WESTERN DIGITAL'S RE3 500 GB hard disk drive is for desktop enthusiasts and business servers. Where multiple drives are stacked together for extra capacity and data safety in RAID configurations, reducing impact of rotational vibration and being rated for running continuously are important. As the nearline counterpart of the Caviar Black desktop HDD, this drive also uses PMR (Perpendicular Magne¬to Recording) with a data density of 334 GB per platter. With a buffer of 16 MB, 3.5 inch form factor, SATA II interface, and spin speed of 7200 RPM, it isn't slow.
We tested this hard disk drive with synthetic bench-marks and real world tests, to find out how it performs under normal conditions. The test bench was an Intel X58 motherboard with a Core i7 965 processor, 3GB RAM, and a WD VelociRaptor.
The RE3 scored an average read speed of 82.8 MBps, and write speed of 83.3 MBps. When graphed, the drive's speed chart starts at 102.6 MBps and remains above 90 MBps until about the point when it reaches 220 GB. Transfer speeds decline thereafter, reaching a bare minimum of 49.2 MB ps by the end of the drive. Real world file transfer speed (both read and write) for single large files stands around 89.5 MBps. As expected, speed when copying multiple small files falls to 67 MBps. File cppies between partitions on the drive were at 38 MBps. Average access times hovered around 5.66 ms for write and 12.11 ms for read.
These numbers do not beat the fastest drives we have seen earlier, but when used in a RAID array, the performance would be at par with the others. Western Digital offers a warranty of five years on this drive.