|Western Digital 750GB SATA-II Caviar RE2 Review|
|Page 2 - PC Mark05|
|Page 3 - SiSoft Sandra|
|Page 4 - HD Tune|
|Page 5 - Conclusion|
A hard drive aimed at the enterprise market and touted by Western Digital as being ultra-reliable and ideally suited to server and RAID systems. We take a look and see if it justifies its price premium over Western Digital’s standard SATA drives.
The RE2 (RAID Edition 2) range of drives from Western Digital are standard Serial-ATA-II interface hard drives that are designed to be used in more critical environments than you would normally trust with standard desktop drives. Environments and situations that a few years back would have been the exclusive territory of SCSI hard drives, such as servers, RAID arrays, network storage, video surveillance recording etc. Now these situations can be handled with much lower priced Serial-ATA drives with supposedly the same level of reliability.
The RE2 drives are reported by Western Digital to have a 1.2 million hour MTBF (mean time before failure), which compared to an average desktop drive of around 700,000 hours, is a big improvement. How they test these MTBF figures I’ll never know, because 1.2million hours is about 136 years, and I know most of my drives will never last that long. Nevertheless it shows that at least the manufacturer has faith in the drives reliability, they also back it up with a 5-year warranty.
Other features reported by Western Digital include (claimed) best in its class vibration tolerance, so when it’s used in rack-mounted servers and arrays it can better deal with the associated vibrations. Other features are also included which are only used when the drive is in a RAID array, such as a Time Limited Error Recovery feature, so the drive will not endlessly attempt its error recovery processes which can actually lead to drive failure on hard drives. All these features, whether they’re really that effective or not, show that the drive has been engineered to be as reliable as possible for more mission-critical applications then you would normally trust a standard desktop drive to handle.
Although this is a RAID edition drive, we’ve only been given a single drive to review and test by Western Digital, so we’re going to test the only real feature of the drive that we can test, its performance. And we’re going to do this against similar sized but significantly cheaper drives to see if its performance can help justify its price tag, all if it’s all about the apparent reliability factor and nothing more.
We’ll be testing the drive on our standard OzHardware test bench which consists of the following hardware:
- Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 CPU
- ASUS P5N32-E SLI, nForce680i Motherboard
- Corsair TWIN2X 2GB PC2-8500 Memory Kit (2 x 1GB)
- Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 250GB SATA-II Hard Drive (System Drive)
- Antec Basiq 500W ATX Power Supply
- Windows XP Pro SP2
We will be comparing the Western Digital 750GB RE2 (WD7500AYYS) drive against its desktop equivalent, the Western Digital 750GB SE16 (WD7500AAKS) as well as the popular 750GB drive on the market, the Seagate 750GB Barracuda 7200.10 (ST3750640AS). All three drives are 7200rpm, Serial-ATA-II with 16MB Cache as well as NCQ (Native Command Queing) so we’ll see how they all stack up when we put them through their paces.
Before we get to the tests though, it should be noted that the Western Digital SE16 and RE2 drives we have here are very, VERY similar on the outside, and not just in the way that all hard drives look alike. Not only is it the exact same casing (which most Western Digital drives are), but the circuit board underneath is exactly the same, even down to the revision number, so I wonder how different they really are?