Western Digital brings their highest-performing drives up to 4TB

Once upon a time, people didn't need lots of hard drive space, but that was the era of the typewriter. With media and software all being available on one computer, capacity is king and it's good to be the king. Western Digital can sit back and admire their throne for now.

The company's highest-spec hard drives are now 4TB, meaning you can double down on the more common 2TB drives. The WD Black drive brings 7200rpm spin speeds, dual actuator technology, a 64MB cache and a dual processor. Oh, and support for 6GB/s transfer speeds through SATA. It's a bit fast.

The dual actuator technology they speak of is a head positioning system for more accuracy over data tracks. The first, primary, actuator provides coarse displacement. It's conventional, in other words. The second actuator uses piezoelectric motion, fine tuning the head's positioning to make it that bit more accurate. We never said it was simple.

WD's own MSRP is $339.00, which seems like a lot. Hitachi's Deskstar 7K4000 is also 4TB in size, as is their Touro Pro DX3 external. Still, if money comes second to speed and silence, Western Digital should have your back.S

Source: Western Digital

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I'd need 3 of those if I wanted to rip my DVDs in some media player box, and then another 3 if I wanted to actually back it up after taking the time to rip everything. And that's without any room for growth.

My collection isn't exactly growing fast, but it seems that the pace of hard drive capacity growth is only *very* slowly catching up. At this rate, I'm kinda counting on the idea that my DVDs are still going to be readable 10 years from now.

The guy said earlier that the dual processor tech is old and he's right but i don't know about the dual head thing i don't remember hearing about that.

Just got a 1tb Black drive shipped from WD last week and its noticeably faster in every way than the competing 1tb Green version i have. The black is noisier than the green though lol

My advice to people is keep an eye on drives from this company their quality control has been getting worse and worse i think. go look up the feedback on one of these Black or Green drives on Newegg etc and you will see what i mean..
At least their customer support is first rate / high quality.

I'd be scared to buy a 4TB drive because we all know its gonna die sooner or later lol
Then what ? Cross your fingers you can do an Advanced WD RMA in time before the bad drive is unsalvagable ? Sometimes these things die with no warning.. I just had someone mail me one (WDAK 500gb) to try and salvage files off it and i couldn't do anything, the platters inside were seized. So are we prepared to lose 4tb of data ?
I guess if you have a 4tb back up drive ? Then you better hope that doesn't die too
So that also means your gonna have to pay $680 to get two of them.. one for backups lol

4TB isn't a ridiculous amount of storage nowadays. It won't be useful to most people, but for hardcore users (like me), it's pretty standard.

Let's see my computer:

100GB for the Windows partition, using about 85%
345GB for programs, currently using 60%
500GB for my personal files, using about 80%
1TB for downloads and large files, using 60%
1TB for code repositories, virtual machines and a few backups, using 50%
500GB for the steam folder, using 80%
500GB for screen recording, temporary media files, using 50-100%

That's pretty much 4TB and that doesn't count any external backups.

Dr_Asik said,
4TB isn't a ridiculous amount of storage nowadays. It won't be useful to most people, but for hardcore users (like me), it's pretty standard.

Let's see my computer:

100GB for the Windows partition, using about 85%
345GB for programs, currently using 60%
500GB for my personal files, using about 80%
1TB for downloads and large files, using 60%
1TB for code repositories, virtual machines and a few backups, using 50%
500GB for the steam folder, using 80%
500GB for screen recording, temporary media files, using 50-100%

That's pretty much 4TB and that doesn't count any external backups.

ya and when these big ones started coming out the first thing i thought was what are we gonna do when we need backup space when problems arise ? lol

What do you do when you have to copy 4tb of data in a hurry ?

Xenomorph said,

It does not support 6GB/s. It is 6Gb/s.

actually your wrong because if what you said was true i wouldn't be able to run it in my computer with a 3gb/s controller.

I am Not PCyr said,

actually your wrong because if what you said was true i wouldn't be able to run it in my computer with a 3gb/s controller.

What? He is saying it supports 6Gb/sec (gigabits) and not 6GB/sec (gigabytes). He is correct as the fastest SATA spec is 6Gb/sec. He was just pointing out a typo.

I have no idea what you're referring to a SATA 3Gb/sec controller for. It's common knowledge that SATA drives are backwards compatible with the older, slower interfaces.

Regardless, it makes no difference as no mechanical hard drive is even close to 6Gb/sec these days. In fact I'm not even aware of any that would saturate a 3Gb/sec interface, only SSDs.

Actually the WD Black are not the highest specs HD they produce for consumer. I'm pretty sure is the 10k RPM VelociRaptor, which offers 1TB capacity only at the moment.

alescsi said,
Actually the WD Black are not the highest specs HD they produce for consumer. I'm pretty sure is the 10k RPM VelociRaptor, which offers 1TB capacity only at the moment.

