Conclusion, Pricing, and Thoughts

Conclusion:

PROS:

  • Outstanding sequential read and write speeds.
  • File performance approaching 10,000 RPM VelociRaptor in some areas.
  • 5-Year warranty with 24/7 support hotline.
  • 1,200,000 hour MTBF (1,000,000 for WD Red Series).

CONS:

  • Not yet available in a 'GP' series (unknown if this will happen).
  • Different tuning might effect some workloads negatively (compared to prior gen RE4).

Pricing and Availability:

Volume shipment to standard e-tailers has not yet happened. As with all RE series drives, the added burn-in and initial bulk order volume makes it take a while to trickle down to the smaller folk. Here are the announced MSRP's:

  • WD4000FYYZ 4 TB, SATA 6 Gb/s $459.00
    WD3000FYYZ 3 TB, SATA 6 Gb/s $349.00
    WD2000FYYZ 2 TB, SATA 6 Gb/s $229.00
  • WD4001FYYG 4 TB, SAS 6 Gb/s $479.00
    WD3001FYYG 3 TB, SAS 6 Gb/s $369.00
    WD2001FYYG 2 TB, SAS 6 Gb/s $249.00
    WD1001FYYG 1 TB, SAS 6 Gb/s $139.00

These are clearly priced for the enterprise, as have all prior RE series units. My hope is that a more cost effective 'GP' variant will be launched. If that price sits somewhere between the Red and RE series, it might put these into the hands of some power users needing that extra 1TB per drive over the Reds (currently only available at a maximum of 3TB).

Warranty:

Standard Western Digital 5-year Warranty.

Final Thoughts:

After perhaps a longer than expected wait, Western Digital has released a 4TB hard disk in the form of its new RE series. RE drives have always carried a 'faster' track geometry than their consumer units, and this same case applies here. A heavier head pack resulted in slightly higher seek times, but our sample was able to keep random access performance in check and turn in some of the best file copy performance numbers we've seen from a spinning disk to date. Here's hoping we see the 4TB capacity point trickle down to the Red and Green lines soon!

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