WD Black 6TB Performance Hard Drive

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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. For hybrid drives, we perform six runs with only the last three averaged to give them time to learn and cache frequently used files.

The WD Black 6TB is one of the slower models in our loading time comparison, only beating out the WD Se 4TB, a datacenter/enterprise drive, and the WD Red 6TB, a NAS drive with a 5400 RPM motor. It's particularly poor at booting up because it takes about 8 seconds longer to spin-up than a typical SSD/HDD. Spin-down is arduous as well with the motor generating noise for about 10 seconds after the power is turned off.

The drive is better suited at application performance where it's the fastest hard drive of the bunch, edging out the 10,000 RPM VelociRaptor. However, SSDs complete the ExactFile test in almost half of the WD Black 6TB's time.

The WD Black 6TB fares well in our file copy test, trailing the Seagate Enterprise 3.5 HDD v4 6TB by a small margin, and leaving the other hard drives behind in the dust.

Installing applications showed mixed results with the Black 6TB excelling with 3DMark but stumbling with PowerDVD.

To get a sense of the overall performance of the drives, each model has been assigned a proportional score in each real world benchmark series (loading, application, file copying, and installation), with each set and each individual test within, equally weighted. The scale has been adjusted such that 100 points represents a perfectly average drive among those listed. This iteration of our performance chart includes modern SSDs and 3.5-inch hard drives only.

According to this metric, the WD Black 6TB scores 99.1, just edging out the Seagate Enterprise 3.5 HDD v4 6TB to becomes the fastest 3.5-inch drive we've tested. However, overall, it lands at the midway point of the scale which places a one of the slower 3.5-inch drives at one end, and one of the fastest SSDs at the other. Most mainstream consumer SSDs are at least ~30% faster.

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