Sign in to follow this  
Davin

Western Digital Caviar WD1200JB

Recommended Posts

Western Digital's WD1000 Special Edition took the field by storm last fall delivering unprecedented performance due to a highly-optimized 8-megabyte buffer. Since then, folks have been speculating on when the large buffer and firmware would be mated with today's areal densities. The WD1200JB, complete with 8-meg buffer and 40 GB platters stands up to the task. Does it deliver? Let's find out.

Western Digital Caviar WD1200JB Review

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another winner by Western Digital... I wonder when the other brands will wake up and start producing big-cache IDE models... It's a winning strategy... :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some very interesting information indeed. I suppose the other vendors aren't adding cache because they're not targeting the same market? Or perhaps it's because they have SCSI drives for that upper niche of performance desktop, while WD doesn't?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the great review. I've took the time for the first time to have a look over your reviews and it's really information much worth.

Hope the possibility to decide on new drives on your reviews stays on ;-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Greetings. I've been sending my readers to Storage Review for the latest hard drive test results for many moons.

Recently, I shocked the internet world by posting a review of the WD1200JB five days before Storage Review:

http://www.barefeats.com/hard22.html

It includes numbers from the IBM 120gxp (80GB).

Last night I tested a pair of the WD1200JB's on an ATA/133 Hardware RAID card and attained low level sustained transfer speeds in excess of 108MB/sec. I used a low level test that employs 10MB block size (so readers wouldn't cry foul about the 8MB buffer).

Pretty awesome drive.

By the way, GoogleGear.com is selling them for $269 and change.

A loyal fan of SR,

rob_ART, publisher and webmaster

BARE FEATS "real world Macintosh speed site"

http://www.barefeats.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aren't HD capacities far exceeding what is, in real life, truely needed?

I've got four, 10 gig HD's, set up as RAID. With them, I've got, at most, only 25%, or 10 gigs used up.

Now were talking about 120 gigs. How about slowing down w/increasing capacity, and improving performance? We know it can be done, as the WD 1200JB proves. Just imagine a single platter, w/the same technology as the WD? I'd love to set up four 1200JB's, set up as RAID, but what would I do w/all that space? I couldn't even use up a single 1200JB.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Aren't HD capacities far exceeding what is, in real life, truely needed?
Not for me. I've got 180GB in one machine and I still need more. And the bigger hard drives drive down the price of the smaller ones, anything below 40GB doesn't cost much anymore.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Aren't HD capacities far exceeding what is, in real life, truely needed?

I've got four, 10 gig HD's, set up as RAID. With them, I've got, at most, only 25%, or 10 gigs used up.

Now were talking about 120 gigs. How about slowing down w/increasing capacity, and improving performance? We know it can be done, as the WD 1200JB proves. Just imagine a single platter, w/the same technology as the WD? I'd love to set up four 1200JB's, set up as RAID, but what would I do w/all that space? I couldn't even use up a single 1200JB.

Agreed...anyone who needs this much space for real world needs is either doing digital video editing or storing porn ;-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Agreed...anyone who needs this much space for real world needs is either doing digital video editing or storing porn ;-)

I second that, I have two 30gig gxp75 in raid0 and I need to upgrade to two 60gig already. Although I don't do much video editing, I do have some movies on hd and tons of mp3. Over 30gig of mp3 so far and they are not junk either. Sometimes you just don't want to let go of that collection of mp3 you once loved so much. :lol::lol:

As for my porn collection, i am working on that and trying to fill my drive up as much as possible with it. Ok just kidding. :wink: :lol: 8)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Agreed...anyone who needs this much space for real world needs is either doing digital video editing or storing porn ;-)

And the problem with either is???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Aren't HD capacities far exceeding what is, in real life, truely needed?

Nah. I like to backup my DVDs, at 4 to 7GB each they really eat into my disk space. Also, I have considered replacing my own ripped mp3's with some form of lossless audio, which takes around 300MB for an average CD. Windows suggest a pagefile at least equal to twice your ram, so that eats up 3GB on my better system. Mainly though, it's the DVD's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

just 6 months ago i bought a 30GB wd for the first peice of my soon to be built computer. Now 30 GB seems way to small for a spankin new system, i think I am going to go with this 120GB SE.

BTW glad to see the site is still here, a great source of information for the not-so informed like myself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agreed...anyone who needs this much space for real world needs is either doing digital video editing or storing porn ;-)

And the problem with either is???

Nothing I would assume...

You just cannot have enough porn... :D

Of course, I mostly do digital video editing myself, and I try to get the real thing from time to time... :P

Jason

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Of course, I mostly do digital video editing myself, and I try to get the real thing from time to time...  :P

Jason

Yeah, but then my wife had twins and I found I had to do more of the former to keep the grandparents happy, and little energy or time for the latter...which I guess leads us right back to storing porn...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yeah, but then my wife had twins and I found I had to do more of the former to keep the grandparents happy, and little energy or time for the latter...which I guess leads us right back to storing porn...

Yea, kids can just kill a sex life... But if you make it a priority and set aside time for it, you can always find the time...

Jason

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well it's all nice and swell, the numbers are good on this particular drive.

Having worked installing and fixing drives for a long time I can tell you specs are only ONE of the factors required in order to make a good choice.

From here on my suggestions are purely personnal; since there's a lot of specialists around here mine are probably as good as the next (...) you decide.

Ease of installation.

