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WD NAS Can't Be Seen In Windows? Here Are The Solutions!

WD NAS Can’t Be Seen In Windows? Here Are The Solutions!

You may be wondering why your WD NAS is no longer visible in Windows 10.

Where did it go? How do you get it back?

Find out why your WD NAS cannot no longer be seen in Windows, and what are the solutions!

 

WD NAS Can’t Be Seen In Windows : What Happened?

You may have been using your WD NAS for some time, but one day, its network share – the “drive” that you directly access – can no longer be seen in Windows 10.

The NAS links in Windows File Explorer will only lead you to the login page for the WD NAS management page, not the actual drive where you can directly read, copy, write or edit your files.

All these NAS issues are happening because Microsoft disabled the Network Browse function from Windows 10 v1709 onwards.

The problems started after Windows 10 Fall Creators Update 1709, which :

The Computer Browser service relies on the SMB 1.0 protocol to discover network devices and display them in the Windows Network Neighbourhood.

Disabling SMB 1.0 breaks the Computer Browser service, so it is automatically uninstalled and your NAS drives “disappear” from Network Neighbourhood.

Disabling guest access prevents guest or public access to your NAS drives, even to folders you specifically set to allow for public access. Hence, the Public folder they had access to earlier “disappears”.

 

Why Did Microsoft Disable Those Network Features?

The SMB1 network protocol was first implemented in Windows back in 1992, so it’s old… very old.

It’s so old that it lacks encryption. Everything transmitted via SMB1 can be captured and read, and even modified, by any attacker who gains access to the network.

Guest logins even on SMB2 do not support standard security features like signing and encryption. This makes them vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks.

That’s why Microsoft (finally) disabled them both, starting with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update 1709.

 

WD NAS Can’t Be Seen In Windows : Before We Start…

Preliminary Step #1 : Update Your NAS

Before you do anything, you should log into your WD NAS management system and update its firmware, in case it’s not already set to automatically update.

Updating its firmware will ensure that your NAS supports at least SMB 2, if not SMB 3 as well.

WD NAS Windows URL macOS URL
My Cloud EX2100 http://wdmycloudex2100 http://wdmycloudex2100.local
My Cloud DL2100 http://wdmyclouddl2100 http://wdmyclouddl2100.local
My Cloud EX4100 http://wdmycloudex4100 http://wdmycloudex4100.local
My Cloud DL4100 http://wdmyclouddl4100 http://wdmyclouddl4100.local

Preliminary Step #2 : Use A Higher SMB Protocol

Then, enable the highest SMB protocol your WD NAS supports (Settings > Network). Set it to SMB 3 if possible.

This will ensure that both your WD NAS and your network support the most secure network protocol possible, for your security.

 

WD NAS Can’t Be Seen In Windows : The Solutions!

Best Solution : Map Your WD NAS By Device Name

The best way is to manually map your WD NAS by its device name. This lets you use the more secure SMB2 or SMB3 network protocols, with direct access to your files as usual.

  1. Determine your WD NAS network path, which is based on the device name.If you changed your WD NAS device name to TechARPCloud (for example), the network name will be \\TechARPCloudHere is a list of default network paths for different WD NAS :
WD NAS Default Network Path
My Cloud Home \\MYCLOUD-last 6 digits of serial number
Example : \\MYCLOUD-123456
My Cloud Home Duo
My Cloud \\WDMYCLOUD
My Cloud Mirror \\WDMYCLOUDMIRROR
My Cloud Mirror Gen 2
My Cloud EX2 \\WDMYCLOUDEX2
My Cloud EX2 Ultra \\MYCLOUDEX2ULTRA
My Cloud EX4 \\WDMYCLOUDEX4
My Cloud EX2100 \\WDMYCLOUDEX2100
My Cloud EX4100 \\WDMYCLOUDEX4100
My Cloud DL2100 \\WDMYCLOUDDL2100
My Cloud DL4100 \\WDMYCLOUDDL4100
My Cloud PR2100 \\MYCLOUDPR2100
My Cloud PR4100 \\MYCLOUDPR2100
  1. Open Windows File Explorer and click on Network on the left pane.
  2. Key in the network path of the WD NAS, which is based on its device name. Make sure you include \\ before the network path.

  1. You will be asked to key in a user name and password.
    This can be the administrator’s login, or the login of any registered user of your WD NAS.
    Remember – Windows 10 no longer allows guest logins or public access. So you will need to create a password-protected account even for guests to use.

  1. Once you successfully authenticate your user name and password, the network shares of your WD NAS will become visible in File Explorer under Network!You can stop here, but you will need to keep keying in the network path and login to access your NAS every time you boot into Windows.

  1. For more convenience, you can create a password-protected Private Share.Start by right-clicking on a network share from your WD NAS and select Map network drive…

  1. Select a drive letter for the network share.
    Check Reconnect at sign-in if you don’t want to automatically log into the drive.
    Then click Finish to map the drive.

That’s it! If you expand This PC in Windows File Explorer, you should now see that the WD NAS network drive has now been mapped by its device name!

 

Alternate Solution : Enable Network Discovery Without SMB1

This Windows 10 workaround can be used if your WD NAS supports SMB2 or SMB3 and you prefer not to map the network drives.

  1. Go to Windows Services.
  2. Start these two services :
    Function Discovery Provider Host
    Function Discovery Resource Publication
  3. Set the Startup type for both those services to Automatic (Delayed Start).
  4. Open Windows File Explorer and go to Network.
  5. When prompted, enable Network Discovery.

Your WD NAS shares should now be visible in Windows File Explorer.

 

Worst Case Solution : Enable Network Discovery Without SMB1

This should only be attempted if your WD NAS simply cannot support SMB2 or SMB3, and can only use SMB1.

  1. Go to Control Panel > Programs.
  2. Click on Turn Windows features on or off.
  3. Expand the SMB 1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support option.
  4. Check the SMB 1.0/CIFS Client option.
  5. Click the OK button.
  6. Restart Windows 10

After Windows 10 restarts, your WD NAS shares should now be visible in Windows File Explorer.

 

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Western Digital Ultrastar DC ME200 Memory Drive Revealed!

Western Digital today announced the Ultrastar DC ME200 Memory Extension Drive – their first product to deliver better in-memory system capacity and performance to drive today’s real-time analytics and business insights.

“Today’s requirement for faster analytics, data processing, cloud services and high-performance computing (HPC) is increasing demand for in-memory computing across a variety of industries, including healthcare, telecommunications and IT, and retail,” said Ashish Nadkarni, group vice president, IDC. “By expanding in-memory capacity, the Ultrastar memory drive helps alleviate the high cost of adding extra DRAM, as well as addresses the physical limitations of available DIMM slots, where scaling is either cost-prohibitive or nearly impossible.”

 

The WD Ultrastar DC ME200 Memory Drive

The Ultrastar DC ME200 memory drive provides cost-efficient, near-DRAM performance for companies to expand memory pools sizes up to 8X the DRAM capacity, while offering substantial CAPEX and OPEX savings.

With larger memory pools, application developers can take advantage of memory-aware performance and capacity optimizations, and expand faster data processing across many applications and workloads. The Ultrastar memory drive is ideal for in-memory applications such as Redis, Memcached, Apache Spark and large-scale databases, providing higher capacities over current storage-class memory products.

The Ultrastar memory drive is drop-in ready and PCIe-device compatible with most Intel x86 servers. Available in 1 TiB, 2 TiB and 4 TiB, the solution requires no modifications to the operating system, system hardware, firmware or application stacks.

For expandability, a 1U server can typically support up to 24TiB of system memory using the Ultrastar DC ME200 drive for in-memory compute clusters. Supported server interfaces are NVMe U.2 and PCIe AIC (add-in-card) HH-HL.

 

The WD Ultrastar DC ME200 Availability

The Ultrastar DC ME200 memory drive is currently available and sampling with select customers.

 

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2018 WD Black 3D NVMe SSD Price + Specifications Revealed!

The WD Black NVMe SSD may be fast, but WD is now introducing a faster WD Black 3D NVMe SSD that combines a new NVMe controller with 3D NAND! Check out the details below!

 

2018 WD Black 3D NVMe SSD Delivers Higher Speeds!

At their recent Computex 2018 showcase, WD demonstrated the performance of the WD Black NVMe SSD. They even showed how they can be used to create an 8TB SSD that is as fast as DDR4 memory!

Today, they introduced the new WD Black 3D NVMe SSD, that features their own SSD architecture and controller, and paired with their 3D NAND. It was engineered from the ground up on a new NVMe architecture, using a new NVMe SSD controller paired with their 3D NAND.

The WD Black 3D NVMe SSD (Price Check) boasts a sequential read speed of up to 3.4 GB/s, and a sequential write speed of up to 2.8 GB/s! It also delivers up to 500,000 random read IOPS, and 400,000 random write IOPS, so it will easily handle any kind of workload, even the most intensive multi-threaded applications.

It comes in three capacities – 1 TB, 500 GB and 250 GB. The 1 TB model can handle up to 600 terabytes of writes (TBW) in its lifetime, while the 500 GB model can handle 300 TBW and the 250 GB model will handle up to 200 TBW.

 

2018 WD Black 3D NVMe SSD Specifications

Specifications1 TB Black 3D NVMe500 GB Black 3D NVMe250 GB Black 3D NVMe
Model NumberWDS100T2X0CWDS500G2X0CWDS250G2X0C
Form FactorM.2 2280M.2 2280M.2 2280
InterfacePOIe 3.0 x8 (4 lanes)POIe 3.0 x8 (4 lanes)POIe 3.0 x8 (4 lanes)
Sequential Read3.4 GB/s3.4 GB/s3.0 GB/s
Sequential Write2.8 GB/s2.4 GB/s1.6 GB/s
Random Read500,000 IOPS410,000 IOPS220,000 IOPS
Random Write400,000 IOPS330,000 IOPS170,000 IOPS
Endurance600 TBW300 TBW200 TBW
MTTF1.75 million hours1.75 million hours1.75 million hours
Average Active Power140 mW110 mW110 mW
Low Power (PS3)100 mW70 mW70 mW
Slumber (PS4)2.5 mW2.5 mW2.5 mW
Operating Temperature0 °C to 70 °C0 °C to 70 °C0 °C to 70 °C
Shock1,500 G1,500 G1,500 G
Operating Vibration5.0 gRMS, 10–2000 Hz, 3 axes5.0 gRMS, 10–2000 Hz, 3 axes5.0 gRMS, 10–2000 Hz, 3 axes
Dimensions22 mm wide
80 mm long
2.38 mm thick
22 mm wide
80 mm long
2.38 mm thick
22 mm wide
80 mm long
2.38 mm thick
Weight7.5 g7.5 g7.5 g
Warranty5 years5 years5 years

 

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2018 WD Black 3D NVMe SSD Price + Availability

The new WD Black 3D NVMe SSD (Price Check) is available at the end of July 2018 at the following price points :

All three models will come with a 5-year limited warranty.

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The SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD Revealed!

Western Digital today launched two portable SSD drives – the My Passport Wireless SSD and the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD. Let’s hear from WD’s Albert Chang on the key features of these new portable SSD drives. He will also introduce the upcoming G-Technology family of professional storage solutions!

 

The SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD

The rugged SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD (Price Check) delivers high-speed transfers with up to 550MB/s read speeds, making it perfect for saving and editing high resolution photos and videos. Its IP55 dust- and water-resistance rating mean it can stand up to hazards such as rain, splashes, spills and dust.

Offered in capacities up to 2 TB, the new SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD (Price Check) is perfect for extensive photo shoots – giving users the capacity to take their portfolio with them on the go, or back up instantly while out in the field.

  • High-speed transfers with up to 550MB/s read speeds
  • Rugged, water- and dust-resistant (IP55 rated)
  • Shock-resistant solid state core for greater durability
  • Compact and designed to fit in the palm of your hand
  • Works with both PC and Mac computers and comes with a 3-year limited warranty

The SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD (Price Check) delivers high-performance and capacity in a pocket-sized drive.

For more on WD portable SSDs, take a look at our coverage of The WD Portable SSD Showcase @ Computex 2018

 

SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD Price + Availability

The SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD (Price Check) has a three-year limited warranty and is available now at all leading IT retail outlets across Malaysia & online stores including Lazada, 11street and Shopee. Here are its Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) :

 

An Introduction To G-Technology

G-Technology is a Western Digital brand that focuses on professional-grade storage solutions. Albert gives us a quick overview of G-Technology, and the kind of storage drives they create.

 

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My Passport Wireless SSD For Photographers Revealed!

Western Digital today launched two portable SSD drives – the My Passport Wireless SSD and the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD. Let’s hear from WD’s Albert Chang on the key features of these new portable SSD drives. He will also introduce the upcoming G-Technology family of professional storage solutions!

 

My Passport Wireless SSD

The new My Passport Wireless SSD (Price Check) is an all in one portable drive that helps preserve photos and videos captured on cameras or drones. The device features one-touch card copy to enable editing and sharing of content out in the field, as well as a new capability to directly access the device within third-party mobile creative apps, like FiLMiC Pro and LumaFusion.

  • Built-in SD card reader with up to 65 MB/s read speeds and one-touch copy button that makes it easy to quickly back up photos and videos from an SD card without a computer or additional software
  • Durable, shock-resistant SSD inside that helps keep content safe from shock, vibrations and drops up to one (1) meter, even when the drive is in operation
  • Fast SSD transfer speeds (up to 390 MB/s read) when using the USB 3.0 port to move files to and from PC or Mac computers
  • All-day battery life (up to 10 hours of continuous use)
  • Wirelessly stream 4K videos and view photos with the My Cloud mobile app
  • RAW image support

For more on WD portable SSDs, take a look at our coverage of The WD Portable SSD Showcase @ Computex 2018

 

My Passport Wireless SSD Price + Availability

The My Passport Wireless SSD (Price Check) is backed by a two-year limited warranty and will be available by end of July 2018 at all leading IT retail outlets across Malaysia & online stores including Lazada, 11street and Shopee. Here are its Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) :

 

An Introduction To G-Technology

G-Technology is a Western Digital brand that focuses on professional-grade storage solutions. Albert gives us a quick overview of G-Technology, and the kind of storage drives they create.

 

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How To Create An 8TB SSD As Fast As DDR4 Memory!

The highlight of the WD Black NVMe SSD showcase at Computex 2018 was the massive 8TB SSD RAID array that is as fast as DDR4-2400 memory! Wonder how they accomplished this? Read on and find out!

Updated at 2018-06-22 : Our sincere apologies. We mixed up the system specifications for this SSD RAID Array. It’s actually an AMD Ryzen Threadripper system. We have since corrected the article to reflect this.

 

This 8TB SSD Is As Fast As DDR4 Memory!

As you can see here, Western Digital hit a throughput of 19 GB/s with the Western Digital Black NVMe SSDs (Price Check)! That is as fast as single-channel DDR4-2400 memory!

 

How To Create This Super-Fast 8TB SSD

The secret? Andrew Vo explains how they created this super-fast 8TB SSD RAID array using the Western Digital Black NVMe SSDs (Price Check) in this video.

This is what you will need, if you plan to replicate their project :

Each WD Black NVMe SSD is capable of a peak transfer rate of 2.8 GB/s (write) to 3.4 GB/s (read), so eight of them would have a theoretical throughput limit of 22.4 to 27.2 GB/s!

To hit 19 GB/s, you need to create a RAID 0 array of those eight 1 TB WD Black NVMe SSDs (Price Check), but you can’t use the motherboard’s RAID feature because you would be limited by the 32 Gbps / 4 GB/s DMI bottleneck.

Intel VROC

The ASUS Hyper M.2 X16 Card (Price Check) supports Intel Virtual RAID on CPU (VROC), which reassigns unused PCIe lanes of an Intel Skylake or Coffee Lake processor to boost transfer rates up to 128 Gbps or 16 GB/s.

Of course, those are the theoretical limits, and the actual throughput will be considerably lower than 16 GB/s. To go beyond that, you will need two ASUS Hyper M.2 X16 Cards (Price Check).

AMD Ryzen Threadripper

However, Western Digital used an AMD Ryzen Threadripper system instead. The Threadripper processor has 64 PCIe lanes – plenty for two Hyper M.2 X16 Card (Price Check).

In the end, Western Digital only hit 19 GB/s with two of these cards. This is 30% lower than the theoretical capability of a perfect RAID 0 array of eight 1 TB WD Black NVMe SSDs (Price Check), and 40% lower than the theoretical capability of two ASUS Hyper M.2 X16 Cards (Price Check).

However, without resorting to this method, a motherboard-based RAID 0 array of eight 1 TB WD Black NVMe SSDs (Price Check) would only deliver a maximum transfer rate of just 4 GB/s. Even that’s in a perfect world.

 

How Much Does This Super-Fast SSD RAID Array Cost?

Each 1 TB WD Black NVMe SSDs (Price Check) currently costs $399.99. So the eight SSDs alone cost a princely US$ 3,192 / € 2,765 / RM 12,779.

