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Western Digital 500GB RE2
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by Rob Williams on August 14, 2006 in Hard Drives

Are you looking for huge storage that won’t hurt the pocketbook? Easily done, since the 500GB RE2 drive we are looking at today retails for around $250. Does it have the performance you are looking for?

Introduction

When the time comes to build or upgrade a machine, hard drives tend to usually follow in the game plan. It seems every year, we -need- to upgrade our storage in order to simply house all of our goods, especially in this digital age. Needless to say, competition is fierce at the top of the market. Though Seagate offers a 750GB solution, 500GB drives are more apt to be considered due to their more reasonable price. After taking a quick look at a popular US e-tailer, the drive we are looking at today can be found for $220. To me, that is an incredible price for such a large solution. For $440, you could have your very own 1TB setup!

At the time of writing, at the same e-tailer, Seagates 750GB drive retails for $400 on the mark. Their similar 500GB solution is going for $290. On an equivalent Canadian e-tailer site, WDs 500GB drive is $50 cheaper than Seagates model. There’s no doubt much debate on which drive would be better if they were the same price, but it’s hard to ignore the fact that WD’s solution is so much cheaper. That will add up moreso if you are planning on installing more than a simple 500GB in your machine. Performance wise, how do both manufacturers drives compare? We are going to find that out today.

The drive we are reviewing today is not WDs only solution though. The drive we have here is the RE2 version, which is enterprise class. The other, Caviar SE16 is scaled down in various respects to land itself in the desktop class, or consumer class. Here is a quick comparison of the two drives:

Western Digital 500GB RE2 Western Digital 500GB Caviar SE16
3GB/s 300MB/s
16MB Cache 16MB Cache
7200 RPM 7200 RPM
4.2ms Latency 4.2ms Latency
8.7ms Seek Time 8.9ms Seek Time
33dBA Seek 0 33dBA Seek 0
41°F – 140°F Operating Temp 41°F – 131°F Operating Temp

Of course, that’s hardly all of the specs. You can read more about the SE16 here and the RE2 here. Simply put though, if you want the fastest WD 500GB solution, or drives for RAID use, you will want the RE2.



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