Western Digital Black 4TB Laborious Drive Assessment

The floods in Thailand last year devastated the storage industry as the region accounts for about half of total hard drive production. Western Digital was among the hardest hit companies, announcing last October that it would, like many other companies, cease operations at the affected locations. In addition to the price hikes, the disaster slowed new product launches as suppliers and manufacturers struggled to get back on track.

It's been a long year of supply bottlenecks and insane bonuses, but things are finally stabilizing and new designs are coming from drive manufacturers like Western Digital who haven't shown much since they launched their first 3TB hard drive two years ago. To compensate for this drought, the company recently introduced new high-speed corporate RE drives and a Red series for Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices.

More recently, WD has added a 4TB model to its Black range. As the flagship of the company's desktop lineup, black drives are designed to strike a balance between speed, capacity, and price. Focusing on this latter point for a moment, it should be noted that while the WD Black 4 TB has a suggested retail price of $ 339, most stores are currently charging between $ 350 and $ 400 for the drive.

Even so, at $ 350, a black 4TB drive is slightly cheaper than a pair of WD Black 2TB drives and much cheaper than the previously released WD RE 4TB (enterprise-grade) drive, which is currently available for $ 480 Dollars is available at retail. Given that we've been spoiled by SSDs for the past few years, we don't expect the new drive's speed to affect the new drive's speed, but it should be fun to compare its performance to other hard drives larger than terabytes, if there is enough capacity what you are looking for

WD Black 4 TB in detail

The Black 4 TB (Model WD4001FAEX) is one of the few 4 TB hard drives available and meets the standard 3.5-inch form factor for hard drives 147 mm (5.78 ") long by 101.6" wide mm (4 inches) and a width of 25.4 mm (1.02 inches). thick and weighs 0.78 kg.

The Black 4TB has a spindle speed of 7200 rpm and an average access time of 4.2 ms. According to Western Digital, it has a drive with a throughput of 154 MB / s, making it the fastest Black hard drive to date.

While the new Black 4TB is significantly cheaper than the enterprise-class RE 4TB (model WD4000FYYZ), it is remarkably similar. The RE 4 TB has a higher MTBF rating of 1.2 million hours as well as advanced factory testing to ensure reliability. The more expensive version also offers a short limited time troubleshooting (TLER), which is beneficial for most RAID setups but might be a bad idea for single-drive configurations.

The technology is designed to prevent hard drives from prematurely failing RAID arrays and forcing rebuilds or, worse, RAID volume loss. However, when used in non-RAID configurations, it can cause performance issues. If a single drive hiccups and the lack of redundant data cannot be corrected, the operating system or device control must wait for the drive to report. This can take a few to a few seconds and causes a system to slow down or hang. Hence, it is obvious why Western Digital removed TLER from the Black series.

Despite these differences, the two are still very similar in design and specifications. The WD Black 4 TB still uses five 800 GB disks instead of four larger 1 TB disks, which is a more power hungry configuration. However, according to Western Digital, the five-platter design optimizes longevity. When reading or writing data, Western Digital indicates a power consumption of 10.4 watts, which drops to 8.1 watts when idling and to 1.2 watts in standby mode.

The Black 4 TB also has dual actuator technology, 64 MB cache, 6 Gbit / s SATA support and a Marvell dual-core controller. The 64MB cache is provided by a Winbond W9751G6JB-25 chip that complies with the DDR2-800 specification using CL5-5-5 timings.

Western Digital has also integrated its StableTrac and NoTouch technologies. The former provides for the motor shaft to be secured at both ends to reduce vibration, which helps stabilize the platters for more accurate tracking during read and write operations, while the latter ensures that the recording heads never touch the platter media, which is significant less allows wear on the recording head and media, and better drive protection for mobile devices.

It's also noteworthy that the Black 4 TB comes with a five-year limited warranty, which should make the cost of this drive well over $ 300 a little more reassuring.

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