The ASUS Hyper M.2 X16 Card (Price Check) is much cheaper at just $59 each. That’s an additional US$ 118 / € 102 / RM 472.

All in, this 8 TB SSD RAID array will set you back US$ 3,247 / € 2,812 / RM 12,999. And that does not include the AMD Ryzen Threadripper system=.

No doubt, this is a very expensive project. But think about it – you now have a massive 8 TB SSD RAID 0 array that is as fast as DDR4-2400 memory!

 

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WD Portable SSD Showcase @ Computex 2018

In addition to their WD Black NVMe SSD showcase, Western Digital also showed off their wide range of portable SSD drives under the SanDisk, WD and G-Technology brands. Join us for our tour of the WD Portable SSD showcase at Computex 2018!

 

The WD Portable SSD Showcas

Western Digital currently has portable SSDs under three brands – SanDisk, WD and G-Technology. Western Digital’s Jared Peck gives us a tour of these portable SSDs, and their key features. He even demonstrates how crushproof the G-DRIVE portable SSD is!

SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD

The SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD is a tough, IP55 dust- and water-resistant drive. It offers capacities up to 2 TB, with transfer rates of up to 550 MB/s.

  • 2 TB SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD : $599
  • 1 TB SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD : $299
  • 500 GB SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD : $139
  • 250 GB SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD : $99

WD My Passport Portable SSD

WD is increasing the capacity of their My Passport SSD drive to 2 TB. It offers up to 540 MB/s in transfer rate, with 256-bit AES hardware encryption built-in.

  • 2 TB WD My Passport Portable SSD : $599
  • 1 TB WD My Passport Portable SSD : $306
  • 512 GB WD My Passport Portable SSD : $139
  • 256 GB WD My Passport Portable SSD : $99

WD My Passport Wireless SSD

The WD My Passport Wireless SSD is the SSD version of the WD My Passport Wireless drive. Designed for photographers on-the-go, it not only comes with an internal battery and WiFi-AC connectivity, it also has a SD card reader built-in.

  • 2 TB WD My Passport Wireless SSD : $799
  • 1 TB WD My Passport Wireless SSD : $499
  • 500 GB WD My Passport Wireless SSD : $299
  • 250 GB WD My Passport Wireless SSD : $199

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G-DRIVE Mobile SSD

The G-Technology G-DRIVE Mobile SSD has a built-in heatsink that keeps the drive cool and makes it crushproof (up to 450 kg / 1000 lbs). It is also IP67 dust- and water-resistant.

  • 2 TB G-DRIVE Mobile SSD : $670
  • 1 TB G-DRIVE Mobile SSD : $299
  • 500 GB G-DRIVE Mobile SSD : $169

G-DRIVE Mobile Pro SSD

The G-DRIVE Mobile Pro SSD uses NVMe and Thunderbolt 3 technologies to achieve transfer rates of up to 2,800 MB/s! It also comes with a heatsink core that doubles as a crushproof cage (up to 450 kg / 1000 lbs).

  • 1 TB G-DRIVE Mobile Pro SSD : $298

G-DRIVE Pro SSD

This is a desktop version of the G-DRIVE Mobile Pro drive above, although it’s arguably portable as well. It has an enterprise-grade SSD inside, with storage capacities of up to 7.68 GB, and transfer rates of up to 2,800 MB/s. You can even daisy-chain multiple G-DRIVE Pro SSDs together.

  • 3.84 TB G-DRIVE Pro SSD : $3,999
  • 1.92 TB G-DRIVE Pro SSD : $1,999
  • 960 GB G-DRIVE Pro SSD : $1,299

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WD Black NVMe SSD Showcase @ Computex 2018

On our second day at Computex 2018, we visited the WD Black NVMe SSD showcase, where Western Digital showed off how they achieved a phenomenal 19 GB/s throughput with this SSD!  They also showcased a number of interesting gaming PCs powered by the WD Black NVMe SSD. Let’s take a look!

 

WD Black NVMe SSD Showcase @ Computex 2018

Western Digital’s Andrew Vo took us on a tour of the WD Black NVMe SSD showcase. He points out that the Western Digital Black NVMe SSD (Price Check) is their first 3D NAND product in the NVMe form factor, delivering 6X the performance of SATA drives.

Here are the WD Black NVMe SSD’s specifications :

Specifications1 TB WD Black NVMe SSD500 GB WD Black NVMe SSD250 GB WD Black NVMe SSD
Model NumberWDS100T2X0CWDS500G2X0CWDS250G2X0C
Storage Capacity1000 GB500 GB250 GB
Form FactorM.2 2280M.2 2280M.2 2280
InterfacePCIe x4 Gen3
- up to 8 Gb/s
PCIe x4 Gen3
- up to 8 Gb/s
PCIe x4 Gen3
- up to 8 Gb/s
Sequential Read Speed3,400 MB/s3,400 MB/s3,000 MB/s
Sequential Write Speed2,800 MB/s2,500 MB/s1,600 MB/s
Random Read Speed2,000 MB/s1,640 MB/s880 MB/s
Random Write Speed1,600 MB/s1,320 MB/s680 MB/s
Endurance600 TBW300 TBW200 TBW
Reliability (MTTF)1.75 million hours1.75 million hours1.75 million hours
Power Consumption (Active)140 W110 W110 W
Power Consumption (Sleep)100 mW70 mW70 mW
Operating Temperature0 °C to 70 °C
32 °F to 158 °F
0 °C to 70 °C
32 °F to 158 °F
0 °C to 70 °C
32 °F to 158 °F
Non-Operating Temperature-55 °C to 85 °C
-67 °F to 185 °F
-55 °C to 85 °C
-67 °F to 185 °F
-55 °C to 85 °C
-67 °F to 185 °F
Shock1,500 G @ 0.5 ms half sine1,500 G @ 0.5 ms half sine1,500 G @ 0.5 ms half sine
Dimensions22 mm wide
80 mm long
2.38 mm thick
22 mm wide
80 mm long
2.38 mm thick
22 mm wide
80 mm long
2.38 mm thick
Weight7.5 g7.5 g7.5 g
Limited Warranty5 years5 years5 years

And here are some purchase links for these Western Digital SSDs :

  • 1 TB Western Digital Black NVMe SSD : $399.99
  • 500 GB Western Digital Black NVMe SSD : $199.99
  • 250 GB Western Digital Black NVMe SSD : $79.99

 

WD Black NVMe SSD Hits 19 GB/s!

Andrew also showed us how they hit a throughput of 19 GB/s with the Western Digital Black NVMe SSDs (Price Check)!

The secret? Use eight 1 TB WD Black NVMe SSDs (Price Check) in a RAID array! Each of those Western Digital SSDs is capable of a peak transfer rate of 2.8 GB/s (write) to 3.4 GB/s (read), so eight of them would have a theoretical throughput limit of 22.4 to 27.2 GB/s!

For more details, read our article – How To Create An 8TB SSD As Fast As DDR4 Memory!

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The WD Gaming PCs @ Computex 2018

Western Digital also showed off several gaming PCs at their showcase. These were set-up for the explicit purpose of letting people try out and see how fast these gaming PCs ran with the WD Black NVMe SSD,

InWin WINBOT Gaming PC

This magnificent gaming PC is built using the InWin WINBOT chassis – an aluminium and plexiglass marvel that supports the largest E-ATX motherboards, and up to four SATA drives. It is available in three colour options – Black + Red, Black + Green and White + Blue.

iBuyPower Snowblind Gaming PC

The iBuyPower Snowblind gaming PC looks like a perfectly ordinary gaming PC, until you notice the transparent LCD display on its side! This large 1280 x 1024 transparent LCD display lets you display anything you want – your favourite photos or video clips – while still letting you see your PC components through it!

 

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WD Purple microSD Cards For 4K Surveillance Revealed!

The new WD Purple microSD cards are purpose-built for the complex and dynamic data demands of modern surveillance cameras and edge systems. Check them out here!

 

WD Purple microSD Cards For 4K Surveillance

Optimized for 24/7 surveillance video capture, the new WD Purple microSD cards support a continuous surveillance workload. They can capture and preserve video in a variety of high-definition and next-generation formats, including 4K Ultra HD video.

The rugged and humidity-resistant design of the new WD Purple microSD cards enable video capture in a wide range of environmental conditions, including outdoors in snowy winters and indoors in hot and humid factory settings.

Optimized for Evolving Data-Centric Surveillance Demands

Designed to support a wide range of video resolutions and surveillance video recording implementations, additional highlights of the new microSD card include:

  • Robust Endurance for Continuous Recording : Supports up to 1,000 PE Cycles
  • Card Health Status Functionality for Easy Card Maintenance : In compatible cameras, a unique health monitor offers reporting capabilities to provide users and system installers valuable information, including the card’s endurance and capacity status, enabling predictive maintenance and taking the “guess work” out of when to service the card.[adrotate group=”2″]
  • High Performance for Next-Generation Video : Offers speeds of up to 80 MB/s sequential read and 50 MB/s sequential write and supports Speed Class 10 and UHS Speed Class 1.
  • Trusted Video Capture in Wide Range of Climates : Designed for use in temperatures ranging from -25°C to 85°C, it enables reliable video capture indoors and outdoors.
  • High Capacity to Capture and Preserve Video if Connection to Network Connection is Lost : Offered in capacities up to 64GB.

 

 

WD Purple microSD Card Price + Availability

The new WD Purple microSD card will be available in Malaysia by end April, at the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of RM 99 for 32GB capacity and RM 159.00 for 64GB capacity. Here are some purchase links for your convenience :

  • 32 GB WD Purple microSD Card (WDD032G1P0A) : $27.88

These microSD cards are available in single and convenient 25-packs for surveillance system installers and integrators.

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The 1TB WD Blue 3D SSD (WDS100T2B0A) Review

The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD is the first Western Digital solid state drive to feature their 64-layer 3D NAND technology that delivers higher storage capacities, performance and endurance, with lower power consumption. Let’s see if the 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD delivers on that promise!

 

The WD Blue 3D NAND SSD Family

The WD Blue 3D NAND SSD family consists of four models built upon the same technology. They mainly differ in storage capacities, with some performance characteristics. Here’s a table comparing their key specifications :

Specifications2 TB WD Blue 3D SSD1 TB WD Blue 3D SSD500 GB WD Blue 3D SSD250 GB WD Blue 3D SSD
Model NumberWDS200T2B0A WDS100T2B0AWDS500G2B0AWDS250G2B0A
Storage Capacity2048 GB (Total)
2000 GB (Effective)
1024 GB (Total)
1000 GB (Effective)
512 GB (Total)
500 GB (Effective)
256 GB (Total)
250 GB (Effective)
Overprovisioning48 GB (2.4 %)24 GB (2.4 %)12 GB (2.4 %)6 GB (2.4 %)
SSD ControllerMarvell 88SS1074-BSW2Marvell 88SS1074-BSW2Marvell 88SS1074-BSW2Marvell 88SS1074-BSW2
NAND Flash Type64-layer WD 3D NAND (BiCS3)64-layer WD 3D NAND (BiCS3)64-layer WD 3D NAND (BiCS3)64-layer WD 3D NAND (BiCS3)
SDRAM CacheNoneNone512 MB DDR3256 MB DDR3
InterfaceSATA 6 Gb/sSATA 6 Gb/sSATA 6 Gb/sSATA 6 Gb/s
Peak Sequential Read560 MB/s560 MB/s560 MB/s550 MB/s
Peak Sequential Write530 MB/s530 MB/s530 MB/s525 MB/s
Random Read I/O95,000 IOPS95,000 IOPS95,000 IOPS95,000 IOPS
Random Write I/O84,000 IOPS84,000 IOPS84,000 IOPS81,000 IOPS
Write Endurance500 TB400 TB200 TB100 TB
Slumber Power56 mW56 mW56 mW56 mW
DEVSLP Power5-12 mW5-12 mW5-7 mW5-7 mW
Mean Time To Failure (MTTF)Up to 1.75 million hoursUp to 1.75 million hoursUp to 1.75 million hoursUp to 1.75 million hours
Ambient Temperature0°C to 70°C (Operating)
-55°C to 85°C (Non-Operating)
0°C to 70°C (Operating)
-55°C to 85°C (Non-Operating)
0°C to 70°C (Operating)
-55°C to 85°C (Non-Operating)
0°C to 70°C (Operating)
-55°C to 85°C (Non-Operating)
Vibration Range5.0 gRMS, 10-2,000 Hz (Operating)
4.9 gRMS, 7-800 Hz (Non-Operating)
5.0 gRMS, 10-2,000 Hz (Operating)
4.9 gRMS, 7-800 Hz (Non-Operating)
5.0 gRMS, 10-2,000 Hz (Operating)
4.9 gRMS, 7-800 Hz (Non-Operating)
5.0 gRMS, 10-2,000 Hz (Operating)
4.9 gRMS, 7-800 Hz (Non-Operating)
Shock1,500 G @ 0.5 ms half sine1,500 G @ 0.5 ms half sine1,500 G @ 0.5 ms half sine1,500 G @ 0.5 ms half sine
Dimensions100.5 mm x 69.85 mm x 7.0 mm100.5 mm x 69.85 mm x 7.0 mm100.5 mm x 69.85 mm x 7.0 mm100.5 mm x 69.85 mm x 7.0 mm
Weight57.9 g37.4 g37.4 g37.4 g
Warranty3 Years3 Years3 Years3 Years

 

The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD Up Close!

The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) comes in a deceptively light cardboard box. Let’s unbox it and take a closer look!

The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) is a low-profile 2.5″ drive, with a thickness of only 7 mm. This is thinner than the regular 9.5 mm drives, making it suitable for all 2.5″ drive bays, even in thin laptops.

Next Page > 3D NAND, nCache 2.0 Technology, SSD Controller & SATA Interface

 

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The WD 3D NAND Technology

Western Digital first announced their 64-layer 3D NAND technology, also known as BiCS3, last year. However, it was only slated for commercial volume production in the first half of 2017.

BiCS3 was developed jointly with their technology and manufacturing partner, Toshiba. It not only uses 64-layers, but also 3-bits-per-cell technology to achieve high capacity (256 to 512 gigabits per chip) and performance at a much lower cost.

 

SanDisk nCache 2.0 Technology

SanDisk nCache 2.0 is a proprietary pseudo-SLC caching technology that greatly increases the write performance of the solid state drive. Here is an old infographic (from their Ultra II SSD) that shows how it works :

A small portion (about 4%) of the NAND memory blocks are set to run in the SLC mode, which allows for a much higher write speed. This SLC portion serves as a fast write cache for all writes to the drive, allowing for write speeds of up to 530 MB/s.

The data is later transferred to the TLC portion using the special On Chip Copy feature. This proprietary feature allows the transfer to occur internally on-die without affecting any other transfers.

In a 1TB drive, about 40 GB is reserved for use as the nCache 2.0 write cache. That translates into an effective write cache size of about 13 GB.

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The Marvell 88SS1074 SSD Controller

The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) uses the Marvell 88SS1074 SSD controller, which boasts the following key features :

  • Supports up to 4 NAND channels, with up to 8 NAND chips per channel
  • Features Marvell’s third-generation NANDEdge low-density parity check (LDPC) technology
  • Supports SATA 3.2 (6.0 Gbps)
  • Toggle 2 and ONFI2 support at up to 400 MT/s
  • Integrated DEVSLP (Device Sleep) mode for low power support
  • Supports 256-bit AES hardware encryption
  • Built on 28 nm CMOS process

The Marvell NANDEdge LDPC technology allows for reliable on-the-fly error correction of the 3-bit TLC flash memory, with minimal impact on latency, performance and power consumption.

However, the Marvell 88SS1074 is likely to fall short in sustained throughput, because it only supports 4 NAND channels. Competing controllers like the Phison S10, for example, boast 8 NAND channels, allowing twice as many NAND chips to be accessed simultaneously.

 

SATA 6 Gb/s Interface

The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) is a Serial ATA drive, with native support for SATA 6 Gb/s interface. It is backward-compatible, so you will have no problem using it with older SATA 3 Gb/s controllers. However, the faster SATA 6 Gb/s interface is necessary for optimal performance because this SSD is capable of a peak transfer rate of 560 MB/s.

Like all Serial ATA drives, it comes with the standard SATA data (left) and power (right) connectors, and is hot-pluggable. That means you can connect and disconnect this solid state drive while the PC is still running. There is no jumper block, because there’s really nothing for you to set. It’s just plug and play!

Next Page > SSD Endurance & Maintenance

 

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SSD Endurance

The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) is rated for a lifetime write lifespan of 400 TBW (Terabytes Written). That does not seem like a lot (equal to overwriting the drive just 400 times), but it is considered enterprise-grade endurance. Many consumer-grade SSDs of equivalent capacity are rated at around 75-100 TBW.

Based on a typical consumer DWPD (Drive Writes Per Day) of 20 GB per day, this 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) will last at least 54 years.