VelociRaptors are pointless. It's best either sticking with traditional 7,200RPM HDDs or going solid state.

theyarecomingforyou said,

VelociRaptors are pointless. It's best either sticking with traditional 7,200RPM HDDs or going solid state.

No the Raptors are very important if you want speed, capacity and reliability. I have a Samsung SSD as my OS and Apps drive and all my data on Rapter 1TB. It is blazing fast. Copying data to it and reading all of my large files, movies, music. It's also much more reliable than SSDs.

So if my OS goes down due to the SSD, I still have all my data and it won't take long to recover!

I'm actually shocked they haven't bumped the overall drive specs other than the raw storage size. The Dual Processor isn't new for WD HDs and has been standard on Black and higher drives for at least 5 years or more. The same is true for the cache size...

I would have expected a serious bump in cache size to come along with the jump to 4TB in storage on a performance oriented drive.

LogicalApex said,
I'm actually shocked they haven't bumped the overall drive specs other than the raw storage size. The Dual Processor isn't new for WD HDs and has been standard on Black and higher drives for at least 5 years or more. The same is true for the cache size...

I would have expected a serious bump in cache size to come along with the jump to 4TB in storage on a performance oriented drive.

I'm surprised that HD caches haven't been bumped into the 128MB or higher range by now... DDR RAM chips are cheap! only problem might be fitting it onto the control board on the drive

ChuckFinley said,
Put it on the Red range of drives then we're talking :-D

Are Reds good for RAID 5 storage servers? I'm currently using 4x2GB AV-GPs but I'm looking to upgrade in the near future.

Salty Wagyu said,
Having it on a 6Gb/s interface doesn't make the hard drive fast No mechanical hard drive can cap the SATA II interface yet.

you missed the point though.
there is more factors than interface specs when it comes to speed..

I am Not PCyr said,

you missed the point though.
there is more factors than interface specs when it comes to speed..

Absolutely, but all he was saying is that these drives will not saturate a 6Gb/sec interface - a true statement. No mechanical hard drive can even come close to doing that at present. I'm not even aware of any mechanical drives that can saturate a 3Gb/sec interface, let alone 6Gb/sec.

"a 64MB cache and a dual processor"
What, 2 controllers for a hard drive, or, one controller with 2 'cpus' that would still be limited by the single head and controller and mean it provides absolutely no performance increase over a single 'cpu'?

n_K said,
"a 64MB cache and a dual processor"
What, 2 controllers for a hard drive, or, one controller with 2 'cpus' that would still be limited by the single head and controller and mean it provides absolutely no performance increase over a single 'cpu'?

I love the guys who speak ass if they actually created the technology , teach me master!

n_K said,
"a 64MB cache and a dual processor"
What, 2 controllers for a hard drive, or, one controller with 2 'cpus' that would still be limited by the single head and controller and mean it provides absolutely no performance increase over a single 'cpu'?

lol wut?

Arceles said,

I love the guys who speak ass if they actually created the technology , teach me master!


"Dual processor - Twice the processing power to maximize performance. "
It's marketing bull****! You've still got one drive arm so you're limited by that, you could put 50,000 more 'processors' on the logic board and it still wouldn't do anything because you've got one arm.
That's like doubling the bandwidth of 2 out of 3 nodes, where the 3rd node is in the middle of the two with 56Kbps connections and the outside nodes have been doubles to 10Gbps, it won't change anything because it has to go through 56Kbps, absolutely pointless!

n_K said,

"Dual processor - Twice the processing power to maximize performance. "
It's marketing bull****!

I don't think you understand how modern hard drive works. Just so you know, you write to and read from the cache.

Captain555 said,

I don't think you understand how modern hard drive works. Just so you know, you write to and read from the cache.


I think you're thinking of hybrid hard drives which have a large cache. The 64MB cache on normal drives is for caching the most recently frequently read data so it doesn't have to have the drive arm keep seeking. Even if you are using it as a RW cache, it's 64MB so unless all you're doing is writing a word document, it's useless. Firefox, IE or chrome's cache will greatly exceed 64MB as will all data files for a game, ergo still need to move the drive arm to seek and read the other data ergo useless ergo marketing hype. (Plus this is a 4TB drive, the cache is 0.0015% of the available space compared to an old 16MB cache on a 40GB maxter drive being 0.04% of the available space)

n_K said,

I think you're thinking of hybrid hard drives which have a large cache.

No, no, no. Go read a bit about caching. Even on regular HD everything goes thru the cache. Just like on a CPU, nothing get processed without going thru the cache. That how the process get accelerated. So even with just 64 Mb of cache, the dual processor can help speed up thing. According to WD documentation, the drive can process a read and a write at the same.