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  • krumme - Tuesday, October 19, 2010 - link

    Can we perhaps see this in a My Book World Edition?

    Thanx for the fine HD reviews Anand
  • ervinshiznit - Tuesday, October 19, 2010 - link

    So with the 32 bit LBA restriction, does this mean that its possible to boot from a partition on a 3TB drive as long as that partition is no larger than 2.1TB? Reply
  • davepermen - Tuesday, October 19, 2010 - link

    And it's especially nice that the old small 2TB drives are now really cheap. Put a new one to celebrate into my windows home server. The 3TB ones won't be supported for whs1 anyways, so it's cheap 2TB drives from now on.

    Then, when the 3TB will be in the same price/gb ratio, the next disk will be needed, and whs2 will be there, supporting them.

    And yes, storage (in my case, networked storage thanks to whs) + ssd in the systems is definitely the best setup. 100% agreed.
  • ratbert1 - Tuesday, October 19, 2010 - link

    "The controller supports booting to a 3TB formatted drive if your motherboard has EFI support."
    The chart shows support for boot with 64 bit Vista and 7 with the HBA controller. If you have 32 bit, you can use it as a data drive.
  • SteelCity1981 - Tuesday, October 19, 2010 - link

    It's totally pointless to make 6gb platter hard drives. At least WD understands that. Reply
  • Taft12 - Tuesday, October 19, 2010 - link

    Nobody makes 6GB/platter drives... at least not since 1999! Reply
  • SteelCity1981 - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    I'm talking speed not size duh. Reply
  • Roland00Address - Tuesday, October 19, 2010 - link

    Western Digital Caviar Black WD6402AAEX 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5"
    Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5"
    Western Digital VelociRaptor WD4500HLHX 450GB 10000 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5"
    Western Digital VelociRaptor WD6000HLHX 600GB 10000 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5"
  • bennyg - Saturday, October 23, 2010 - link

    If you were uninformed, you would think a SATA 6GBPS 3TB HDD is faster than a SATA 3GBPS 3TB HDD. So marketing people think it's very useful. Reply
  • ytoledano1 - Tuesday, October 19, 2010 - link

    In most cases, data is lost due to user error, virus, theft or fire - RAID1 protects against none of these. RAID1 will protect you against disk failure, but its main advantage is in mission-critical servers where you don't want to reboot the machine when replacing a drive. How many desktop users need this feature?

    Worst, people might think that their data is backed up 'cause their disk is redundant. It's not.
  • pvdw - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    I use Linux MD RAID 10 (near-copies) on my home "server". For those who don't know, this is a non-standard RAID level that simulates RAID-10 using only two drives. In addition to redundancy this provides read speed improvements and some write speed improvement. I've set up automatic backups to protect from user error; and use Linux, so no viruses (yet). So I'm protected from all but fire/theft/bomb/hurricane/etc. For this I have off-site storage that syncs on a less frequent basis.

    Since we've had a number of power cuts here recently, the RAID setup also gives extra security.

    Also, I don't know where you get your data from. None of my customers have lost data due to malware (I recover data from systems riddled with them), theft, or fire, but they have due to disk failure. I would put user error at the top of the list. I can see theft moving up the list due to the increase in portable data storage (tablets, smartphones, etc.)
  • daneren2005 - Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - link

    You must be kidding me. Although it happens, not a single person I know has ever had a fire in their house. House break ins once again happen, but are not every day occurrences. I haven't heard of a widespread wipe virus since the early XP days. And when it comes right down to it, the common backup method (external HDD) prevents NONE of these things either. For 99.9% of the population, a RAID 1 provides IDENTICAL protection as an external backup drive. Especially since most consumer backups delete files that were deleted on the main drive, anything but a immediately noticed user error/virus wipe (and usually getting it out of the trash is going to be enough for these cases) would be propagated to the external drive as well.

