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Old 01-08-2013, 03:44 AM   #1
BFG10K
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Default My 1TB Green (WD10EZRX) Review

Background

I was in the market for an internal backup HDD that would always be on, so it needed to be as quiet as possible. It also needed reasonably decent performance for the purposes of mass file copying.

Initially I was going to get a 1TB Red, but then I discovered the WD Green 1TB (WD10EZRX). The interesting thing about this specimen is that itís currently the only Green drive to have 1 TB platters like the Red series.


System

i5 2500K, GTX680, 16GB DDR3-1600, Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD3-B3, X-Fi XtremeMusic, Seasonic X 560W, Antec 902, 30" HP LP3065, Windows 7 SP1 (64 bit).

As the goal here is mass storage and backup, Iím not going test my Samsung 128GB SSD. But Iíll throw in a VelociRaptor as itís the same size as the other drives, and is also backed up by them.

So the four drives tested are:
  • Western Digital Green 1TB (WD10EZRX), 1 x 1TB platter @ 5400 RPM.
  • Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000.D 1TB (HDS721010DLE630), 1 x 1TB platter @ 7200 RPM.
  • Western Digital Black 1TB (WD1002FAEX), 2 x 500GB platters @ 7200 RPM.
  • Western Digital VelociRaptor 1TB (WD1000DHTZ), 3 x 333GB platters @ 10000 RPM.
Synthetics

Here are the HD Tune scores:




The Greenís average sequential performance of 118 MB/sec is very decent considering itís only spinning at 5400 RPM, and it actually outruns the 7200 RPM Black by 18%. WD seriously needs to update that line to use 1TB platters.

17ms random access is high compared to the Black, but itís better than Hitachiís 18.8ms, which is a 7200 RPM drive I might add. Note that neither the Hitachi nor the Green support changing AAM.

The Green is also much better than the Red drives in this test, which score 20ms - 22ms depending on the model.


Games & File Copying

Games were measured with level and saved game loading using a stopwatch. Allow a +/- 1 second margin of error.



The Green turns in performance comparable to both the Black and Hitachi, though the Hitachi is quite a bit faster in Stalker 3, a game which obviously likes sequential performance.

The Raptor is in a different class across the board, and I think itís definitely worthwhile over other HDDs for gaming purposes.

In my unscientific file copying test I backed up my 465GB gaming library. The Black settled at writing around 80MB/sec, and the Hitachi usually bounced between 97MB/sec Ė 101MB/sec. But surprisingly the Green was even faster, and it settled at 107MB/sec, going as high as 109MB/sec in some cases.


Subjective Usage

The drive is exceptionally quiet. Even when sitting on my desk I canít hear it unless I put my ear close to it. It has no vibration and has extremely subdued seek noises. Also even after heavy file copying without a cooling fan, itís barely warm to the touch.

I think it employs head parking after about ten seconds of idleness, and you can hear a slight click when it does so. As Iíll have mine sitting idle in the background for most of the time, this doesnít bother me.


Conclusion

This drive is exactly what I was looking for, and itís an excellent drive if you want silent storage combined with fast file copying. The fact that it writes my files faster than the Hitachi is impressive. You could also use it as a silent gaming drive as it produces competitive real-world gaming performance compared to 7200 RPM drives.

If you donít need the NAS features of the Red drive, get this Green drive instead. Itís cheaper, has the same sequential performance, and has much better random access performance.
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Last edited by BFG10K; 01-08-2013 at 04:23 AM.
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:51 AM   #2
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Weird. Aside from access times, it's faster (transfer rate) than both my 640GB AALS Black and my 1TB Blue.
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:35 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scholzpdx View Post
Weird. Aside from access times, it's faster (transfer rate) than both my 640GB AALS Black and my 1TB Blue.
That's not surprising given those older drives probably have a much lower areal density.
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:45 AM   #4
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How do you know what drives use what platters?
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:13 AM   #5
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Arent you worry about the high failure rate ? I actually just rma 2 green drives this week
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:20 AM   #6
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The EZRX greens are really fast. I really like my 2tb green.
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post
How do you know what drives use what platters?
A combination of manufacturer specs, other reviews, and some detective work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rsutoratosu View Post
Arent you worry about the high failure rate ? I actually just rma 2 green drives this week
I've never had a WD drive fail on me so I have full confidence in this one.
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:34 AM   #8
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Another 1 platter drive of note, Seagate 1tb ST1000DM003. Was stunned when I first benched it.

