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Western Digital Caviar RE2 WD4000YR


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#1 Eugene

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Posted 19 October 2005 - 08:39 AM

WD's second stab at a 7200 RPM enterprise-class drive is quite a different beast than the original "Raid Edition" Caviar. Designed from the ground up as an SATA drive and featuring the manufacturer's first implementation of NCQ, this 400 GB drive harbors much promise. Does the RE2 deliver? Let's find out!

Western Digital Caviar RE2 WD4000YR Review

#2 Shining Arcanine

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Posted 19 October 2005 - 05:37 PM

Eugene, have considered measuring decibel count from a meter away like silentpcreview.com does? The people who run SPCR find the figures found at a meter away to be much more accurate than those right next to the drive.

#3 Eugene

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Posted 19 October 2005 - 05:48 PM

Eugene, have considered measuring decibel count from a meter away like silentpcreview.com does? The people who run SPCR find the figures found at a meter away to be much more accurate than those right next to the drive.


I have. What I don't have, however, is the equiment and environment to pick up and distinguish between what in the end are predominately quiet devices in an absolute sense. 1 meter away is quite far for a standard type II meter and requires a heavily treated chamber to be reliable...

#4 Shining Arcanine

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Posted 19 October 2005 - 06:05 PM

SPCR doesn't use a chamber. They just use a high quality microphone and a quiet ambient environment. 3.5" hard drives make more noise than the typical quiet ambient environment. It might be hard to measure 2.5" hard drives with that setup depending on various factors but SPCR has done it. You might want to read their article on their hard drive testing methodology:

http://www.silentpcr...e242-page1.html

#5 Eugene

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Posted 19 October 2005 - 06:22 PM

I think they' mentioned in various articles that ambient noise is 18 db or so, however... my type II meter seems to bottom out at about 32 or so. 18 ambient is -very- quiet.

#6 Shining Arcanine

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Posted 19 October 2005 - 06:52 PM

What makes the ambient noise level where you live 32 decibels? That is more noise than my PC makes.

Edited by Shining Arcanine, 19 October 2005 - 06:53 PM.

#7 ho

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Posted 19 October 2005 - 08:19 PM

...WD cautions against using the RE2 in a desktop system. The drive's TLER feature expects to be paired with a RAID controller. In the event of an unlikely but possible error situation, the RE2 may not make every attempt to recover when operating on a regular controller as a standard SATA drive would..


Does this apply if the drive is used on a RAID capable controller (nForce4), but not utilized in a RAID configuration? I would like to use one of these drives as a storage disk in a graphics workstation (Tyan K8E, Athlon X2 4400+), but I don't want to risk data corruption/integrity.

Thanks.

#8 jang

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 02:26 AM

...WD cautions against using the RE2 in a desktop system. The drive's TLER feature expects to be paired with a RAID controller. In the event of an unlikely but possible error situation, the RE2 may not make every attempt to recover when operating on a regular controller as a standard SATA drive would..


Does this apply if the drive is used on a RAID capable controller (nForce4), but not utilized in a RAID configuration? I would like to use one of these drives as a storage disk in a graphics workstation (Tyan K8E, Athlon X2 4400+), but I don't want to risk data corruption/integrity.

Thanks.

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I would like to know this too!
I'm just dying to use this drive in a desktop based system, but NOT in a raid array!
I wish there was some way to just manually disable this TLER feature!

#9 Olaf van der Spek

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 08:13 AM

Most benchmarks appear to favour bigger drives. But SR only tests the biggest drive in a family.
Wouldn't it be interesting to test (at least once) also smaller drives to see how capacity affects performance?
Often the drive with one platter less than the biggest drive has the best capacity/price ratio. So is it safe to use the benchmarks for the bigger drive to decide to buy the smaller driver?

