At the end of last year we published a review of the Western Digital WD RE 4TB, the first 4TB hard disk from Western Digital. This disk from the WD RE series was aimed at professional use for servers and storage solutions, and its sticker price reflected this. The consumer version has now come out, called the Caviar Black 4 TB. Hardware.Info tested it.
In the review of the WD RE 4 TB we wrote that it contained four 1TB platters, but it turns out that's not the case. With the information we now have it appears that both that WD RE 4TB and this Caviar Black 4 TB use five 800 GB platters. That means the data-density is somewhat lower than hard disks using state-of-the-art 1 TB platters, such as the Seagate 7200.14 series. The presence of five platters also explains the high energy-consumption of Western Digital's 4TB hard disks.
The Caviar Black 4 TB has a Serial ATA 600 interface and 64 MB of cache. It turns at 7200 rpm. The hard drive is much more affordable in its consumer version, with an average price of £258 or € 292. That's still more expensive than the £194 or € 235 Hitachi 7K4000 4TB. Western Digital does have a great five year warranty for both its hard drives.
The biggest difference between the WD RE 4TB and the Caviar Black 4TB seems to be in the firmware and validation. The WD RE 4TB is tuned for use in servers and professional RAID setups. For those applications high performance is of importance, and noise production and energy-efficiency take a back seat. That's not so much the case for the Caviar Black 4TB that's specifically intended for desktop PCs.