Western Digitals (at least the older models) are very fussy and sometimes refuse to join another drive on a same IDE cable (since it's been a while since I've installed one your milleage will vary).

Lifetime/post-mortem

While all drives have to die, some die prematurely. I've seen a lot of WD come back completely shot and a bunch of Maxtors also. This being said, I found that with Maxtors (and specially Quantums) I usually get a brief period where I can save the data and run. With WDs it's usually too late by the time you realise it - no matter how much CPR you do, it seems as though the drive can't even see the platters.

While it's unrealistic/unpractical to expect "Storage Review" to analyse this, it's something to think about nevertheless.

Sensitivity to heat

Many drives died cooked; it's important to note that (in my opinion) WDs were (I don't know about current models) rather sensitive to excessive heat. Other drives (such as Quantums and Maxtors) seem to fare much better since they themselves are hotter than WD's. Although let's not kid ourselves, heat is bad for a PC. But if you overclock everything in sight it's something to keep in mind.

Review sites get the cream of the crop

I remember buying motherbords based on THG's suggestion. Well I did not get anywhere near the performance quoted and the installation was definetely not as bugless as announced in the review. I therefore assume the shipping parts and the evaluation parts are not the same. This makes perfect sense. Why send a bottom of the barrel hard drive to a review site while everybody else is sending in their best parts? Now please don't get me wrong, I'm not slamming Storage Review - they are doing a great job - but it's clear that SR presents a best case scenario. How often does SR talk about a Hard Drive that's dead on arrival?

Software support

Maxtor's software support is pretty good. WD's is allright. Others ... I'd have to check. But software support is important. Specially when installing on old machines.

Conclusion

Sadly the best way to evaluate a hard drive is still by buying it. Find out what you need, ask around to see who's tried it and liked it. See how much returns a shop gets for any particular model. Specs should break a tie, they should not be the reason why you buy.

At least that's how I see it.

As far as this Western Digital hard drive is concerned, it's waaaay out of my price range. And I admit I had quite a few bad experiences with this company so I'm still staying away.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ease of installation.

Western Digitals (at least the older models) are very fussy and sometimes refuse to join another drive on a same IDE cable (since it's been a while since I've installed one your milleage will vary).

I haven't had a problem with this since the 1.2GB+ days. WD has played well with others for a while now.
Lifetime/post-mortem

While all drives have to die, some die prematurely. I've seen a lot of WD come back completely shot and a bunch of Maxtors also. This being said, I found that with Maxtors (and specially Quantums) I usually get a brief period where I can save the data and run. With WDs it's usually too late by the time you realise it - no matter how much CPR you do, it seems as though the drive can't even see the platters.

While it's unrealistic/unpractical to expect "Storage Review" to analyse this, it's something to think about nevertheless.

Aside from a particularly bad batch of 10GB drives, WD has usually been pretty good to me. None of the WD drives I own personally have ever died on me (yet) and at work the failure rate has been pretty low. SR used to have a reliability database that accepted community input but it was lost a few months ago.
Review sites get the cream of the crop

I remember buying motherbords based on THG's suggestion. Well I did not get anywhere near the performance quoted and the installation was definetely not as bugless as announced in the review. I therefore assume the shipping parts and the evaluation parts are not the same. This makes perfect sense. Why send a bottom of the barrel hard drive to a review site while everybody else is sending in their best parts? Now please don't get me wrong, I'm not slamming Storage Review - they are doing a great job - but it's clear that SR presents a best case scenario. How often does SR talk about a Hard Drive that's dead on arrival?

When SR has a problem with a drive they do talk about it. The most recent one was the Maxtor 160GB drive review, the first sample they got gave inconsistant results in certain circumstances. Click here and scroll down to see what I mean.

Anyway, even on an ATA/33 interface this drive rocks. Can't wait to hook mine to an ATA/100 board....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have just ordered the new WD800JB (the 1200's little brother) Any suggestions on how the different platter sizes will affect performance, as the technical specs are identical. I didn't want to go with the 1200 because I didn't need a drive that large. When do you expect to get a review out with real world benches? thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would like to buy a WD800JB (the 1200's little brother) next week but I am still confused. At the same price I found a Maxtor D740X 80GB ATA133. Which one should I choose? I'm not interested in noise or heat just in performance and durability. If any1 has or seen or worked with those drives please post the results here.

Thanx

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, three posts from Eugene in the same day. You really are on a rush aren't you. Be carefull, Jason will start to worry soon if you continue at that pace ;-)

IQz3r0,

It's absolutely not normal to see a 80GB Maxtor D740X at the same price as a Western Digital WD800JB. Either you confused a WD800BB for the 8MB cache WD800JB or the place you saw the Maxtor is selling it at an outrageous price. There should be something like at least a 10-15% price difference between both these drives, the D740X being the cheapest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I too am considering purchasing the WD800JB and would like some feedback as to how the drive's 80G/2-plate configuration etc.. actually performs compared to the 120G. :?:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But on the front page of StorageReview it says something about only having 27 gigs per platter. Is it not as simple as 120gig model = 6 heads, 3 platters, 40 gig per platter vs 80 gig = 4 heads, 2 platters, 40 gig per platter?? (those numbers came from the western digital homepage) This drive is the right size for my needs and if the performance is as good as the 1200JB, I am gonna order right away!!! I have been checking back every few hours to see if the review of the 800jb has been posted. BTW Keep up the fine work here, this place is awesome!!!

Kid

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this