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High performance high capactiy HDD from Western Digital 12/23/2013
This drive is among the largest HDDs on the market at 3.64TiB in usable space. That’s more than enough for all of my music, photos, videos, and programs at home with room to spare.
Western Digital provides a standard 5-year warranty to protect you against premature hardware failure.
This is a performance HDD, so it turns 7200rpm instead of the 5400/5900rpm of lesser performing large capacity drives.
Despite the seemingly high price of this HDD ($279 at time of this review), the actual price per GB of space is very low compared to smaller capacity drives. This is literally more bang for your buck.
The drive uses a SATA-3 interface and is backwards compatible with the more common SATA-2 interface found on most motherboards older than a couple years; however, peak performance may suffer as a result.
I ran an extended S.M.A.R.T. test on the drive shortly after unboxing which turned up negative for any errors or faults on the drive.
My quick benchmark results proved to be good for a consumer grade mechanical drive:
ATTO Disk Benchmark
162MB/s Write – 173MB/s Read
165MB/s Write – 166MB/s Read
WD does not offer a 4.0TB HDD with 128MB cache to compete with the Seagate Constellation series.
The QR Code on the drive itself brings you to a page that does not even mention the 4TB HDDs offered from WD. It web link definitely needs to be updated.
As a performance drive, the Black series uses slightly more power than 5400/5900rpm economy drives, but most likely this will add up to a few dollars over the lifetime of the disk.
Some users will experience difficulties running older operating systems with 32-bit architecture simply because of the large capacity of the disk. I recommend Windows 7 or 8.1, or Server2008 for a trouble-free install and to ensure you will be able to use the full capacity of the drive.
The entire S.M.A.R.T. test took a little over 7 hours to complete, which brought the HDD temp above 53C, and made considerable vibration and noise until complete.
This is an OEM drive which literally includes nothing in the box except the drive itself. Be sure to purchase a SATA cable separately if you do not have one.
To touch on the comments in saharette’s overly negative 1-egg review dated 12/15/2013, I ran a utility called GSmartControl through Linux to show the true attributes of this drive, and yes the sector size is 512 bytes logical, 4096 bytes physical. I am having zero issues using this drive on my media PC running 64-bit Lubuntu 13.10. Could the architecture of the drive cause premature wear and tear on Linux powered machines? Possibly. But given the outstanding reliability of WD drives, and the 5-year warranty, I myself am not worried about it. I backup my critical data, and so should you. As for an “alliance” between WD and Microsoft, that must be a joke, however would it not make sense for WD to design their drives for optimum performance on Windows powered machines? After all, they only dominate the world computer market with 2 BILLION units…
As for the comment regarding the Eggxpert reviews, please keep in mind that these are unpaid reviewers that simply do what we do to help the community make informed decisions. Most of us are not hardware engineers including myself, but ALL of us are end-users with some sort of technical background and with that we provide quantitative and qualitative reviews geared for other end-users based upon the knowledge and resources of each individual reviewer. As a result, you can guarantee a multitude of unbiased product opinions generated by a broad range of techniques and ultimately provided to the consumers of Newegg.com free of charge.
Thanks to Newegg.com and Western Digital for the WD4003FZEX review sample provided to me.
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