Please note that this long lifespan is due to the large capacity. The 500 GB and 250 GB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSDs are rated at 200 TBW and 100 TBW respectively. That corresponds to an estimated lifespan of 27 years and 13.5 years respectively.

Like all other current SSDs, the 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) comes with certain features to help extend its lifespan :

Wear Levelling

Unlike hard disk drives, flash-based SSDs write and overwrite data in large blocks of 512 KB to 1 MB in size. Even if you only need to write one byte of data, it has to erase and overwrite an entire block. This causes a lot of wear on the memory cells and greatly reduces their lifespan.

To help extend the lifespan of the drive, SSDs perform wear levelling by spreading the writes, so that the flash memory cells have equal wear. The lifespan of the memory cells remain unchanged, but it prevents some of them from failing earlier due to excessive wear.

Write Combine Cache

SSDs also use a write buffer to temporarily store and combine the writes before they are actually written to the flash memory. This reduces the number of block erases required, and consequently, extends the lifespan of the flash memory cells.

The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) uses the aforementioned nCache 2.0 technology instead of a dedicated SDRAM write combine cache. It reserves about 4% of the NAND blocks and uses them in the SLC mode.

The resulting nCache 2.0 write cache may not be as fast as an SDRAM cache, but it is much larger in size. The 1TB WD Blue SSD, for example, boasts a large 1 GB DDR3L memory cache, but that is nothing compared to the 13 GB (or so) SLC cache in the 1TB WD Blue 3D SSD.

TRIM

Current SSDs support the TRIM command, otherwise known as the ATA8-ACS-2 DATA SET MANAGEMENT command. Operating systems that support TRIM (e.g. Microsoft Windows 7) will notify the SSD when data blocks are deleted in the file system. This allows the SSD to perform garbage collection in the background – internally erasing the affected blocks so that they are ready to be written to.

Without the TRIM command, the SSD will not know when a block of data has been deleted by the operating system. When new data is written to the same block of data, it will force the SSD to perform the time-consuming read-erase-modify-write cycle, which not only cripples performance but also increases wear on the affected memory cells.

Multi-Stream

This is a new SSD technology that was introduced in May 2015, as part of the T10 SCSI Standard. Multi-stream greatly improves performance and extends lifespan by reducing or even eliminating garbage collection.

It achieves this by marking data writes that are associated with one another, or have a similar lifetime, with a unique stream ID. This allows the SSD controller to pack all data writes with the same stream ID into the same block.

When the operating system deletes data, it is likely that they are all packed into the same block. If the block has not been written to the SSD, then this eliminates the pending write operation completely. If the block has been written to the SSD, then this would only require that single block to be erased, instead of multiple blocks (which would happen if the data was not all packed into the same block).

 

SSD Maintenance

First of all, you should never, ever defragment solid state drives. Spatial fragmentation of data on the SSD has no effect on its performance. Fragmented data are accessed as quickly as nicely-packed blocks, so it’s pointless to defragment the data blocks. Doing so will only reduce the lifespan of the flash memory cells by putting them under additional wear.

3D NAND flash memory will only last about 1,000 erase/write cycles – about the same as TLC NAND memory. You will want to minimise the number of times each flash memory cell is erased.

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You should also use an operating system that supports the TRIM command. If you are using one of the following operating systems, then you have nothing to worry about :

  • Microsoft Windows 7, or better
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2, or better
  • Linux 2.6.33, or better
  • FreeBSD 8.2, or better
  • Mac OS X Snow Leopard, or better

If not, you should consider upgrading your operating system. Otherwise, you will need to perform manual garbage collection on a regular basis, either using a manufacturer utility, or newer defragmentation software that specifically supports solid state drives.

Basically, these utilities will retrieve the list of free blocks from the operating system’s file system and pass it to the SSD in the form of TRIM commands, so that it will know which blocks to erase internally. Again, these utilities are not necessary if you are using an operating system that supports TRIM.

Next Page > Over-Provisioning, Capacity, Transfer Rate Profile, WinBench Results & Transfer Rate Range

 

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Testing The SanDisk Ultra 3D NAND SSD

Processors Intel Core i7-2600K
Motherboard Intel DP67BG
Memory Four Kingmax 2 GB DDR3-1333 modules
Graphics Card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
SSD & HDD Drives 8 TB Western Digital Gold
1 TB + 120 GB WD Black²
1 TB WD Blue 3D SSD
1 TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD
1 TB WD Blue SSD
1 TB WD VelociRaptor
256 GB OCZ Vector
240 GB HyperX Savage
240 GB Intel 520 Series
160 GB Intel X25-M G2
Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit
Microsoft Windows Vista 32-bit

Testing Methodology

 

Over-Provisioning & Usable Capacity

This 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) has a maximum storage capacity of 1,024 GB, courtesy of eight 128 GB SanDisk 3D NAND chips. Of that, a mere 24 GB has been set aside for garbage collection, wear levelling and replacement of failing blocks.

Ordinarily, the limited 2.4% over-provisioning may impact long-term performance and lifespan. However, Western Digital mitigated that using a large 13 GB pseudo-SLC write cache they call nCache 2.0.

After it is formatted in NTFS, the actual formatted capacity is 1,000,202,039,296 bytes. This is slightly (202 MB) more than the official formatted capacity of 1,000 GB.

With about 124 MB of space allocated to the NTFS file system, the actual usable capacity is just above 1,000 GB.

 

Transfer Rate Profile

We compared the 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) to the 1TB WD Blue SSD. As you can see, it has a sustained throughput of about 378 MB/s, which makes it almost twice as fast as the 1TB WD Blue SSD, which uses TLC NAND memory.

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Business Disk WinBench 99

The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) did very well in this test, beating its brother, the 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) by 17%!

Drive Model Capacity Business Disk
WinMark 99
Difference Useful Links
Intel 520 Series 240 GB 77.7 MB/s + 7.2% Review Lowest $
WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 1 TB 72.5 MB/s Baseline Lowest $
Western Digital Black² 120 GB 63.1 MB/s – 14.9% Review Lowest $
OCZ Vector 256 GB 62.1 MB/s – 16.7% Review Lowest $
SanDisk Ultra 3D 1 TB 62.0 MB/s – 16.9% Review Lowest $
WD Blue SSD 1 TB 62.0 MB/s – 16.9% Review Lowest $
HyperX Savage 240 GB 61.9 MB/s – 17.1% Review Lowest $
Intel X25-M G2 160 GB 50.4 MB/s – 43.8% Review Lowest $
WD VelociRaptor 1 TB 29.8 MB/s – 143.3% Review Lowest $
WD Gold 8 TB 23.3 MB/s – 211.2% Review Lowest $

 

High-End Disk WinBench 99

The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) did very well in the High-End test, beating virtually all other competitors, except for the 240 GB HyperX Savage and the 240 GB Intel 520 Series SSDs.

Drive Model Capacity High-End Disk
WinMark 99
Difference Useful Links
Intel 520 Series 240 GB Beyond limit NA Review Lowest $
OCZ Vector 256 GB Beyond limit NA Review Lowest $
WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 1 TB 283 MB/s Baseline Lowest $
SanDisk Ultra 3D 1 TB 277 MB/s – 2.2% Review Lowest $
HyperX Savage 240 GB 262 MB/s – 8.0% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Black² 120 GB 246 MB/s – 15.0% Review Lowest $
WD Blue SSD 1 TB 220 MB/s – 28.6% Review Lowest $
Intel X25-M G2 160 GB 215 MB/s – 131.6% Review Lowest $
WD VelociRaptor 1 TB 172 MB/s – 164.5% Review Lowest $
WD Gold 8 TB 23.3 MB/s – 212.8% Review Lowest $
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Transfer Rate Range

This chart shows you the range of memory cell-to-controller transfer rates for SSDs, or the range of platter-to-buffer transfer rates from the innermost track to the outermost track in HDDs.

Despite boasting an official peak read speed of 560 MB/s, the 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) could only hit 386 MB/s. That is impressive in its own right, but puts it below the 256 GB OCZ Vector and the 240 GB HyperX Savage SSDs.

Next Page > IO Meter Benchmark Results

 

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IO Meter

We compared the 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) against the 1TB WD Blue SSD. If you wish to see how the SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD compares to other solid state drives, take a look at our Solid State Drive Performance Comparison Guide, which we will be updating shortly.

 

Throughput (Random Access)

Test 1 TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
512 KB Read 371.71 MB/s 239.84 MB/s + 55.0%
512 KB Write 488.55 MB/s 257.09 MB/s + 90.0%
4 KB Read 32.48 MB/s 24.93 MB/s + 30.3%
4 KB Write 75.94 MB/s 53.31 MB/s + 42.4%

The small random reads and writes are the most important tests for applications that make a lot of random accesses, so these would be key performance indicators for SSDs that are often used as boot drives.

The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) did incredibly well in this test, solidly beating the 1TB WD Blue SSD. Thanks to its built-in nCache 2.0 technology, it delivered almost twice the large random write performance of the 1TB WD Blue SSD!

 

Random Access Time

Test 1 TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
512 KB Read 1.41 ms 2.19 ms – 35.5%
512 KB Write 1.07 ms 2.04 ms – 47.4%
4 KB Read 0.13 ms 0.17 ms – 25.1%
4 KB Write 0.05 ms 0.08 ms – 29.8%

The random write performance of the 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) was truly stellar, in comparison to the 1TB WD Blue SSD.

 

Random CPU Utilization

Test 1 TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
512 KB Read 29.50 % 7.16 % + 312.0%
512 KB Write 30.12 % 7.31 % + 312.3%
4 KB Read 32.53 % 9.94 % + 227.2%
4 KB Write 35.72 % 11.91 % + 199.9%

The only downside – the 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) uses up a lot more CPU performance than the 1TB WD Blue SSD. About 3X more CPU performance, on average!

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IO Meter (Sequential Accesses)

We compared the 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) against the 1TB WD Blue SSD. If you wish to see how the SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD compares to other solid state drives, take a look at our Solid State Drive Performance Comparison Guide, which we will be updating shortly.

 

Sequential Throughput

Test 1 TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
512 KB Read 510.62 MB/s 250.14 MB/s + 104.1%
512 KB Write 494.55 MB/s 255.54 MB/s + 93.5%
4 KB Read 84.74 MB/s 63.35 MB/s + 33.8%
4 KB Write 75.98 MB/s 59.15 MB/s + 28.5%

The sequential read and write performance indicators determine how fast you can copy and move files. This is also important in determining how fast you can launch an application or game.

The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) did marvellously in this test, coming in twice as fast as the 1TB WD Blue SSD in large, sequential reads and writes.  It also had a large boost in small sequential read and write performance.

 

Sequential Access Time

Test 1 TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
512 KB Read 1.03 ms 2.10 ms – 51.2%
512 KB Write 1.06 ms 2.05 ms – 48.3%
4 KB Read 0.05 ms 0.07 ms – 26.7%
4 KB Write 0.05 ms 0.07 ms – 22.4%

 

Sequential CPU Utilization

Test 1 TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
512 KB Read 29.61 % 8.69 % + 240.7%
512 KB Write 29.11 % 5.76 % + 405.4%
4 KB Read 36.38 % 15.93 % + 128.4%
4 KB Write 35.69 % 15.42 % + 131.5%

Again, the 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) took up a significant amount of CPU processing power.

Next Page > IOPS Scaling Results

 

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IOPS Scaling (Random)

In these tests, we tested the drive’s ability to tackle multiple input/output operations. We compared the 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) against the 1TB WD Blue SSDFor more performance comparisons, please take a look at the Solid State Drive Performance Comparison Guide.

Even though the 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) is rated for enterprise-class endurance, its Marvell 88SS1074 controller is just not capable of handling too many simultaneous operations. It appears to handle up to 8 simultaneous transactions.

Its nCache 2.0 technology appears to have compensated for its limited NAND channels, allowing it greatly supersede the performance of the 1TB WD Blue SSD, even though they both use the same SDD controller.

 

4 KB Random Read

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
1 7,928 IOPS 6,086 IOPS + 30.3%
8 46,297 IOPS 38,444 IOPS + 20.4%
32 64,051 IOPS 36,145 IOPS + 77.2%

 

4 KB Random Write

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
1 18,539 IOPS 13,015 IOPS + 42.5%
8 49,559 IOPS 39,066 IOPS + 26.9%
32 51,495 IOPS 39,115 IOPS + 31.6%

 

512 KB Random Read

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
1 709 IOPS 457 IOPS + 55.0%
8 1,075 IOPS 537 IOPS + 100.4%
32 1,077 IOPS 544 IOPS + 97.9%

 

512 KB Random Write

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB WD Blue 3D SSD 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
1 932 IOPS 490 IOPS + 90.0%
8 946 IOPS 522 IOPS + 81.4%
32 961 IOPS 522 IOPS + 84.3%
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IOPS Scaling (Sequential)

In these tests, we tested the drive’s ability to tackle multiple input/output operations. We compared the 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) against the 1TB WD Blue SSDFor more performance comparisons, please take a look at the Solid State Drive Performance Comparison Guide.

The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) did much better than the 1TB WD Blue SSD, even though they both use the same SDD controller.

 

4 KB Sequential Read

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
1 20,688 IOPS 15,466 IOPS + 33.8%
8 66,011 IOPS 41,425 IOPS + 59.4%
32 65,146 IOPS 37,963 IOPS + 71.6%

 

4 KB Sequential Write

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB WD Blue 3D SSD 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
1 18,550 IOPS 14,440 IOPS + 28.5%
8 49,505 IOPS 38,840 IOPS + 27.5%
32 54,477 IOPS 39,188 IOPS + 39.0%

 

512 KB Sequential Read

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
1 974 IOPS 477 IOPS + 104.1%
8 1,079 IOPS 544 IOPS + 98.3%
32 1,065 IOPS 540 IOPS + 97.2%

 

512 KB Sequential Write

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
1 943 IOPS 487 IOPS + 93.5%
8 1,025 IOPS 521 IOPS + 96.5%
32 1,026 IOPS 521 IOPS + 96.8%

Next Page > AS SSD Benchmark Results

 

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AS SSD Benchmark

AS SSD Benchmark is a simple and easy-to-use SSD benchmark by Alex Intelligent Software. It not only tests the drive’s sequential transfer rates and access times, but also its performance at both single-threaded and multi-threaded 4K IOPS.

 

Sequential Transfers

Drive Model Read + Write Average Difference Quick Links
HyperX Savage 516.0 MB/s + 1.9% Price, Review
WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 506.6 MB/s Baseline Price
OCZ Vector 500.3 MB/s – 1.2% Price, Review
SanDisk Ultra 3D 493.5 MB/s – 2.6% Price, Review
Intel 520 Series 293.9 MB/s – 42.0% Price, Review
Western Digital Black² 280.6 MB/s – 44.6% Price, Review
WD Blue SSD 260.2 MB/s – 48.6% Price, Review
Intel X25-M G2 179.0 MB/s – 64.7% Price, Review

 

Single-Threaded 4K IOPS Performance

Drive Model Read + Write Average Difference Quick Links
WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 48.2 MB/s Baseline Price
SanDisk Ultra 3D 48.1 MB/s – 0.2% Price, Review
Intel 520 Series 45.7 MB/s – 5.1% Price, Review
HyperX Savage 40.2 MB/s – 16.5% Price, Review
OCZ Vector 38.6 MB/s – 19.9% Price, Review
Western Digital Black² 35.0 MB/s – 27.4% Price, Review
WD Blue SSD 31.7 MB/s – 34.2% Price, Review
Intel X25-M G2 30.7 MB/s – 36.3% Price, Review
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Multi-Threaded 4K IOPS Performance

Drive Model Read + Write Average Difference Quick Links
SanDisk Ultra 3D 347.3 MB/s + 1.5% Price, Review
WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 342.3 MB/s Baseline Price
OCZ Vector 338.6 MB/s – 1.1% Price, Review
HyperX Savage 257.8 MB/s – 24.7% Price, Review
WD Blue SSD 193.6 MB/s – 43.5% Price, Review
Intel 520 Series 177.5 MB/s – 48.2% Price, Review
Western Digital Black² 164.9 MB/s – 51.8% Price, Review
Intel X25-M G2 125.2 MB/s – 63.4% Price, Review

 

Access Time

Drive Model Read + Write Average Difference Quick Links
HyperX Savage 0.065 ms – 13.4% Price, Review
OCZ Vector 0.067 ms – 10.1% Price, Review
WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 0.075 ms Baseline Price
SanDisk Ultra 3D 0.076 ms + 1.3% Price, Review
WD Blue SSD 0.078 ms + 4.7% Price, Review
Intel X25-M G2 0.089 ms + 18.8% Price, Review
Western Digital Black² 0.119 ms + 59.1% Price, Review
Intel 520 Series 0.162 ms + 116.8% Price, Review

Next Page > ATTO Disk Benchmark Results, Verdict, Award & Prices

 

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ATTO Disk Benchmark

ATTO Disk Benchmark is a free benchmark that allows you to compare the performance of solid state drives using a variety of transfer sizes. It also allows us to determine if the SSD performs data compression to improve performance, and extend lifespan.

