|Price:||£74.21 inc VAT|
|Review Date:||May 2007|
The Caviar SE WD3200AAJS is one of the first of the new generation of AA series drives from Western Digital. These drives differ from their predecessors in that they have 160GB platters, so they offer much better performance. As the AA series is new, Western Digital was only able to send us two samples - the 320GB Caviar SE and a 500GB Caviar SE16. The SE signifies the drive has an 8MB buffer, while SE16 drives have a 16MB buffer.
As the Caviar SE WD3200AAJS has two 160GB platters, it should have a fairly high areal density, although Western Digital doesn't specify the exact figure. However, the performance advantage gained by the high areal density is mitigated to some extent by the small 8MB buffer. For example, while the drive scored 1.52 in the Paint Shop Pro test, it took 42 seconds to load Far Cry. Worse still, each gigabyte will set you back 23p, making this the most expensive 320GB drive we've ever seen.