SMC 2008 - The IEEE International Conference



WD1200JB Hard Drive Review

Not long ago, Western Digital decided to hit the IDE market with quite an impact upon the introduction of its Caviar BB-SE IDE range of HDDs. The first drive to be released with this new, 'special' BB-SE tag was the Caviar 1000BB-SE. This was an ATA100, 7200RPM drive - but 'so what?' I hear you cry...

These BB-SE drives were the first WD drives to be shipped with a whopping 8MB buffer - four times larger than any competing drive on the market. I shall go into more detail on this large buffer later on in the review.

WD however had to justify the extra cost for these drives - they had to market them so that people would buy them over any other drive typically using a 2MB buffer, or less. WD was keen to boast the selling point of these new drives - the 8MB cache, hence the 'BB-Special Edition' name given to them. They released the BB-SE drives on a trial basis, meaning that if the sales went well then they would consider putting these drives into constant producion. Obviously the sales went well enough and the BB-SE was renamed to the JB - (both being identical in specification) and the JB is now under full time and official producion at WD.

Since the JB has gone into producion an 80GB model, named the WD800JB, and a 120GB model named the WD1200JB have been made. I have here a WD1200JB model to review.

Due to the 8MB cache, these drives are aimed at the high-end market who seek ultimate desktop performance which will rival today's top SCSI setups.