 

I/O Comparison

Results Compressible Data Non-Compressible Data
Minimum Maximum Minimum Maximum
Read Speed 6.5 MB/s 145.1 MB/s 5.8 MB/s 143.6 MB/s
Write Speed 5.6 MB/s 137.2 MB/s 6.1 MB/s 134.2 MB/s

The Marvell 88SS1074 controller does not perform any data compression, which is why the performance results are the same for both compressible and non-compressible data. The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) reached its peak transfer rate with a block size of 1 MB.

 

Multiple I/O Comparison

Results Compressible Data Non-Compressible Data
Minimum Maximum Minimum Maximum
Read Speed 8.8 MB/s 147 2 MB/s 10.2 MB/s 147.5 MB/s
Write Speed 8.3 MB/s 139.6 MB/s 9.0 MB/s 136.5 MB/s

With just 8 simultaneous transactions, the 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) reached its peak transfer rate with a block size of 128 KB.

 

Our Verdict & Award

The first 1 terabyte solid state drive we tested was the 1TB WD Blue (WDS100T1B0A) SSD. While it had a large storage capacity, high endurance and a affordable price point, it was not particularly fast.

That changed with the introduction of the 64-layer 3D NAND technology, which not only increases storage capacity and performance, but also reduces cost and power consumption. Now we can have our cake and eat it too.

The 1TB WD Blue 3D SSD (Price Check) is the first Western Digital solid state drive to make use of the 64-layer 3D NAND technology and it sure impressed us with its performance.

Despite using the same SSD controller as the 1TB WD Blue, the 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) was twice as fast in large reads and writes. It accomplished this without using any SDRAM cache, thanks to nCache 2.0 technology.

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The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) will work well as a boot drive, thanks to its excellent small random performance. It will be particularly attractive as an upgrade option for laptops still running on hard disk drives, or smaller SSDs.

Just note that its high performance requires a significant amount of CPU performance. So make sure you pair it with a fast processor.

We like its combination of great performance, large storage capacity and lower cost so much, we think it deserves our Editor’s Choice Award. Great work, Western Digital!

 

WD Blue 3D NAND SSD Prices & Warranty

The WD Blue 3D SSDs are available in storage capacities from 250 GB to 2 TB in the 2.5-inch / 7mm cased drive form factor, at the following price points :

  • 2TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD : $520.97 | RM 3,800
  • 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD : $259.99 | RM 1,596 (MSRP : RM 2,000)
  • 500GB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD : $134.99 | RM 777 (MSRP : RM 1,100)
  • 250GB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD : $83.19 | RM 458 (MSRP : RM 620)

The WD Blue 3D SSD is also available in the single-sided M.2 2280 form factor.

All WD Blue 3D NAND SSDs come with a three-year limited warranty.

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How To Choose The Best Drive For Your PC

Western Digital colour-codes their hard disk drives not to make the drives look sexier, or to help sell more hard disk drives. They created the WD drive colours to help users understand the distinct advantages or use of each drive family. In this article, Western Digital will help us show you how to choose the best drive for your PC.

 

Every Drive Has A Purpose

There is no better person than Albert Chang, Senior Manager of Product Marketing at WD Asia Pacific, to explain why every drive has a purpose. He also points out a key point that users often forget to factor when consumers purchase a drive – the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership).

That’s right. The TCO is often overlooked, because that is ultimately the price you are paying over the lifetime of a drive. So make sure you don’t just buy the cheapest possible drive, because that may result in a high TCO… including the loss of priceless data.

 

Introducing The Five WD Drive Colours

Here is a quick primer on the five WD drive colours, and how they can help you determine the best drive for your PC.

Now, let’s take a closer look at each WD drive colour, and find out what advantages each drive colour boasts!

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WD Blue For Mainstream PCs

The WD Blue (Price Check) family are focused on offering highly-affordable drives with large storage capacities.

The WD Blue family does not just consist of hard disk drives. Western Digital also offers WD Blue SSHDs (solid state hybrid drives) and WD Blue SSDs (solid state drives).

For more information, you can read these WD Blue articles :

 

WD Black For High Performance PCs

The WD Black family (Price Check) is targeted at power users and gamers who want the fastest possible hard disk drives for their PCs.

The WD Black drives offer a much higher spindle speed, a very large cache, and a fast processor. For more information, you can read these WD Black articles :

 

WD Red For NAS Storage

The WD Red (Price Check) family of NAS drives is specifically designed for the “always on” environment of a NAS enclosure. They run cooler and vibrate less, greatly increasing their reliability and lifespan in NAS enclosures.

The WD Red drives are also optimised for NAS usage patterns (80% reads, 20% writes), so you will be able to access your files faster than with a regular hard disk drive.

For more information, you can read these WD Red articles :

 

WD Purple For Surveillance

WD Purple drives (Price Check) are designed to handle the high-temperature, “always-on” environment of the CCTV and DVR systems. Regular drives will fail quickly under such conditions.

They are also designed to handle multiple video streams without dropped frames, or gaps in recorded footage… and do this 24/7 without rest!

For more information on the WD Purple, and why it is the best drive for surveillance and CCTV systems, please read :

 

WD Gold For Datacenters

Qualified for nearline storage use in datacenters, datacenter hard disk drives like WD Gold (Price Check) are designed to offer high storage capacities at maximum performance and reliability while operating continuously 24 hours a day in large drive arrays.

So if you want nothing but the best drive to secure your company’s data, there can be no doubt that the WD Gold (Price Check) is the ultimate storage solution.

For more information, you can read these WD Gold articles :

 

What Is The Best Drive For YOU?

The WD drive colours make it extremely simple for you to choose the best drive for the job.

If you want the best hard disk drive for your gaming PC or laptop, the WD Black drives are your best options.

If you just need to store a large amount of data at very low cost, the WD Blue drives are your best bet.

If you have a NAS enclosure, you will not want to use any other drives but WD Red drives for better performance and reliability.

If you have a CCTV system, you will not want to use any other drives but WD Purple drives for stutter-free recording and a long lifespan.

If you are running a server, you will want the high performance and exceptional reliability of the WD Gold drives.

See? The WD drive colours make it extremely easy for you to find the best drive for the job!

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Disclosure

This post was sponsored by Western Digital.

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The 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (SDSSDH3-1T00) Review

The 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD is the first SanDisk solid state drive to feature their 64-layer 3D NAND technology that delivers higher storage capacities, performance and endurance, with lower power consumption. Let’s see if the 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD delivers on that promise!

 

The SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD Family

The SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD family consists of four models built upon the same technology. They mainly differ in storage capacities, with some performance characteristics. Here’s a table comparing their key specifications :

Specifications2 TB SanDisk Ultra 3D1 TB SanDisk Ultra 3D500 GB SanDisk Ultra 3D250 GB SanDisk Ultra 3D
Model NumberSDSSDH3-2T00SDSSDH3-1T00SDSSDH3-500GSDSSDH3-250G
Storage Capacity2048 GB (Total)
2000 GB (Effective)
1024 GB (Total)
1000 GB (Effective)
512 GB (Total)
500 GB (Effective)
256 GB (Total)
250 GB (Effective)
Overprovisioning48 GB (2.4 %)24 GB (2.4 %)12 GB (2.4 %)6 GB (2.4 %)
SSD ControllerMarvell 88SS1074-BSW2Marvell 88SS1074-BSW2Marvell 88SS1074-BSW2Marvell 88SS1074-BSW2
NAND Flash Type64-layer WD 3D NAND (BiCS3)64-layer WD 3D NAND (BiCS3)64-layer WD 3D NAND (BiCS3)64-layer WD 3D NAND (BiCS3)
SDRAM CacheNoneNone512 MB DDR3256 MB DDR3
InterfaceSATA 6 Gb/sSATA 6 Gb/sSATA 6 Gb/sSATA 6 Gb/s
Peak Sequential Read560 MB/s560 MB/s560 MB/s550 MB/s
Peak Sequential Write530 MB/s530 MB/s530 MB/s525 MB/s
Random Read I/O95,000 IOPS95,000 IOPS95,000 IOPS95,000 IOPS
Random Write I/O84,000 IOPS84,000 IOPS84,000 IOPS81,000 IOPS
Write Endurance500 TB400 TB200 TB100 TB
Slumber Power56 mW56 mW56 mW56 mW
DEVSLP Power5-12 mW5-12 mW5-7 mW5-7 mW
Ambient Temperature Range0°C to 70°C (Operating)0°C to 70°C (Operating)0°C to 70°C (Operating)0°C to 70°C (Operating)
Vibration Range5.0 gRMS, 10-2,000 Hz (Operating)
4.9 gRMS, 7-800 Hz (Non-Operating)
5.0 gRMS, 10-2,000 Hz (Operating)
4.9 gRMS, 7-800 Hz (Non-Operating)
5.0 gRMS, 10-2,000 Hz (Operating)
4.9 gRMS, 7-800 Hz (Non-Operating)
5.0 gRMS, 10-2,000 Hz (Operating)
4.9 gRMS, 7-800 Hz (Non-Operating)
Shock1,500 G @ 0.5 ms half sine1,500 G @ 0.5 ms half sine1,500 G @ 0.5 ms half sine1,500 G @ 0.5 ms half sine
Warranty3 Years3 Years3 Years3 Years
Dimensions100.5 mm x 69.85 mm x 7.0 mm100.5 mm x 69.85 mm x 7.0 mm100.5 mm x 69.85 mm x 7.0 mm100.5 mm x 69.85 mm x 7.0 mm

 

The 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD Up Close!

The 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) comes in a deceptively light cardboard box. Let’s unbox it and take a closer look!

The 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) is a low-profile 2.5″ drive, with a thickness of only 7 mm. This is thinner than the regular 9.5 mm drives, making it suitable for all 2.5″ drive bays, even in thin laptops.

Next Page > 3D NAND, nCache 2.0 Technology, SSD Controller & SATA Interface

 

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The WD 3D NAND Technology

Western Digital first announced their 64-layer 3D NAND technology, also known as BiCS3, last year. However, it was only slated for commercial volume production in the first half of 2017.

BiCS3 was developed jointly with their technology and manufacturing partner, Toshiba. It not only uses 64-layers, but also 3-bits-per-cell technology to achieve high capacity (256 to 512 gigabits per chip) and performance at a much lower cost.

 

SanDisk nCache 2.0 Technology

SanDisk nCache 2.0 is a proprietary pseudo-SLC caching technology that greatly increases the write performance of the solid state drive. Here is an old infographic (from their Ultra II SSD) that shows how it works :

A small portion (about 4%) of the NAND memory blocks are set to run in the SLC mode, which allows for a much higher write speed. This SLC portion serves as a fast write cache for all writes to the drive, allowing for write speeds of up to 530 MB/s.

The data is later transferred to the TLC portion using the special On Chip Copy feature. This proprietary feature allows the transfer to occur internally on-die without affecting any other transfers.

In a 1TB drive, about 40 GB is reserved for use as the nCache 2.0 write cache. That translates into an effective write cache size of about 13 GB.

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The Marvell 88SS1074 SSD Controller

The 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) uses the Marvell 88SS1074 SSD controller, which boasts the following key features :

  • Supports up to 4 NAND channels, with up to 8 NAND chips per channel
  • Features Marvell’s third-generation NANDEdge low-density parity check (LDPC) technology
  • Supports SATA 3.2 (6.0 Gbps)
  • Toggle 2 and ONFI2 support at up to 400 MT/s
  • Integrated DEVSLP (Device Sleep) mode for low power support
  • Supports 256-bit AES hardware encryption
  • Built on 28 nm CMOS process

The Marvell NANDEdge LDPC technology allows for reliable on-the-fly error correction of the 3-bit TLC flash memory, with minimal impact on latency, performance and power consumption.

However, the Marvell 88SS1074 is likely to fall short in sustained throughput, because it only supports 4 NAND channels. Competing controllers like the Phison S10, for example, boast 8 NAND channels, allowing twice as many NAND chips to be accessed simultaneously.

 

SATA 6 Gb/s Interface

The 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) is a Serial ATA drive, with native support for SATA 6 Gb/s interface. It is backward-compatible, so you will have no problem using it with older SATA 3 Gb/s controllers. However, the faster SATA 6 Gb/s interface is necessary for optimal performance because this SSD is capable of a peak transfer rate of 560 MB/s.

Like all Serial ATA drives, it comes with the standard SATA data (left) and power (right) connectors, and is hot-pluggable. That means you can connect and disconnect this solid state drive while the PC is still running. There is no jumper block, because there’s really nothing for you to set. It’s just plug and play!

Next Page > SSD Endurance & Maintenance

 

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SSD Endurance

The 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) is rated for a lifetime write lifespan of 400 TBW (Terabytes Written). That does not seem like a lot (equal to overwriting the drive just 400 times), but it is considered enterprise-grade endurance. Many consumer-grade SSDs of equivalent capacity are rated at around 75-100 TBW.

Based on a typical consumer DWPD (Drive Writes Per Day) of 20 GB per day, this 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) will last at least 54 years.

Please note that this long lifespan is due to the large capacity. The 500 GB and 250 GB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSDs are rated at 200 TBW and 100 TBW respectively. That corresponds to an estimated lifespan of 27 years and 13.5 years respectively.

Like all other current SSDs, the 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) comes with certain features to help extend its lifespan :

Wear Levelling

Unlike hard disk drives, flash-based SSDs write and overwrite data in large blocks of 512 KB to 1 MB in size. Even if you only need to write one byte of data, it has to erase and overwrite an entire block. This causes a lot of wear on the memory cells and greatly reduces their lifespan.

To help extend the lifespan of the drive, SSDs perform wear levelling by spreading the writes, so that the flash memory cells have equal wear. The lifespan of the memory cells remain unchanged, but it prevents some of them from failing earlier due to excessive wear.

Write Combine Cache

SSDs also use a write buffer to temporarily store and combine the writes before they are actually written to the flash memory. This reduces the number of block erases required, and consequently, extends the lifespan of the flash memory cells.

The 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) uses the aforementioned nCache 2.0 technology instead of a dedicated SDRAM write combine cache. It reserves about 4% of the NAND blocks and uses them in the SLC mode.

The resulting nCache 2.0 write cache may not be as fast as an SDRAM cache, but it is much larger in size. The 1TB WD Blue SSD, for example, boasts a large 1 GB DDR3L memory cache, but that is nothing compared to the 13 GB (or so) SLC cache in the 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD.

TRIM

Current SSDs support the TRIM command, otherwise known as the ATA8-ACS-2 DATA SET MANAGEMENT command. Operating systems that support TRIM (e.g. Microsoft Windows 7) will notify the SSD when data blocks are deleted in the file system. This allows the SSD to perform garbage collection in the background – internally erasing the affected blocks so that they are ready to be written to.

Without the TRIM command, the SSD will not know when a block of data has been deleted by the operating system. When new data is written to the same block of data, it will force the SSD to perform the time-consuming read-erase-modify-write cycle, which not only cripples performance but also increases wear on the affected memory cells.

Multi-Stream

This is a new SSD technology that was introduced in May 2015, as part of the T10 SCSI Standard. Multi-stream greatly improves performance and extends lifespan by reducing or even eliminating garbage collection.

It achieves this by marking data writes that are associated with one another, or have a similar lifetime, with a unique stream ID. This allows the SSD controller to pack all data writes with the same stream ID into the same block.

When the operating system deletes data, it is likely that they are all packed into the same block. If the block has not been written to the SSD, then this eliminates the pending write operation completely. If the block has been written to the SSD, then this would only require that single block to be erased, instead of multiple blocks (which would happen if the data was not all packed into the same block).

 

SSD Maintenance

First of all, you should never, ever defragment solid state drives. Spatial fragmentation of data on the SSD has no effect on its performance. Fragmented data are accessed as quickly as nicely-packed blocks, so it’s pointless to defragment the data blocks. Doing so will only reduce the lifespan of the flash memory cells by putting them under additional wear.

3D NAND flash memory will only last about 1,000 erase/write cycles – about the same as TLC NAND memory. You will want to minimise the number of times each flash memory cell is erased.

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You should also use an operating system that supports the TRIM command. If you are using one of the following operating systems, then you have nothing to worry about :

  • Microsoft Windows 7, or better
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2, or better
  • Linux 2.6.33, or better
  • FreeBSD 8.2, or better
  • Mac OS X Snow Leopard, or better

If not, you should consider upgrading your operating system. Otherwise, you will need to perform manual garbage collection on a regular basis, either using a manufacturer utility, or newer defragmentation software that specifically supports solid state drives.

Basically, these utilities will retrieve the list of free blocks from the operating system’s file system and pass it to the SSD in the form of TRIM commands, so that it will know which blocks to erase internally. Again, these utilities are not necessary if you are using an operating system that supports TRIM.

