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Western Digital 1TB WD1003FZEX poor access time

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
Well, since my WD1002FAEX is dying I decided to go with the new family of WD's Blacks. So I got the WD1003FZEX and ran some tests, but something seems wrong about the access times, I don't know, I'm not an expert here.

So can anyone tell me how does it look:




HD Tune Pro tests

***
Normal read bench


WD1003FZEX:
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)


WD1002FAEX:
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)



***
Random Access test


WD1003FZEX:
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)


WD1002FAEX:
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)



***
Extra tests


WD1003FZEX:
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)


WD1002FAEX:
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)



***
File benchmark (for some reason I couldn't run this test on the WD1002FAEX)


WD1003FZEX:
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)



***
Crystal Disk Mark


WD1003FZEX:
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
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post #2 of 41
Thread Starter 
I was searching info yesterday and apparently for this type of drive, the average access time should be 12ms.

So 16ms is pretty bad I guess.
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post #3 of 41
Are you in AHCI mode, and have you installed all relevant drivers? Some of these new drives perform really bad if you're not in AHCI/RAID mode, or forget to install Intel RST or AMD AHCI drivers. Sequential performance isn't usually affected much, but access times always take a hit.

You may also want to check where you've got it mounted. I've seen cases come with slightly defective mounting racks that transfer more vibrations to certain drives. I could increase any drive's access times by 0.8-1.2ms just by moving it to a certain slot in my case.

If neither of those fixes it, then perhaps these new drives are just optimized for low noise levels or something? (slower seeking) That's not what I'd want to see from a Black drive... redface.gif that's fine for Blue, but not Black.
     
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post #4 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kramy View Post

Are you in AHCI mode, and have you installed all relevant drivers? Some of these new drives perform really bad if you're not in AHCI/RAID mode, or forget to install Intel RST or AMD AHCI drivers. Sequential performance isn't usually affected much, but access times always take a hit.

You may also want to check where you've got it mounted. I've seen cases come with slightly defective mounting racks that transfer more vibrations to certain drives. I could increase any drive's access times by 0.8-1.2ms just by moving it to a certain slot in my case.

If neither of those fixes it, then perhaps these new drives are just optimized for low noise levels or something? (slower seeking) That's not what I'd want to see from a Black drive... redface.gif that's fine for Blue, but not Black.


Yes, the mobo is set to AHCI by default.

I actually realized later that I didn't install Intel RST, so I installed it but didn't make a difference.

Then I tried running a test booting with Mint on a USB drive, and the HDD throws 15.49ms all the time.


So I put it on my old AMD PC running Windows 7, same thing, 16ms, I ran Mint from that same PC, same thing, 15ms.

I actually put it on a flat surface when I hooked it up to the AMD PC.

So yeah after a talk with Western Digital and a DLGDIAG extended test showing no errors, I ended up returning the drive. My replacement gets here today, so I'm crossing my fingers.


One thing I did notice is that checking the features of this drive, AAM is not supported, which seems really weird. The drive is super quiet.

What I'm thinking is that the HDD is exchanging performance for less noise, and there's a bug with the firmware or something that's not letting me tweak the AAM parameters and shows it as a not available feature.
Edited by xutnubu - 12/5/13 at 6:27am
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post #5 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by xutnubu View Post

One thing I did notice is that checking the features of this drive, AAM is not supported, which seems really weird. The drive is super quiet.

What I'm thinking is that the HDD is exchanging performance for less noise, and there's a bug with the firmware or something that's not letting me tweak the AAM parameters and shows it as a not available feature.
It may not be a "bug" by their definition - it may be a "feature" - but the customer service guys wouldn't know... that's the kind of thing an engineer might.

As platter densities increase, it gets harder and harder to seek to the correct track. WD prides their Black line on delivering a consistent great experience. It's possible they just couldn't get every drive down to 12-13ms at this density, so they went for noise levels instead. Time will fix it, as the manufacturing process matures - but who wants to wait? tongue.gif Report back on whether the new one is any better. If not, I'd write it down as a WD1003FZEX "feature". No AAM, super quiet, fairly high seek times, similar performance to older slower Blacks. (only sequential performance is higher... which affects file copies. redface.gif Woohoo... )

Also, considering the number of posts I've seen where people RMA'd because their Black was noisy, I suspect the number of RMAs due to high seek times will be lower than that. This is annoying for enthusiasts that buy the drives not caring about the noise levels, but we're probably the minority of their customers. I know a lot of shops/users/businesses/etc. don't even run extended SMART tests on drives before putting them into use, so they'd never catch a thing like this.
     
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post #6 of 41
Thread Starter 
Got the replacement, same thing.

I'm frustrated now, I don't know if this is actually how the drive works or what.
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post #7 of 41
Thread Starter 
Do you think it has something to do with the drive using only one platter?


I just read some Newegg reviews and I found one on the 1Tb model and the guy reported an access time of 16ms.
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post #8 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by xutnubu View Post

Do you think it has something to do with the drive using only one platter?


I just read some Newegg reviews and I found one on the 1Tb model and the guy reported an access time of 16ms.

No - it has something to do with how they configured the firmware. For low noise levels rather than fast seek times. redface.gif

This doesn't really help you, but I just picked up a WD4001FAEX on Boxing Week - it's a 5x800GB platter drive, configured for fast access times rather than low noise levels.

There probably wasn't any point going for low-noise with a 5-platter design. tongue.gif
Benchmarks (Click to show)
zjlj.png
61lc.png

Whole drive, it's on-par with your WD1002FAEX.

Only 1TB tested, it's obviously far faster. (The law of short-stroking!)

p6ox.png
8mtb.png
     
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post #9 of 41
Let me join to the thread...
Just picked up WD1003FZEX and my test showing even worse results...
What is going on?



Edited by SkyNetSTI - 1/11/14 at 8:46am
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Made in USSR
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post #10 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyNetSTI View Post

Let me join to the thread...
Just picked up WD1003FZEX and my test showing even worse results...
What is going on?




Seems to be common for this drive.

I contacted them (WD) several times and I never got a definitive answer, on top of that their support is slow as...


Your throughput results are like that because I think your drive is half full. Ideally, you should test it when empty. I tested mine on a fresh install of Windows 8.1, so it was only using 20 something GBs.


Yours seems to throw the same access time numbers as mine, so about 16ms.


I believe there's also an overhead introduced by Windows, you can run a benchmark using something like Mint (usb bootable), I always get around 154MB/s and 15.49ms using that, in contrast, HD Tune in Windows always throws 143MB/s and 16.6ms or worse.
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