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 Post subject: WD SE16 Caviar 640GB HDD
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 12:26 am 
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WD SE16 Caviar 640GB is now Blue

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 12:44 am 
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at the moment we seem to be in a bit of a golden era in terms of the availability of HDD with huge capacity and very good acoustics. people hailing the rise to power of SSD's may be a teensy bit premature.... :wink:

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 1:04 am 
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Just FYI, the "Discuss this article" URL links to the Velociraptor thread.


And should I call my 640GB Blue too? :P

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 1:56 am 
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The 16.3ms random access speed measured in the review should be with AAM enabled, from the many screenshots I've seen. There's nothing "curiously high" about that.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 2:20 am 
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I must confirm the above, my drive measured 12,2 ms average access time with AAM off (measured in HDTune actually, but differences with HDTach shouldn't be as high as 4ms whatsoever).

It may be that I'm getting too picky when it comes to PC acoustics these days, but if this drive is among the quietest (desktop) 7200 RPM drives, I may find myself considering a Green one next time... Yes, it is quieter than my old WD1600JS, which was way too loud when seeking, but I must confess I was a bit disappointed - the idle noise is quite audible and rather high-pitched, in my opinion, and vibration is noticeable, too. I hope to have the drive mounted in an Antec Solo by the end of the summer, this should bring some changes.

A little off-topic: I've had a single-platter 7200 RPM Hitachi Travelstar in my notebook for some 4 months now and it's a completely different world. If there are other people reading this who also find the quietest 3,5" beasts too loud, this is the way to go.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 3:03 am 
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npp wrote:
It may be that I'm getting too picky when it comes to PC acoustics these days, but if this drive is among the quietest (desktop) 7200 RPM drives, I may find myself considering a Green one next time...



The Samsung T166 drives are quieter than both the WD 320/640 and the F1 drives.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 4:00 am 
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rpsgc wrote:
The Samsung T166 drives are quieter than both the WD 320/640 and the F1 drives.

Are you speking from experience? I'm asking because I was thinking of maybe switching from my T166 to an F1 for the added performance.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 4:14 am 
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I recently purchased 2 6400AAKS and in HDtach i get pretty much the same results, but both of mine lists a different model number to yours. Any idea why this would be?
Image

As for the new naming scheme it makes sense to me. Most people only look at capacity of drive and price to decide which one to buy. A simple colour scheme like this would help people be sure they are getting what they want.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 5:34 am 
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Modo wrote:
rpsgc wrote:
The Samsung T166 drives are quieter than both the WD 320/640 and the F1 drives.

Are you speking from experience? I'm asking because I was thinking of maybe switching from my T166 to an F1 for the added performance.


I owned a 500GB T166 and it was a bit quieter than the WD 640GB. The SPCR reviews also show that (20-21dBA for T166 and 21-22dBA for the WD/F1)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 5:59 am 
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Modo wrote:
rpsgc wrote:
The Samsung T166 drives are quieter than both the WD 320/640 and the F1 drives.

Are you speking from experience? I'm asking because I was thinking of maybe switching from my T166 to an F1 for the added performance.

I have a couple of T166s and an F1, and I can absolutely confirm that, at least where the F1 is concerned - in fact, I was a bit suprised that the F1 was rated so highly by the SPCR review. My F1's idle whoosh is quite noticeable in a quiet room, even from several meters away - it sounds a bit like water flowing in a pipe somewhere in the building, and there's a slight high-pitched hum element as well (only noticable at very close quarters though). In fact, both the T166s together are considerably quieter than the F1.

I don't know if SPCR got a particularly good one, or I got a bad one, but it does point towards them being inconsistent at the very least.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:03 am 
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Double-check your access times, I think that has to be with AAM enabled or something. I can't provide any exact comparisons, but this is that drive with a 50GB OS partition:

Image

And then a 200GB Programs and Files Partition:

Image

This drive is extremely quiet; my 7200.10 seek noises now sound irritatingly loud compared to this. I've disabled all indexing and scheduled defragmenting on that drive because of this, lol. Only my fans are audible now.

~Ibrahim~


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:24 am 
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thanks alot for this.

i'll probably be going for the green in the near future- i like wds new black, blue, green terminology :) .


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:39 am 
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You're right -- that HDTach image was the wrong one, with AAM enabled. Without AAM, random access dropped to 12.4ms. The article has been updated with the new info.

