post #41 of 41
Base on WD announcement, coming black should be neither SSD cache nor 1TB platters.
Originally Posted by nleksan View Post

Going by listed weights, it doesn't look like all/any of these will use single platters.

My guess, they're using 800GB platters or so, which would mean 1 for the 500GB, 2 for 1TB, 3 for 2TB, 4 for 3TB, and a max of 5 for the 4TB.

I could certainly be wrong, and the fact that they now have "Z" in their name DOES in fact indicate SINGLE PLATTER design, it's just their specs are (as always) contradictory in that regard.

If they are single platters, I would bet that we'll see performance within 2% of the WD10EZEX 1TB Blue's, likely firmware enhancements over the Blue to reduce random seek time, but the Min/Avg/Max Transfer Speeds will likely be the same or less.

And, if the past is anything to go by, the small advantage in speed means a large disadvantage in both acoustics and temperatures.

I personally feel that they should have done a few things differently, specifically:
- Implemented BOTH a Smarter Caching Algorithm AND Increasing the DDR Cache from 64MB to anywhere from 128-256MB.
- Reduced size of actual drive housing and use the "saved" space to incorporate some kind of removable but "built in" heatsink similar to the VR "Ice Pack" but less aggressive looking and obviously smaller sized.
- Along with the small heatsink, an acoustic treatment of some type would have been very nice; say, 5-10mm thick rubber strips where the screws from the chassis/drive sled mount the drive to isolate vibrations
- Most importantly, and really what could have made this go from "ehhhh...." to "!!!!!!!!!!" would have been the incorporation of a 24-36GB SLC/eMLC NAND Cache right on the drive PCB, using Micron or Samsung NAND and (in the world where only the best most awesome things happen) a controller designed in conjunction with Samsung specifically to mate the NAND to the platter drive without compromising either, something like their current SSD Controller but with another 1-2 cores specifically for monitoring/caching/health purposes, and to ensure that performance isn't wasted (like how Seagate SSHD's don't really impress), that 24-36GB of NAND would actually be ~64GB with heavy over-provisioning using 8x64Gbit NAND chips and retaining 8 individual channels to the controller (thus ~560/550 speeds when to/from cache). With Dynamic Over-Provisioning, the drive would actually be able to temporarily cache more data than the 24GB shown in order to maximize performance without compromising longevity, and do so using up to ~50GB of the total 64GB (which would really only ever occur during humungous file transfers, meaning 1 large file of that size, not 200,000 files totaling 50GB).

I think, primarily with the last part, WD would have not just cornered the market on SSHD's, they would have taken it completely as the Seagate drives are anemic and overpriced as-is, so should WD introduce 1, 2, and 3TB models like described at price points of even ~$150/200/250, and they work as I described, I think they would sell faster than they could be made!
I mean, imagine what it would be like to have 4 of those in RAID! You'd have a huge, integrated NAND cache, showing 96GB but actually being ~256GB in size, which would ELIMINATE you ever actually having to read from the disk in real-time (well, almost). COME ON NOW!