by eugene

Western Digital Caviar WD1200BB


Western Digital Caviar WD1200JB Capacities
Model Number Capacity
WD1200BB 120 GB
Lowest Real-Time Price:


Introduction

With the release of its Caviar WD400BB over a year ago, Western Digital catapulted itself to the front of the ATA drive landscape. In addition to being the first 7200 RPM drive to hit 20 GB/platter (by a considerable margin at that), the WD400BB also delivered leading performance that rivaled IBM's Deskstar 75GXP. Then, as soon as competitors matched the 20 GB/platter architecture, WD again pulled ahead with the introduction of the 27 GB/platter Caviar WD800BB. This 80 GB drive not only delivered the largest capacity yet seen in 7200 RPM ATA drives, it raised the performance bar even further.

The top of the drivePerhaps the crowning achievement of the series, the Caviar WD1000BB (33 GB/platter) was the first 7200 RPM low-profile drive to reach the 100 GB capacity point. And, as was the norm, this latest Caviar managed to outdo its predecessor when it came to performance. A Special Edition of the WD1000BB, equipped with an 8-megabyte buffer, delivered desktop performance that rivaled top SCSI drives.

WD's foray into the 27 and 33 GB/platter areas resulted in a relatively late arrival to the 7200 RPM 40 GB/platter sweeps. Seagate was the first to ship disks using these latest areal densities with its Barracuda ATA IV. Maxtor followed a bit later with its DiamondMax D740X. IBM is the only major manufacturer to trail WD in getting 40 GB/platter product to the market through its imminent Deskstar 120GXP.

The back of the driveUnlike Seagate and Maxtor, Western Digital has chosen to stick with a 3-platter design for its flagship product. The WD1200BB's three 40-gigabyte platters yields a capacity of 120 GB, a full 50% larger than competing products. WD specifies the drive's seek time at 8.9 milliseconds. A standard 2-megabyte buffer rounds out the package.

Like all its predecessors, the WD1200BB targets the high-end desktop and entry-level server markets where high-capacity combined with top speed is paramount. A three-year warranty protects the drive.





Low-Level Results

For diagnostic purposes only, StorageReview measures the following low-level parameters:

Average Read Access Time- An average of 25,000 random accesses of a single sector each conducted through IPEAK SPT's AnalyzeDisk suite. The high sample size permits a much more accurate reading than most typical benchmarks deliver and provides an excellent figure with which one may contrast the claimed access time (claimed seek time + the drive spindle speed's average rotational latency) provided by manufacturers.

WB99 Disk/Read Transfer Rate - Begin- The sequential transfer rate attained by the outermost zones in the hard disk. The figure typically represents the highest sustained transfer rate a drive delivers.

WB99 Disk/Read Transfer Rate - End- The sequential transfer rate attained by the innermost zones in the hard disk. The figure typically represents the lowest sustained transfer rate a drive delivers.

For more information, please click here.

Note: Scores on top are better.
Service Time Graphs (in milliseconds)
Average Read Service Time
IBM Deskstar 60GXP (60.0 GB ATA-100) - 12.3|
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Maxtor DiamondMax Plus D740X (80 GB ATA-133) - 12.3|
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Samsung SpinPoint P20 (40.0 GB ATA-100) - 13.4|
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Western Digital Caviar WD1200BB (120 GB ATA-100) - 13.4|
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Western Digital Caviar WD1000BB-SE (100 GB ATA-100) - 13.6|
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Western Digital Caviar WD1000BB (100 GB ATA-100) - 13.7|
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Seagate Barracuda ATA IV (80 GB ATA-100) - 13.9|
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Average Write Service Time
Maxtor DiamondMax Plus D740X (80 GB ATA-133) - 12.7|
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Samsung SpinPoint P20 (40.0 GB ATA-100) - 14.0|
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Western Digital Caviar WD1200BB (120 GB ATA-100) - 14.1|
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Seagate Barracuda ATA IV (80 GB ATA-100) - 14.3|
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Western Digital Caviar WD1000BB-SE (100 GB ATA-100) - 14.4|
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IBM Deskstar 60GXP (60.0 GB ATA-100) - 14.5|
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Western Digital Caviar WD1000BB (100 GB ATA-100) - 14.5|
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WD1200BB Average Read Service Time
WD1200BB Average Write Service Time

With an average read access time of 13.4 milliseconds, the Caviar WD1200BB clocks in a bit lower than its predecessor, which, according to AnalyzeDisk, comes in at 13.7 ms. A score of 13.4 still trails the twin category leaders, Maxtor's DiamondMax D740X, and IBM's Deskstar 60GXP, which both weigh in at just 12.3 ms.

The WD1200BB's average access time of 14.1 milliseconds again improves on the WD1000BB's score while still trailing drives from Maxtor and IBM by over one millisecond.