#10 GIGANTOID

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 01:53 PM

WD's second stab at a 7200 RPM enterprise-class drive is quite a different beast than the original "Raid Edition" Caviar. Designed from the ground up as an SATA drive and featuring the manufacturer's first implementation of NCQ, this 400 GB drive harbors much promise. Does the RE2 deliver? Let's find out!

Western Digital Caviar RE2 WD4000YR Review

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I knew I should have waited for the review instead of investing in the Maxline IIIs, they were a great price though. I'm glad WD is putting out (keeps on) great hrad drives. Hopefully the quality will hold up over the long run.

#11 Ender17

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 04:18 PM

Most benchmarks appear to favour bigger drives. But SR only tests the biggest drive in a family.
Wouldn't it be interesting to test (at least once) also smaller drives to see how capacity affects performance?
Often the drive with one platter less than the biggest drive has the best capacity/price ratio. So is it safe to use the benchmarks for the bigger drive to decide to buy the smaller driver?

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agreed, I'd especially like to see some benchmarks of the 36GB MAU

Edited by Ender17, 20 October 2005 - 04:18 PM.

#12 Shining Arcanine

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 07:42 PM

WD's second stab at a 7200 RPM enterprise-class drive is quite a different beast than the original "Raid Edition" Caviar. Designed from the ground up as an SATA drive and featuring the manufacturer's first implementation of NCQ, this 400 GB drive harbors much promise. Does the RE2 deliver? Let's find out!

Western Digital Caviar RE2 WD4000YR Review

View Post



I knew I should have waited for the review instead of investing in the Maxline IIIs, they were a great price though. I'm glad WD is putting out (keeps on) great hrad drives. Hopefully the quality will hold up over the long run.

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I think the leaderboard might have to change. I'm curious if the reason Western Digital lost its position on it was because it started optimizing its hard drives for next generation work loads.

#13 Alarmer

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Posted 22 October 2005 - 02:50 AM

Iam also very intrested in this latest drive and seems like a good upgrade from my Maxtor DiamondMax 10. What Iam conserned about is expecially the "whining" noise of the drive, could the reviewer give his personal opinion about this?

I usually place my HD on bottom of my case and put soft pads underneath the drive. I also place silent fan to blow air on the drive to prevent overheating, this eliminates the resonating sounds effectively but leaves the whining noise.

So in your opinion reviewer, does this drive whine more than the other drives? :)

#14 Shining Arcanine

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Posted 23 October 2005 - 07:17 PM

Western Digital eliminated the whine when they switched over to FDBs in late 2003/early 2004. They're on the recommended hard drive list at SilentPCReview.com:

http://www.silentpcr...le29-page1.html

Edited by Shining Arcanine, 23 October 2005 - 07:17 PM.

#15 whiic

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Posted 24 October 2005 - 06:00 AM

There is one typo on the second page (Low Level Results page):

The Caviar RE2 weighs in with a read access time of 13.3 milliseconds. When accounting for the average rotational latency of a 7200 RPM spindle (4.2 ms), the Caviar's measured read seek time is 9.1 milliseconds, missing the manufacturer's claim by a relatively insignificant 0.2 ms. Average writes come in at 14.2 ms, just under a second higher than average reads.

Should be "millisecond".
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#16 Eugene

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Posted 24 October 2005 - 06:13 AM

There is one typo on the second page (Low Level Results page):

The Caviar RE2 weighs in with a read access time of 13.3 milliseconds. When accounting for the average rotational latency of a 7200 RPM spindle (4.2 ms), the Caviar's measured read seek time is 9.1 milliseconds, missing the manufacturer's claim by a relatively insignificant 0.2 ms. Average writes come in at 14.2 ms, just under a second higher than average reads.

Should be "millisecond".

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Thanks, should be fixed!

#17 TechNet

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Posted 24 October 2005 - 11:36 AM

Hi

What tool did you turn off NCQ on these drives with?

