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Tuesday, December 21, 2004
WD'S New 'Cool' Family Of HDD Now Shipping In Capacities Up To 320 GB

Next-generation WD Caviar Hard Drives Feature WhisperDrive and SoftSeek Technologies and Run Cooler, Quieter and Faster

Western Digital Corp. (NYSE: WDC) today announced that its WD Caviar family of hard drives, now available in capacities up to 320 GB, has been enhanced to significantly reduce operating temperatures. Cooler operating temperatures extend long-term reliability in the variety of applications that use these drives today. Technological advancements made in the company's next-generation desktop-class drives also offer customers quiet operation, higher performance and larger capacity. Rotating at 7,200 RPM and offering either the EIDE or Serial ATA interfaces, the new WD Caviar products are available now in the distribution, retail and e-commerce channels and through OEMs.

Cool Drives and Enhanced Reliability

Heat is a major contributor to hard drive wear, and cool drive operating temperatures help increase long-term drive reliability. In testing its new WD Caviar drives against competitors' comparable products, WD's Functional Integrity Testing Lab (FIT Lab?) results demonstrated that, through its advanced electronics and firmware design, WD has the lowest power consumption of any high-capacity desktop-class hard drive. Lowering the drives' power consumption means the operating temperature of the new WD Caviar drives is much cooler which provides for enhanced drive reliability. Cool drives are increasingly important for today's multi-drive and small-form-factor systems.

"Environmental demands on hard drives are increasing with the growing number of applications using rotating magnetic storage," said Richard E. Rutledge, vice president and general manager of WD's PC Components Group. "WD is always investigating new ways of extending drive reliability to new levels for end users, and the cool-running design of the WD Caviar drive family promotes long-term reliability even in challenging environments such as small-form-factor PCs, fanless consumer electronics devices and multi-drive storage systems."

Whisper Quiet

Today's PCs, digital video recorders and gaming machines are increasingly operated in environments where noise is less tolerated. WD minimizes WD Caviar drive noise to levels virtually below the threshold of human hearing with its WhisperDrive? technology, which features a highly efficient power driver design. To reduce seek noise, Soft Seek? technology streamlines read/write seeking algorithms, resulting in the drive operating more efficiently when accessing and writing data.

WD is the originator of 8 MB buffer, having introduced the performance-boosting feature in its WD Caviar SE model in 2001. Now, with the next-generation WD Caviar, the company has advanced the caching algorithms of the WD Caviar family, resulting in faster performance than its previous-generation WD Caviar hard drives.

The new WD Caviar family includes 8 MB buffer and 2 MB buffer models and has been shipping in capacities of 40, 80, 120, 160, 200 and 250 GB; WD Caviar 320 GB capacity hard drives are currently in production with shipping commencing this week. All WD Caviar hard drives protect users' data with WD's exclusive Data Lifeguard? embedded error detection and repair features, which automatically detect, isolate and repair problem areas that may develop over the extended use of the hard drive.

WD Caviar SE 320 GB drives will be available at retail stores next month. For customers who prefer the ease of online shopping, the new 320 GB capacity drives may be pre-ordered via the company's online store ( Customers who pre-order a WD Caviar SE 320 GB drive by Dec. 31, 2004, are eligible to receive free shipping. Full details of this promotion are available on WD's online store. Suggested retail pricing for WD Caviar SE 320 GB capacity is $249 (USD).

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