drives for all

Western Digital brings SATA 6Gbps interface to Caviar Blue lineup: Cheap SATA 3.0 drives for all

Summary: WD's Caviar Blue internal hard drives are the cheapest in its Caviar family, which means you shouldn't automatically expect the best performance compared to its Caviar Black lineup. But they just received a shot of adrenaline in the form of a SATA 3.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Hardware, Storage
10

WD's Caviar Blue internal hard drives are the cheapest in its Caviar family, which means you shouldn't automatically expect the best performance compared to its Caviar Black lineup. But they just received a shot of adrenaline in the form of a SATA 3.0 interface upgrade, giving budget buyers access to 6Gbps bandwidth.

SATA 3.0 gives you double the bandwidth of SATA 2.0, while still being compatible with older motherboards that don't support the newer interface. That means you can use the drive now with your current build and then take advantage of the performance boost when you upgrade your system to a SATA 3.0-compatible mobo. (Of course, those with a compatible motherboard can take advantage of the new interface right away.)

According to Fudzilla, 6Gbps shouldn't make a huge difference in the Caviar Blue's performance, but the drives are cheap enough that it might not matter to you. SATA 3.0 support will be available for drives in the following capacities: 250GB, 320GB, 500GB, 750GB, and 1TB. The 1TB WD10EALX drive is $74.99 at Newegg, while the 250GB WD2500AAKX drive is just $44.99.

Topics: Hardware, Storage

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

10 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • I'd rather see ...

    ... an increase in reliability and MTBF than an increase in speed ...<br><br>For general users, HD speed is more than adequate, only designers and heavy duty gamers need the fastest of hard drives, BUT ...<br><br>I've still got several drives from 10 years ago that are working just fine (very small, and a little slower, but still fully functional), while in the last year alone, I've come across dozens of drives from different manufacturers that have died so badly that the data is unrecoverable without going to a professional data recovery shop and having parts replaced ... this isn't right. In todays day and age, a hard drive should last at least as long as the life of the PC ...<br><br> WD, Seagate et al. should spend their money on a drive that lasts ... it's what the vast majority of us need.<br><br>Ludo
    Ludovit
    • 100% agreement...

      While hard drives today advertise higher reliability than drives sold 10 years ago, reality paints a far different picture. These drives may be rock solid in a white room laboratory, but what I see is anywhere from a 10% to 40% failure rate on drives within the first year. 90%+ of those failures are either DOAs or critical failures within the first day or two of operation. Just two weeks ago I ordered 8 Fujitsu drives to fill in the empty spaces on a NetGear drive array. Three didn't spin up and got sent back for replacement. Of the three that came back, one didn't spin up. I've had similar experiences in the last year with a batch of Seagate external USB drives. A couple of years back I had a similar experience with a batch of Maxtor external hard drives. WD does seem to be better than the other manufacturers out there in my experience, but they have been far from perfect.
      jasonp9
      • RE: using older hard drives.

        @jasonp@... I go to a few booths at flea markets that carry computer parts to hunt for hard drives. True, it is a risk since most have "No Return" policies and I have bought a few paper weights in the past. I do have some that I picked up for a few dollars that still work well. It also allows me to install many Linux distros without using my main HD. If I were to buy new HDs and have to return almost half like Jasonp did, then have a third of the replacements not work, I would be most upset with the manufacturer of that brand. <br><br>It is better to be pleased with exceeding low expectation that to be bummed when higher expectations are dashed against the rocks of reality.<br><br>Paul
        pfyearwood
    • RE: Western Digital brings SATA 6Gbps interface to Caviar Blue lineup: Cheap SATA 3.0 drives for all

      @Ludovit
      They make more $$ this way selling you replacements sooner.
      Ed Fisher
    • DITTO - nt

      @Ludovit
      aiellenon
  • Inteface speed vs drive performance

    Correct me if I am wrong, but if a drive is incapable of saturating the interface, a boost in the interface speed means essentially nothing.

    My guess is that a boost in the interface speed from 3Gb/s to 6Gb/s will not have any practical relevance, as these drives are still not capable of reaching 3Gb/s.

    Please take issue if I am wrong
    Economister
    • Interface speed vs drive performance

      @Economister <br>That's my understanding too. Awhile back I looked at the various throughput rates listed by Seagate and WD for their SATA vs. PATA drives. Same rates--it doesn't matter which interface you use because the time transferring the data from the platter to the electronics is what really governs overall transfer rate.
      Rick_R
      • RE: Western Digital brings SATA 6Gbps interface to Caviar Blue lineup: Cheap SATA 3.0 drives for all

        @Rick_R
        Unless you're using Raid 0.
        burke.michael1
      • RE: Western Digital brings SATA 6Gbps interface to Caviar Blue lineup: Cheap SATA 3.0 drives for all

        @burke.michael

        ditto that,

        the performance enhancement in the 6GB/s drives to improve the RAID performance, since more consumers are starting to use RAID at home. the overhead from using RAID has almost made it worthless for the home user, giving them worse performance than having just a bunch of drives (not talking about JBOD, the phrase just happens to work for what I am saying). Moving to 6GB/s at the higher RPM drives (7200 for home users) will help to make RAID a more viable option.

        I do however agree that 6GB/s is worthless to consumers, if you are not utilizing RAID, due to hardware limitations. The ability to max out the bandwidth of 3GB/s is due to the overhead that does not actually get written to the platters, but the instructions that come with it for the HDD controller. This overhead does not require 6GB/s to compensate; however it is more logical to double the bandwidth than to increment it slowly.
        aiellenon
  • RE: Western Digital brings SATA 6Gbps interface to Caviar Blue lineup: Cheap SATA 3.0 drives for all

    Fix this "review" article:

    -the manufacturer upgraded to the newer SATA 3.0 interface chip, but the hard drive is not any different = NO CHANGE IN SPEED
    Tech1138