Next Page > Over-Provisioning, Capacity, Transfer Rate Profile, WinBench Results & Transfer Rate Range

 

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Testing The SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD

Processors Intel Core i7-2600K
Motherboard Intel DP67BG
Memory Four Kingmax 2 GB DDR3-1333 modules
Graphics Card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
SSD & HDD Drives 8 TB Western Digital Gold
1 TB + 120 GB WD Black²
1 TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD
1TB WD Blue SSD
1 TB WD VelociRaptor
256 GB OCZ Vector
240 GB HyperX Savage
240 GB Intel 520 Series
160 GB Intel X25-M G2
120 GB OCZ Vertex 2 (E)
Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit
Microsoft Windows Vista 32-bit

Testing Methodology

 

Over-Provisioning & Usable Capacity

This 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) has a maximum storage capacity of 1,024 GB, courtesy of eight 128 GB SanDisk 3D NAND chips. Of that, a mere 24 GB has been set aside for garbage collection, wear levelling and replacement of failing blocks.

Ordinarily, the limited 2.4% over-provisioning may impact long-term performance and lifespan. However, SanDisk mitigated that using a large 13 GB pseudo-SLC write cache they call nCache 2.0.

After it is formatted in NTFS, the actual formatted capacity is 1,000,202,039,296 bytes. This is slightly (202 MB) more than the official formatted capacity of 1,000 GB.

With about 124 MB of space allocated to the NTFS file system, the actual usable capacity is just above 1,000 GB.

 

Transfer Rate Profile

We compared the 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) to the 1TB WD Blue SSD. As you can see, it has a sustained throughput of about 410 MB/s, which makes it almost twice as fast as the 1TB WD Blue SSD, which uses TLC NAND memory.

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Business Disk WinBench 99

The 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) virtually matched the 1TB WD Blue SSD in this test.

Drive Model Capacity Business Disk
WinMark 99
Difference Useful Links
Intel 520 Series 240 GB 77.7 MB/s + 25.3% Review Lowest $
OCZ Vertex 2 (E) 120 GB 74.4 MB/s + 20.0% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Black² 120 GB 63.1 MB/s + 1.8% Review Lowest $
OCZ Vector 256 GB 62.1 MB/s + 0.2% Review Lowest $
SanDisk Ultra 3D 1 TB 62.0 MB/s Baseline Lowest $
WD Blue SSD 1 TB 62.0 MB/s Review Lowest $
HyperX Savage 240 GB 61.9 MB/s – 0.2% Review Lowest $
Intel X25-M G2 160 GB 50.4 MB/s – 23.0% Review Lowest $
WD VelociRaptor 1 TB 29.8 MB/s – 51.9% Review Lowest $
WD Gold 8 TB 23.3 MB/s – 62.4% Review Lowest $

 

High-End Disk WinBench 99

The 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) did very well in the High-End test, beating virtually all other competitors, except for the 240 GB HyperX Savage and the 240 GB Intel 520 Series SSDs.

Drive Model Capacity High-End Disk
WinMark 99
Difference Useful Links
Intel 520 Series 240 GB Beyond limit NA Review Lowest $
OCZ Vector 256 GB Beyond limit NA Review Lowest $
SanDisk Ultra 3D 1 TB 277 MB/s Baseline Lowest $
HyperX Savage 240 GB 262 MB/s – 5.7% Review Lowest $
OCZ Vertex 2 (E) 120 GB 250 MB/s – 10.8% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Black² 120 GB 246 MB/s – 12.6% Review Lowest $
WD Blue SSD 1 TB 62.0 MB/s – 25.9% Review Lowest $
Intel X25-M G2 160 GB 215 MB/s – 128.8% Review Lowest $
WD VelociRaptor 1 TB 172 MB/s – 161.0% Review Lowest $
WD Gold 8 TB 23.3 MB/s – 208.3% Review Lowest $
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Transfer Rate Range

This chart shows you the range of memory cell-to-controller transfer rates for SSDs, or the range of platter-to-buffer transfer rates from the innermost track to the outermost track in HDDs.

Despite boasting an official peak read speed of 560 MB/s, the 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) could only hit 411 MB/s. That is impressive in its own right, but puts it below the 256 GB OCZ Vector and the 240 GB HyperX Savage SSDs.

Next Page > IO Meter Benchmark Results

 

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IO Meter

We compared the 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) against the 1TB WD Blue SSD. If you wish to see how the SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD compares to other solid state drives, take a look at our Solid State Drive Performance Comparison Guide, which we will be updating shortly.

 

Throughput (Random Access)

Test 1 TB SanDisk Ultra 3D 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
512 KB Read 388.48 MB/s 239.84 MB/s + 62.0%
512 KB Write 494.05 MB/s 257.09 MB/s + 92.2%
4 KB Read 31.57 MB/s 24.93 MB/s + 26.6%
4 KB Write 75.97 MB/s 53.31 MB/s + 42.5%

The small random reads and writes are the most important tests for applications that make a lot of random accesses, so these would be key performance indicators for SSDs that are often used as boot drives.

The 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) did incredibly well in this test, solidly beating the 1TB WD Blue SSD. Thanks to its built-in nCache 2.0 technology, it delivered almost twice the large random write performance of the 1TB WD Blue SSD!

 

Random Access Time

Test 1 TB SanDisk Ultra 3D 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
512 KB Read 1.35 ms 2.19 ms – 38.3%
512 KB Write 1.06 ms 2.04 ms – 48.0%
4 KB Read 0.13 ms 0.17 ms – 22.8%
4 KB Write 0.05 ms 0.08 ms – 29.9%

The random write performance of the 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) was truly stellar, in comparison to the 1TB WD Blue SSD.

 

Random CPU Utilization

Test 1 TB SanDisk Ultra 3D 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
512 KB Read 30.21 % 7.16 % + 321.9%
512 KB Write 29.72 % 7.31 % + 306.8%
4 KB Read 32.15 % 9.94 % + 223.4%
4 KB Write 35.61 % 11.91 % + 199.0%

The only downside – the 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) uses up a lot more CPU performance than the 1TB WD Blue SSD. About 3X more CPU performance, on average!

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IO Meter (Sequential Accesses)

We compared the 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) against the 1TB WD Blue SSD. If you wish to see how the SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD compares to other solid state drives, take a look at our Solid State Drive Performance Comparison Guide, which we will be updating shortly.

 

Sequential Throughput

Test 1 TB SanDisk Ultra 3D 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
512 KB Read 511.36 MB/s 250.14 MB/s + 104.4%
512 KB Write 494.07 MB/s 255.54 MB/s + 93.3%
4 KB Read 84.83 MB/s 63.35 MB/s + 33.9%
4 KB Write 75.63 MB/s 59.15 MB/s + 27.9%

The sequential read and write performance indicators determine how fast you can copy and move files. This is also important in determining how fast you can launch an application or game.

The 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) did marvellously in this test, coming in twice as fast as the 1TB WD Blue SSD in large, sequential reads and writes.  It also had a nice boost in small sequential read and write performance.

 

Sequential Access Time

Test 1 TB SanDisk Ultra 3D 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
512 KB Read 1.02 ms 2.10 ms – 51.2%
512 KB Write 1.06 ms 2.05 ms – 48.3%
4 KB Read 0.05 ms 0.07 ms – 26.8%
4 KB Write 0.05 ms 0.07 ms – 22.1%

 

Sequential CPU Utilization

Test 1 TB SanDisk Ultra 3D 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
512 KB Read 30.17 % 8.69 % + 247.1%
512 KB Write 30.11 % 5.76 % + 422.7%
4 KB Read 36.07 % 15.93 % + 126.4%
4 KB Write 35.74 % 15.42 % + 131.9%

Again, the 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) took up a significant amount of CPU processing power.

Next Page > IOPS Scaling Results

 

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IOPS Scaling (Random)

In these tests, we tested the drive’s ability to tackle multiple input/output operations. We compared the 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) against the 1TB WD Blue SSDFor more performance comparisons, please take a look at the Solid State Drive Performance Comparison Guide.

Even though the 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) is rated for enterprise-class endurance, its Marvell 88SS1074 controller is just not capable of handling too many simultaneous operations. It appears to handle up to 8 simultaneous transactions.

Its nCache 2.0 technology appears to have compensated for its limited NAND channels, allowing it greatly supersede the performance of the 1TB WD Blue SSD, even though they both use the same SDD controller.

 

4 KB Random Read

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB SanDisk Ultra 3D 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
1 7,706 IOPS 6,086 IOPS + 26.6%
8 46,752 IOPS 38,444 IOPS + 21.6%
32 64,618 IOPS 36,145 IOPS + 78.8%

 

4 KB Random Write

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB SanDisk Ultra 3D 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
1 18,547 IOPS 13,015 IOPS + 42.5%
8 49,086 IOPS 39,066 IOPS + 25.6%
32 52,569 IOPS 39,115 IOPS + 34.4%

 

512 KB Random Read

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB SanDisk Ultra 3D 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
1 741 IOPS 457 IOPS + 62.0%
8 1,078 IOPS 537 IOPS + 101.0%
32 1,078 IOPS 544 IOPS + 98.1%

 

512 KB Random Write

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB SanDisk Ultra 3D 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
1 942 IOPS 490 IOPS + 92.2%
8 952 IOPS 522 IOPS + 82.4%
32 966 IOPS 522 IOPS + 85.2%
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IOPS Scaling (Sequential)

In these tests, we tested the drive’s ability to tackle multiple input/output operations. We compared the 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) against the 1TB WD Blue SSDFor more performance comparisons, please take a look at the Solid State Drive Performance Comparison Guide.

The 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) did much better than the 1TB WD Blue SSD, even though they both use the same SDD controller.

 

4 KB Sequential Read

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB SanDisk Ultra 3D 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
1 20,709 IOPS 15,466 IOPS + 33.9%
8 65,241 IOPS 41,425 IOPS + 57.5%
32 65,160 IOPS 37,963 IOPS + 71.6%

 

4 KB Sequential Write

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB SanDisk Ultra 3D 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
1 18,465 IOPS 14,440 IOPS + 27.9%
8 51,812 IOPS 38,840 IOPS + 33.4%
32 50,670 IOPS 39,188 IOPS + 29.3%

 

512 KB Sequential Read

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB SanDisk Ultra 3D 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
1 975 IOPS 477 IOPS + 104.4%
8 1,070 IOPS 544 IOPS + 96.6%
32 1,045 IOPS 540 IOPS + 93.4%

 

512 KB Sequential Write

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB SanDisk Ultra 3D 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
1 942 IOPS 487 IOPS + 93.3%
8 1,048 IOPS 521 IOPS + 100.9%
32 1,008 IOPS 521 IOPS + 93.4%

Next Page > AS SSD Benchmark Results

 

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AS SSD Benchmark

AS SSD Benchmark is a simple and easy-to-use SSD benchmark by Alex Intelligent Software. It not only tests the drive’s sequential transfer rates and access times, but also its performance at both single-threaded and multi-threaded 4K IOPS.

 

Sequential Transfers

Drive Model Read + Write Average Difference Quick Links
HyperX Savage 516.0 MB/s + 4.6% Price, Review
OCZ Vector 500.3 MB/s + 1.4% Price, Review
SanDisk Ultra 3D 493.5 MB/s Baseline Price
Intel 520 Series 293.9 MB/s – 40.4% Price, Review
Western Digital Black² 280.6 MB/s – 43.1% Price, Review
WD Blue SSD 260.2 MB/s – 47.3% Price, Review
Intel X25-M G2 179.0 MB/s – 63.7% Price, Review
OCZ Vertex 2 (E) 172.3 MB/s – 65.1% Price, Review

 

Single-Threaded 4K IOPS Performance

Drive Model Read + Write Average Difference Quick Links
SanDisk Ultra 3D 48.1 MB/s Baseline Price
Intel 520 Series 45.7 MB/s – 4.9% Price, Review
OCZ Vertex 2 (E) 40.6 MB/s – 15.5% Price, Review
HyperX Savage 40.2 MB/s – 16.3% Price, Review
OCZ Vector 38.6 MB/s – 19.7% Price, Review
Western Digital Black² 35.0 MB/s – 27.3% Price, Review
WD Blue SSD 31.7 MB/s – 34.1% Price, Review
Intel X25-M G2 30.7 MB/s – 36.2% Price, Review
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Multi-Threaded 4K IOPS Performance

Drive Model Read + Write Average Difference Quick Links
SanDisk Ultra 3D 347.3 MB/s Baseline Price
OCZ Vector 338.6 MB/s – 2.5% Price, Review
HyperX Savage 257.8 MB/s – 25.8% Price, Review
WD Blue SSD 193.6 MB/s – 44.3% Price, Review
Intel 520 Series 177.5 MB/s – 48.9% Price, Review
Western Digital Black² 164.9 MB/s – 52.5% Price, Review
Intel X25-M G2 125.2 MB/s – 64.0% Price, Review
OCZ Vertex 2 (E) 122.1 MB/s – 64.9% Price, Review

 

Access Time

Drive Model Read + Write Average Difference Quick Links
HyperX Savage 0.065 ms – 14.6% Price, Review
OCZ Vector 0.067 ms – 11.3% Price, Review
SanDisk Ultra 3D 0.076 ms Baseline Price
WD Blue SSD 0.078 ms + 3.3% Price, Review
Intel X25-M G2 0.089 ms + 17.2% Price, Review
Western Digital Black² 0.119 ms + 57.0% Price, Review
OCZ Vertex 2 (E) 0.148 ms + 95.4% Price, Review
Intel 520 Series 0.162 ms + 113.9% Price, Review

Next Page > ATTO Disk Benchmark Results, Verdict & Award

 

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ATTO Disk Benchmark

ATTO Disk Benchmark is a free benchmark that allows you to compare the performance of solid state drives using a variety of transfer sizes. It also allows us to determine if the SSD performs data compression to improve performance, and extend lifespan.

 

I/O Comparison

Results Compressible Data Non-Compressible Data
Minimum Maximum Minimum Maximum
Read Speed 11.6 MB/s 426.1 MB/s 11.6 MB/s 427.1 MB/s
Write Speed 7.6 MB/s 526.3 MB/s 7.6 MB/s 525.1 MB/s

The Marvell 88SS1074 controller does not perform any data compression, which is why the performance results are the same for both compressible and non-compressible data. The 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) reached its peak transfer rate with a block size of 1 MB.

 

Multiple I/O Comparison

Results Compressible Data Non-Compressible Data
Minimum Maximum Minimum Maximum
Read Speed 25.8 MB/s 559 2 MB/s 26.7 MB/s 580.5 MB/s
Write Speed 16.2 MB/s 538.1 MB/s 16.1 MB/s 538.1 MB/s

With just 8 simultaneous transactions, the 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) reached its peak transfer rate with a block size of 128 KB.

 

Our Verdict & Award

The first 1 terabyte solid state drive we tested was the 1TB WD Blue (WDS100T1B0A) SSD. While it had a large storage capacity, high endurance and a affordable price point, it was not particularly fast.

That changed with the introduction of the 64-layer 3D NAND technology, which not only increases storage capacity and performance, but also reduces cost and power consumption. Now we can have our cake and eat it too.

The 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) is the first SanDisk solid state drive to make use of the 64-layer 3D NAND technology and it sure impressed us with its performance.

Despite using the same SSD controller as the 1TB WD Blue, the 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) was twice as fast in large reads and writes. It accomplished this without using any SDRAM cache, thanks to nCache 2.0 technology.

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The 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) will work well as a boot drive, thanks to its excellent small random performance. It will be particularly attractive as an upgrade option for laptops still running on hard disk drives, or smaller SSDs.

Just note that its high performance requires a significant amount of CPU performance. So make sure you pair it with a decent processor.

We like its combination of great performance, large storage capacity and lower cost so much, we think it deserves our Editor’s Choice Award. Great work, SanDisk!

 

SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD Price Check

The SanDisk Ultra 3D SSDs are available in storage capacities from 250 GB to 2 TB in the 2.5-inch / 7mm cased drive form factor.

Go Back To > First Page | Reviews | Home

 

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The SanDisk iXpand Base Fast Charging + Backup For iPhone

SanDisk just unveiled a unique fast charging and backup solution for iPhone users – the SanDisk iXpand Base! It automatically backs up your important data whenever you recharges your iPhone. Check it out!

 

The SanDisk iXpand Base Revealed!

An extension of the award-winning SanDisk line of iPhone mobile storage solutions, the iXpand Base is designed for consumers who are looking for a convenient way to back up their iPhone photos, videos and contacts.

With the SanDisk iXpand Base, all you have to do is simply plug your iPhone into the iXpand Base and it will automatically back up your iPhone’s content while it is charging. The iXpand Base comes with storage capacities from 32 GB all the way to 256 GB, and can be used to backup multiple iPhones.

The SanDisk iXpand Base has a built-in 15 W (5 V @ 3A) fast charger that is fully compatible with the fast charging technology introduced in the latest Apple iPhone X. However, it does not come with its own Lightning cable.

