Western Digital Caviar Blue (640GB) review

Price when reviewed

The 640GB Caviar Blue shares several specifications with the disappointing 500GB model, including a 16MB cache and 7,200rpm spindle speed – but the use of denser 320GB platters boosts performance.

Western Digital Caviar Blue (640GB) review

Results of 90.5MB/sec in our file read test and 79.1MB/sec in the write test are far quicker than the 500GB Caviar Blue drive, and a burst speed of 221.9MB/sec is more than twice as fast as the 500GB drive. The average sequential read speed of 97.1MB/sec is better, too.

These results are encouraging, but they’re still disappointing when compared with rival disks. The 640GB Western Digital hovers around the middle of our results table, whereas the 640GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 is the fourth-quickest drive on test this month.

It’s cheaper than some of its rivals, but that isn’t enough to convince us of its merits. It’s by no means a bad drive, but the Blue is neither cheap enough nor fast enough to stand out in this company.


Hard disk usable capacity595GB
Hard disk typeMechanical
Cache size16MB
Spindle speed7,200RPM
Seek time (ms)16ms
Cost per gigabyte8.4p

Noise and power

Idle power consumption8W

Performance tests

HD Tach burst speed221.9MB/sec
HD Tach random access speed16.1ms
HD Tach average sequential read speed97.1MB/sec

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