Western Digital pumps desktop drives up to half terabyte

Storage hardware vendor Western Digital (WD) has begun shipping its new half-terabyte Serial ATA (SATA) Caviar SE16 desktop-class hard drives into the region. These new solutions offer desktop PC users 500Gbytes of data capacity for storage-heavy applications such as graphic design, digital video editing and personal video recorder programs.

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By  Matthew Wade Published  February 14, 2006

Storage hardware vendor Western Digital (WD) has begun shipping its new half-terabyte Serial ATA (SATA) Caviar SE16 desktop-class hard drives into the region. These new solutions offer desktop PC users 500Gbytes of data capacity for storage-heavy applications such as graphic design, digital video editing and personal video recorder programs. WD’s new, super-sized Caviar SE16 500Gbyte drives offer 7,200rpm performance alongside 300Mbytes/s transfer rates, 16Mbytes of cache and Native Command Queuing (NCQ). These drives will compete head-to-head in the desktop PC space with competitor Maxtor’s latest Diamondmax line (version 11). These Maxtor drives also offer capacities of up to 500Mbytes and employ the Serial ATA II interface (which offers a super-quick Maxtor-quoted data transfer speed of 3Gbytes/s). “The WD Caviar family of hard drives delivers the reliability and performance that customers expect from WD,” said Don Bennett, the firm’s vice president and general manager of desktop storage. “The extreme capacity and high performance of this drive address a variety of demanding applications and expand WD’s portfolio of storage products. From 6- to 500Gigabytes, WD offers a diverse range of hard drives to meet our customers’ wide-ranging storage needs.” As today’s PCs, digital video recorders and gaming machines are increasingly operated in environments where noise is unwelcome, WD has reduced the noise levels of its new Caviar offering to be virtually imperceptible to the human ear via its WhisperDrive technology. In addition, the company claims that all of its hard drives are designed to have the lowest power consumption of any high-capacity desktop-class drives, which in turn lowers these drives’ operating temperatures and therefore provides enhanced reliability. Storage giant Seagate is in the process of buying WD's close competitor Maxtor in a deal that was originally announced at the end of last year and is thought to be worth around US$1.9 billion. However, according to Klaas de Vos, WD’s vice president for EMEA, this joining together will result in systems builders and global OEMs reassessing their sourcing options and could, as a result, actually play into Western Digital’s hands as customers try to avoid placing all their storage eggs in one basket. Until Seagate's proposed acquisition of Maxtor has been finalised (expected to be in Q3 of 2006), the two companies are continuing to operate as entirely separate business entities.

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