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Western Digital Earns Top Score in Vista Perf Test

High-performance hard drives from Western Digital Corp. earned the highest score possible when tested with the Windows Experience Index utility, a new feature in Windows Vista, WD announced. The results indicate that the new Windows Vista operating system will run optimally when installed on WD Caviar SE16 500 GB and WD Raptor 150 GB SATA hard drives.

The Windows Experience Index measures performance capabilities of PCs and their components and calculates a score telling users how well the operating system will run using those components. WD also announced that all of WD's latest-generation hard drives now are certified to run Windows Vista.

The WD Raptor 150 GB hard drive, the world's only 10,000 RPM SATA drive, and the newest-generation WD Caviar SE16 500 GB SATA hard drive each received a perfect score - a 5.9 - on a scale of between 1 and 5.9. Other WD Caviar drives also scored in the highest performance level. Computer systems receiving a 5.0 score or higher are defined by Microsoft as the highest performers and supporting high-end, graphics-intensive experiences such as multiplayer and 3D gaming and recording and playback of HDTV content. WD tested the drives in its performance lab in Lake Forest, Calif.

When buying a new computer or upgrading their existing one, consumers use the Windows Experience Index tool to make informed choices of PC component brands and features. "The Windows Experience Index is a valuable resource," said Don Bennett, vice president and general manager of WD's Desktop Storage group. "Users who are upgrading or building a new system with Windows Vista and want maximum performance should put these two drives at the top of their list."

The WD Raptor and the WD Caviar SE16 drive families have won many awards from publications such as Maximum PC, Tom's Hardware Guide and PC World.

New users of Windows Vista will place increasing demands on their hard drives. The minimum system requirements include 15 GB of free storage. Use of storage-hungry and multimedia applications, including Microsoft Office® 2007 software, Windows Photo Gallery, Windows Movie Maker, Windows Media Center and Windows Backup, will require large amounts of hard drive capacity. Uncompressed digital video, for example, can require up to 13 GB per hour, and compressed high-definition video for TV playback can absorb as many as 8 GB per hour, depending on file size, format and other factors.

Vista's exclusive new DirectX® 10 suite of multimedia application programming interfaces is designed for performance enthusiasts and benefits from the fastest SATA hard drives available, such as those that achieve a 5.9 on the Windows Experience Index: WD Caviar SE16 500 GB and WD Raptor 150 GB.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.