Although SanDisk does not mention it, the storage is provided via an SD card inserted into an SD card slot at the back. This means you can remove the SD card to extract the stored data if you wish, or swap out the existing SD card for a larger capacity card later.

 

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Price & Availability

The SanDisk iXpand Base is now available at Apple Premium Reseller stores, 11street, Lazada and Shopee across Malaysia with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of :

  • 64 GB : RM 369 (~US$ 88) / US : $69.99
  • 128 GB : RM 529 (~US$ 126) / US : $99.99
  • 256 GB : RM 899 (~US$ 214) / US : $149.99

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The WD My Cloud Home Storage Solution Revealed!

Western Digital just revealed their latest personal cloud solution for the layperson – the new WD My Cloud Home! It does not just support a family’s multitude of mobile devices, it’s designed to work like a home appliance – intuitively, and with minimal setup!

 

Introducing The WD My Cloud Home

With every family owning multiple mobile devices, there is an explosion of digital content creation with the need to consolidate and store all of that content. The demand for storage is expected to grow even more with the introduction of virtual reality content, 360-degree photos and videos, as well as 4K and even 8K video recording capability.

To address this issue, Western Digital is introducing the My Cloud Home – a new personal cloud storage solution for the layperson.

With the My Cloud Home solution, you can easily aggregate all of your photos, videos and files from every smartphone, computer, USB storage device, and even your cloud and social media accounts into one central place.

All of that is privately accessible using your smartphone, tablet or computer from anywhere with an Internet connection. But if you want, you can choose to share your content with family and friends, no matter where they are around the world!

The My Cloud Home is available as single bay, and dual-bay My Cloud Home Duo models, with storage capacities from 2 TB all the way to 16 GB. Because it has two drives, the My Cloud Home Duo models can be set to run at half capacity, for data protection using its RAID 1 mirroring feature.

 

Price & Availability

The My Cloud Home series is backed by a two-year limited warranty and is available now at all leading IT and consumer electronics stores across Malaysia with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of:

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  • 2TB : RM 739 / ~US$ 176
  • 4TB : RM 1,059 / ~US$ 252
  • 8TB : RM 1,459 / ~US$ 347

The dual-bay My Cloud Home Duo is also backed by a two-year limited warranty and is available now, with an MSRP of:

  • 4TB : RM 1,599 / ~US$ 381
  • 6TB : RM 1,999 / ~US$ 476
  • 8TB : RM 2,499 / ~US$ 595
  • 16TB : RM 3,459 / ~US$ 824
  • 20TB : RM 4,399 / ~US$ 1,047

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WD Introduces MAMR Technology For 40TB & Beyond!

October 13, 2017 — Western Digital just announced a breakthrough innovation for delivering ultra-high capacity hard disk drives (HDDs) to meet the future demands of Big Data with proven data center-level reliability. They also demonstrated world’s first microwave-assisted magnetic recording (MAMR) HDD and presentations from company executives and the inventor of MAMR technology, Professor Jimmy Zhu from Carnegie Mellon University.

Western Digital also showcased advancements in micro actuation and Damascene recording head technology. Western Digital expects to begin shipping ultra-high capacity MAMR HDDs in 2019 for use in data centers that support Big Data applications across a full range of industries.

 

The MAMR Technology

MAMR is one of two energy-assisted technologies that Western Digital has been developing for years. They recently innovated a breakthrough in material and process that provides the required reliable and predictable performance, as well as the manufacturability to accelerate areal density and cost improvements to an estimated average of 15% per year.

Developments in the other energy-assisted technology, specifically, heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR), present new material science and reliability challenges that are not a factor in MAMR. Only MAMR demonstrates the reliability and cost profile that meets the demands of data center operators.

At the heart of the company’s innovation breakthrough is the “spin torque oscillator” used to generate a microwave field that increases the ability to record data at ultra-high density without sacrificing reliability. Western Digital’s innovative MAMR technology is expected to offer over 4 terabits-per-square-inch over time. With sustained improvements in recording density, MAMR promises to enable hard drives with 40TB of capacity and beyond by 2025, and continued expansion beyond that timeframe.

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Western Digital’s MAMR technology is the latest innovation to significantly improve areal densities. It builds upon a number of other leading innovations from the company. In addition to HelioSeal helium-filled drive technology, MAMR also builds upon the company’s micro actuation and recording head manufacturing technologies.

Western Digital’s advanced micro actuation technology for data center applications enables hard drives to accurately and reliably position magnetic heads for writing and reading at ultra-high densities. Their head manufacturing operations are the only internal supplier to utilize Damascene processing to manufacture heads with the precise tolerances and complex structures required for reliable and cost-effective recording at ultra-high densities.

The Damascene process also provides the capability to embed the spin torque oscillator that enables the manufacturing of MAMR heads. The combination of these technologies deliver superior total cost of ownership (TCO) across all sizes of cloud and enterprise data centers.

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The WD + SanDisk SSDs With 64-Layer 3D NAND Revealed!

Western Digital earlier announced the development of 64-layer and 96-layer 3D NAND technologies, and now, they are introducing the availability of consumer-grade WD Blue 3D NAND SSDs and SanDisk Ultra 3D SSDs. These are the world’s first consumer-grade solid state drives that use the 64-layer 3D NAND technology to deliver lower power consumption with higher performance, endurance and capacities.

 

The WD + SanDisk SSDs With 64-Layer 3D NAND Technology

Targeting DIY enthusiasts, resellers and system builders, the WD Blue 3D NAND SATA SSDs boast an industry-leading 1.75 million hours MTTF, as well as the quality backing of WD Functional Integrity Testing Lab (F.I.T. Lab) certification.

The SanDisk Ultra 3D SSDs, on the other hand, are intended for gaming and creative enthusiasts who want to improve their PCs. The product delivers enhanced endurance and reliability, no-wait boot-up, shorter application load times, and quicker data transfers.

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The WD 3D NAND Technology

Western Digital first announced their 64-layer 3D NAND technology, also known as BiCS3, last year. However, it was only slated for commercial volume production in the first half of 2017.

BiCS3 was developed jointly with their technology and manufacturing partner, Toshiba. It not only uses 64-layers, but also 3-bits-per-cell technology to achieve high capacity (256 to 512 gigabits per chip) and performance at a much lower cost.

 

Availability & Pricing

The WD Blue 3D NAND SATA SSDs and SanDisk Ultra 3D SSDs are available in storage capacities from 250 GB to 2 TB in the traditional 2.5-inch / 7mm cased drive form factor. They have the same MSRP:

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The WD Blue 3D NAND SATA SSDs are also available in the single-sided M.2 2280 form factor at the following prices:

All WD Blue 3D NAND SATA and SanDisk Ultra 3D SSDs come with a three-year limited warranty.

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The 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) Hard Disk Drive Review

The popularity of Network-Attached Storage (NAS) systems has fuelled a surge in demand for large capacity hard disk drives. This interest led Western Digital to create the WD Red NAS-optimised family of hard disk drives. Today, we are going to look at the first helium-filled WD Red model – the 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) NAS drive!

 

The WD Red Family

The WD Red family of NAS-optimised hard disk drives, with storage capacities from 750 GB all the way to 10 TB. Here is a specification comparison of the five key models:

Specifications10TB WD Red8TB WD Red6TB WD Red5TB WD Red4TB WD Red
ModelWD100EFAXWD80EFZXWD60EFRXWD50EFRXWD40EFRX
HelioSeal TechnologyYesNoNoNoNo
Advanced Format TechnologyYes (512-byte emulation)Yes (512-byte emulation)Yes (512-byte emulation)Yes (512-byte emulation)Yes (512-byte emulation)
Spindle Speed5400 RPM5400 RPM5400 RPM5400 RPM5400 RPM
Cache256 MB SDRAM128 MB SDRAM64 MB SDRAM64 MB SDRAM64 MB SDRAM
Maximum Read / Write Speed210 MB/s178 MB/s175 MB/s150 MB/s147 MB/s
Average Read / Write Power Consumption5.7 W6.4 W5.3 W4.5 W4.1 W
Idle Power Consumption2.8 W5.2 W3.4 W3.3 W2.7 W
Acoustics (Seek / Idle)29 dBA / 20 dBA29 dBA / 20 dBA28 dBA / 25 dBA28 dBA / 25 dBA24 dBA / 23 dBA
MTBF (hours)1 million1 million1 million1 million1 million
Rated World Load (Per Year)180 TB180 TB180 TB180 TB180 TB
Warranty3 Years3 Years3 Years3 Years3 Years

They all share the following common features :

  • NAS Compatibility – Advanced firmware technology built into every WD Red drive, enables seamless integration, robust data protection and optimal performance for systems operating in NAS and RAID environments.
  • Exclusive NASware 3.0 Technology – WD’s exclusive NASware 3.0 technology further optimizes the WD Red for the NAS environment, allowing the WD Red to support small NAS systems with up to 8 bays!
  • 3D Active Balance Plus – This enhanced dual-plane balance control technology significantly improves the overall drive performance and reliability. Hard drives that are not properly balanced may cause excessive vibration and noise in a multidrive system, reduce the hard drive lifespan, and degrade the performance over time.[adrotate group=”2″]
  • Enhanced Reliability – With a 35% MTBF improvement over standard desktop drives, the WD Red drive is designed and manufactured to be a more reliable and robust solution.
  • Energy Efficient – Innovative technology reduces power consumption and lowers the operating temperature, resulting in a more reliable and affordable solution for always on 24×7 NAS environments.
  • Premium Support – Exclusively for WD Red drive customers, a free dedicated 24/7 support line is available in English. Other regional support hours vary.
  • Longer Warranty Coverage – The WD Red drive is backed by a 3-year limited warranty for greater peace of mind.

Now, let’s check out the 10TB WD Red (Lowest Price) hard disk drive!

 

 

A Quick Look At The 10TB WD Red

The 10TB WD Red (Lowest Price) hard disk drive came in a sealed antistatic plastic pack. Notably, it lacked the usual sachet of desiccants. That’s because the drive is hermetically-sealed in the factory, and filled with helium. Also notable is their use of two gold-coloured screws to lock the PCB in place.

To remove the drive, just tear off the top or cut it open, and slide out the drive. Be sure to ground yourself before removing and handling the hard disk drive as static can damage it. In particular, you should try to avoid touching the exposed PCB located on the lower underside of the drive.

Next Page > The 10TB WD Red NAS Drive, HelioSeal, SATA 6 Gb/s

 

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The 10TB WD Red NAS Drive

Despite featuring a hermetically-sealed chassis, the 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) drive looks deceptively like any other 3.5″ hard disk drive. In fact, it even sports the same printed label on the top plate, with an uncovered PCB on the underside.

The label has a lot of important information, like the hard disk drive model, storage capacity as well as its date and place of manufacture. This particular drive was manufactured in Thailand on the 1st of April, 2017. You can also see that the drive uses the Advanced Format Technology to achieve its high storage density.

 

HelioSeal Technology

The 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) NAS-optimised drive is one of the few hard disk drives in the market to feature the revolutionary HGST HelioSeal technology. It is hermetically sealed at the factory, and filled with helium.

Instead of a breather hole that is present in all “air-filled” hard disk drives, it has two sealed ports that are used to extract air from inside the chassis, and replacing it with helium.

Because helium is only 1/7th the density of “regular air”, it allows for less friction conferring the following benefits :

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  • The lower friction reduces the amount of power required to spin the platters, reducing both energy costs and thermal output.
  • Internal turbulence is greatly reduced, which makes tracking more precise and reliable. This indirectly allows for greater areal density.
  • The lower power requirement and internal turbulence allow more platters and heads to be added in the same volume of space.
  • The completely sealed environment eliminates reliability issues that can occur if breather filters get clogged up with dirt.

The only things stopping helium-filled drives from becoming mainstream are the relatively high cost of helium, and the difficulty in sealing the drive.

 

SATA 6 Gb/s

This is a Serial ATA drive, with native support for SATA 6 Gb/s. However, it is backward-compatible so you will have no problem using it with older SATA 3 Gb/s controllers.

The SATA 6 Gb/s interface is necessary for optimal performance since the 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) NAS drive boasts a maximum sustained internal (platter-to-buffer) transfer rate of 210 MB/s, and a large and fast DDR3 SDRAM cache.

Like all Serial ATA drives, it comes the standard SATA data (left) and power (right) connectors and is hot-pluggable. That means you can connect and disconnect this hard disk drive to the server, computer or NAS while it’s still running.

Next Page > Under The PCB, Testing The 10TB WD Red NAS Drive

 

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What’s Under The PCB?

Western Digital has a penchant for keeping all surface-mounted components on the reverse side of the PCB – to prevent static damage and to allow for better cooling. The PCB is protected by a thin foam cutout on the chassis side, with a thermal pad to help transfer heat from the HDD controller to the hard disk drive chassis.

Unfortunately, we can’t make out the hard disk drive controller Western Digital used, but we can see that it uses the ST Microelectronics L7232 motor drive controller, which features their proprietary Smooth Drive pseudo-sinusoidal digital drive technology.

The 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) NAS drive boasts a large 256 MB SDRAM cache, courtesy of an EtronTech EM6GD16EWXC-12H chip. This is a DDR3-1600 SDRAM chip with 8 memory banks and timings of 11-11-11. This gives it a peak transfer rate of 400 MB/s.

Finally, the 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) NAS drive has two shock sensors that allow it to better detect shock and vibration events, and dynamically adjust the flying height of the read/write heads to avoid head crashes.

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Testing The 10TB WD Red NAS Drive

Processors Intel Core i7-2600K
Motherboard Intel DP67BG
Memory Four Kingmax 2 GB DDR3-1333 modules
Graphics Card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
Hard Disk Drives 10 TB Western Digital Red
8 TB Western Digital Gold
6 TB Western Digital Black
6 TB Western Digital Red
6 TB Western Digital Green

4 TB Western Digital Red Pro
4 TB Western Digital Re
4 TB Western Digital Black Gen. 2

4 TB Western Digital Red

3 TB Western Digital Red
Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit
Microsoft Windows Vista 32-bit

 

Testing Methodology

Next Page > Usable Capacity, Platter Profile, Operating Temperature

 

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Usable Capacity

The 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) NAS drive has an official formatted capacity of 10 terabytes. We checked that out by formatting it in NTFS using Microsoft Windows 7.

The actual formatted capacity was 10,000,695,029,760 bytes, which is about 695 MB higher than the official storage capacity. With about 494 MB allocated to the NTFS file system, the actual usable capacity was slightly above 10 TB.

 

Platter Profile

The platter profile of the 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) NAS drive was pretty good. There appeared to be some use of replacement sectors, but nothing particularly significant.

We also compared its platter profile to that of the 6TB WD Red, which was the last WD Red drive we reviewed. We can see right away that the 10TB WD Red uses higher density platters, which gave it a very high throughput.

In fact, the outermost tracks of the 6TB WD Red only equalised the 10TB WD Red at the 6.5 TB point. Even at its slowest tracks, the 10TB WD Red was as fast as the 6TB WD Red at its 5 GB point.

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Maximum Surface Temperature

We monitored the surface temperature of seven hard disk drives during their benchmarks. The following chart shows their operating temperature range, from idle to maximum load. Please note that instead of giving you the absolute numbers, we are showing the temperature delta, which is the difference between the actual temperature and the ambient room temperature.

Despite packing 2 additional platters than the 6TB WD Black, the 10TB WD Red drive was significantly cooler at full load. It ran a little warmer than the 8TB WD Gold – another helium-filled drive, but was cooler at idle.

This reduced thermal output (and power consumption) is a key advantage of helium-filled hard disk drives like the 10TB WD Red drive. When used in large NAS systems with up to 8 drives running non-stop, the lower energy costs of running them, and keeping them cool, will be very significant.

Next Page > Transfer Rate Range, WinBench Results

 

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Transfer Rate Range

This chart shows you the range of platter-to-buffer transfer rates from the innermost track to the outermost track. In other words, it shows you the range of disk transfer rates of the hard disk drives (from minimum to maximum).

The 10TB WD Red NAS drive has an official peak throughput of 210 MB/s, which was confirmed by our tests. In fact, it actually peaked at 217 MB/s. While it was still slightly slower than the 6TB WD Black, that puts it ahead of most of its competitors.

Both the 8TB WD Gold and the 10TB WD Red have 7 platters. The 10TB WD Red use higher density 1.43 GB platters to compensate for the 8TB WD Gold‘s higher 7200 RPM spindle speed. This proves yet again that HDD performance is not always about the spindle speed… 😉

 

Business Disk WinBench 99

Even though it’s not optimised for desktop applications, the 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) NAS drive did very well in this benchmark, coming in faster than even the 6TB WD Black.