Cheers Paul

#18 doctorj

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Posted 24 October 2005 - 12:45 PM

The 'Caviar vs. Raptor' graph is labeled "Command Queueing Disabled" but the Caviar's scores are actually with command queueing enabled. The Caviar would put up a better showing vs. the Raptor if you actually graphed the results with both disabled.

http://www.storagere..._1=259&devCnt=2

#19 Eugene

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Posted 24 October 2005 - 03:33 PM

The 'Caviar vs. Raptor' graph is labeled "Command Queueing Disabled" but the Caviar's scores are actually with command queueing enabled.  The Caviar would put up a better showing vs. the Raptor if you actually graphed the results with both disabled.


You're absolutely correct. Fixed, thanks for the sharp eye.

#20 captainmidnight

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Posted 24 October 2005 - 06:04 PM

...WD cautions against using the RE2 in a desktop system. The drive's TLER feature expects to be paired with a RAID controller. In the event of an unlikely but possible error situation, the RE2 may not make every attempt to recover when operating on a regular controller as a standard SATA drive would..


Does this apply if the drive is used on a RAID capable controller (nForce4), but not utilized in a RAID configuration? I would like to use one of these drives as a storage disk in a graphics workstation (Tyan K8E, Athlon X2 4400+), but I don't want to risk data corruption/integrity.

Thanks.

View Post


I would like to know this too!
I'm just dying to use this drive in a desktop based system, but NOT in a raid array!
I wish there was some way to just manually disable this TLER feature!

View Post




Guys,

I too am desperate to know if this drive can be used as a non-RAID drive, in spite of WD's warnings about the Time-Limited Error Recovery (TLER) making it non-suitable for ordinary single-drive setups.

I actually called WD today to try and get an answer. It was really tough to find sales offices on their wesite; they really seem to try and hide the information. Anyways, I called their MA and CA sales offices and asked to speak to sales engineers.

The MA office routed me to an ordinary saleman. He claimed that he did not think that the TLER feature would rule out this drive as a desktop single drive, which had me excited.

The CA office routed me to a lady in their tech support group. She said that TLER -is- bad for a desktop drive because it may cause lots of spurious file not found or other error messages to appear. She said that she does not believe that TLER is configurable in these units. If true, what an oversight on their engineer's part. Their jumper settings for this drive certainly mention nothing about TLER:
http://wdc.custhelp....12716269#jumper

I also asked this lady if it is OK to use this drive in a non-RAID setup but if it is connected to a motherboard which has a RAID controller on it. (In my case, I have an Asus P4800 Deluxe motherboard; if I understand the specs
http://www.aberdeeni...atg/kit6761.htm
correctly, SATA RAID on this MB is controlled by the ICH5R South Bridge.) She said that she was not sure, but did not think that it would work.

If I can't get a satisfactory answer, I will have to fall back and order their consumer grade drive, the Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD4000KD, which I will probbly buy at Newegg
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16822144423
(unless you guys have another recommendation for a better store or a better high performance and >= 400 GB drive--feel free to chime in.)


By the way, here are some background references on TLER:
http://www.westerndi...2579-001098.pdf

http://www.westerndi...2178-001031.pdf
(see the FAQ near the end; claims that normal drives can take up to several minutes performing error recovery)

http://www.westerndi...2579-001097.pdf
(see near the middle where they talk about Behavior in RAID system)

#21 Eugene

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Posted 24 October 2005 - 08:00 PM

If I can't get a satisfactory answer, I will have to fall back and order their consumer grade drive, the Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD4000KD, which I will probbly buy at Newegg


You've jumped through quite a few hoops, haven't you?

Most indications are that the WD4000KD is very similar to the WD4000YR. It'll be a bit before we formally publish a review on the SE16 (we're backlogged with quite a bit of material right now), but in short, those lusting for the RE2 won't be disserviced by the SE16:

http://www.storagere..._3=286&devCnt=4

#22 captainmidnight

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Posted 24 October 2005 - 10:38 PM

Eugene,

Thanks for the prompt response: the benchmarks you posted have convinced me to buy the Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD4000KD.

