Review: Western Digital Caviar Black 2 TB

Our score: 5/5
Reviewed: July 6, 2010 11:00 PM
29 want this Me too!
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Published: July 6, 2010 11:00 PM
By Vincent Lheur
For several years at WD, when you're not fighting off the VelociRaptors or Scorpions - the laptop range - you're stuffing your face with Caviar. And there's Caviar for all tastes: green for energy economy and silence, blue for allround usage and black for no-concession performance. And it's a black we're looking at today: the WD2001FASS also called Caviar Black 2 TB.

Behind this name lies an SATA-2 interface at 3 Gbps and 64 MB of cache memory. Note that the Caviar Black is also available as an SATA-3 6Gbps but only in 640 GB and 1 TB versions at the moment. The SATA-3 versions have a "2" in their name whiel the SATA-2s have a "1". Go figure! Among the SATA-2 versions, only the 2 TB has 64 MB of cache. The others have just 32 MB (see inset).
The platter turns at 7200 rpm, which should guarantee decent access times.

Pure performance

Once again, remember that the rating here, in contrast to the overall rating, takes into account all drives tested, including SSD performance.
Because in spite of its two stars, the Caviar Black 2 TB is no slouch:

Among other qualities it offers the best current speeds for writing large files. No other drive that we've seen, not even SSDs, manage the fabulous score of 143 MB/s. A good result that's mirrored in the AS-SSD test:

Moreover this test confirms the other readings, namely the good read performance with large files and random reads and writes down on what you get with an SSD or VelociRaptor because of their better access times:

Even if the Caviar's a little down in comparison, it is among the best traditional hard drives out there and overall, pure performance results put it in the lead.

Performance in practice

A nice surprise, the Caviar Black 2 TB scores the same on the PCMark Vantage index as the VelociRaptor 300 GB:

Its performances place it a touch down on the 600 GB version of the VelociRaptor, but never more than 10%:

It therefore represents an excellent compromise between capacity and storage, price and performance. On the hard drive podium it is just behind the VelociRaptor 600 GB. And in practice, its performance levels are no embarassment beside SSDs, which are much more expensive and with much lower storage capacities.
5/5 Western Digital Caviar Black 2 TB DigitalVersus 2010-07-07 00:00:00


  • Excellent performance
  • High storage capacity


  • A little noisier and hotter than the Caviar Green series


Performance, capacity and allround flexibility are the key words when it comes to the Caviar Black. If you need just one drive in your computer, this is the one to go for.