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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
http://forums.ncix.com/forums/?mode=showthread&forum=103&threadid=2544397&pagenumber=1&msgcount=5&subpage=1&product_id=74462

I know my drives, but I don't have experience with all models - I've got to give Lsi of the NCIX Forums credit (no relation to LSI, the company) - he jumps on every new drive and reviews them.
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I love his threads.

Just read the thread. Looks like these drives are winners, despite the lackluster access times in HDTune.

57EAED07-EAF0-4389-BAC79300ECF55F2E.JPG


Edit: Newest batch (as of mid 2013)
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Perks:
-Tuned for low noise levels. May be quieter than Greens.
-High sequential speeds matching the new Seagates.
-No idle noise or chirping; no other 'Seagate strangeness'.
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-Better firmware and NCQ algorithms.

Cons:
-With higher full-drive access times, performance will degrade more if you fill the drive to the brim.
-Not the best candidate for a lone OS-drive.

Quote:
PCMark05 HD score was 11,611 which is better than the scores I've got with 7K3000, 7K1000.D, and even 3TB 7200.14's with CC4H firmware which should have an advantage (due to less head movement with 3 platters).
Beating a 3TB drive in a benchmark like PCMark05 is impressive. It means WD has very intelligent firmware and very good NCQ algorithms in the drive. Keep in mind that larger drives of the same RPM and platter density have an innate speed advantage, because they physically seek less distance. Seeking 600GB in on the new 3TB 3-platter Seagates is only a seek across 20% of the platters, while it would be 60% across on this Blue - and yet somehow application benchmarks favour it. It has to be smarter rearranging of reads/writes. (NCQ) WD Firmware FTW.
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However, I would like to elaborate on the cons I listed. As the drive fills, the most recently added data will end up towards the end - if you install a new game and start playing it, it's at the end of the filled part of the platter. Meanwhile your OS will be at the very start. That means more LONG (slow) seeks. I think this is a great drive for people that have an OS SSD and want a quiet yet high performance secondary drive - but I would not expect exceptional performance when using it as the only drive in a system. As the drive fills up, performance will degrade a bit. (Mind you, it's probably still better than anything 5400RPM.
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I'm eagerly awaiting Lsi finishing his RAID testing. WD drives generally maintain high performance levels in RAID-0 and RAID-1.

Another good quote:
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Interestingly, despite the muted seek performance the drive is so well optimized for workstation tasks that comparing it to a current revision of an Ultrastar 7K3000 3TB (which has fully optimized seek performance vs a Deskstar 7K3000) on PCMark saw the Ultrastar only beating it on 1 phase (virus scan) and scoring ~10% lower on these desktop style tasks. Obviously the Ultrastar's performance will hold up a lot better once it starts to fill up, but WD's tuning of this drive with such low acoustics is certainly impressive. This PCMark score is better than the WD FAEX 1TB Blacks from rev Z3A0 (not 1TB/platter), which scored similarly to the Ultrastar and was the current rev code for quite a while up until very recently.
I have one thing to say - BUY!
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i'm not sure what all this jargon means but if you had to choose for a non-raid setup and just a SSD and HHD for storage, which of these drives would be better for that purpose of being a storage drive.

WD10EZEX
or
WD1003FBYX
or
WD10EFRX

I have all three on their way but I will keep one and send the other 2 back
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The Red and RE4 drives are intended for RAID. The Red is 5400RPM with a 3yr warranty, while the RE4 is 7200RPM with a 5yr warranty.

The Blue is highly optimized for desktop use, is 7200RPM, and is using 1TB platters. It only has a 2yr warranty, but it is quiet, so the pros outweigh the cons. I too would opt for the WD10EZEX.
 

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I was always under the impression that the RE4 drives were Western Digitals best drives for any performance related purpose? I have been saving money to buy one and use my 320GB drive for misc stuff, but should I be looking for a different drive? I do intend to RAID0 after a bit...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nleksan View Post

I was always under the impression that the RE4 drives were Western Digitals best drives for any performance related purpose?
Someone's gotta ask their marketing team why they did this but the new Blue is the way to go.
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by nleksan View Post

I was always under the impression that the RE4 drives were Western Digitals best drives for any performance related purpose? I have been saving money to buy one and use my 320GB drive for misc stuff, but should I be looking for a different drive? I do intend to RAID0 after a bit...
They have very reliable access times, which is important in RAID environments and for servers.

