Bought 6, all good, all quiet / cool8/4/2008 6:22:09 AM

Pros: 500GB variable speed (5400-7200rpm) low power consumption SATA drive with a large buffer and high transfer rate. These drives run noticably cooler than a std WD 320GB 7200rpm SATA, much cooler than Maxtor 160GB 7200rpm PATA. Since they're all about the same if you view them as heat sinks, that means these really do use less power. Since the noise and power consumption are low, I expect the bearings are the same as other WD drives. All other things being equal, bearing life is a strong function of temperature, so I'm expecting better than usual drive life. All 6 are performing well after 6 weeks.

Cons: In theory during light use the drive spins at 5400rpm, and ramps up to 7200rpm, so there should be a read/write speed penatly at the start of activity. I can't detect it, and benchmarks suggest the penalty is trivial, When Windows is set to turn off the drive the spin up seems slightly longer than expected. This is either because the drives are quiet enough that you don't hear the reassuring accelerataion sounds, or because the the drive motor and its management has been optimized for power consumption and it really does spin up little slower.

Overall Review: When you format the drive, chose a quick format option, to just set up the file system. The tradtional write and verify all sectors format takes hours on very large drives, and because modern drives perform their own defect management, a slow format achieves nothing. All 6 drives arrived in sealed anti static bags with dessicant packs, the drives were wrapped in 1 inch of bubble wrap each and taped together in pairs. No manuals, cables, adapters, screws, or jumpers were included.

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