Tuesday, November 20th 2012

Western Digital Expands Its Highest-Performing Desktop Hard Drives To 4 TB Capacity

WD, a Western Digital company and a world leader in hard drives, today announced its highest performance, highest capacity desktop hard drive, the WD Black 4 TB, 3.5-inch, 7200 RPM drive. Shipping immediately, the fast performance and ultimate capacity of the award-winning WD Black drives make them perfect for gaming, high-performance desktop systems and workstations.

WD Black hard drives combine 7200 RPM spin speed, 64 MB cache, dual stage actuator technology, SATA 6 gigabits per second (Gb/s) interface, and an integrated dual processor to deliver ultimate performance in a maximum-capacity drive.


"Maximizing the features and functionality of power computing applications such as gaming, multimedia and video editing, the new WD Black 4 TB hard drives offer capacity and performance—without compromise," said Matt Rutledge, vice president of WD's client storage group. "In choosing WD Black hard drives, WD desktop customers get the best possible mix of capacity, performance and reliability to handle intense desktop computing with ease."

WD Black 4 TB hard drives feature the following:

- Dual processor – Twice the processing power to maximize performance.
- Dual actuator technology – A head positioning system with two actuators that improves positional accuracy over the data track(s). The primary actuator provides coarse displacement using conventional electromagnetic actuator principles. The secondary actuator uses piezoelectric motion to fine tune the head positioning to a higher degree of accuracy.
- IntelliSeek – Calculates optimum seek speeds to lower power consumption, noise and vibration.
- StableTrac – The motor shaft is secured at both ends to reduce system-induced vibration and stabilize platters for accurate tracking during read and write operations.
- 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.

Price and Availability
The WD Black 4 TB GB (model WD4001FAEX) hard drives are available through select distributors and resellers. Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the WD Black 4 TB drive is $339.00 USD.
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30 Comments on Western Digital Expands Its Highest-Performing Desktop Hard Drives To 4 TB Capacity

#1
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: Lazzer408
That's my point. I'm sure they (Black vs. RE) have similar physically construction and equally prone to failure but I've had good luck with REs and the Blacks have been fairly reliable compared to other offerings. I was trying to point out that it's a pretty large risk putting 4tb of data on a single drive. Blacks do not support RAID so it's risky business. 4tb is alot of data to do manual backups. Maybe the firmware could be modified? That is the only limiting factor for consumer drives in RAID use. The 4tb capacity may be alluring to people with large media collections. If I had a collection that large, I wouldn't want to loose it and lack of RAID support takes this drive off my list of secure storage options.
I agree, it is a large risk putting 4TB of data in one place. However, RAID is not the solution to that risk, and these drives do support RAID 1 and 0(though you'd have to be insane to run them in RAID-0). Backups are the solution. And they don't have to be manual backups, they make automated backup solutions, several of them free, and two free ones build directly into Windows...
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#2
KissSh0t
Quite amazing... with one of these... ughhh *drooling*
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#3
Lazzer408
by: newtekie1
I agree, it is a large risk putting 4TB of data in one place. However, RAID is not the solution to that risk, and these drives do support RAID 1 and 0(though you'd have to be insane to run them in RAID-0). Backups are the solution. And they don't have to be manual backups, they make automated backup solutions, several of them free, and two free ones build directly into Windows...
Far as I knew only RE supports RAID but the new WD Reds (NAS drives) do support it. You used to be able to turn on TLER in the firmware of the older Blacks but they disabled that now. You can use any drive in a RAID but it's very common for them to drop from the array during an error recovery event. If the 4tb has TLER I'd love a set of them for the NAS. :respect: If not, it's just "bigger is better" consumer junk that people with Hummers can buy because they're compensating for something. :p

3tb Red $169

Western Digital Red WD30EFRX 3TB IntelliPower 64MB...
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#4
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: Lazzer408
Far as I knew only RE supports RAID but the new WD Reds (NAS drives) do support it. You used to be able to turn on TLER in the firmware of the older Blacks but they disabled that now. You can use any drive in a RAID but it's very common for them to drop from the array during an error recovery event. If the 4tb has TLER I'd love a set of them for the NAS. :respect: If not, it's just "bigger is better" consumer junk that people with Hummers can buy because they're compensating for something. :p

3tb Red $169

Western Digital Red WD30EFRX 3TB IntelliPower 64MB...
TLER is only necessary in RAID arrays with more than 2 drives, that is why these drives are only recommended up to 2 drive arrays. In 2 drive arrays any modern controller knows to wait for the drive. I've never had a drive drop from a RAID1 array with 2 drives because of TLER. I have had them drop from RAID 5/6 arrays before though. However, it isn't super common, it is actually quite rare. Most controllers have updated by this point to work with drives without TLER, the exception being the super high end controllers that are actually used in mission critical situations. I tend to stick to Highpoint controllers, and I've never had one kick a drive out of an array because of TLER. I've used Greens, Blues, and Blacks, and never had an issue. I did have an LSI controller kick a Blue out before. I think at this point the Intel onboard controllers are pretty safe too, though maybe not their high end server controllers.

But again, it all comes down to risk the person is willing to take. Having the drives in RAID1 with the slight risk of TLER kicking one of the drives is a heck of a lot better than having a single 4TB drive by itself. But if I had two 4TB drives and I was wasting one to redundancy anyway, I'd just have the second drive setup as an automatic backup of the first and skip the whole RAID issue.
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#5
Lazzer408
The intel controllers I've used (ich7, 8, 9 ,10, etc.) will kick the drive after 10~15sec of the drive being "afk" while it's trying to read a bad sector. Been there, done that, lost data many times. I've ran RAID 0, 1, 10 with various consumer drives and eventually they drop out. If it happens in a stripe your screwed. The problem happens with any array regardless of the number of drives or type of array.

From WD:

RAID-specific, time-limited error recovery (TLER) - "Prevents drive fallout caused by the extended hard drive error-recovery processes common to desktop drives."

What happens is the consumer drives will try multiple times to read a weak or failing sector before marking the sector bad. This can take up to two minutes (according to WD). Sector failure is common. ALL drives eventually relocate sectors. They are relocated over time and when the revovery area is full, SMART will trigger and BIOS reports the drive will inevitably fail or "SMART Hard Drive detects imminent failure". Sector relocation is done to increase production numbers. If only LCD manufactures had it so easy with dead pixles. The larger the drive, the higher the risk of weak, failing, or failed sectors. In a RAID array, the drive has <10sec to recover from an error event or the drive will be flagged as failed and removed from use by the array and reported to the RAID monitoring software. After a reboot it may work again for a day, a week, a month, who knows. Once another error event occurs, it will again be removed from the array. Hope that helps.
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