WD Black 4TB (WD4003FZEX) -

WD Black 4TB (WD4003FZEX)

It hasn’t been that long since we’ve had the latest and greatest 4TB drive from WD with the Black 4TB (WD4001FAEX) and its enterprise counterpart the WD RE 4TB both leaving us impressed with their size and performance. The company is now souping up their existing line of products which boasts performance gains that should impress anyone who is after much higher performance than the previous models, and those were already excellent performing devices. Today we have the WD Black 4TB (WD4003FZEX) for review and we’ll see if WD has upped the desktop drive performance game once again. Read on!

WD Logo

SPECIFICATION

  • Capacities:
    • 1TB WD1003FZEX
    • 2TB WD2003FZEX
    • 3TB WD3003FZEX
    • 4TB WD4003FZEX
  • Interface: SATA 6 Gb/s
  • Rotational Speed: 7,200 RPM (nominal)
  • Buffer Size: 64 MB
  • Load/unload Cycles: 300,000 minimum
  • Buffer To Host (Serial ATA): 6 Gb/s (Max)
  • Formatted Capacity: 4,000,787 MB
  • User Sectors Per Drive: 7,814,037,168
  • Physical Dimensions
    • Height 26.1 mm
    • Depth 147 mm
    • Width 101.6 mm
  • Weight: 0.78 kg
  • Temperature
    • Operating: 32° F to 140° F
    • Non-operating: -40° F to 158° F
  • Power Dissipation
    • Read/Write: 9.50 Watts
    • Idle: 8.10 Watts
    • Standby: 1.30 Watts
    • Sleep: 1.30 Watts
  • Warranty: 5 year

CLOSER LOOK

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The new line of WD Black drives retain the traditional design of any desktop hard drive with nothing special going on it for look. With the 4TB model having 5x 800GB platters, the WD4003FZEX maxes out the dimensions of the 3.5″ form factor.

PERFORMANCE TESTING

Test Setup

Processor: Intel Core i7 3770K 4.4Ghz
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z77N-WIFI
Memory: Kingston HyperX T1 DDR3-2400
Storage: WD Black 4TB (WD4003FZEX), Kingston HyperX 120GB RAID0
PSU: Seasonic X-760W
Cooling: Corsair H100 (Max)

ATTO Disk Benchmark benchmarks a drive’s read and write speeds with increasing file sizes and graphs them.

ATTO Disk Benchmark

Immediately noticeable in this test is the quick surge in performance the drive exhibites. Normally, we see spindle-based drives reach 100MB/s around 8KB sizes but the new WD Black 4TB immediately gets to work at 2KB showing excellent performance from then on peaking at 205MB/s read and almost 190MB/s write. The last drive we saw capable of showing those numbers was the 10K RPM WD 1TB Velociraptor.

For potential write testing, HD Tune was used to measure the drive’s write performance. Again, we focus on the average results for real-world relevance.

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We included an SSD for relative comparison in this test to show you just how capable the new WD Black is. Focusing on the average write results, we can see that the WD Black is nearly performing like the Velociraptor, with 300% more storage that is indeed something to think about.

Crystal Disk Mark is storage benchmarking software was developed by “hiyohiyo” of Japan, and is available for free. Crystal Disk Mark measures sequential, and random read/write speeds of storage devices.

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We’ve taken our compression test files, a collection of images, documents and other files ranging from 1KB to 50MB amounting to 3,310 files for 3.34GB and a single 12GB movie file for our copy tests.

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To measure boot-up time we used BootRacer. BootRacer is a free program that measures Windows boot-up times.

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A drive this large I really don’t picture as a boot drive but its the consumers’ call and in this case we can see Windows 7 SP1 booting up to desktop at 18 seconds.

We hook-up a meter to our SSD HDD see how much it pulls from the PSU during idle and simultaneous read/write load.

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The WD Black series are not touted as energy-saving devices unlike their Green counterparts but hard drives in general don’t suck up that much power.

CONCLUSION

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The gap between SSD and HDD has reached a saturation point and it is a great opportunity for HDD manufacturers to take back the market they lost to SSDs. The WD4003FZEX from the WD Black series shows us just how devoted WD is as a company to improving their product line. Let’s break down the scores:

Performance. The new WD WD4003FZEX shows us performance that is already threatening the position of the WD Velociraptor. With nearly 200MB/s throughput it is clear we’re seeing a new breed of desktop drives that only exists in WD’s product line.

Build Quality. Not much to say here. The drive exudes the WD Black lines tradition of quality feel.

Functionality. The WD4003FZEX large capacities coupled with very good performance figures, the drive will happily accommodate any computing tasks. From large multimedia storage, game drive or scratch disk it will provide a solid boost in performance.

Value. WD puts the WD4003FZEX for a retail price of around $280, lower than the previous models release price putting it in a sweeter position but still way out of reach for the general consumer market. That said, the WD Black is positioned for enthusiasts, power users and professionals seeking more performance from the usual drive. It is still a premium price, but we feel this is reasonable enough.

We have seen many drives from WD come through our test bench and the company has always managed to impress us and the new WD4003FZEX continues that streak proving that there is still more juice to be squeezed-out of hard drives. If you are looking for a large capacity drive with break-neck performance, there is no looking further than the WD Black series. Backed by a 5-year warranty, these drives are the top dog right now in the desktop space.

We give the WD Black FZEX series our B2G Performance Award and my Editor’s Choice Award.

 

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