    Now I both backup (update ~once a moth and store at brothers house) and RAID my data, but I do both because neither is enough by itself, but RAID isn't any less of a backup option then external backups.
  • CharonPDX - Tuesday, October 19, 2010 - link

    I've had Intel Desktop boards for a few years that support EFI boot. I installed Windows 7 this way onto a 3 TB Intel chipset RAID a while ago, no problem. (Boot to the EFI installer on the Windows 7 disc, rather than the BIOS installer.) Reply
  • TSnor - Tuesday, October 19, 2010 - link

    re: "Simply look at worst case seek time and you’ll get an idea for how quickly the platters are spinning" Worse case seek time should be the time it takes the heads to move from one extreme to another. While there might be a correlation between seek time and RPM, it would be because high performance drives tend to maximize both and green drives accept compromises on both.

    re: "Random performance is significantly lower, presumably because of the translation that happens at the USB controller level. " No, reading random 4K records is much harder for disk drives than reading sequential data. The R/W heads need to get positioned to the correct track between each random IO operation (that's the 'seek time' above) and the correct data has to rotate under the R/W heads (that's rotational latency effected by drive RPM). Reading sequential data the disk drive just reads each record as it comes under the R/W head, with a 1 cylinder (very short) seek to get to the next cylinder. This is why rotating disks can compete with SSDs for sequential data but get crushed on random data.
  • dertechie - Tuesday, October 19, 2010 - link

    He's comparing the 4K reads of the external drive to the 4K reads of internal and other HDDs, not to sequential reads. If you actually look, you'll note that the drive lost over half of its random 4K read performance when using it over USB3 (0.18 MB/s) compared to the numbers it posts as an internal drive (0.40 MB/s). Write performance also dropped compared to internal, but not as much. Reply
  • TSnor - Tuesday, October 19, 2010 - link

    re: "If you actually look..." ok. I agree with you. Reply
  • Sufo - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    um, pretty sure he was comparing the internal drive to the external one here (so essentially sata to usb 3). I would be surprised if Anand had forgotten that random reads/writes are slow work on mechanical drives - it's not been that long since he published the last round of articles on the subject... Reply
  • Sufo - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    oops sorry, didn't check next page >_< Reply
  • Dainas - Tuesday, October 19, 2010 - link


    Can you please do some reviews on Samsung's Spinpoints? Only asking because Western Digital and Seagate always seem to have this or that issue with their +1TB drive. Also from what I've seen Samsungs efforts are also consistently faster and more reliable. Would be nice to know what you think of them.
  • musicman1352000 - Tuesday, October 19, 2010 - link

    Yes please!

    Also, what happened to the noise figures?
  • mapesdhs - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    I've been buying Samsung drives for a while, they are indeed pretty quick. I've
    not compared to Seagate or WD, but I've added some Samsung HDTach data to
    my benchmarks page for the 1TB editions of the Spinpoint F1 and F3, if it's of
    any use:

    At some stage I'd like to start testing random read/write with IOMeter, but finding
    the time is a problem.

  • EddyKilowatt - Tuesday, October 19, 2010 - link

    Exactly. I think the fast/high performance end of the magnetic storage market will wither pretty fast under the onslaught of SSDs, except for increasingly niche applications that need fast access to 500-1000 MB of data.

    Meanwhile, as SSDs get solidified in the fast boot/app/cache role, the need for speed will further be relaxed for these big TB-class drives, and disk builders will feel freer to optimize for areal density at the expense of speed. I think we'll see lots of 5400 drives, and who knows... maybe 4200 and other speeds that till now have seemed like grandma territory. Anything that can originate a couple of full-HD video streams, or other media stream of your choice, seems like it ought to be viable for what will increasingly be the foundation tier of the ever-diversifying storage hierarchy.
  • AFUMCBill - Tuesday, October 19, 2010 - link

    "The Essential suffix somehow implies USB 3.0 support."

    This is incorrect. The Essential suffix means USB only support, no eSATA, no FireWire. That USB support can be either USB 2.0 or USB 3.0.
  • kepstin - Tuesday, October 19, 2010 - link

    It's not actually true that a classic PC BIOS can't boot from a GPT formatted disk - I'm doing that right now!

    The design of GPT incorporates backwards compatibility, including space for an old-fashioned MBR boot sector that can be loaded with a bootloader that knows how to read GPT. As a result, Linux boots just fine on a GPT partitioned disk, even on a classic BIOS PC.