Note: Scores on top are better.
Transfer Rate Graphs (in megabytes per second)
Transfer Rate - Begin
Western Digital Caviar WD1200BB (120 GB ATA-100) - 49.0|
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Western Digital Caviar WD1000BB-SE (100 GB ATA-100) - 43.8|
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Western Digital Caviar WD1000BB (100 GB ATA-100) - 43.7|
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Seagate Barracuda ATA IV (80 GB ATA-100) - 42.2|
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Maxtor DiamondMax Plus D740X (80 GB ATA-133) - 41.7|
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IBM Deskstar 60GXP (60.0 GB ATA-100) - 39.0|
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Samsung SpinPoint P20 (40.0 GB ATA-100) - 34.5|
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Transfer Rate - End
Western Digital Caviar WD1200BB (120 GB ATA-100) - 29.1|
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Western Digital Caviar WD1000BB (100 GB ATA-100) - 27.9|
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Western Digital Caviar WD1000BB-SE (100 GB ATA-100) - 27.8|
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Seagate Barracuda ATA IV (80 GB ATA-100) - 27.2|
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Maxtor DiamondMax Plus D740X (80 GB ATA-133) - 25.4|
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IBM Deskstar 60GXP (60.0 GB ATA-100) - 21.3|
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Samsung SpinPoint P20 (40.0 GB ATA-100) - 20.3|
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WD1200BB Transfer Rate

Achieving an outer-zone transfer rate of 49.0 MB/sec, the WD1200BB's sequential transfer rate is the fastest yet delivered by a 7200 RPM drive. The drive's inner-zone rate of 29.1 MB/sec also sets a 7200 RPM record.





Single-User Performance

StorageReview uses the following tests to assess non-server use:

StorageReview.com Office DriveMark 2002- A capture of 30 minutes of actual computer productivity use that exactingly recreates a typical office-style multitasking environment. The applications include: Outlook XP, Word XP, Excel XP, PowerPoint XP, Calypso (a freeware e-mail client), SecureCRT v3.3 (a telnet/SSH client), CuteFTP Pro v1.0 (an FTP/SSH client), ICQ 2000b), Palm Hotsync 4.0, Gravity 2.3 (a Usenet/newsgroups client), PaintShop Pro v7.0, Media Player v8 for the occasional MP3, and Internet Explorer 6.0.

StorageReview.com High-End DriveMark 2002- A capture of VeriTest's Content Creation Winstone 2001 suite. Applications include Adobe Photoshop v5.5, Adobe Premiere v5.1, Macromedia Director v8.0, Macromedia Dreamweaver v3.0, Netscape Navigator v4.73, and Sonic Foundry Sound Forge v4.5. Unlike typical productivity applications, high-end audio- and video- editing programs are run in a more serial and less multitasked manner. The High-End DriveMark includes significantly more sequential transfers and write (as opposed to read) operations.

StorageReview.com Bootup DriveMark 2002- A capture of the rather unusual Windows XP bootup process. Windows XP's boot procedure involves significantly different access patterns and queue depths than those found in other disk accesses. This test recreates Windows XP's bootup from the initial bootstrap load all the way to initialization and loading of the following memory-resident utilities: Dimension4 (a time synchronizer), Norton Antivirus 2002 AutoProtect, Palm Hotsync v4.0, and ICQ 2000b.

StorageReview.com Gaming DriveMark 2002- A weighted average of the disk accesses featured in five popular PC games: Lionhead's Black & White v1.1, Valve's Half-Life: Counterstrike v1.3, Blizzard's Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction v1.09b, Maxis's The Sims: House Party v1.0, and Epic's Unreal Tournament v4.36. Games, of course, are not multitasked- all five titles were run in a serial fashion featuring approximately half an hour of play time per game.

For more information, please click here.

