It's not "clutching at straws", I'm merely using common sense and the familiarity that I have with the methods that systems are designed.
Until someone who truly knows about HDDs (meaning - WD's devs or any other respected company's devs) then you can't say that you know for sure, but for some reason you feel like your answer is a legit fact.
If I'm "clutching at straws" then you guys are a peculiar antagonists, I don't understand the objection while you need to spend only 2 minutes and the investment might be returned to you big time.
So when you make assumptions, you cannot be called out, and when others with probably more engineering and/or systems background do correct your assumptions, they must be wrong? Yes, they might appear to be condescending, but that's because you stubbornly refuse any info given that does not support your views.
But let's look at it this way:
You are practically asking for WD to de-throne their flagship product, btw. For a really, really
small market segment. There would be quite a few more raging users on their forums who forgot to reset the RPM / bought drives set to low RPM and would give WD's flagship HDDs bad press.
Oh, and optimizing read/write strategies, etc is hard enough for one rotational speed. Plus, lowering the RPM would mean reducing the air-buffer between the disks and the read heads. We are talking about tolerances that are in the range of atoms. Doing it for a range for what globally is practically zero returns would mean the managers at WD not doing their job. And we didn't even go to the problem of whether a simple firmware patch is enough. drive motors and heads could very well be physically optimized for their individual speeds and air drag resistance properties. The fact that they can spin up does not mean they can read at all RPMs. When the spindles are spun down, the heads were parked at a special "landing zone" of the HDD where in the past they could touch the platters. Now, they are removed from the spindles, because doing anything else would really increase the risks of bumping into the platters when the air cushion is not under the heads. It is most definitely NOT a case of "just change it in the software". Serious R&D money.
If WD had a 5400rpm and a 7200rpm line of blacks, with the very same parts, then yes, it would be probably much easier to implement. They do not.
Basically you bought a gas guzzler sports car and now want to get hybrid-like MPG out of it.
Most of us on this site have spent years
trying to silence our builds, and that includes finding out peculiar info about HDDs. That included fiddling with "acoustic" settings with utilities in older models (think 10+ years ago, IDE-era), but that is no longer applicable to today. We have much more than "2 minutes" invested.
Any yes, you are extremely wrong about intelliSeek.