    The issue is specifically that Windows can't boot off of a GPT disk without EFI, because the boot loader that Windows uses on a BIOS machine doesn't know how to read GPT partitions.
  • Mr Perfect - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    Can it read more then 2TB? I read it to mean that BIOS couldn't handle anything bigger then 2TB, regardless. Reply
  • Etern205 - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    On page 2 , one of the images show a MBR partition HDD can be converted to GPT.

    If one has all the requirements, can they just use their OS disc to directly create a GPT partition instead of doing this conversion stuff?
  • R3MF - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    Anand - will there be 2TB green drives based on these platters? Reply
  • tiro_uspsss - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    there is no 150GB VelociRaptor in the benches/review.. ;) Reply
  • mapesdhs - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    Here's what I get with HDTach for my WD VR 150GB:

    Max: 132.0 MB/sec
    Avg: 107.0 MB/sec
    Min: 79.0 MB/sec
    Burst: 248.0 MB/sec
    Access: 6.9ms


    What does IOMeter use as its definition of 1MB? 10^6 bytes or 2^20 bytes? I think
    HDTach uses the former.

  • Mr Perfect - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    I've seen a number of sites now mentioning UEFI will show up in H1 of 2011. Is UEFI an official feature of the Cougar Point chipsets? Reply
  • risa2000 - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    I have 4 years "old" Intel board D975XBX, which sports EFI boot. The only effect I saw so far, it confuses Win 7 Ultimate installation disk to the point it presents strange menu after the boot, which does not display the choices. Searching on Internet returns this is related to EFI (since it has been also observed on Intel Macs). So EFI has been around for quite a while already - whether it works is different story.

    For 4KiB sector size. I hope WD will soon come out clear on this point and have their drives to report it properly. So far I have seen two Caviar Greens (640G and 2TB), which both claimed logical and physical size 512b. It seems the situation now is forced by Windows XP compatibility, but it then has negative impact on any other system and performance if not handled manually and correctly.

    For example the mentioned 4K random read&write: Were those 4K blocks aligned to physical disk sectors or were they random on 512b boundary?
  • alpha754293 - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    I thought that LBA48 was supposed to fix the whole LBA32 issue?

    At 48-bits of Logical Block Addressing, that would be 2^48 blocks. Multiply that by even 512-byte sectors, you end up with 144,115,188,075,855,872 bytes of storage max. (144 TB).
  • QChronoD - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    This drive looks very interesting. I'm looking to add a bunch more storage to my computer and these new 3TB are very tempting especially with such a small price premium.

    Since I have 8 open drive bays but no free SATA ports, I'm debating between getting a good 12 or 16ch raid card and then running one ginormous RAID5 or 6, or just picking up a pair of cheap SATA cards and dealing with a dozen drive letters.
    ATM I'm leaning towards RAID since I think I would be less likely to loose data. Anyone's opinion on which way I should go (or what cards/drives to get)
  • mark3450 - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    My understanding is that Western Digital is now deliberately crippling RAID support in all new consumer level drives. Specially by removing the users ability to set what WD terms the "Time-Limited Error Recovery" flag in the drives firmware.

    Anyone have and idea if this is also the case for this drive?
  • JNo - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    First of all, I think most of us know that a 3TB 5,400rpm (ok 'up to 6k rpm') is not meant to be a boot drive so there is not much point reiterating it so many times or carrying out 20 different tests that all show it. However I do take point with one statement:

    "At $239 for an internal drive, the 3TB offering isn't too expensive. You can shave off another penny or two per GB if you go with a smaller drive, but if you want the space of a single drive Western Digital's offering isn't a bad deal."

    A penny or 2 per gigabyte is a *huge* amount when gigabytes are only 3-6p each.
    In the UK, the pre-order price for this drive ( is £189.05 or 6.3p/gb whereas the 2TB caviar green (WD20EARS) is only £73.21 or 3.7p/gb. That's 42% less! I know there is always a premium for cutting edge but I'm not sure there are too many people for whom 3TB is mission critical where 2TB would fail.

    So unless you have an SFF/HTPC with v limited drive bays, the 2TB drives win everytime. You've admitted yourselves that speed is not a factor, that these are slow storage drives, so the only metric of interest, really, is cost / gb. There's a lot of analysis this write up for a straight forward conclusion unfortunately.
  • softdrinkviking - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    So, does using Linux Effect the hardware requirements?
    You still need a mobo with efi support, right?
    And you also are restricted by SATA and have to use IDE?
  • mariush - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    Is Anandtech so poor that they can't buy a license for that software used to determine the transfer speed? It shows "trial version" in the top left corner...