Did you just recently generate that KD versus YR webpage? I did a search earlier today on SR for the WD4000KD and did not find that page. Instead, I mostly found forum discussions that did not seem relevant for the questions that I had.

The reason why I was worried about the SE16's performance, by the way, was because SR's review concludes that the YR is about one of the fastest SATA drives out there ("sweeps our high-level performance tests across the board") whereas other reviews that I read on the KD conclude that it is mediocre:

"The WD4000 compares favorably to other WD drives, but remains behind its current competitor from Seagate (7200.8) when it comes to low level performance (except for the access time test.)"
http://www.tomshardw...digital-08.html

"A while ago we had taken a look at a couple 400GB hard drives from Hitachi and Seagate, and today we got to test run the Western Digital 400GB hard drive, WD4000KD. Although it doesn't support such technology like Native Command Queuing, it proved to keep up with the NCQ enabled Seagate drive. And as well managed to prove itself against the Hitachi drive also. It manages to easily beat out both other drives in the burst rate benchmarks. But as for the other HD Tach benchmarks it looks like there is no clear winner. The rest of the benchmarks also show impressive numbers despite the fact of no direct comparison to any other drive. If you happen to know your numbers well with these tests, you will know that the numbers compete with some of the best desktop drives currently available."
http://www.techwarel...D/index_5.shtml
[Note that this guy claims that it does not support NCQ, whereas your webpage has actual test results with it with NCQ enabled--did he just have some early eval version of the drive, or did he totally blow his review?]

Personally, I would still buy the YR for its better reliability if it was not for its TLER feature.

Oh, one more thing: I asked the MA salesman for WD why they have not revved the Raptor line in the last 1.5 years--it seems to me that it is now getting long in tooth, and is sorely overdue for 15Krpm speed etc. He said that their plans for the Raptor are to next introduce a 150 GB version of the drive around 2006/Feb, as their customers are demanding capacity increases more than rotational speed increases, altho 15 Krpm speeds are planned in future versions after that.

I wish that they would be even more aggressive and do things like have each platter have an independent head (so that you would have intra-drive striping); I am amazed that no manufacturer currently does this.

#23 PhUnNy

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Posted 24 October 2005 - 11:10 PM

Is TLER compatible with ALL RAID controllers? Will an Adaptec 2810SA work well with the WD4000YR? Is there any risk of losing data with TLER?

Thanks,

Chris

#24 Mickey

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Posted 24 October 2005 - 11:57 PM

I wish that they would be even more aggressive and do things like have each platter have an independent head (so that you would have intra-drive striping); I am amazed that no manufacturer currently does this.

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Per the SR FAQ here, it's not a trivial matter to do so. Just thinking about all the design issues is making me cringe.

#25 Eugene

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Posted 25 October 2005 - 07:13 AM

"The WD4000 compares favorably to other WD drives, but remains behind its current competitor from Seagate (7200.8) when it comes to low level performance (except for the access time test.)"
http://www.tomshardw...digital-08.html


If low-level tests are all that matter, why do sites struggle to devise meaningful high-level tests? This is akin to saying "Well, processor X proved to be faster at running applications, but hey, processor Y does boas the higher clock speed, so we have to go wit the latter." Since some readers frowned on the practice, our "elsewhere" section (that is, our commentary pointing out why one should be wary of various other tests) has gone away, but many sites still need it :P

[Note that this guy claims that it does not support NCQ, whereas your webpage has actual test results with it with NCQ enabled--did he just have some early eval version of the drive, or did he totally blow his review?]


Despite the lack of explanation on WD's website, the 4000KD does support command queueing. While this drive and the WD2500KS are both called the "SE16," it seems that the thing they have most in common is their buffer size. The 2500KS seems mostly based off of the WD2500JD. the 4000KD, on the other hand, seems leveraged off of the 4000YR.



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