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Old 03-28-2013, 09:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post
How do you know what drives use what platters?
http://rml527.blogspot.nl/2010/10/hd...l-35_1109.html

Thanks for review. Though choice between red and green, but 3 year warranty on reds is nice.
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amenx View Post
Another 1 platter drive of note, Seagate 1tb ST1000DM003. Was stunned when I first benched it.
Yup, that's actually the fastest 7200RPM drive you can buy. I only avoid it because of Seagate's questionable quality.
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Old 03-30-2013, 09:04 AM   #11
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does this drive have power save features like idle-low-rpm mode?

does this drive auto-park the heads all the time? Velociraptor enterprise are designed for high uptime , but low energy savings (parking the heads all the time and powering down is really bad).

Some drives can idle at like 2400rpm and go back to 5400 to wake up faster plus they don't get cold. Heat change kills! (cold to hot, hot to cold).
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Old 03-30-2013, 09:13 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emulex View Post
does this drive have power save features like idle-low-rpm mode?
No, it's a constant 5400RPM. In fact I don't know of any drive that varies its RPM (aside from completely spinning down, of course).

Quote:
does this drive auto-park the heads all the time?
Yes, like I said in the OP.
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Old 03-30-2013, 12:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFG10K View Post
Yup, that's actually the fastest 7200RPM drive you can buy. I only avoid it because of Seagate's questionable quality.
As I type this, I'm scanning my 1TB Seagate drive because I shelved it as it was hanging/crashing my system. I never got around to RMA it in time. I just updated firmware and am running tests on whether I should toss it. Smart in HD Tune shows warning of 1693 damaged sectors and 30830128 seek error rates (the latter is increasing). Seatools Smart checks says its good.

I've got SeaTools attempting to "fix" the drive right now.
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Old 03-30-2013, 05:16 PM   #14
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Seek error rate and raw read error rate are a normal function of harddrives. Many people who say 'my drive has failed' are not really descriptive enough. Does it not spin up i.e. mechanical issues? Is it not detected at all (electronical problems?) or is it functional but somehow doesn't work well with your chosen software solution (i.e. bad sectors). In many cases the latter is the case, which does not equal a failed drive.

Many people who see 'errors' in the SMART output also think this is a problem and not normal behavior. The result is that manufacturers are hiding the true (raw) value, and only provide a normalised value that tells you much less. The real cause, of course, is that few people know how to properly interpret SMART data and that virtually all utilities that try to interpret these for you, are horribly wrong in their analyses.

As for the performance benchmarks: in many cases these benchmarks are performed on empty drives which is not at all representative of actual performance. If one would use a dataset of 250GB including fragmentation and other consequences of normal everyday usage, the I/O pattern will change accordingly. This can change the output of such benchmarks. For example, the performance of Green of 5400rpm-class harddrives can be even bigger if you compare these to lower-capacity drives with lower-capacity platters but higher rotational speed (7200rpm; 10k). The funny thing is that because of the larger size of 'green' drives, they can compete very well in the real world because the 10k drive with lower capacity will have to perform seeks across its surface, while the Green drive will only perform seeks within a small portion (i.e. 'short stroked') using the same dataset.

In many cases, people do not recognise the relation between storage capacity versus IOps or random I/O performance. But a bigger drive is faster in reality, something that gets obscured through the misty cloak of artificial benchmarks.
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:16 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sub.mesa View Post
As for the performance benchmarks: in many cases these benchmarks are performed on empty drives which is not at all representative of actual performance. If one would use a dataset of 250GB including fragmentation and other consequences of normal everyday usage, the I/O pattern will change accordingly. This can change the output of such benchmarks. For example, the performance of Green of 5400rpm-class harddrives can be even bigger if you compare these to lower-capacity drives with lower-capacity platters but higher rotational speed (7200rpm; 10k). The funny thing is that because of the larger size of 'green' drives, they can compete very well in the real world because the 10k drive with lower capacity will have to perform seeks across its surface, while the Green drive will only perform seeks within a small portion (i.e. 'short stroked') using the same dataset.
Valid points, so hereís a run-down of these particular benchmarks:
  • All drives are 1TB, so thereís no capacity bias.
  • The game load times were performed with 465GB data on the drives (i.e. my entire gaming library).
  • The file copying was performed from a backup partition starting at 600GB (i.e. 60% into the platter), using an additional ~30GB data.
I use the drives like that in the real-world, so those are the same results that I put up.

Over the years of testing storage Iíve come to the conclusion that you sometimes come across real-world situations that differ from the synthetics.

In this instance - for a 5400RPM drive - the Green is exceptionally fast at file copying, regardless of what workload I give it.
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