Note: Scores on top are better.
Desktop Performance Graphs (in I/Os per second)
SR Office DriveMark 2002
Western Digital Caviar WD1000BB-SE (100 GB ATA-100) - 397|
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Western Digital Caviar WD1200BB (120 GB ATA-100) - 337|
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Western Digital Caviar WD1000BB (100 GB ATA-100) - 318|
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IBM Deskstar 60GXP (60.0 GB ATA-100) - 303|
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Maxtor DiamondMax Plus D740X (80 GB ATA-133) - 301|
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Seagate Barracuda ATA IV (80 GB ATA-100) - 296|
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Samsung SpinPoint P20 (40.0 GB ATA-100) - 192|
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SR High-End DriveMark 2002
Western Digital Caviar WD1000BB-SE (100 GB ATA-100) - 376|
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Western Digital Caviar WD1200BB (120 GB ATA-100) - 321|
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Western Digital Caviar WD1000BB (100 GB ATA-100) - 304|
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Maxtor DiamondMax Plus D740X (80 GB ATA-133) - 272|
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Seagate Barracuda ATA IV (80 GB ATA-100) - 268|
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IBM Deskstar 60GXP (60.0 GB ATA-100) - 252|
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Samsung SpinPoint P20 (40.0 GB ATA-100) - 166|
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SR Bootup DriveMark 2002
Western Digital Caviar WD1000BB-SE (100 GB ATA-100) - 344|
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Western Digital Caviar WD1200BB (120 GB ATA-100) - 312|
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Western Digital Caviar WD1000BB (100 GB ATA-100) - 284|
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Seagate Barracuda ATA IV (80 GB ATA-100) - 260|
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IBM Deskstar 60GXP (60.0 GB ATA-100) - 233|
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Maxtor DiamondMax Plus D740X (80 GB ATA-133) - 221|
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Samsung SpinPoint P20 (40.0 GB ATA-100) - 141|
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SR Gaming DriveMark 2002
Western Digital Caviar WD1000BB-SE (100 GB ATA-100) - 487|
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Western Digital Caviar WD1200BB (120 GB ATA-100) - 421|
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Western Digital Caviar WD1000BB (100 GB ATA-100) - 399|
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IBM Deskstar 60GXP (60.0 GB ATA-100) - 378|
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Seagate Barracuda ATA IV (80 GB ATA-100) - 378|
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Maxtor DiamondMax Plus D740X (80 GB ATA-133) - 372|
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Samsung SpinPoint P20 (40.0 GB ATA-100) - 234|
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At 337 IO/sec, the Caviar WD1200BB improves upon its predecessor by a margin of 6% in the SR Office DriveMark 2002. For typical productivity use, the WD1200BB is thus the fastest ATA drive one can buy save only WD's own WD1000BB-SE.

Similar improvements arise in the SR High-End DriveMark 2002. Here again the WD1200BB bests the WD1000BB by a margin of 5%, making it the fastest ATA drive equipped with a standard 2-meg buffer.

An improvement of nearly 10% over the WD1000BB highlights the WD1200BB's SR Bootup DriveMark 2002 results. Its score of 312 IO/sec outraces the competition.

Finally, the SR Gaming DriveMark 2002- little change here. The WD1200BB again delivers a 5% improvement over the WD1000BB and again places significantly above the competition.





Multi-User Performance

StorageReview uses the following tests to assess server performance:

StorageReview.com File Server DriveMark 2002- A mix of synthetically-created reads and writes through IOMeter that attempts to model the heavily random access that a dedicated file server experiences. Individual tests are run under loads with 1 I/O, 4 I/Os, 16 I/Os, and 64 I/Os outstanding. The Server DriveMark is a convenient at-a-glance figure derived from the weighted average of results obtained from the four different loads.

StorageReview.com Web Server DriveMark 2002- A mix of synthetically-created reads through IOMeter that attempts to model the heavily random access that a dedicated web server experiences. Individual tests are run under loads with 1 I/O, 4 I/Os, 16 I/Os, and 64 I/Os outstanding. The Server DriveMark is a convenient at-a-glance figure derived from the weighted average of results obtained from the four different loads.

For more information click here.

Note: Scores on top are better.
Server Performance Graphs (in I/Os per second)
SR File Server DriveMark 2002
Maxtor DiamondMax Plus D740X (80 GB ATA-133) - 136|
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IBM Deskstar 60GXP (60.0 GB ATA-100) - 132|
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Western Digital Caviar WD1000BB-SE (100 GB ATA-100) - 129|
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Western Digital Caviar WD1200BB (120 GB ATA-100) - 128|
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Samsung SpinPoint P20 (40.0 GB ATA-100) - 126|
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Western Digital Caviar WD1000BB (100 GB ATA-100) - 125|
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Seagate Barracuda ATA IV (80 GB ATA-100) - 119|
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SR Web Server DriveMark 2002
IBM Deskstar 60GXP (60.0 GB ATA-100) - 140|
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Western Digital Caviar WD1000BB-SE (100 GB ATA-100) - 129|
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Western Digital Caviar WD1200BB (120 GB ATA-100) - 129|
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Maxtor DiamondMax Plus D740X (80 GB ATA-133) - 128|
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Samsung SpinPoint P20 (40.0 GB ATA-100) - 128|
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Western Digital Caviar WD1000BB (100 GB ATA-100) - 128|
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Seagate Barracuda ATA IV (80 GB ATA-100) - 122|
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At 128 IO/sec, the WD1200BB's SR File Server DriveMark 2002 delivers a slight but negligible increase over its predecessor. The difference shrinks to an even smaller margin in the SR Web Server DriveMark 2002, where the WD1200BB, the WD1000BB, the WD1000BB-SE, and two drives from the competition all turn in virtually the same score.





