Western Digital Red 4TB & Se 4TB Hard Drives

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Real World Performance

Our real world performance testing begins with a Windows 7 image, loaded with our test suite, being cloned to a 50GB partition at the beginning of each drive. The suite is run start to finish three times with a defragmentation (except for SSDs and hybrid drives) and reboot between runs. Average times were collected for comparison.

Though the Se 4TB loaded Call of Duty 5 very quickly, its Far Cry 2 performance was lackluster. Also, an unusually long spin-up time delayed its boot time by a three or four seconds, making it fall short of the Barracuda XT 2TB in total loading performance. The Red 4TB trailed by only a few seconds overall. It's fairly snappy for a 5,400 RPM model.

Both models excelled in our application tests, with the Se landing in second place behind the VelociRaptor 1TB and the Red achieving a better than average rank thanks to an excellent result in the ExactFile test.

The VelociRaptor 1TB once again claimed the top spot in our file copy tests, but the Se took the silver and the Red nabbed the bronze. These two new drives are in pretty good company.

Fractions of a second typically determine the winner of our installation tests and this race was ridiculously close. Powered by a strong showing in 3DMark, the Se 4TB's combined time was only 0.1 seconds behind the VelociRaptor 1TB. The Red 4TB performed well too, but only for a 5,400 RPM model.

To accurately represent the overall performance of the drives, we gave each model a proportional score in each real world benchmark series (loading, application, file copying, and installation), with each benchmark set equally weighted. A perfectly average drive would be awarded 25 points in each category for a total of 100 points.

Using this scoring system, the Se 4TB is the fastest 7,200 RPM drive we've ever tested, handily beating the older 600GB VelociRaptor. Despite its lower rotational speed, the Red 4TB is no slouch, finishing ahead of the smaller Red drives and a couple of 7,200 RPM models from Seagate.

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