Not long ago I had some bad experience with the 4 terabyte Western Digital Black hard drives where the original and the replacement drive where faulty and had to be returned and my money refunded.I was dismayed by the events and decided to stay away from the 4tb black and move on.However I was intrigued by an online discount coupon for the similarly designed 4 terabyte RE WD4000FYYZ series drive and made a hasty purchase of the 4tb RAID Edition which is pretty much a tuned up Black drive.It shares the same 5 platters with a density of 800gb per platter to make up it's 4 terabyte capacity and 10 total read/write head assembly.Both also spin at a 7,200rpm and contains 64mb of ddr2 memory cache and come with a lengthy 5-year warranty.Only major differences are the different firmware and TLER or Time Limited Error Recovery enabled on all RE drives but is completely disabled on the Black series drives.The enabled TLER helps significantly to prevent errors on the disk from causing the drive in RAID arrays from dropping out before the RAID controller times out,stops waiting on the drive to correct itself and drops it from the arraying causing catastrophic data loss or degradation of the array depending on RAID level used.Unlike the Black the RE is designated as an enterprise class drive and is heavily marketed for the role and rightly so.However it is still a hard drive and can be used for any role one should desire.However It's cost of just over $400 will keep it out of sight for most home users.Below is a snippet of information on the features contained within this massive hard drive.
- Highest performance for business-critical applications - WD RE delivers 6 Gb/s transfer rates, sustained sequential data rates of 171 MB/s and high random I/O rates.
- Designed for quality and reliability - With a field-tested 1.2 million hour MTBF,
- this high performance drive delivers the highest level of reliability for 24x7 operation in up to 100% duty cycle applications.
- Dual processor - Twice the processing power to maximize performance.
- Vibration Protection - Enhanced RAFF technology includes sophisticated electronics to monitor the drive and correct both linear and rotational vibration in real time. The result is a significant performance improvement in high vibration environments over the previous generation of drives.
- Multi-axis shock sensor - Automatically detects the subtlest shock events and compensates to protect the data.
- RAID-specific, time-limited error recovery (TLER) - Prevents drive fallout caused by the extended hard drive error-recovery processes common to desktop drives.
- NoTouch ramp load technology - The recording head never touches the disk media ensuring significantly less wear to the recording head and media as well as better drive protection in transit.
- Thermal extended burn-in test - Each drive is put through extended burn in testing with thermal cycling to ensure reliable operation.
- Dynamic fly height technology - Each read-write head's fly height is adjusted in real time for optimum reliability.
All those features above make up for a disk that is not only high performing but reliable and protected under less than optimal operating conditions.This drive while similar as said before to the black is substantially different in the pricing department where the RE version costs nearly $100 more than the Black 4tb drive which can be had for $299.Some of the RE's cost is justifiable for the RAID and reliability features which is of most concern for enterprise users.The other side of justifying costs is the performance which can easily be measured and evaluated.For $400 the drive not only better not fail within warranty but offers top of the class performance when they are similar drives from competitors for less money.I going to run it through some benchmarks and see if it's bark is as worse as it's bite on a consumers wallet.If history is an indicator about RE drives then we should be not be disappointed.
Off the bat the RE shows it's a capable drive with reads ranging from as high as 168 mb/s to as low as 82 mb/s.The disk is capable of sustaining reads of over 100 mb/s for over 70% of it's capacity.The disk is no slouch because of it's capacity.Access time is modest at 12 ms and what is expected from such a large disk.Burst rate is high at 353 mb/s and will devour small files rapidly.Cpu usage is low at 4%.It's good to have components that aren't cpu hogs.
Sequential writes essentially mirror the read results with writes as high as 168 mb/s and as low as 82 mb/s.Again it will sustain transfers of over 100 mb/s for a huge amount of it's capacity. However write access time is much quicker at 3.7 ms.Burst rate is a bit lower at 310 mb/s but it isn't worrisome.Cpu usage picks up a bit when writing at 4.8%.Still not a cpu hog.
ATTO is a excellent benchmark for gauging the performance of your storage with different transfer sizes.The results per transfer size will let you know which transfer size is optimal for your disk.The RE excels with all the larger transfer sizes but appears to favor transfers in the 64,128,and 512 byte range.Between those three transfer size reads peak at 180 mb/s and writes peak at 170 mb/s.Again the RE shows that it is no slouch.
The big RE proves itself as a top class drive in the performance department with relative ease and with it's built in features it stands head and shoulders above all but few drives.The performance out classes it's twin Black drive on all measurable levels.The only measurement that I can say that the Black wins in is the audible department.From my ears the black is quieter than the RE.With that being said that is the only thing the Black has over the RE a drive that while physically the same as the black outperforms it where it matters.I wish Western Digital didn't tone down the performance of the Black series so much in favor of the RE drives as I believe the enabled TLER is a justifiable reason in choosing the RE over the Black as it is intended for RAID setups and only the most idiotic would risk critical data and operations with drives that don't have the feature.With a massive 4 terabyte capacity,excellent tranfer rates across most of it's huge capacity,solid 4k results it's a the best performing 4tb hard drive so far but at a price.I highly recommend the Western Digital 4tb RE it is what the 4tb Black should have been,high performing and most importantly, reliable.
- Huge 4tb capacity
- Excellent transfer rates
- Solid 4k results
- Quick access times