Hard Disk Drive Model Capacity Business Disk
WinMark 99
Difference Useful Links
Western Digital Red 10 TB 32.5 MB/s Baseline Lowest $
Western Digital Black 6 TB 26.1 MB/s – 19.7% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Green 6 TB 25.6 MB/s – 21.2% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Black 4 TB 24.0 MB/s – 26.2% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Red Pro 4 TB 23.4 MB/s – 28.0% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Gold 8 TB 23.3 MB/s – 28.3% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Re 4 TB 20.4 MB/s – 37.2% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Red 6 TB 19.4 MB/s – 40.3% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Red 4 TB 17.5 MB/s – 46.2% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Red 3 TB 16.1 MB/s – 50.5% Review Lowest $
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High-End Disk WinBench 99

The 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) NAS drive was top in this benchmark too, edging out the very fast 6TB WD Black.

Hard Disk Drive Model Capacity High-End Disk
WinMark 99
Difference Useful Links
Western Digital Red 10 TB 150 MB/s Baseline Lowest $
Western Digital Black 6 TB 143 MB/s – 4.7% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Green 6 TB 140 MB/s – 6.7% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Black 4 TB 138 MB/s – 8.0% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Red Pro 4 TB 137 MB/s – 8.7% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Gold 8 TB 133 MB/s – 11.3% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Re 4 TB 121 MB/s – 19.3% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Red 6 TB 121 MB/s – 19.3% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Red 4 TB 118 MB/s – 21.3% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Red 3 TB 107 MB/s – 24.0% Review Lowest $

Next Page > IO Meter (Random Access) Performance

 

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IO Meter (Random Access)

We compared the 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) NAS drive to the 6TB WD RedFor more performance comparisons, please take a look at The Hard Disk Drive Performance Comparison Guide.

 

Random Throughput

The small random reads and writes are the most important tests for applications that make a lot of random accesses, so those would be key performance indicators for drives that are used as boot or system drives, but not very important for NAS systems.

With the exception of small reads, the 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) was far superior than the 6TB WD Red in all other aspects. Most impressively, it was 3X faster at small writes, most likely due to its large, fast cache.

Test  WD Red
(10 TB) 
 WD Red
(6 TB) 
Difference
512 KB Read 27.92 MB/s 18.70 MB/s + 49.3%
512 KB Write 31.65 MB/s 20.81 MB/s + 52.1%
4 KB Read 0.27 MB/s 0.26 MB/s + 3.8%
4 KB Write 0.76 MB/s 0.24 MB/s + 216.7%

 

Random Access Time

Test  WD Red
(10 TB) 
 WD Red
(6 TB) 
Difference
512 KB Read 18.78 ms 28.04 ms – 33.0%
512 KB Write 16.56 ms 25.19 ms – 34.2%
4 KB Read 15.24 ms 15.81 ms – 3.6%
4 KB Write 5.36 ms 17.29 ms – 69.0%

The access times dropped significantly across the board. The small decrease in the 4KB read access time is more than compensated by the incredibly large decrease in the 4KB write access time.

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Random CPU Utilisation

Test  WD Red
(10 TB) 
 WD Red
(6 TB) 
Difference
512 KB Read 28.79 % 0.41 % + 6922%
512 KB Write 29.07 % 0.44 % + 6507%
4 KB Read 28.83 % 0.38 % + 7487%
4 KB Write 28.82 % 0.39 % + 7290%

We are not sure what HDD controller Western Digital used for the 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) NAS drive, but they appeared to have decided to focus on performance at the expense of CPU utilisation. This is not a problem for NAS systems because they have a processor that is dedicated to such operations. Such high CPU utilisation though means the 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) would not make for a very good desktop drive.

Next Page > IO Meter Sequential Access Performance

 

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IO Meter (Sequential Access)

We compared the 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) NAS drive to the 6TB WD RedFor more performance comparisons, please take a look at The Hard Disk Drive Performance Comparison Guide.

 

Sequential Throughput

Test  WD Red
(10 TB) 
 WD Red
(6 TB) 
Difference
512 KB Read 215.25 MB/s 172.71 MB/s + 24.6%
512 KB Write 215.45 MB/s 173.09 MB/s + 24.5%
4 KB Read 84.70 MB/s 51.64 MB/s + 64.0%
4 KB Write 71.53 MB/s 50.09 MB/s + 42.8%

This is the most important test for the NAS drives because it shows their ability to read and write files sequentially. The large sequential transfer performance is particularly important since many NAS system deal with large files (larger than 512 KB in this context).

Without a doubt, the 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) is much faster than the 6TB WD Red in all aspects. The biggest boost was in small sequential reads.

 

Sequential Access Time

Test  WD Red
(10 TB) 
 WD Red
(6 TB) 
Difference
512 KB Read 2.43 ms 3.03 ms – 19.8%
512 KB Write 2.43 ms 3.03 ms – 19.7%
4 KB Read 0.05 ms 0.08 ms – 39.2%
4 KB Write 0.06 ms 0.08 ms – 30.0%
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Sequential CPU Utilisation

Test  WD Red
(10 TB) 
 WD Red
(6 TB) 
Difference
512 KB Read 29.84 % 0.96 % + 3008%
512 KB Write 29.49 % 1.14 % + 2487%
4 KB Read 35.77 % 8.52 % + 319.8%
4 KB Write 35.17 % 9.15 % + 284.4%

Even in sequential accesses, the 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) took up an excessive amount of CPU utilisation. Again, this is not a problem for NAS systems, but will be an issue for those who choose to use this drive in their desktop systems.

Next Page > IOPS Scaling (Random) Performance

 

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IOPS Scaling (Random)

We tested the drive’s ability to tackle multiple input/output operations, comparing the 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) to the 6TB WD Red. For more performance comparisons, please take a look at The Hard Disk Drive Performance Comparison Guide.

Although we don’t know what hard disk drive controller used in the 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX), we can see that it is significantly faster than the Marvell 88i1047-NDB2 controller used in the 6TB WD Red. Its performance was particularly impressive in the 4 KB random write test.

 

4 KB Random Read

Outstanding I/Os  WD Red
(10 TB) 
 WD Red
(6 TB) 
Difference
1 66 IOPS 63 IOPS + 3.7%
8 112 IOPS 98 IOPS + 14.1%
32 142 IOPS 136 IOPS + 3.7%

 

4 KB Random Write

Outstanding I/Os  WD Red
(10 TB) 
 WD Red
(6 TB) 
Difference
1 186 IOPS 58 IOPS + 222.3%
8 192 IOPS 58 IOPS + 228.7%
32 186 IOPS 57 IOPS + 224.2%
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512 KB Random Read

Outstanding I/Os  WD Red
(10 TB) 
 WD Red
(6 TB) 
Difference
1 53 IOPS 36 IOPS + 49.3%
8 72 IOPS 37 IOPS + 96.2%
32 76 IOPS 47 IOPS + 61.4%

 

512 KB Random Write

Outstanding I/Os  WD Red
(10 TB) 
 WD Red
(6 TB) 
Difference
1 59 IOPS 40 IOPS + 52.1%
8 57 IOPS 40 IOPS + 43.6%
32 60 IOPS 40 IOPS + 47.5%

Next Page > IOPS Scaling (Sequential) Performance

 

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IOPS Scaling (Sequential)

We tested the drive’s ability to tackle multiple input/output operations, comparing the 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) to the 6TB WD Red. For more performance comparisons, please take a look at The Hard Disk Drive Performance Comparison Guide.

The 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) was much faster than the 6TB WD Red in all aspects. Its performance was particularly impressive in the 4 KB sequential read test.

 

4 KB Sequential Read

Outstanding I/Os  WD Red
(10 TB) 
 WD Red
(6 TB) 
Difference
1 20,680 IOPS 12,608 IOPS + 64.0%
8 52,847 IOPS 37,207 IOPS + 42.0%
32 52,441 IOPS 36,793 IOPS + 42.5%

 

4 KB Sequential Write

Outstanding I/Os  WD Red
(10 TB) 
 WD Red
(6 TB) 
Difference
1 17,463 IOPS 12,228 IOPS + 42.8%
8 46,286 IOPS 38,668 IOPS + 19.7%
32 46,609 IOPS 38,560 IOPS + 20.9%
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512 KB Sequential Read

Outstanding I/Os  WD Red
(10 TB) 
 WD Red
(6 TB) 
Difference
1 411 IOPS 329 IOPS + 24.6%
8 411 IOPS 329 IOPS + 24.8%
32 414 IOPS 329 IOPS + 25.5%

 

512 KB Sequential Write

Outstanding I/Os  WD Red
(10 TB) 
 WD Red
(6 TB) 
Difference
1 411 IOPS 330 IOPS + 24.5%
8 412 IOPS 331 IOPS + 24.5%
32 411 IOPS 330 IOPS + 24.6%

Next Page > Our Verdict & Award, Full Specifications

 

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Our Verdict & Award

This is our second review of a helium-filled hard disk drive (after the 8TB WD Gold), and we continue to be impressed. Even from its specifications alone, we can already see a significant reduction in power consumption and noise levels. These are not minor either.

The 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) boasts 11% lower power consumption than the air-filled WD Red models at peak loads, and an astounding 46% lower power consumption during idle! It accomplished this despite packing 2-4 more platters than the other WD Red drives.

The platters of the 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) still spin at a relatively sedate 5400 RPM, but they have a very high areal density, boasting a storage capacity of 1.43 GB per platter. This high areal density gave it a very high throughput, allowing it to beat even the 8TB WD Gold, which has a spindle speed of 7200 RPM.

Our benchmarks show that it is one of the fastest hard disk drives in the market, beating even high-performance drives like the 6TB WD Black. This is very impressive performance for a 5400 RPM drive that is optimised for NAS systems.

The downside though is its high CPU utilisation. This is not a problem if you intend to use it in a relatively new NAS system, but it may be a problem if you pack more than two of them in an old NAS system with a slow processor. The high CPU utilisation will also be an issue if you intend to use this drive in your desktop PC.

Despite the high CPU utilisation, its stellar performance deserves our Reviewer’s Choice Award. Congratulations, Western Digital!

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The 10TB WD Red Specifications

Specifications10 TB WD Red NAS Hard Disk Drive
ModelWD100EFAX
Form Factor3.5 inch
Platter And Head Count7 Platters with 14 Read/Write Heads
Advanced Format TechnologyYes (512-byte emulation)
Formatted Capacity10 TB
Native Command QueuingYes
InterfaceSATA 6 Gb/s
Spindle Speed5400 RPM
Sustained read / write performance210 MB/s (maximum)
Cache256 MB DDR3-1600 SDRAM
Average Power ConsumptionRead / Write : 5.7 W
Idle : 2.8 W
Temperature Rating0 to 65 °C (Operating)
-40 to 70 °C (Non-Operating)
Shock RatingOperating : 65 G (half-sine wave, 2 ms)
Non-Operating : 250 G (half-sine wave, 2 ms)
AcousticsSeek : 29 dBA (average)
Idle : 20 dBA
Load / Unload Cycles600,000
Non-Recoverable Read Errors per Bits Read14
MTBF (Maximum Time Before Failure)1,000,000 hours
Rated Workload (Per Year)180 TB
Warranty3 Years
Physical Dimensions101.6 mm (4.0") wide x 147.0 mm (5.787") long x 26.1 mm (1.028") high
Weight650 g (1.43 lbs)

Go Back To > First PageReviews | Home

 

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The 8TB WD Gold Datacenter Drive (WD8002FRYZ) Review

WD Gold Datacenter Drives

On April 20, 2016, Western Digital launched the new WD Gold family of hard disk drives. These hard disk drives are designed for maximum performance and reliability in the highly demanding conditions of a datacenter. In fact, they are rated to handle workloads of up to 550 TB per year (1.5 TB per day), with a MTBF rating of up to 2.5 million hours!

Today, we are going to take a look at the 8TB Western Digital Gold hard disk drive. This is one of the two helium-filled WD Gold models to feature a hermetically-sealed chassis with an internal helium environment. That’s not what’s different though. For your convenience, we created a specification comparison of the WD Gold family of datacenter drives :

Specifications10TB WD Gold8TB WD Gold6TB WD Gold4TB WD Gold
ModelWD101KRYZWD8002FRYZWD6002FRYZWD4002FYYZ
HelioSeal TechnologyYesYesNoNo
Advanced Format TechnologyYes (512-byte emulation)Yes (512-byte emulation)Yes (512-byte emulation)No
Spindle Speed7200 RPM7200 RPM7200 RPM7200 RPM
Cache256 MB SDRAM128 MB SDRAM128 MB SDRAM128 MB SDRAM
Maximum Read / Write Speed249 MB/s205 MB/s226 MB/s201 MB/s
Sequential Read / Write Power Consumption7.1 W / 6.7 W7.2 W / 7.0 W9.3 W / 8.9 W9.0 W / 8.7 W
Random Read / Write Power Consumption6.8 W / 5.0 W7.4 W / 5.1 W9.1 W / 7.1 W8.8 W / 7.0 W
Acoustics (Seek / Idle)36 dBA / 20 dBA36 dBA / 20 dBA36 dBA / 29 dBA36 dBA / 29 dBA
MTBF (hours)2.5 million2.5 million2 million2 million
Warranty5 Years5 Years5 Years5 Years

Now, let’s check out the 8TB WD Gold datacenter hard disk drive!

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Unboxing The 8TB WD Gold Drive

The 8TB WD Gold (WD8002FRYZ) hard disk drive came in a sealed antistatic plastic pack. Notably, it lacked the usual sachet of desiccants. That’s because the drive is hermetically-sealed in the factory, and filled with helium. Also notable is their use of two gold-coloured screws to lock the PCB in place.

To remove the drive, just tear off the top or cut it open, and slide out the drive. Be sure to ground yourself before removing and handling the hard disk drive as static can damage it. In particular, you should try to avoid touching the exposed PCB located on the lower underside of the drive.

Next Page > The 8TB WD Gold, HelioSeal & Media Caching Technologies

 

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The 8TB WD Gold Datacenter Drive

Despite featuring a hermetically-sealed chassis, the 8TB WD Gold (WD8002FRYZ) datacenter drive looks deceptively like any other 3.5″ desktop hard disk drive. In fact, it has the same label on the top plate, with an uncovered PCB on the underside.

The label has a lot of important information, like the hard drive model, storage capacity as well as its date and place of manufacture. This particular drive was manufactured in Thailand on the 26th of March, 2016. You can also see that the drive uses the Advanced Format Technology to achieve its high storage density.

 

HelioSeal Technology

The 8TB WD Gold datacenter drive is one of the few hard disk drives in the market to feature the revolutionary HGST HelioSeal technology. It is hermetically sealed at the factory, and filled with helium. The hole, which normally serves as the breather hole in a normal “air-filled” hard disk drive, is likely the port through which the air is extracted and replaced with helium.

Because helium is only 1/7th the density of “regular air”, it allows for less friction conferring the following benefits :

  • The lower friction reduces the amount of power required to spin the platters, reducing both energy costs and thermal output.
  • Internal turbulence is greatly reduced, which makes tracking more precise and reliable. This indirectly allows for greater areal density.
  • The lower power requirement and internal turbulence allow more platters and heads to be added in the same volume of space.
  • The completely sealed environment eliminates reliability issues that can occur if breather filters get clogged up with dirt.

The only things stopping helium-filled drives from becoming mainstream are the relatively high cost of helium, and the difficulty in sealing the drive.

 

Media Caching Technology

This feature was mentioned only perfunctorily in the Western Digital press release, which led many writers to assume that they added a NAND flash cache, like the ones used in SSHDs (examples : 4TB WD Blue SSHD, 1TB WD Blue SSHD). Unfortunately, that’s not true.

The media caching technology used in the WD Gold datacenter drives are also a HGST technology, like HelioSeal. It doesn’t use any additional components, just the existing SDRAM cache and the hard disk drive platters. This is how it works :

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  • Small media cache areas are created in regular intervals across the platters. These are only visible to the drive controller, and are hidden to the computer and operating system.
  • Data written to the SDRAM cache are combined and regularly written down to the nearest media cache areas at a higher internal queue depth.
  • These dispersed media cache areas boost write performance by greatly reducing head movements as data is written to the drive.
  • The write data is simultaneously de-staged, which eliminates burst activity and their impact on reads from the platters.
  • In the event of a sudden power-off event, the media cache areas is used to quickly restore the SDRAM cache.

Generally, the media caching technology increases random write performance with a slight boost in read performance.

Next Page > SATA 6 Gb/s, What’s Under The PCB?

 

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SATA 6 Gb/s

This is a Serial ATA drive, with native support for SATA 6 Gb/s. However, it is backward-compatible so you will have no problem using it with older SATA 3 Gb/s controllers.

The SATA 6 Gb/s interface is necessary for optimal performance since the 8TB WD Gold datacenter drive boasts a maximum sustained internal (platter-to-buffer) transfer rate of 205 MB/s, and a large and fast DDR3 SDRAM cache.

Like all Serial ATA drives, it comes the standard SATA data (left) and power (right) connectors and is hot-pluggable. That means you can connect and disconnect this hard disk drive to the server, computer or NAS while it’s still running.

 

What’s Under The PCB?

