Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB £299
24th Apr 2009 | 10:00
The most modern of dilemmas: speed or capacity?
Hard disk legend Western Digital seems to be avoiding the solid state option for the time being, instead sticking to platter-based data spinners. Its latest, the Caviar Green, comes in at a whopping 2TB for £240. Or, in other words, 12p per gigabyte.
How, we wonder, has Western Digital crammed so much storage capacity into a single 3.5-inch drive?
Google couldn't answer this question, so we put it down to a mixture of perpendicular magnetic recording and black magic. Probably more of the latter; the hard disk was delivered by an elderly Chinese man with a wispy beard, warning us not to install it after midnight.
More dark arts abound: even when performing intense loading, the drive remains lukewarm. Our hands are scarred by touching white-hot hard disks, but Western Digital seems to have cracked the heat issue. It's probably down to some kind of ritual.
Performance, too, is nothing short of the devil's work. It's never going to reach the insane speeds of OCZ's SSD, but it's still better than a standard hard disk. The manufacturers claim that the drive spins at 5,400rpm, but it still manages access times we'd expect from a 7,200rpm model.
There's another factor to consider when comparing a conventional hard disk drive to a solid state disk, in that SSDs tend to have shorter life spans. It's hard to say when exactly they'll fail, but like Roy Batty in Blade Runner, the flame that burns twice as bright burns for only half as long – ooh, that's a bit profound.
In spite of their multiple moving parts, platter-based drives tend to last longer – many years if treated well. They're the Deckards of the hard disk world: boring but dependable.
The price of the Caviar Green may seem a little odd, bearing in mind that you could get two one terabyte drives for less. But the two terabyte drive packs as much storage into a single drive, which is no mean feat.
If case space is at a premium and you want to cut your 'leccy bills, the Western Digital Caviar Green is the biggest and most efficient storage available at the moment.
The ideal PC set-up would be an OCZ SSD for your Windows installation and games with one of Western Digital's whoppers for backup, music and your film collection.
Of course, this would propel the cost of the system above the £500 mark, but you'd have a capacious beast capable of booting in jaw-dropping speeds at your fingers.