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WD BLACK SERIES WD3003FZEX 3TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
  • Next-generation desktop performance HD designed to intensify PC experience
  • Improved Architectural Designs, Data Protection. Superior responsiveness
  • 5-year limited warranty
  • $219.99
  • $189.99
  • Save: $30.00 (14%)
  • Free Shipping (restrictions apply)

5 out of 5 eggs WD Black WD3003FZEX 3TB - Highly Recommended 12/11/2013

This review is from: WD BLACK SERIES WD3003FZEX 3TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive

Pros:

WD Black series, 5 year warranty, large capacity with one terabyte platters, 64 MB Cache, SATA Gen3, 6 GB/s capable, 7200 RPM, Native Command Queuing, efficient power profile, and low acoustic levels.

Installation and setup: The disk was quickly installed and easily setup using a GPT partition in windows 8.1 (64 bit); the formatted capacity was 2.72 GB. No problems were identified with the hard drive via a surface test, SMART attributes or by Hard Disk Sentinel PRO.

Benchmarks: Because there are a lot of very good benchmarks and comparisons already posted in other reviews, I decided to add something new and benchmark this drive on a 3 GB/s and a 6 GB/s AHCI Controller, as well as an external USB 3.0 docking station with a compatible SATA-to-USB bridge chip. Noting that 3 GB/s and 6 GB/s AHCI Controller benchmarks are often mixed; I was not surprised by the nominal differences between the two. However, the external docking station performed better than I anticipated.


HD TUNE

Intel(R) ICH10R SATA 3 GB/s AHCI Controller
Transfer Rate Minimum: 113.4 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Maximum: 166.3 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Average: 145.2 MB/sec
Access Time: 9.1 ms
Burst Rate: 196.7 MB/sec

Marvell 9128 SATA 6 GB/s AHCI Controller
Transfer Rate Minimum: 113.4 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Maximum: 167.3 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Average: 145.3 MB/sec
Access Time: 9.1 ms
Burst Rate: 207.4 MB/sec

ORICO 6518SUS3 External USB 3.0 HDD Docki
Transfer Rate Minimum: 113.4 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Maximum: 128.8 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Average: 120.6 MB/sec
Access Time: 9.2 ms
Burst Rate: 99.8 MB/sec

CRYSTAL DISK MARK

Intel(R) ICH10R SATA 3 GB/s AHCI Controller
Sequential Read: 164.689 MB/s
Sequential Write: 162.268 MB/s
Random Read 512KB: 53.862 MB/s
Random Write 512KB: 81.134 MB/s
Random Read 4KB (QD=1): 0.706 MB/s [172.4 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=1): 1.330 MB/s [324.7 IOPS]
Random Read 4KB (QD=32): 1.463 MB/s [357.1 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=32): 1.306 MB/s [318.9 IOPS]

Marvell 9128 SATA 6 GB/s AHCI Controller
Sequential Read: 166.493 MB/s
Sequential Write: 163.202 MB/s
Random Read 512KB: 53.201 MB/s
Random Write 512KB: 79.722 MB/s
Random Read 4KB (QD=1): 0.702 MB/s [171.4 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=1): 1.312 MB/s [320.4 IOPS]
Random Read 4KB (QD=32): 1.425 MB/s [347.8 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=32): 1.346 MB/s [328.6 IOPS]

ORICO 6518SUS3 External USB 3.0 HDD Docking Base
Sequential Read: 136.073 MB/s
Sequential Write: 100.352 MB/s
Random Read 512KB: 50.622 MB/s
Random Write 512KB: 67.150 MB/s
Random Read 4KB (QD=1): 0.751 MB/s [183.4 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=1): 1.460 MB/s [356.4 IOPS]
Random Read 4KB (QD=32): 0.737 MB/s [180.0 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=32): 1.319 MB/s [322.0 IOPS]

Cons:

The drive is not compatible with SATA cable latch connectors. This was the only minor con that I identified based on my preferences.

The price is higher than drives with lesser performance and reliability; this may be a negative if a performance oriented drive is not needed (e.g., a seldom used external backup).

Other Thoughts:

Shipping and packaging: Newegg shipped this OEM drive in a suitable and protective HD bubble enclosure specifically designed for the task. Two Raptors that I purchased a few months ago also shipped in the same protective HD bubble enclosures. This is a LONG NEEDED change and I hope all OEM drives will continue to be shipped in such a manner.

Installation and setup: Because traditional MBR partitioning in Windows is limited to 2.2TB, an EFI/UEFI BIOS, compatible storage controller/firmware/driver and a GPT/GUID partition table will be needed to fully utilize the capacity of this hard drive. While Windows XP and later support GPT, an unsupported BIOS on an older motherboard may be the limiting factor. In this case, Windows dynamic volumes can typically be used to combine two partitions into a single drive letter. If you want to use this drive to boot an OS, I believe that you will need to run a 64-bit version of Windows Vista or above, a 64-bit version of Linux or use a Mac.

WD Support and RMA experiences: I have has three WD RMA’s in the past five years and in all three cases, the drives were replaced with new and equal or greater capacity drives. I think the trick is to play the RMA game according to WD rules. That is, setup the online account, register the drive, run diagnostics, politely consult with technical support but remain firm if they attempt to dismiss a legitimate issue, and then RMA the drive. A drive that will no longer spin up or that becomes inaccessible is a straight forward path to a replacement.

Overall experiences with WD: I have been using Western Digital hard drives for well over two decades and most of my Western Digital hard drives were fully functional when decommissioned for faster and higher capacity drives. I have also used many Seagate, Maxtor, IBM, Toshiba, and Hitachi branded drives. Overall, I have had very good luck with Western Digital Raptor, Black and RE series hard drives based on reliability, longevity, performance and RMA support. I have had comparatively worse experiences with drives from other manufacturers based on reliability and failure rates, performance in some cases, and poor RMA experiences.

I would highly recommend the WD Black WD3003FZEX 3TB for individuals in need of a high performance and large capacity hard drive.

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  • Fredrick P.
  • EggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month


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