Hard Disk Test Comparison and Features

Western Digital Caviar SE
Maxtor DiamondMax 17
Stated Capacity: 160GB 160GB
OS Capacity: 149.05 GB 149.05 GB
Interface: SATA 3Gb/s SATA 3Gb/s
Rotational Speed: 7,200 RPM 7,200 RPM
Cache Size: 8 MB 8 MB
Average Latency: 4.20 ms (nominal) 4.17 ms (nominal)
Read Seek Time: 8.9 ms 8.9 ms
Number of Heads: 2 2
Number of Platters: 1 1
Power Draw
Idle / Load:
8.75W / 9.5W 7.9W / 10.0W
Command Queuing: Native Command Queuing Native Command Queuing
Warranty: 1 Year - Retail Kit 1 Year - Retail Kit

The Western Digital WD1600AAJS drive we are reviewing today will be compared directly against the Maxtor DiamondMax 17 6G160E0 drive in our benchmark test suite. We have also included the results of drives from our previous articles and will provide additional reviews of drives in the 160GB to 500GB capacity ranges in the near future.

The Western Digital Caviar SE OEM drives ship with a three year warranty. Based upon reasons that are inexplicable Western Digital ships their retail SE kits with a one year warranty. The user can currently extend their warranty by two years through Western Digital for a cost of $14.95.

Test Setup - Hardware

Standard Test Bed
Playback of iPeak Trace Files and Test Application Results
Processor: AMD Opteron 170 (2.0GHz 2x1MB L2)
RAM: 2 x 1GB Corsair 3500LL PRO
Settings - DDR-400 at (2.5-3-3-7, 1T)
OS Hard Drive: 1 x Maxtor MaXLine III 7L300S0 300GB 7200 RPM SATA 16MB
System Platform Drivers: NVIDIA Platform Driver - 6.85
Video Card: 1 x Asus 7600GS (PCI Express) for all tests
Video Drivers: NVIDIA nForce 84.21 WHQL
Optical Drive: BenQ DW1640
Cooling: Zalman CNPS9500
Power Supply: OCZ GameXStream 700W
Case: Gigabyte 3D Aurora
Operating System: Windows XP Professional SP2
Motherboard: MSI K8N Diamond Plus

Our current test bed reflects changes in the marketplace over the past six months. Based upon the continuing proliferation of dual core processors and future roadmaps from AMD and Intel signifying the end of the single core processor on the desktop in the near future, we settled on an AMD Opteron 170. This change will also allow us to expand our real world multitasking benchmarks while providing a stable platform for the next six months. We are currently conducting preliminary benchmark testing under Vista with both 2GB and 4GB memory configurations. We will switch to Vista and possibly a new platform once the driver situation matures and our benchmark results are repeatable.

We debated on the memory size for our iPeak trace file creations and decided to move to 2GB of system memory. A system with a 1GB memory configuration is the predominant standard at this time, but 2GB memory setups are quickly becoming the new standard. Although a 1GB memory installation allows us to capture and report a higher amount of disk activity in certain applications, we decided the make the switch at this time as the difference is minimal when compared to the 1GB trace files.

Feature Set Test Setup - Software


View All Comments

  • orenlevy - Friday, November 09, 2007 - link

    hi everybody i would like to say that i am a computer builder .
    latly i recived this hard drive 160G aajs with access time of minimum 20m\s
    i am speaking for a wile with wd support. ill write soon for now i had 4 harddrive like that.
  • fendell - Friday, May 04, 2007 - link

    Any chance you could update this with the WD5000AAKS ?

    It is a great bargain atm :)
  • DrMrLordX - Tuesday, February 06, 2007 - link

    Any chance you could include the Hitachi T7k500 in reviews like this one? Reply
  • Gary Key - Tuesday, February 06, 2007 - link

    Yes, we will have the new/old WD and Hitachi 500GB drive results up in two weeks. Reply
  • DrMrLordX - Wednesday, February 07, 2007 - link

    cool, thanks Reply
  • Rike - Monday, February 05, 2007 - link

    You might want to put up pics that are consistent. When I saw the first pic on page one, the fist thing I noticed was that the four pin was still there, which surprised me. Pics on pages 1 & 12 show a four pin power connection on the drive while the page 2 pics clearly show a big hole where the four pin would be. Of course the text on page two says . . .

    The new SE family ships with the Serial ATA data and power connectors but drops support for the 4-pin Molex power connector designed for use with older ATX power supplies.

    You might want to clear this one up.
  • Gary Key - Tuesday, February 06, 2007 - link

    The press photos that WD sent us had the old casing for the open drive pictures. We really did not want to use them and WD was unable to provide new pics. I thought it was important to show the new platter design but certainly was not thrilled with using the old pictures. I will change them up today. Reply
  • noxipoo - Monday, February 05, 2007 - link

    if i wanted low noise and performance similar to this drive? Reply
  • Accord99 - Tuesday, February 06, 2007 - link

    The WD5000AAKS (The AA is the important designation):


  • noxipoo - Wednesday, February 07, 2007 - link

    boo, no 5 year warranty. Reply

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