Legacy Performance

eTesting Lab's WinBench 99 Disk WinMark tests are benchmarks that attempt to measure desktop performance through a rather dated recording of high-level applications. Despite their age, the Disk WinMarks are somewhat of an industry standard. The following results serve only as a reference; SR does not factor them into final judgments and recommends that readers do the same.

Note: Scores on top are better.
Legacy Performance Graphs (in megabytes per second)
ZD Business Disk WinMark 99
Western Digital Caviar WD1000BB-SE (100 GB ATA-100) - 9.8|
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Western Digital Caviar WD1200BB (120 GB ATA-100) - 8.9|
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IBM Deskstar 60GXP (60.0 GB ATA-100) - 8.8|
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Western Digital Caviar WD1000BB (100 GB ATA-100) - 8.5|
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Seagate Barracuda ATA IV (80 GB ATA-100) - 8.5|
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Maxtor DiamondMax Plus D740X (80 GB ATA-133) - 8.0|
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Samsung SpinPoint P20 (40.0 GB ATA-100) - 6.5|
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ZD High-End Disk WinMark 99
Western Digital Caviar WD1000BB-SE (100 GB ATA-100) - 33.4|
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Western Digital Caviar WD1200BB (120 GB ATA-100) - 29.9|
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IBM Deskstar 60GXP (60.0 GB ATA-100) - 29.1|
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Western Digital Caviar WD1000BB (100 GB ATA-100) - 28.0|
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Seagate Barracuda ATA IV (80 GB ATA-100) - 27.5|
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Maxtor DiamondMax Plus D740X (80 GB ATA-133) - 26.7|
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Samsung SpinPoint P20 (40.0 GB ATA-100) - 17.2|
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Heat and Noise

Idle Noise- The sound pressure emitted from a drive measured at a distance of 18 millimeters. The close-field measurement allows for increased resolution between drive sound pressures and eliminates interactions from outside environmental noise. Note that while the measurement is an A-weighted decibel score that weighs frequencies in proportion to human ear sensitivity, a low score does not necessarily predict whether or not a drive will exhibit a high-pitch whine that some may find intrusive. Conversely, a high score does not necessarily indicate that the drive exhibits an intrusive noise envelope.

Net Drive Temperature- The highest temperature recorded from a 16-point sample of a drive's top plate after it has been under heavy load for 80 minutes. The figures provided are net temperatures representing the difference between the measured drive temperature and ambient temperature.

For more information, please click here.

Note: Scores on top are better.
Heat and Noise
Idle Noise (in dB/A @ 18mm)
Seagate Barracuda ATA IV (80 GB ATA-100) - 41.3|
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IBM Deskstar 60GXP (60.0 GB ATA-100) - 45.9|
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Maxtor DiamondMax Plus D740X (80 GB ATA-133) - 46.3|
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Samsung SpinPoint P20 (40.0 GB ATA-100) - 47.0|
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Western Digital Caviar WD1000BB (100 GB ATA-100) - 47.1|
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Western Digital Caviar WD1200BB (120 GB ATA-100) - 47.1|
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Western Digital Caviar WD1000BB-SE (100 GB ATA-100) - 47.4|
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Net Drive Temperature (in degrees celsius)
Samsung SpinPoint P20 (40.0 GB ATA-100) - 13.7|
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Western Digital Caviar WD1000BB (100 GB ATA-100) - 18.9|
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Western Digital Caviar WD1000BB-SE (100 GB ATA-100) - 19.0|
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Seagate Barracuda ATA IV (80 GB ATA-100) - 19.3|
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Western Digital Caviar WD1200BB (120 GB ATA-100) - 20.0|
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Maxtor DiamondMax Plus D740X (80 GB ATA-133) - 20.5|
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IBM Deskstar 60GXP (60.0 GB ATA-100) - 21.8|
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Subjectively speaking, the Caviar WD1200BB's noise profile is quite similar to that of the WD1000BB in our testbed- in other words, idle noise is low and seeks are fairly unobtrusive. An objective measurement of 47.1 dB/A places the WD1200BB's idle noise at exactly the same level of its predecessor.

Objective temperature measurement of the Caviar's top plate yields a score of 20 degrees Celsius above ambient, one degree higher than that of the WD1000BB. This suggests that the WD1200BB may be integrated into most systems without active cooling providing that the system's airflow remains good.





Conclusion

Despite its improved areal density, however, Western Digital's Caviar WD1200BB is no match for the company's own WD1000BB-SE. The latter's 8-meg buffer continues to place it beyond the reach of other "normal" drives. Nonetheless, the WD1200BB is a fine effort, delivering improved capacity and performance over the WD1000BB, a drive that itself was already a best-of-class unit. While it's not quite the quietest nor the coolest-operating unit around, WD's latest drive is the obvious choice for those who require the utmost in capacity combined with performance in an ATA drive.