Brian

Western Digital Caviar Green 3TB Review

Recommended Posts

Western Digital has both announced and started shipping their 5th generation Caviar Green hard drive. Of course the major highlight this time around is the monster 3TB capacity, a first for internal 3.5" hard drives. WD accomplishes this feat by leveraging Advanced Format and four 750GB platters. In addition to the 3TB model (WD30EZRSDTL) there's also a 2.5TB (WD25EZRSDTL) capacity available. Other drive highlights include a 64MB buffer, 3Gb/s SATA interface and quoted standby power consumption of only 1W. While the high capacity is surely a blessing to many users, there are certain risks WD is taking by going to market right now. We'll dive into these potential compatibility issues and take a look a performance numbers in this review.

Full Review

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use XP 32bit and currently backup my data to 2TB drives using a Sharkoon eSATA docking station. From the review it sounds like I wouldn't be able to use these new 3TB drives in the same way. However, Sharkoon also do a USB3 docking station (seen here) and the table indicates that external USB is supported. Before I run out and buy a load of 3TB drives I was just hoping somebody could confirm I've interpreted this correctly and that 3TB drives will work with the Sharkoon USB3 docking station XP 32bit?

Also, it sounds like they're working on XP support. Do you think there will be a way to get the 3TB drives working internally with XP in the future?

Edited by Frith

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think XP support will come, in our briefing they at least made it sound like that.

As to the external dock, I think it's 50/50 at best. I just don't know how it's going to be interpreted by that device and Windows.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think XP support will come, in our briefing they at least made it sound like that.

As to the external dock, I think it's 50/50 at best. I just don't know how it's going to be interpreted by that device and Windows.

Thanks for the information. I'll just buy one initially and see if it works. If it doesn't work I'll just create a 2TB and 1TB partition and use it as an internal drive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For those of us who use a modern operating system like Windows 7, is there a way to turn off the 512-byte sector emulation completely and use 4k sectors natively with this drive?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The review was as always good

But what for me at least was, was it possible to connect it strait to on-board SATA connector on different platforms and/ore do you need a BIOS update?

And how ware different RAID controllers doing, like i have a Promise SuperTrak EX16300, can those still be used ore are they limmited to 2TB only

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The review was as always good

But what for me at least was, was it possible to connect it strait to on-board SATA connector on different platforms and/ore do you need a BIOS update?

And how ware different RAID controllers doing, like i have a Promise SuperTrak EX16300, can those still be used ore are they limmited to 2TB only

The only straight to board methods that worked were through NAS units in the office. None of the desktops worked (ICH9 and ICH10) nor did the LSI 9260 show above 2TB.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only straight to board methods that worked were through NAS units in the office. None of the desktops worked (ICH9 and ICH10) nor did the LSI 9260 show above 2TB.

I am hoping that UEFI will fix all of these compatibility issues. but then again it will probably cause all new issues.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We don't have a desktop Mac in the office, but they've been using UEFI standards for 5 years or so. I understand the drives work just fine in that environment, so that's a good sign at least.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a MacPro (2009) - it has Apples RAID card and 4 x 2TB drives configured @ RAID 5. Can replace the 2TB's with these new 3TB Drives?

Also will same configuration work in the 2010 models just released?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You of all people should be the most good to go. I'm told by WD that you should be able to just drop that 3TB beast in there and be up and running without the HBA or other manipulations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm using Windows 7 64-bit edition on a Core2Duo system, on a regular BIOS motherboard (non-EFI). So I take it I still need that HBA card even if I don't want to boot from the drive? (I have an SSD to boot from, this drive would only be required for pure storage)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm using Windows 7 64-bit edition on a Core2Duo system, on a regular BIOS motherboard (non-EFI). So I take it I still need that HBA card even if I don't want to boot from the drive? (I have an SSD to boot from, this drive would only be required for pure storage)

From what I've read on both this review and others...

And based on the config. you're wanting, a HBA card shouldn't be necessary.

Granted it was a while ago, so maybe I've forgotten a detail.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm using Windows 7 64-bit edition on a Core2Duo system, on a regular BIOS motherboard (non-EFI). So I take it I still need that HBA card even if I don't want to boot from the drive? (I have an SSD to boot from, this drive would only be required for pure storage)

Right, for secondary drive status you do not need the HBA, though you're going to get one anyway ;)

I wonder what those are fetching on eBay...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right, for secondary drive status you do not need the HBA, though you're going to get one anyway ;)

I wonder what those are fetching on eBay...

:) Good question!

Ok, so that's good news!

Another question: will I need to convert this drive to a GPT disk in Win7's harddisk management, or won't this be necessary if I don't create partitions larger than 2GB? Are there downsides of some sort in using GPT disks? Or do you say : "using GPT disks (as secondary drives) is and works exactly the same as standard drives, so you might as well use GPT disks anyway"... ?

Cheers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GPT drives can't be read by XP, and can't be booted on a non-EFI system. That's the only real difference.

You'll need to use GPT nomatter what sized partitions you use if you want to use the full capacity of the drive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was looking at a drive roundup over at Xbit Labs, and I noticed the startup power consumption numbers are quite a bit off from what Storage Review lists. For the WD 2TB Green drive, SR shows a total pull of 14W, while XL lists 21.5W. That would make quite a bit of difference for sizing a power supply for an array of the drives.

Any idea where the discrepancy is?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure, but on our drive testing it a few times, it kept coming up with the lower number. I know WD offers a slower (less power hungry) startup mode on some drives, perhaps it was enabled on one and not on the other?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

XP 32-bit cannot see GPT partitions (which are necessary for volumes greater than 2TB), so if it's partitioned greater than 2TB, no, it will not see it.

If it is partitioned with MBR (and hence is smaller than 2TB) then yes, it should see it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry this is incorrect. My intension was not to run XP 32-bit on it.

I asked the question to WD support. In addition I also asked if WD Live TV (a network media player) would recognize the 3TB drive on my NAS via my network.

This is what WD support replied:

Any 32bit windows has problem working with any drive larger than 2 TB but in this case , as it is a network, It does not matter on how large the drive is 2 TB or 3 TB or even the newer 4 TB . If your synology accepts the drive, in the compatibility list of synology, then this 2 Tb drive should show up on every PC/Media player on the same network. Since network drives communicate with other network devices ( PC, Media Player) with a different language than windows, it uses LINUX , Samba to be exact, and that translates all files into raw data and is sent to the network devices, and then the Samba translator that windows has and so do our media players will allow the support files to be seen, accessed and played on the player.

But for any communication to happen, you will need to see if the synology supports either UPnP or DLNA.

If it does support it then it needs to be set ON in the configuration screen of the synology.

Thank you WD support.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now