Western Digital Corporation in many ways deserves to be called the premiere ATA drive manufacturer. In addition to enjoying perhaps the strongest retail-presence of any company, WDC was the pivotal player in the establishment of many ATA (IDE, EIDE) standards. The company is not, however, a major force in the SCSI market. WD entered this market recently with its Enterprise series of drives. The smaller 4.3 gig WDE4360 received a cursory look in the Storage Review’s initial 4.5GB Ultra SCSI drive roundup; here we’ll take a look at the larger 9.1 gig WED9100.
Like IBM’s Ultrastar 9ZX, the Enterprise spans its 9.1 gigs of data storage over six rather than five platters, thus resulting in a slightly lower areal-density of 1.5 gigs per platter. Unlike the IBM, though, WD manages to fit it all into the standard 1” high form-factor. The Enterprise features a standard spindle speed of 7200rpm, along with an average seek time of 7.9 milliseconds. The standard 0007 (Ultra-Wide) unit features a 512k buffer. The drive is also available in an “A/V Ready” version (0016) with features a full megabyte. The disk is protected by a 5 year warranty.
Though it didn’t come in a fancy retail box, the Enterprise arrived with thorough, easy to follow documentation. The well-illustrated manual is definitely a notch above the docs that come with other disks, sometimes no more than a simple folded photocopy of jumper settings. The drive mounted easily into our drive cooler and installed without a hitch. Both read and write caching were enabled by default.
ZDBop's Winbench 98 along with Adaptec's Threadmark 2.0 were both run on the unit in Windows 95 OSR 2.1 and Windows NT Workstation 4.0. The drive was partitioned into a single volume of maximum size. The average of 5 trials is presented below.