Doom 3 is the most advanced game to date. it takes
advantage of the latest videocard technology and pushes the processing power of
the CPU to its absolute limit. At its highest setting, Ultra quality, texture
sizes pass the 500MB mark which means even tomorrow's videocards will have a
hard time running everything. The frame rates in the game itself are locked at
60 fps so anything above that point is wasted. Each test is run three times with
the third run being recorded.
|Western Digital Raptor WD740 HDD
|Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD4000KD HDD
In Doom 3, the HDDs run basically identical, at least it's within the margin
of error. This just goes to show you that running a faster HDD will not necessarily produce
higher frame rates in games.
Conclusions - 400GB of fast data?
There are many of options in the hard drive market to consider when it comes time upgrade a PCs storage, but Serial ATA is definitely the way to go. SATA will be the primary hard drive standard for years to come, and IDE is slowly being phased out.
The Western Digital Raptor WD740 10,000 RPM hard
drive definitely wears the speed crown in this comparison, but it only comes in capacities of 36GB or 74GB. That leaves users a bit light on storage capacity, and secondary HDD is a definite must for most situations. This is great for full size PCs with enough room for two hard drives, but what about SFF users? This is where the new class of high-capacity flagship consumer level hard drives come in, and pack an excellent punch.
||Experts Tip: Is DMA Tuned On?|
|DMA can make a world of a difference
in terms of IDE hard drive performance, and for some reason WindowsXP
sometimes disables it in favour of PIO. To enable DMA on the computer, go to the Device manager
(right click on the My Computer icon and go to
Properties, then select the Hardware tab and click the Device Manager button),
double click on each hard drive, click the Policies tab and make sure the
"Enable write caching on the disk" box is checked. Check the settings by
expanding the "IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers" tab and looking under the "advanced settings" for each channel's
|Comments and Feedback? Suggest a Tweak.|
The 400GB Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD4000KD Serial ATA I hard drive has a spindle speed of 7200 RPM, but it's the 16MB of onboard cache that really kicks things into gear. Equipped with four 100GB platters and eight read/write heads, the massive Caviar SE16 WD4000KD definitely offers users the best of both speed and storage capacity.
The Caviar SE16 is equipped with both Serial ATA and molex power connectors, so it is a good candidate for users with older power supplies that lack SATA power adapters.
The only item we can really make a criticisms about is the absence of NCQ. While it's easy to understand Western Digital's point of view, as more software is written to support NCQ the performance benefits should clear emerge. Not equipping its hard drives with NCQ right now may not be a big deal, but the situation may be quite different in the coming years.
During operation, the Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD4000KD ran extremely quiet, much quieter than the WD Raptor. In fact, even during heavy seek times the drive could not be heard even though it was laying on an open table. With the Caviar SE16 hard drive in an enclosure, there is no way you will be able to hear it. Temperatures were high, which is not surprising from a drive with four platters.
You just have to browse the benchmark numbers briefly to
see that the Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD4000KD is fast. Bandwidth scores put it in the same ball park as the enterprise level 74GB WD Raptor, but with 5.4X the storage capacity. Access times are noticeably slower, but that is expected since its' spindle is rotating about 25% less.
With a retail price of $268 CDN ($226 US), the Western Digital
Caviar SE16 WD4000KD 400GB Serial ATA I hard drive is pricey, but offers an excellent cost/GB value. Consumers looking to maintain a speedy storage system without skimping on capacity will find that the Caviar SE16 WD4000KD delivers 400GB of storage very nicely indeed.
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