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10/11/01 Thursday's News: Story DetailReturn to News Page

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First Reader Tests of Western Digital 8MB Cache 100GB IDE Drive
Last Updated: 10/12/2001, 11:20 AM
(Added Graphs of Quickbench results
Added Benchmark screenshots for 100GB drive
Added model number and links to WD's jumper settings page)

Several readers noted ordering the Western Digital 100GB "Special Edition" hard drive with 8MB cache noted in Monday's news.
(Note: A FYI from another reader's comments that just received the 8MB/100GB drive. They are shipped as bare (OEM) drive only - no retail box (despite the high price). There's no cable included and the drives are not clearly marked to denote the fact they are 8MB cache models. There's no jumper settings on the drive label, and no data sheet shipped with the drive - so you'll need to check WD's web site for Western Digital Jumper Settings Page. (The drive ships set to "cable select".) The lack of clear identification of the drive being the "SE" model (8MB cache vs 2MB standard model), no jumper settings documented without having to go online is disappointing for such a high priced drive sold direct from the manufacturer. I'm personally used to buying OEM drives without any docs, but just a FYI to less experienced users.)

The first reader to get the drive sent comments and some Quickbench tests comparing the drive to a Maxtor 60GB. (Update - last night I was able to run some tests on a 100GB/8MB Cache WD drive and have posted a page with some initial benchmarks comparing it to the 60GB IBM drive in a G4/733 system.)

(Please note your Mac system details (model, CPU speed, etc.) when sending reports. If you can also include real-world tests like time to boot, time to duplicate a large file or folder with many files, etc. - see my drive reviews for examples of tests, etc. I use.)

" Hi Mike,
Love the site!
I am sending you this report from Quick bench. I just bought and installed 2 of the special edition Western Digital 100 GB with the 8MB cache. (He later wrote his system is a Dual G4/800 Quicksilver with 1.5GB of RAM-Mike)

I am using a Promax 66 ATA controller card but I have ordered the Sonnet Tempo 100 and I will report again when I get it (everyone seems to be sold out of it).
[I would have mounted the drive as a slave on the onboard IDE bus vs the ATA/66 PCI IDE card personally. This guide covers doing that for those that are not familiar with the process.-Mike]

Here are numbers from my old Maxtor 7200rpm 60 GB and the new WD drive. (I asked if he could send screenshots of the graphs which are easier to compare/digest than text numbers alone-Mike)

(Thanks to Matt Chojnacki for graphing the original text results)

Quickbench Maxtor 60GB

Quickbench WD 100GB

(He later sent graphs from Quickbench for the WD 100GB/8MB Cache drive tests, but had removed the Maxtor drive and didn't take screenshots of the first tests.)

Graph

Numerics 1

Numerics 2

Numerics 2

With an 8MB cache in this drive, the ATTO Tools benchmark's limit of 8MB I/O sizes would not be a good benchmark. (I use it for many drives with 2MB or less caches, as well as other benchmarks and real world tests.) The read curve looks like it has a cache spike (up to about 512KB), but look at the flat curve for writes all the way to 8MB.
I asked the reader if he could also send real-world tests like time to duplicate a large file and a folder with many files, boot times, apps launch times, etc..

Western Digital Links Since these drives ship with no documentation or jumper settings info here's some links you may find useful:

After a phone call to WD, they say this drive marking does represent the 8MB model (despite a mfr date of July 18th, 2001 - several months ago)

    Model No: WD1000BB-75CHE0

I do not have any model numbers from the 2MB cache model to verify if the above is unique to the 8GB model.

I welcome other owner reports on this drive. There was a previous page where with some WD 100GB (2MB cache model) IDE RAID performance reports. PC site StorageReview recently reviewed this drive (tested in PCs of course). (I wish there were Mac versions of the wide array of disk test utilities on the PC.)

Other Storage Related Articles/Reviews: For previous reviews/tests/guides on Storage (IDE, Firewire or SCSI) see the topics page links below or in the page header above.


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