WD 640 GB Caviar Blue vs 640 GB Caviar Black

I’ve been running the Western Digital 640 GB AAKS (SE16 series) drive in my main system for quite some time now. I was happy with it until I noticed Western Digital had begun showcasing their new Caviar Black series hard drives as the ‘fastest 3.5-inch 7200 RPM drive on the market’. The Caviar Black series sport dual processors, 32 MB cache and a five year warranty (vs 16 MB and three years for the Caviar Blue).

Does the WD Caviar Black really live up to the hype? I hate to say this, but no. It actually performed slower than my older WD 640 GB AAKS with a single processor and 16 MB cache!

Don’t believe me? Take a look below!

Test configuration: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 @ 3 GHz, 4 GB Corsair XMS2 DDR2-800, Gigabyte P35-DS3L (F8b), Seasonic S12 600W power supply and of course, APC RS 1200VA regulated power. Operating system: Windows XP Professional w/ SP3. Both drives were imaged using Ghost 2003 and defragmented using PerfectDisk 2008 Professional. Software: HD Tune 2.55. Hard drive 1: WDC WD6400AAKS-00A7B and hard drive 2: WDC WD6401AALS-00L3B. AAM was confirmed as disabled on both drives using Hitachi’s Drive Fitness Test.

Each benchmark was run four times. Time for the benchmarks:

As you can see, the Caviar Black 640 GB doesn’t perform all that better than the Caviar Blue (SE16) 640 GB.

My Essential iPhone App List

Since the Apple iPhone 3G made its debut in Canada approximately two months ago, it has become one of the best selling smartphones of all time.

I was initially wary of purchasing the iPhone due to the exorbitant data fees being charged, but I managed to get a 6 GB promotional data plan for $30/month from Rogers Wireless. I’m currently using 2.5% (or 150 MB) of my monthly data quota. As you can see, I overestimated my data usage by a long shot :-). Going to a cheaper data plan doesn’t make sense, as it only gives me 250 MB for $5 less now. In fact, Rogers recently stated that 90% of their data customers use less than 500 MB per month. As most of my data plan is going to waste, I wish I could share my data plan with my family, but Rogers doesn’t offer such an option at this time.

What’s there to like about the Apple iPhone 3G? The touch interface. The sleek form factor. WiFi connectivity. The ability to select and install hundreds of applications. Easy firmware upgrades.

There’s also a few negatives: occassional dropped calls, dismal battery life at times (improved with 2.1 firmware), random reboots (had one today!), non user replaceable battery and a few other gripes.

So, what do I use my iPhone for? In no particular order: email, financial market quotes, social networking, finding things and managing Linux servers.

A list of my favorite iPhone applications follows:
Bloomberg — offers updated financial market quotes, including commodities and currencies.
Facebook — iPhone interface for the popular social networking site.
Movies — view movie listings for theatres in your area; view trailers and showtimes.
UrbanSpoon — Use this to find a restaurant near you. Needs more cities added.
Locly — find nearby establishments and local events.
fring — connect with your IM buddies and make VOIP calls over Skype.
eBay — track and manage your eBay auctions. Search for items.
iSSH — manages SSH connections to my servers for remote diagnosis. $2.99.
Palringo — similar to fring, but no Skype support. I like the MSN interface they use.
Shazam — hear a tune you like on the radio? This app tells you the name and artist.
Units — great for unit conversion and limited currency conversion.
AirSharing — transfer files to your iPhone over WiFi. Share files with your buddies.

Leave a comment with your favorite iPhone apps.