Internals, UEFI/GPT, Testing Methodology and System Setup
Three pentalobe screws and we're in. Thanks to the 48-layer V-NAND, PCB size has not increased over the older 2TB model.
On the controller side, we've got some DRAM and four flash packages.
Four more flash packages at the rear. Similar layout to the 2TB model, but with twice the flash die density.
One thing to consider when purchasing this 4TB model is that if you want one huge bootable partition, you will need to have a system that supports UEFI BIOS / GUID Partition Tables (GPT), as you are creating a >2TB volume (MBR limits to 2TB).
Installing Windows to such a configuration typically requires disabling any Compatibility Support Module (CSM) in your motherboard BIOS.
The catch-22 here is that unless your USB installer has been similarly partitioned (GPT), it may not be seen by the system when you attempt to do the install. I’ve found the easiest way to ensure you have a properly configured USB device is to configure the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool to only download the ISO locally, then use Rufus (with GPT partition scheme selected as shown above) to do the actual writing to your USB installer drive. We usually keep separate GPT and MBR installers around, just in case we need to do an install to a legacy (non-UEFI) system. More info on this here.
Our tests are a mix of synthetic and real-world benchmarks. IOMeter, HDTach, HDTune, Yapt and our custom File Copy test round out the selection to cover just about all bases. If you have any questions about our tests just drop into the Storage Forum and we'll help you out!
Test System Setup
We have several storage testbeds. A newer ASUS P8Z77-V Pro/Thunderbolt and an ASUS Z87-PRO. Variance between both boards has been deemed negligible when testing SATA devices. Future PCIe and SATA device testing, including this review, take place on a new ASUS Sabertooth X99, which comes equipped with USB 3.1, M.2, and can also handle SFF-8639 devices with the proper adapter.
PC Perspective would like to thank Intel, ASUS, Corsair, Kingston, and EVGA for supplying some of the components of our test rigs.
|Hard Drive Test System Setup|
|CPU||Intel Core i7 5820K @ 4.125 GHz|
|Motherboard||ASUS Sabertooth X99|
|Memory||16GB Micron DDR4 @ 3333|
|Hard Drive||G.Skill 32GB SLC SSD|
|Video Card||EVGA GeForce GTX 750|
|Video Drivers||GeForce Game Ready Driver 347.88|
|Power Supply||Corsair CMPSU-650TX|
|Operating System||Windows 8.1 Pro X64 (update)|
- PCPer File Copy Test
- PC Perspective Exclusive Latency Percentile and new Mixed Burst workloads