It's less important for desktop use, but for desktop RAID they're still great drives to get.
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Or you can try out the new blues - but I'd wait until LSI finishes his RAID testing before hopping on two of them. The new blues also have reliable max access times, so it's likely they'll perform fine. Just keep in mind you drop from a 5 year warranty to 2 years.
Quote:
Originally Posted by adridu59 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by nleksan View Post

I was always under the impression that the RE4 drives were Western Digitals best drives for any performance related purpose?
Someone's gotta ask their marketing team why they did this but the new Blue is the way to go.
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RE4 drives and Black drives have not yet been updated to 1TB platters. It's either harder to seek accurately at those densities, or they're waiting until all kinks are resolved to avoid any tarnish on the Black name. Regardless, I think they have a winner on their hards - aside from the flubbed Green launch (lots of early deaths), WD hasn't had any major issues with their recent drive launches. Firmware is fine, and reliability is fine. Performance is really really fine.
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WD started making 1TB per platter drives? I can't believe I didn't hear about this.

Edit: So this is essentially Western Digital's Fine-Tune Hitachi Desktar 7K1000.D drive with the same capacities available and double the cache...I wonder how the Seagate 1TB per platter drives compete.

I don't see WD marketing 1TB/platter anywhere on the product page so I assumed that they never decided to upgrade to 1TB platters yet.
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I just got my WD10EZEX today. I'm going to use it to replace my aging 2x250GB RAID 0 as my main OS drive. It's crazy to think that what would've taken eight platters back when I bought these drives now comes on just one platter.

I noticed Kramy stated it's not the best candidate for an OS drive, but hopefully it's good enough for me. The only thing I'm worried about is the slower average access times compared to my current setup. Maybe I'll break down and buy an SSD for my OS drive one of these days.

HD Tune is reporting UDMA Mode 6, which I think is due to me having SATA set to RAID in my BIOS, so I'll have to change that.

EDIT: Just finished doing an extended scan of the drive with WD's utility. It took almost exactly two hours. No problems or reallocated sectors :
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. There was 6 power cycles on the drive when I first started it up, and around 20-30 minutes of use.

Reading the reviews on NewEgg for all HDDs; I saw a lot of people with DOA drives, or drives that failed after a few months. But I have to say, the packing was excellent, and I'm not at all worried about this drive failing any time soon. *Knock on wood*
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My HD Tune results are pretty similar to Kramy's, but I figure I'll post them anyway:
 

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Impressive speeds but yea those access times are pretty bad. Still a good drive but youd be much better off w/ a ssd for your OS and this for w/e else.

Would be curious how much you could cut down the access times w 2x of these shortstroked tho.

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by HybridCore View Post

Edit: So this is essentially Western Digital's Fine-Tune Hitachi Desktar 7K1000.D drive with the same capacities available and double the cache...I wonder how the Seagate 1TB per platter drives compete.
It's going to be their mainstream part, I suspect. They are taking advantage of dense platters to reduce parts costs, increase reliability, and increase profit margins. They'll probably start pushing this model hard - mass producing them will again raise margins, so that they can reduce the MSRP. We may finally see drive prices dropping close to what they used to be.

Cache doesn't do much for a drive - although an advertised stat, pretty much every drive has 'enough' for the platter count/density and ECC type. Doubling it won't automatically provide a huge speed boost. It's all the unadvertised stuff that does. (Platter Density, Firmware, Seeking Style (Quiet/Aggressive), etc.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by HybridCore View Post

I don't see WD marketing 1TB/platter anywhere on the product page so I assumed that they never decided to upgrade to 1TB platters yet.
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They have never advertised platter densities. I couldn't say why - it seems like a good advertising point?
Quote:
Originally Posted by duffman55 View Post

I noticed Kramy stated it's not the best candidate for an OS drive, but hopefully it's good enough for me. The only thing I'm worried about is the slower average access times compared to my current setup. Maybe I'll break down and buy an SSD for my OS drive one of these days.
It's not the best choice because of how performance degrades when full. If your drive is mostly empty, don't worry about it. If you get an SSD one day, you have even less to worry about. The high sequential speeds mean it should perform very well for a lot of tasks.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kramy View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by HybridCore View Post

Edit: So this is essentially Western Digital's Fine-Tune Hitachi Desktar 7K1000.D drive with the same capacities available and double the cache...I wonder how the Seagate 1TB per platter drives compete.
It's going to be their mainstream part, I suspect. They are taking advantage of dense platters to reduce parts costs, increase reliability, and increase profit margins. They'll probably start pushing this model hard - mass producing them will again raise margins, so that they can reduce the MSRP. We may finally see drive prices dropping close to what they used to be.

