Big storage, great performance.
For comparisons I have used a first generation Kingston V-Series SSD and a WD VelociRaptor; both SATA II drives. Just to give you an idea of modern day SSDs, I have used the Kingston HyperX SATA III SSD as well.
As you can see the write and burst speeds of the new WD Caviar Black are higher than the V-Series SSD and VelociRaptor drives based on the advantage of having a SATA III controller. While I wasn’t expecting much in terms of read speeds, I was surprised to find the new Caviar Black is better than the old VelociRaptor. That’s the generational gap between the two SATA controllers. A better idea of overall productivity, though, comes from the PCMark 7 test which still scores the first-gen V-Series SSD a mighty 62% higher than the Caviar Black.
The idea with the Caviar Black is to keep it for general purpose use as well as massive storage without compromising on performance by a huge margin. As you can see, both read and write speeds are respectable, with the new SATA III controller giving this 7,200 rpm hard drive a much needed boost in performance.
So the Western Digital Caviar Black is designed for two types of users in mind. Firstly it’s for users who use their PCs for a wide range of multimedia centric tasks, such as video editing, compiling images and, of course, playing games. The second target is the PC enthusiast who has already used most of their SSD for regularly used programs and very frequently played games. The Caviar Black comes in handy when you want to store those extra games that are played occasionally and a couple of extra seconds during load time won’t affect the experience much.
The price I have mentioned above is obviously inflated due to the flooding in Taiwan [Corrected: Thailand], because the original price of these drives no more than 4 months ago was under AED 600 ($150). Still, even with this price the best you can get is a 120GB or 160GB SSD, or a 450GB VelociRaptor. It’s only a matter of time before the crisis is overcome and hard drive prices return to normal.