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Old 04-21-2010, 12:22 PM   #1
DarkRogue
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Default WD10EALS - 1TB Blue

Hey guys,

For some reason I can't seem to find much information or even benchmarks for this relatively new drive from Western Digital. I'm looking to upgrade my system's data drives and was trying to figure out which drives to get.

I did want the new WD1002FAEX black drives due to their speed, but at the same time they seemed to be very noisy/hot/expensive and generally not worth it for what I was going to use them for. I also wanted to avoid the greens since they have some kind of head parking problem (I do use green drives, but they're purely for external backup and only on when I need to make a backup.)

That led me to think about the blue, but outside of one Japanese blogger who, for some reason, decided to divide it into 2 partitions before doing the benchmarks, I didn't know what I'd be giving up in terms of performance.

That said, I decided to bite the bullet and order them anyway, taking advantage of Newegg's recent sale. UPS decided they didn't know where to deliver it to, even though they managed to get it all the way out here into "out for delivery" phase and held it for an additional day while they "corrected the address." I just got it and it seems my apartment number and my street number lines got switched. This apparently causes UPS to panic and not know how to read the address anymore, even though there was a phone number listed right above it.

In any case, I'm about to give them a go but since information and benchmarks were so difficult to find, does anyone around here want me to bench them before I start putting data on mine? I've got 3 here, but I'm not sure how long they take. If anyone wants some benchmarks, let me know what program to use and where to get it from.

More importantly, the box looks a bit beat up, and I'm wondering if anyone knows some good software to test the drive for any damage caused by UPS' retarded shipping. Would a surface scan or a "long" format in Windows be enough to pick up any immediate problems with the drives?

Thanks.
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Old 04-21-2010, 12:45 PM   #2
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Actually, the Black drives probably aren't much more noisy or hot than the Blue drives. The Blue drives are probably within spitting distace of the Black drives in performance since a lot of performance has to do with rotational speed and platter density, and I'm guessing the two aren't too far apart in those respects. I think WD is just splitting hairs.

For testing, use WD Diag, available from wdc.com.
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Old 04-21-2010, 01:47 PM   #3
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Crystal disk mark should give all the important information. And your personal noise test.
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Old 04-23-2010, 10:02 AM   #4
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Thanks guys. I forgot how freakin' long it takes to scan these drives.
I managed to run a scan on all three drives and it seems to have turned up with no errors, so I think they're fine for now.

I have been running a couple benchmarks on them, but I noticed a peculiarity. Currently, I'm using my rig in my sig, and my 2 external eSATA enclosures are hooked up to my JMicron JMB363 (I think; Device manager only says 36X) SATA controller. The controller controls both SATA ports, as well as an unused IDE channel.

I noticed that when I benchmarked one drive alone on one particular SATA channel, it would start off at around 140mb/s read before gradually dropping down. When I tried to benchmark both drives at once though (through the same controller) both drives immediately tanked down to 60ish mb/s read until I stopped one of them. I suppose this isn't a good idea.

Curiously, when I switched the same hard drive that benched 140mb/s read to my other enclosure running on the other SATA port, it seems limited to 125mb/s read no matter what. If it somehow starts off above that, it nearly immediately spikes down very low before "recovering" to just under 125mb/s and staying there, almost a straight line, until the drive normally can't sustain 125mb/s read.

I switched the HD back and forth and ruled out the HD being faulty; I also switched cables on the enclosures to rule out the enclosure. I thought one of my SATA ports was acting up at this point, but I just decided to switch the ports to rule out the cable, and the effects reversed themselves... SO, my ports are actually fine, but it was the stupid cable causing problems. So much for these SATA2 cables from Monoprice. I swapped the cable back to the standard eSata cable supplied by Icy Dock and I'm back in business.

I'll post the screenshots in a couple hours, as I'm still running HDTune and CrystalDiskMark to verify that everything is peachy now. Are there any particular settings I should be using? I'm using default settings in HDTune (partial test, close to accurate, 64kb block size) and for CrystalDiskMark, I'm using 50/100/1000/4000MB test sizes. So far it doesn't seem as close to the benches I've seen of the WD1002FAEX; or at least not as close as I imagined it would be.
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Old 06-05-2010, 12:43 AM   #5
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Awesome drive. Coming from a fantastic specimen 6400AAKS to this yields higher reads but slightly slower seeks.

Among Seagate (528AS), Samsung (HD103SJ), and WD (WD10EALS) this is the best from what I've seen (access time particularly).

Interestingly, the Hitachi Feature Tool (2.08, 2.10, 2.11, 2.15) did not detect this drive on a ICH7 PC. Version 2.10 (didn't try others) on my main PC (ICH10) which was used for the HD Tach benchmark also did not detect the drive. In the past I had used some version of Feature Tool to enable and set AAM to 254 for my 6400AAKS - disabling it was the same as enabling it as quiet. SysTool detected both and tests showed that AAM on (254) was the same as AAM off (the default for the WD10EALS).
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