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Western Digital WD3001FAEX 3TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: I've been running this as a storage drive in my system for almost a month now, and so far I haven't run into any issues. Of course the true test of any drive is the test of time, so I'll just have to wait and see how it holds up over the coming months/years. Luckily my experience with other WD Black drives (and WD drives in general) has been very good thus far. I've been running a 2TB Black for 3 years, no issues so far.

This drive offers good performance considering its spindle speed and platter density, and it also runs relatively cool and quiet considering its platter count (either 4 or 5... idk, more on this later). Subjectively it doesn't sound any louder under heavy workload than my 2TB Black, which is also used for storage. According to HDTune the 3TB Black achieves an average sequential throughput of 146 MB/sec (Max: 167.6 MB/sec, Min: 122.8 MB/sec) and has an access time of 9.4 ms. I managed to get this for $204 with a promotion code. It's not the highest performing 7200 RPM drive on the market, and it definitely isn't the cheapest, but I like the 5yr warranty and general reliability of WD's Black lineup (compared to the 2yr warranty from the competition).

My core system specs include an i7 970, ASUS Rampage III Extreme, 18GB DDR3 1600, GTX 480, and a 240GB Intel SSD 520 (boot drive). I was able to create a single large partition on this drive, which surprised me. I was under the impression that you needed a UEFI motherboard in order to address greater than 2.2TB partitions, but the latest BIOS version for the Rampage III Extreme says that it now supports larger than 2.2TB drives. I was skeptical at first, but sure enough it worked without a problem. Just be sure to use GPT when creating the partition.

Cons: None so far for the drive itself, although the packaging from newegg was bad. I've bought quite a few OEM drives from newegg in the past and they've always arrived properly packaged with two plastic retainers on both ends of the drive to restrict movement during shipping. This time it arrived with nothing but shipping paper pressing it against one side of a large cardboard box. Made me real nervous, but like I said no issues so far.

Other Thoughts: WD silently launched this drive a few months after the 4TB version, and even today there's surprisingly little information about it online. There are no professional reviews available on any tech site that I'm familiar with. I couldn't even find user reviews in forums. The only information I found prior to purchasing this drive came from WD's official documentation, which is quite vague and lacking the comprehensive information I'm interested in (like platter count, and real world benchmarking results). Luckily WD's 4TB Black received much more attention at launch, and based off of those reviews I can probably assume that the 3TB drive shares the same 800GB platter density as its slightly older 4TB sibling. But I'm still uncertain about platter count. As far as I can tell this drive is identical to the 4TB version externally. WD certainly could've gotten away with using 4 platters in this drive, as opposed to the 5 platters in the 4TB version (800 x 4 = 3200). I had concerns about heat, noise, and longevity from a 5 platter drive, so I hoped this wouldn't be the case for the WD's 3TB Black. Unfortunately my benchmarking results seem to suggest that this is in fact a 5 platter drive (physically identical to the 4TB version), with a TB of the inner sectors disabled. This might explain the unusually high minimum throughput results, and the relatively flat performance curve I've been seeing during benchmarking.

Oh, and to Bungle: I don't think you're reviewing the right drive. This is an OEM, you're not supposed to get anything but the bare drive to begin with. And in any case, you base your hard drive purchasing decisions on whether or not a drive comes with the right kind of SATA cable? Really? Self rated tech level of 5... why does this not surprise me?

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Western Digital Red NAS Hard Drive WD30EFRX 3TB IntelliPower 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5
  • Owned For: less than 1 day

Pros: n/a

Cons: n/a

Other Thoughts: @dmntdew: The 2TB partition limit has nothing to do with Windows 7 64 bit, and using a discrete raid controller won't solve the problem. It's an inherent limitation of the BIOS firmware interface, and if you need larger than 2.2TB storage partitions you'll have to upgrade to a newer UEFI firmware motherboard. Fortunately UEFI mobos are now widely available, but they only started becoming available about 1-2 years ago.

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jonathan i.'s Profile

Display Name: jonathan i.

Date Joined: 08/26/05

  • Reviews: 2
  • Helpfulness: 2
  • First Review: 07/23/12
  • Last Review: 07/10/13
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