Western Digital has a penchant for keeping all surface-mounted components on the reverse side of the PCB – to prevent static damage and to allow for better cooling. The PCB is protected by a thin foam cutout on the chassis side, with a thermal pad to help transfer heat from the HDD controller to the hard disk drive chassis.

The 8TB WD Gold datacenter drive uses the LSI 7101B hard disk drive controller, and the ST Microelectronics L7229 motor drive controller, which features their proprietary Smooth Drive pseudo-sinusoidal digital drive technology.

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The 8TB WD Gold datacenter drive boasts a large 128 MB SDRAM cache, courtesy of a Samsung K4B1G1646G-BCK0 chip. This is a DDR3-1600 SDRAM chip with 8 memory banks and timings of 11-11-11. This gives it a peak transfer rate of 400 MB/s.

Finally, the 8TB WD Gold datacenter drive has two shock sensors that allow it to better detect shock and vibration events, and dynamically adjust the flying height of the read/write heads to avoid head crashes.

Next Page > Testing The Drive, Usable Capacity, Platter Profile, Temperature

 

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Testing The WD Gold 8TB Datacenter Drive

Processors Intel Core i7-2600K
Motherboard Intel DP67BG
Memory Four Kingmax 2 GB DDR3-1333 modules
Graphics Card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
Hard Disk Drives 8 TB Western Digital Gold
6 TB Western Digital Black
6 TB Western Digital Red
6 TB Western Digital Green

4 TB Western Digital Red Pro
4 TB Western Digital Re
4 TB Western Digital Black Gen. 2

4 TB Western Digital Red

3 TB Western Digital Red

3 TB Western Digital Caviar Green
Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit
Microsoft Windows Vista 32-bit

 

Testing Methodology

 

Usable Capacity

The WD Gold 8TB datacenter drive has an official formatted capacity of 8,001,563,222,016 bytes. We checked that out by formatting it in NTFS using Microsoft Windows 7.

The actual formatted capacity was 8,001,427,599,360 bytes, which is about 136 MB lower than the official storage capacity. With about 338 MB allocated to the NTFS file system, the actual usable capacity remained slightly above 8 TB.

 

Platter Profile

As expected from a premium, datacenter-grade hard disk drive, the platter profile of the WD Gold 8TB datacenter drive was phenomenal. There were absolutely zero dips in throughput that would signify a significant use of replacement sectors. Lots of them would be evidence of poor platter quality.

We also compared its platter profile to that of the 6TB WD Black – Western Digital’s top-of-the-line desktop hard disk drive. We can see that the denser platters allow the 6TB WD Black to achieve a higher throughput initially, but the 8TB WD Gold equalised it at around the 3.5TB point.

Thereafter, the 8TB WD Gold was faster. In fact, at the 6TB point, the 8TB WD Gold was about 36% faster than the 6TB WD Black.

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Maximum Surface Temperature

We monitored the surface temperature of seven hard disk drives during their benchmarks. The following chart shows their operating temperature range, from idle to maximum load. Please note that instead of giving you the absolute numbers, we are showing the temperature delta, which is the difference between the actual temperature and the ambient room temperature.

Despite packing 2 additional platters than the 6TB WD Black, the 8TB WD Gold drive was significantly cooler at full load. In fact, it ran cooler than the 4 TB WD Black Gen. 2, and the 4 TB WD Red Pro drives!

This reduced thermal output (and power consumption) is a key advantage of helium-filled hard disk drives like the 8TB WD Gold drive. When deployed in the hundreds or thousands in a datacenter, the lower energy costs of running them, and keeping them cool, will be very significant.

Next Page > Transfer Rate Range, Disk WinMark Results

 

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Transfer Rate Range

This chart shows you the range of platter-to-buffer transfer rates from the innermost track to the outermost track. In other words, it shows you the range of disk transfer rates of the hard disk drives (from minimum to maximum).

The 8TB WD Gold drive has an official peak throughput of 205 MB/s, which was confirmed by our tests. In fact, it actually peaked at 209 MB/s. While that puts it ahead of most of the competition, it was still slower than the 6TB WD Black.

This is because the 8TB WD Gold uses platters with slightly lower areal density (about 1,142 GB per platter) than the 6TB WD Black, which boasts 1,200 GB per platter.

 

Business Disk WinBench 99

The 8TB WD Gold datacenter drive is not optimised for desktop applications, so it’s no wonder that it isn’t the fastest drive in this test. Even so, the 8TB Gold datacenter drive did reasonably well, coming within 12% of the 6TB WD Black.

Hard Disk Drive Model Capacity Business Disk
WinMark 99
Difference Useful Links
Western Digital Black 6 TB 26.1 MB/s + 12.0% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Green 6 TB 25.6 MB/s + 9.9% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Black 4 TB 24.0 MB/s + 3.0% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Red Pro 4 TB 23.4 MB/s + 0.4% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Gold 8 TB 23.3 MB/s Baseline Lowest $
Western Digital Re 4 TB 20.4 MB/s – 12.4% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Red 6 TB 19.4 MB/s – 16.7% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Red 4 TB 17.5 MB/s – 24.9% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Caviar Green 3 TB 16.3 MB/s – 30.0% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Red 3 TB 16.1 MB/s – 30.9% Review Lowest $
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High-End Disk WinBench 99

Again, the 8TB WD Gold was fast, but it was not exceptionally fast because it’s not optimised for desktop applications.

Hard Disk Drive Model Capacity High-End Disk
WinMark 99
Difference Useful Links
Western Digital Black 6 TB 143.0 MB/s + 7.5% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Green 6 TB 140.0 MB/s + 5.3% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Black 4 TB 138.0 MB/s + 3.8% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Red Pro 4 TB 137.0 MB/s + 3.0% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Gold 8 TB 133.0 MB/s Baseline Lowest $
Western Digital Re 4 TB 121.0 MB/s – 9.0% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Red 6 TB 121.0 MB/s – 9.0% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Red 4 TB 118.0 MB/s – 11.3% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Caviar Green 3 TB 114.0 MB/s – 14.3% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Red 3 TB 107.0 MB/s – 19.5% Review Lowest $

Next Page > IO Meter – Random Access Performance

 

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IO Meter (Random Accesses)

We compared the 8 TB Western Digital Gold to the 6 TB Western Digital Black – the fastest desktop-grade hard disk drive in Western Digital’s arsenal. For more performance comparisons, please take a look at The Hard Disk Drive Performance Comparison Guide.

 

Random Throughput

Test  WD Gold
(8 TB) 
 WD Black
(6 TB) 
Difference
512 KB Read 31.86 MB/s 31.97 MB/s – 0.3%
512 KB Write 31.34 MB/s 28.54 MB/s + 9.8%
4 KB Read 0.32 MB/s 0.32 MB/s
4 KB Write 0.74 MB/s 0.39 MB/s + 89.7%

Check out the incredible boost in the random write speed, especially for small random writes. The 8TB WD Gold delivered almost double the performance of the 6TB WD Black drive in small random writes, and a 10% boost in performance in large random writes.

This is the key advantage of the HGST media caching technology that Western Digital included into the 8TB WD Gold. This is a tremendous performance advantage in file storage servers that serve hundreds or thousands of users.

 

Random Access Time

Test  WD Gold (8 TB)   WD Black (6 TB)  Difference
512 KB Read 16.45 ms 16.39 ms + 0.3%
512 KB Write 16.73 ms 18.36 ms – 8.9%
4 KB Read 12.81 ms 12.79 ms + 0.1%
4 KB Write 5.54 ms 10.50 ms – 47.3%

As you can see, the HGST media caching technology truly has a significant effect on performance. It cut down the random access time, even though that’s a limitation imposed by physics.

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Random CPU Utilization

Test  WD Gold (8 TB)   WD Black (6 TB)  Difference
512 KB Read 0.56 % 0.60 % – 6.7%
512 KB Write 0.57 % 0.62 % – 8.1%
4 KB Read 0.35 % 0.43 % – 18.6%
4 KB Write 0.53 % 0.37 % + 43.2%

The LSI 7101B hard disk drive controller used in the 8TB WD Gold is definitely more powerful than the LSI TT07143 controller used in the 6TB Western Digital Black. The extra processing power was certainly useful in handling the extra media caching duty.

Next Page > IOMeter – Sequential Access Performance

 

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IO Meter (Sequential Accesses)

We compared the 8 TB Western Digital Gold to the 6 TB Western Digital Black – the fastest desktop-grade hard disk drive in Western Digital’s arsenal. For more performance comparisons, please take a look at The Hard Disk Drive Performance Comparison Guide.

 

Sequential Throughput

Test  WD Gold (8 TB)   WD Black (6 TB)  Difference
512 KB Read 209.29 MB/s 225.60 MB/s – 7.2%
512 KB Write 209.89 MB/s 228.38 MB/s – 8.5%
4 KB Read 90.87 MB/s 94.82 MB/s – 4.2%
4 KB Write 53.91 MB/s 84.54 MB/s – 36.2%

The WD Gold 8TB datacenter drive uses less dense platters, so its sequential throughput is understandably lower than that of the 6TB Western Digital Black. That would account for about a 5% deficit in performance, with the rest due to the drive being optimised for random writes.

In fact, we can see here that the HGST media caching technology actually results in a large drop in small sequential write performance.

 

Sequential Access Time

Test  WD Gold (8 TB)   WD Black (6 TB)  Difference
512 KB Read 2.50 ms 2.32 ms + 7.8%
512 KB Write 2.51 ms 2.29 ms + 9.4%
4 KB Read 0.04 ms 0.04 ms + 4.2%
4 KB Write 0.08 ms 0.05 ms + 56.4%

No surprises here. The 8TB WD Gold is optimised for small random writes, not small sequential writes.

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Sequential CPU Utilization

Test  WD Gold (8 TB)   WD Black (6 TB)  Difference
512 KB Read 1.25 % 1.33% – 6.0%
512 KB Write 1.41 % 1.50% – 6.0%
4 KB Read 8.66 % 8.95% – 3.2%
4 KB Write 8.59 % 9.23% – 6.9%

Again, we can see that the LSI 7101B hard disk drive controller used in the 8TB WD Gold is more powerful than the LSI TT07143 controller used in the 6TB Western Digital Black.

Next Page > IOPS Random Scaling Performance

 

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IOPS Scaling (Random)

In these tests, we tested the drive’s ability to tackle multiple input/output operations. We compared the 8 TB Western Digital Gold to the 6 TB Western Digital Black – the fastest desktop-grade hard disk drive in Western Digital’s arsenal. For more performance comparisons, please take a look at The Hard Disk Drive Performance Comparison Guide.

The LSI 7101B hard disk drive controller used in the 8TB WD Gold is definitely faster than the LSI TT07143 controller use in the 6TB WD Black. However, you can see that Western Digital optimised it for random write performance. Together with the HGST Media Caching Technology, it trades some random read performance, for a big boost in random write performance, particularly in small, random writes.

 

4 KB Random Read

Outstanding I/Os  WD Gold (8 TB)   WD Black (6 TB)  Difference
1 78 IOPS 78 IOPS – 0.1%
8 125 IOPS 132 IOPS – 5.6%
32 172 IOPS 190 IOPS – 9.5%

 

4 KB Random Write

Outstanding I/Os  WD Gold (8 TB)   WD Black (6 TB)  Difference
1 181 IOPS 95 IOPS + 89.7%
8 195 IOPS 95 IOPS + 104.2%
32 196 IOPS 96 IOPS + 104.3%
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512 KB Random Read

Outstanding I/Os  WD Gold (8 TB)   WD Black (6 TB)  Difference
1 61 IOPS 61 IOPS – 0.3%
8 89 IOPS 95 IOPS – 6.7%
32 98 IOPS 108 IOPS – 9.0%

 

512 KB Random Write

Outstanding I/Os  WD Gold (8 TB)   WD Black (6 TB)  Difference
1 60 IOPS 54 IOPS + 9.8%
8 60 IOPS 54 IOPS + 10.1%
32 62 IOPS 54 IOPS + 13.3%

Next Page > IOPS Sequential Scaling Performance

 

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IOPS Scaling (Sequential)

In these tests, we tested the drive’s ability to tackle multiple input/output operations. Again, we compared the 8 TB Western Digital Gold to the 6 TB Western Digital Black – the fastest desktop-grade hard disk drive in Western Digital’s arsenal. For more performance comparisons, please take a look at The Hard Disk Drive Performance Comparison Guide.

It is obvious that the “price” for almost doubling the small random write performance is poorer sequential read and write performance.

 

4 KB Sequential Read

Outstanding I/Os  WD Gold (8 TB)   WD Black (6 TB)  Difference
1 22,185 IOPS 23,150 IOPS – 4.2%
8 44,074 IOPS 51,435 IOPS – 14.3%
32 42,976 IOPS 51,861 IOPS – 17.1%

 

4 KB Sequential Write

Outstanding I/Os  WD Gold (8 TB)   WD Black (6 TB)  Difference
1 13,162 IOPS 20,639 IOPS – 36.2%
8 45,863 IOPS 46,924 IOPS – 2.3%
32 47,559 IOPS 55,433 IOPS – 14.2%
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512 KB Sequential Read

Outstanding I/Os  WD Gold (8 TB)   WD Black (6 TB)  Difference
1 399 IOPS 430 IOPS – 7.2%
8 400 IOPS 430 IOPS – 7.0%
32 399 IOPS 431 IOPS – 7.5%

 

512 KB Sequential Write

Outstanding I/Os  WD Gold (8 TB)   WD Black (6 TB)  Difference
1 398 IOPS 436 IOPS – 8.5%
8 395 IOPS 430 IOPS – 8.2%
32 399 IOPS 435 IOPS – 8.4%

Next Page > Our Verdict & Award, Lowest Prices, Specifications

 

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Our Verdict & Award

This is our first review of a helium-filled hard disk drive, and we are very impressed. Even from its specifications alone, we can already see a significant reduction in power consumption and noise levels. These are not minor either.

The helium-filled 8TB WD Gold (WD8002FRYZ) datacenter drive boasts 22% lower power consumption, and is half as loud as the air-filled WD Gold models when they are not seeking. We confirmed these claims during our tests, noting how quiet it was, and how it ran almost as cool as 5400 RPM hard disk drives despite packing 3-4 additional platters than the drives we compared it to!

The 8TB WD Gold datacenter drive achieves its tremendous storage capacity, not by increasing areal density, but by packing 2 additional platters. This is only made possible by filling it with helium, reducing turbulence and friction.

While this allows Western Digital to quickly increase storage capacity, it doesn’t help with its performance. That’s why it was slightly slower than top-of-the-line desktop drives like the 6TB Western Digital Black. That doesn’t meant that the 8TB WD Gold datacenter drive is a slow drive. Far from it. It is a fast drive, but not in the way we expect.

The 8TB WD Gold datacenter drive is optimised for datacenter applications. Hence, it features the HGST media caching technology which trades sequential write performance for a big boost in its small random write performance. This is not a very useful trade-off for desktop users, but a big boon to servers that handle hundreds or thousands of users.

The 8TB WD Gold datacenter drive would be overkill for home or office users, even for NAS applications. But there is no doubt that it would offer a big boost in performance and a tremendous reduction in TCO (Total Cost of Ownership), considering its significantly lower power consumption and thermal output per TB of storage. In light of that, we think the WD Gold 8TB datacenter drive deserves no less than our Reviewer’s Choice Award! Congratulations, Western Digital!

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The 8TB WD Gold Specifications

SpecificationsWD Gold 8TB Datacenter Hard Disk Drive
ModelWD8002FRYZ
Form Factor3.5 inch
Platter And Head Count7 Platters with 14 Read/Write Heads
Advanced Format TechnologyYes (512-byte emulation)
Available Sectors15,628,053,168 (512-byte emulation) sectors
1,953,506,646 (4,096-byte physical) sectors
Formatted Capacity8,001,563,222,016 bytes
Native Command QueuingYes
InterfaceSATA 6 Gb/s
Spindle Speed7200 RPM
Sustained read / write performance205 MB/s (maximum)
Cache128 MB DDR3-1600 SDRAM
Average Power ConsumptionSequential read : 7.2 W
Sequential write : 7.0 W
Random read / write : 7.4 W
Idle : 5.1 W
Temperature Rating5 to 60 °C (Operating)
-40 to 70 °C (Non-Operating)
Shock RatingOperating : 70 G (half-sine wave, 2 ms)
Non-Operating : 300 G (half-sine wave, 1 ms) / 150 G (half-sine wave, 11 ms)
AcousticsSeek : 36 dBA (average)
Idle : 20 dBA
Load / Unload Cycles600,000
Non-Recoverable Read Errors per Bits Read15
MTBF (Maximum Time Before Failure)2,500,000 hours
AFR (Average Failure Rate)0.35%
Warranty5 Years
Physical Dimensions101.6 mm (4.0") wide x 147.0 mm (5.787") long x 26.1 mm (1.028") high
Weight650 g (1.43 lbs)

 

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