    I guess the extra cost is also in part because of the controller, which is a custom HighPoint RocketRAID 620 (see that's available for 60$ ... well custom, if you think custom means removing the beeper.

    I guess if you need a sata controller or you wish to sell the controller on eBay it would be worth getting this drive.
  • marsbound2024 - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    "It's barely any faster than an old Seagate Barracuda ES and even slower than the old 150GB VelociRaptor. "

    I believe it is just "Raptor" not "VelociRaptor."
  • Hrel - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    The only way I'd forgo using a 7200rpm drive is if I could get a 500+GB SSD for under 100 bucks. That's the only way I could install every single program I use and have enough space space to keep things running smoothly. And that's today, I'd want room for expansion, more games, bigger games, bigger media editing programs. SSD's are still WAY WAY WAY too expensive. The price of them needs to come WAY down or they'll never see market penetration. I'm honestly shocked they're still so expensive. Where's the sub 50 cents per GB SSD? Reply
  • Hrel - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    I've seen 1TB drives for 50 bucks. That's 5 cents per GB. You'd think we could get at least 25 cents per GB in SSD's. Hell, they're only 5 times faster at best, so 5 times more/GB seems totally fair. Greedy Bastards; most us are still struggling out here and they're just getting greedier. Reply
  • Photo-Nerd - Sunday, October 24, 2010 - link

    It was slooooooooowwwwww, but on top of that, disk utility was reporting a smart failure.

    This drive equals the suck.

  • piroroadkill - Monday, October 25, 2010 - link

    You mean that now and then you get failures of <any product name here>?

    Colour me shocked.
  • pesos - Saturday, December 18, 2010 - link

    Hi Anand, I bought a mybook 3tb usb3 drive with the intention of using it to store Hyper-V VHD virtual disk files.

    Hyper-V is reporting that it cannot use drives with 4k sector sizes (way to go, microsoft). I have heard that the built-in WSB (same engine used for win7 backups) also has this limitation.

    Do you know if there is any way to get 512b emulation on the MyBook drives, or do I need to return this drive and go with a different solution?

  • Azaloom - Monday, January 10, 2011 - link

    That bundled PCIe-card really looks like a 4-port card. Maybe that's why the HighPoint’s drivers won't work - they have altered the card a little bit and removed port 3 and 4 plugs as excessive? But the solder bases looks to be there on the circuit board. I wonder if you could make it into a 4 four port SATA card just by soldering the missing SATA data-ports to their bases on the board. I mean I already thought about bying this HDD because I have all the SATA ports in use on my MB, and this would give the possibility of adding not one but two more HDD's - who knows, it that's four with a little tweaking. One PCIe lane should be more than enough to drive 4 mainstream HDD's for the average user. Reply
  • coyote2 - Tuesday, February 08, 2011 - link

    If a 3TB drive is only formatted to < 2.19TB, would that remove all complications of booting from it?

    (Odd question, I know. But I'm buying a new system, for which I already own a boot drive I want to reinstall the OS onto; but the system builder requires that I buy the new system with the OS [Windows 7 Pro 64-bit] pre-installed; I'm just wondering if they only format a 3TB hdd to < 2.19TB, will booting from it will be issue-free?)
  • eazmichael - Tuesday, March 01, 2011 - link

    Is WD using the same HD model in the 3TB My book as the internal package? The stand-alone drive costs around $215 or more while the 3 TB My book is now available for less than $180. i was thinking about putting two of the drives in a Synology DS211+ enclosure (Raid 1) - it looks a bit like it is cheaper to buy two My Books and rip the drives out. Reply
  • burbello - Monday, June 30, 2014 - link

    Does anybody know if it is possible to replace the hard disk of Western Digital 640GB My Book for a new one with 3TB ? When replacing only the disk, should I perform any particular step? Thank you. Reply
  • burbello - Monday, June 30, 2014 - link

    I have an Western Digital 640GB My Book, I would like to replace the hard disk to another WD 3TB, but I am not sure if it will work, does anybody know if this is compatible or even if I have to perform any additional step? Thank you Reply

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