Regarding the noise, it's possible our WD640 and Samsung FI samples are exceptional... but I doubt it. Maybe one or two, but all three?

Also, please don't take SPCR SPL measurements as absolute -- 20-21 vs 21-22 dBA could be no difference at all, perhaps it was very slightly noisier one day than the next. Our subjective comments are probably still more trustworthy than anything else in the review (when it comes to noise).

When the anechoic chamber is done and all the test gear is fully calibrated and tested against known NIST1 references, then we may be able to claim 1 dBA accuracy... but definitely not today.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 4:41 pm 
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Modo wrote:
rpsgc wrote:
Are you speking from experience? I'm asking because I was thinking of maybe switching from my T166 to an F1 for the added performance.


Don't rely very much on some noticeable performance gains if you change your drive. In the contrary, if you aren't doing something that relies exclusively on hard drive performance, chances are that you aren't going to notice any improvement at all. Even if you're into that kind of activities, think about a very important factor - access times. You simply can't expect miracles there, and it's access times what really counts for most applications (well, at least for me), and not the linear transfer rate. Firmwares also do get improved, but then again, you'll need a very specific load to notice that certain algorithm has changed.

So my advice is: if you've got a nice quite drive, keep it. If my antique 80 GB WD drive did had FDB onboard, I would have never swapped it for anything else :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 11:11 pm 
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very nice, thanks for the review!

I was going to go for a single platter WD3200AAKS but here in Oz few sites will tell you whether they're selling a single or double platter drive and then the review added extra uncertainty. I've now narrowed my choice down to the WD6400 or the Samsung 640GB drive - both have similar performance, both are similar money (AU$100 compared with AU$70-80 for the 320GB models), but I don't know how they compare noise and powerwise.

Any chance that there's a review of the Samsung on the way or should I extrapolate from the F1 1TB review and go with that?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 11:51 pm 
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npp wrote:
You simply can't expect miracles there, and it's access times what really counts for most applications (well, at least for me), and not the linear transfer rate. Firmwares also do get improved, but then again, you'll need a very specific load to notice that certain algorithm has changed.

So my advice is: if you've got a nice quite drive, keep it. If my antique 80 GB WD drive did had FDB onboard, I would have never swapped it for anything else :)

I used to believe that, and I remember saying so on this forum a while ago, and getting slapped down for it - apparently access time isn't one of the most important metrics when considering overall performance, at least for desktop/workstation use.

http://forums.storagereview.net/index.p ... opic=21104

Other than that, I do agree with you, up to a point... I think an old 80GB drive might produce a performance bottleneck in a modern PC running Vista, but the difference between, say, a 500GB Samsung T166 and a 640GB WD SE16 would be marginal at best for normal usage.

The T166 is still an excellent drive - acoustically it's unbeaten in my experience, and it can still just about hold its own performance-wise against the latest high-density models. I'm kicking myself now for not snapping a few more of them up a couple of months ago, before most online dealers pulled them in favour of the newer lines. :(


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 11:52 pm 
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mattthemuppet wrote:
Any chance that there's a review of the Samsung on the way or should I extrapolate from the F1 1TB review and go with that?

Extrapolate, pls.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 6:22 am 
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MikeC wrote:
You're right -- that HDTach image was the wrong one, with AAM enabled. Without AAM, random access dropped to 12.4ms. The article has been updated with the new info.


Mike, the new text needs some editing:

Quote:
The averge read speed of 90.8 MB/s with maximum burst speed up to 237 MB/s was almost identical to the results obtained with the 320GB Caviar SE16 samples, as was the 12.4ms random access speed. The read speed was faster than the 750GB Samsung F1's 77 MB/s, and about the same as the 1TB F1. Access speed at 12.4ms was slightly better than both the Samsungs was better, at 13.6ms and 13.8ms. In actual use, most users should see little or no differences among those various drives, except, perhaps, for big file transfers with the Samsung F1 750GB taking a bit longer. Turning Automatic Acoustic Management on to the minimum noise setting exacted a 4ms price in access speed.


A few too many verbs there.

mattthemuppet wrote:
I've now narrowed my choice down to the WD6400 or the Samsung 640GB drive - both have similar performance, both are similar money (AU$100 compared with AU$70-80 for the 320GB models), but I don't know how they compare noise and powerwise.

