Western Digital is launching two new 2TB hard drives today. Unlike their 2TB Caviar Green, the latest Caviar Black and RE series drives have their platters rotating at 7,200 RPM. Each drive contains four platters sporting 500GB each along with a new 64MB cache scheme, dual processors, and five-year warranties. The drives retain the current 3Gbps SATA interface. The RE4 is similar to the Caviar Black but adds RAID-specific features, additional validation testing, and includes premium component selections.

The big news is a new dual-stage actuator that is at the heart of the performance increases expected by these drives. In addition to the standard mechanical actuator, WD has added a piezoelectric motor to the drive arm. The PZT offers an additional 500 nm of fine tuning, which covers around five tracks on the platter. WD is quoting that short seek times are reduced about ~.04 mS along with improvements in track follow PES capability by up to 30% and op-vibe PES performance increases by 50%. This also allows improved performance in high vibration environments.

The 2TB Caviar Black should reach the retail channel this week with an expected MSRP of $299. That is the original price of the Caviar Green 2TB drive, which is now selling in the $220 range. The RE4 is expected to ship to in the later part of October. Pricing has not been set but we expect it to be around $349 based on previous RE pricing. We expect review samples shortly. The full press release is located here.

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