Cache doesn't do much for a drive - although an advertised stat, pretty much every drive has 'enough' for the platter count/density and ECC type. Doubling it won't automatically provide a huge speed boost. It's all the unadvertised stuff that does. (Platter Density, Firmware, Seeking Style (Quiet/Aggressive), etc.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by HybridCore View Post

I don't see WD marketing 1TB/platter anywhere on the product page so I assumed that they never decided to upgrade to 1TB platters yet.
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They have never advertised platter densities. I couldn't say why - it seems like a good advertising point?
It's rather impressive for a mainstream part. Can't wait to see what a 1TB per platter Caviar Black is going to be like. I'd be happy to consider WD again now that the prices are going to be near or of the same as Seagate's and Hitachi's 1TB per platter drives.

It's only a few MB compared to how much we're going to have in our hard drive. I doubt it would do anything.

It does seem like something they should advertise. It would also make it a lot easier to tell if they are using 1TB platters in their drives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitarist View Post

Why is there such a big deal on only 1 platter drive?
Lower chance of failure?

Oh, and being single platter implies the platter is at least 1TB in size (currently the densest available) - that means very high sequential performance.
 

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Update: I think WD is starting to possibly introduce 1TB-platter Caviar Black drives. I don't know if it is but it might be.

http://wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=760

Look at the WD5003AZEX. It's a possibility because it has similar weight to the other 1TB-platter drives. Short stroked drive?

I don't really know where to look to see if it is or not. I just checked drive size and weight (lower weight = less platters if they use the same weight platters. Component weight will probably vary slightly).
 

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I always consult this guy's site when looking for platter densities: http://rml527.blogspot.com/2010/10/hdd-platter-database-western-digital-35_3899.html
He list the WD5003AZEX as being 1TB / platter with one read/write head.

I probably should have waited for the 1TB single-platter Black drive. Sometimes this WD10EZEX feels seriously quick, like how it gets to the Windows log in screen in 15 seconds from POST and creating thumbnails quickly for videos in a folder I haven't been to in a while. Other times it takes 10-20 seconds just to open a video. I think it might have to do with it doing other things in the background. Is it possible NCQ is causing this? Or maybe this drive just can't do more than one thing at a time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by HybridCore View Post

Update: I think WD is starting to possibly introduce 1TB-platter Caviar Black drives. I don't know if it is but it might be.

http://wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=760

Look at the WD5003AZEX. It's a possibility because it has similar weight to the other 1TB-platter drives. Short stroked drive?
Interesting.

It's doubtful it's short-stroked, but it may be a single-platter single-side drive, which in theory should have exceptional reliability. People deploying builds for businesses might be interested in them, as reliability is often a bigger concern than space.

I have not been able to locate any HDTune benchmarks for them yet, but the product spec sheets indicate sequential speeds that could only be from 1TB platters.

If the access times are good, it might be a winner of a drive. 500GB drives are dropping back into the $50 range. If the WD5003AZEX reaches that price point, it'd be reasonably good value.
Quote:
Originally Posted by duffman55 View Post

I probably should have waited for the 1TB single-platter Black drive. Sometimes this WD10EZEX feels seriously quick, like how it gets to the Windows log in screen in 15 seconds from POST and creating thumbnails quickly for videos in a folder I haven't been to in a while. Other times it takes 10-20 seconds just to open a video. I think it might have to do with it doing other things in the background. Is it possible NCQ is causing this? Or maybe this drive just can't do more than one thing at a time.
It could be your media player. Some take forever to open (Windows Media Player being one of them) while others open really quick. (VLC comes to mind) I'd look into that before blaming the drive. I've seen WMP open fast the first time it launched, then open super slow the second time - it's against all logic at times. Right now I'm using Media Player Classic HC, but I have it (and codecs) installed to SSD. Videos on my WD Green open quite quickly.
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@ Kramy

Hi, I have a question:

Now, I use WD Caviar Black 640GB SATA2 aka WD6401AALS. I have 35GB partition for Win7 x64, and rest of the disk for software (programs and games), so no data.
I saw Your test with WD10EZEX and like it, so my question is: Which 1TB singleplatter SATA3 drive to buy to replace Blacky 640GB for same use (win7 + software - and no data):

WD10EZEX
Hitachi 7K1000.D
Seagate (that new 1TB model)

...or should I wait WD Blacky 1TB Singleplatter
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?

I have SATA3 support on my Asus P8Z77-V board.

In Croatia, prices are more or less the same, few Euro is difference.

SSD is out of the question.
 

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I have been looking for a hard drive for general use, and while I intend to set up a RAID array using RE4 1TB drives in the future, I am finally seeing a drive that stands out, the WD Caviar Black 1TB with 1TB platter, as soon as it's released.
 
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