With the release of its 20 GB/platter Caviar WD400BB nearly a year ago, Western Digital proved that it was a serious challenger in the ATA drive sweeps. Though IBM's Deskstar 75GXP managed to retain its throne, the WD400BB nonetheless provided a solid alternative to Big Blue's drive. Last spring, WD followed up the 400BB with the Caviar WD800BB, a drive that doubled the 400BB's size while delivering incremental performance gains. Interestingly, around the same time, the Deskstar-GXP series took a step backwards in capacity as IBM abandoned its premiere 5-platter design in favor of a more practical 3-platter implementation. The net result was a Western Digital offering that surpassed Big Blue's in capacity while creeping ever closer in performance terms.
This summer Western Digital brings the industry a product of symbolic significance. The Caviar WD1000BB is the first 7200 RPM ATA drive to hit 100 GB of capacity. It's also the first three-digit-capacity drive we've tested that features a low-profile, 1" high design. The 1000BB achieves its monstrous capacity by utilizing three platters each packing a bit over 30 gigabytes. WD specifies seek time at 8.9 milliseconds. A standard 2-megabyte buffer rounds out the package.
Western Digital positions the 1000BB for those that require the ultimate in capacity combined with high-performance operation. A 3-year warranty protects the drive.
The WD1000BB ships exclusively with an ATA-100 interface. Remember, since ATA drives have yet to break sequential transfer rates greater than even 45 MB/sec that ATA-66 (and in many cases, even ATA-33) interfaces will run a drive with optimal performance. Our testbed remains equipped with a Promise Ultra66 controller.