PCMark tests between the WD6400AAKS and 640GB F1 have shown the WD faster.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:34 pm 
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MikeC wrote:
Extrapolate, pls.


okay :(

Going by the WD3200 and 6400 reviews it looks like each platter uses ~2.2W at idle and ~3W load, which equates to 1/3 energy use of a 2 platter drive and 1/2 the use of a 1 platter drive.

Therefore I guestimate that for a 3 platter drive (F1 1TB) each platter would use 1/4 of the power use (~1.6W idle/ ~2.5W load) which would give a power draw of 5.4W idle/ 7.4W load (bit less with AAM perhaps) for the F1 640GB, compared with 6.8W/ 9.3W for the WD6400. Which is pretty decent for a 3.5in 7200rpm drive. Hmm.

QuietOC wrote:
PCMark tests between the WD6400AAKS and 640GB F1 have shown the WD faster.


thanks QuietOC, the difference in scores is quite remarkable. Any idea how much of a difference they'd make in real life?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 9:25 pm 
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I just purchased two of these drives to replace the old two-platter WD3200AAKS that I had in this system. All I can say is wowza. Screaming performance across the board, quiter than my old drives, and more storage space to boot!

Image

That's the HDTach screenshot of the two drives in RAID0. It's nearly a linear increase in transfer rates over the single drive, while access times are understandably the same. They're not quite silent in my system, since they're hard mounted, and the Antec 900 doesn't lend itself to silence, but they're definitely quiet enough for all but the most extreme of silencing enthusiasts.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 3:04 am 
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Even in RAID 0 how did you get such a rediculous burst speed? Is that just a blip or do you always get that fast?

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 4:49 am 
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mattthemuppet wrote:
thanks QuietOC, the difference in scores is quite remarkable. Any idea how much of a difference they'd make in real life?

It would depend on your type of real. Most of the time I can't tell much difference between my fairly slow 18ms 250GB/platter P7K500 and the 12ms 320GB/platter WD6400AAKS. Of course I have 8GB of DDR2 too which probably helps out.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 9:35 am 
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FartingBob wrote:
Even in RAID 0 how did you get such a rediculous burst speed? Is that just a blip or do you always get that fast?

That massive increase in the burst speed happens when you enable write-back cache on RAID arrays in the Intel Matrix Storage Console. I'm not entirely sure, but I'm guessing the RAID controller has it's own memory cache, which is being accessed without ever travelling over the SATA cables.
QuietOC wrote:
It would depend on your type of real. Most of the time I can't tell much difference between my fairly slow 18ms 250GB/platter P7K500 and the 12ms 320GB/platter WD6400AAKS. Of course I have 8GB of DDR2 too which probably helps out.
It also depends on what you do with the drives. If you're mainly a web-based user, then faster hard drives obviously won't make a difference, but if you deal with large programs and/or files, then you should notice a healthy boost in speed from the hitachi to the WD drive. I noticed a difference in overall system performance moving from my old drives to the new ones (yes... I'm picky and I hate waiting :P).

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 5:30 pm 
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thanks guys, looks like its 6 of one and 1/2 dozen of the other. I'll just see what's in stock when I get my other stuff - doesn't look like I'll go wrong with either!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 2:02 pm 
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Does anyone know of a tool to disable acoustic management?

I've received this WD drive with acoustic management enabled, so my seek times are around 16ms. I won't mind some more seek noise :)

- Nick


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 10:34 pm 
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Hitachi's tool seems to be a favorite to adjust AAM on most drives.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 12:51 am 
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WinAAM
http://www.withopf.com/tools/aam/
http://www.withopf.com/tools/aam/winaam-29.zip

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 3:44 pm 
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Thanks guys! I've used Hitachi Tool (DOS) to disable it.

But, it didn't make much difference, access time dropped from 16.3 to 15.4, I'm still far away from what reviewed model shows :(

Are there many different versions of this drive, some of them with slower access time (and probably quieter)? I can barely hear seeks, as very faint, coming from my Antec Sonata case.

- Nick


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 8:06 pm 
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nickmil wrote:
Thanks guys! I've used Hitachi Tool (DOS) to disable it.

But, it didn't make much difference, access time dropped from 16.3 to 15.4, I'm still far away from what reviewed model shows :(

- Nick

Some have reported that for their drives, in order to achieve 12.Xms access time, AAM has to be enabled but set to the "fastest" value (254? can't remember).

HTH.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 8:52 pm 
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Yes, that works! Thanks!

Now, I'm getting what I paid for :) 12.4ms seek and 101.6MB/s avg. read in HDTach.

- Nick


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