Anandtech review 320GB Seagate vs Western Digital

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nick705
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Anandtech review 320GB Seagate vs Western Digital

Post by nick705 » Thu Jul 27, 2006 3:52 am

Link

They describe the WD3200KS as "the quietest drive we have tested to date" which falls pretty much in line with SPCR's findings with the 500GB version. The Seagate is also quiet, contradicting the noisy seeks that have been reported elsewhere. It runs noticeably hotter than the WD though... "Looking strictly at the acoustic and thermal benchmarks we definitely would recommend the Western Digital drive for a silent or HTPC system."

The Seagate seems a bit faster overall, but probably not enough to be a deciding factor.

Another interesting point: " It appears to us a change has occurred within Seagate's process as our newly received 750GB drive does not exhibit the same thumping sound as our earlier drives while it operates about 3 degrees cooler overall."... any chance of SPCR getting a more recent sample of the 750GB Seagate to see if it's got any better...?

Le_Gritche
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Re: Anandtech review 320GB Seagate vs Western Digital

Post by Le_Gritche » Thu Jul 27, 2006 7:19 am

nick705 wrote: They describe the WD3200KS as "the quietest drive we have tested to date" which falls pretty much in line with SPCR's findings with the 500GB version. The Seagate is also quiet, contradicting the noisy seeks that have been reported elsewhere.
And they add :
Our subjective opinion is that the seek requests are very muted for both drives and it was difficult to near impossible to notice the drive's noise levels over the power supply fan during the majority of intensive read/write requests.
As much as I would like to think these HDDs are quiet, even during the most intensive read/write requests, the reality is probably that they have a noisy PSU fan drowning everything.
Their test bed has a Zalman CNPS9500 for CPU cooling and an OCZ GamexStream 700W as PSU, as a consequence their noise measurements are done at 5mm of the HDD...

I guess nothing short of a dedicated silent test platform will be enough. */ SPCR's silent testbed jump out of the shadow, grab the HDDs and the mic then rides West with a beautiful sunset in the backgound /*

Goldmember
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Post by Goldmember » Thu Jul 27, 2006 8:46 am

I only skimmed the review so forgive me if I missed something. I'll read it again when I have more time.

Seagate won most of the benchmarks and the review because it has more areal density (160GB) and other advanced technologies. Seagate is a leader in that department whereas Western Digital is the laggard. WD has historically won a lot of benchmarks due to their excellent "firmware". :wink: Benchmarks are made to be broken. Just ask Nvidia or MSI.

Acoustically, Western Digital is the clear leader today with Seagate the laggard. Very surprising since there was a time when WD didn't care about acoustics. After all, they were the last company to ditch ball-bearing motors and move to fluid-dynamic motors as their competitors had already done for quite some time.

A new WD 320GB with 160GB platters would certainly be fast and quiet. A potent combination.

I will try to listen to Western Digital's conference call later today or listen to the replay this weekend to see if they discuss 160GB platters or PMR drives.

Audio Webcast: www.westerndigital.com/investor -- click on "Conference Calls"

Telephone Replay: 866-448-2576 (toll-free) or +1-203-369-1172 (international)

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Post by Goldmember » Sat Jul 29, 2006 6:42 am

As companies usually do, WD announced new products immediately before their earnings conference call. What a coincidence! :wink:

For desktops:
Western Digital wrote:WD IN VOLUME PRODUCTION OF 160 GB-PER-PLATTER DESKTOP HARD DRIVES

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ramp Load Technology Maximizes Shock Robustness and Minimizes Power Consumption


LAKE FOREST, Calif. - July 27, 2006 - Western Digital Corp. (NYSE: WDC) today announced that it is in volume production of the next-generation WD Caviar® Serial ATA (SATA) family of 3.5-inch desktop hard drives built on 160 GB-per-platter technology utilizing WD-designed and -manufactured recording heads.
This new product family also incorporates ramp load technology, a proven technique in mobile-class drives that parks the recording heads when the drive is idle, powered off and spinning up. WD utilizes ramp load in its new desktop products to maximize shock robustness and minimize power consumption, enabling continued leadership in quality and long-term reliability.

"Our high density 160 GB-per-platter design with ramp load is a platform that enables WD to continue serving our customers' growing needs for dependable, high capacity hard drives," said John Coyne, WD's president and chief operating officer.

The WD Caviar family of 3.5-inch hard drives delivers high performance with 7,200 RPM spindle speed, 300 MB/s transfer rate, cache sizes up to 16 MB, and Native Command Queuing (NCQ); capacities ranging from 40 GB to 500 GB; and cool operating temperatures and quiet operation, which enable customers to integrate WD products in the most demanding environments.
And for laptops:
Western Digital wrote:WD IN VOLUME PRODUCTION OF 80 GB-PER-PLATTER MOBILE HARD DRIVES USING PERPENDICULAR MAGNETIC RECORDING TECHNOLOGY

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



LAKE FOREST, Calif. - July 27, 2006 - Western Digital Corp. (NYSE: WDC) today announced it is in volume production of its next-generation WD Scorpioâ„¢ 2.5-inch hard drives using WD-designed and -manufactured perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) technology to achieve 80 GB-per-platter areal density.

"The rising use of mobile and CE devices with rich digital content such as video, music and photos, along with the continued expansion of corporate data generation, is driving the need for highly reliable, high capacity hard drives of all form factors," said John Coyne, WD's president and chief operating officer. "WD's implementation of PMR technology in a mobile application, our fastest-growing high-volume market, expands capacities for these storage-hungry applications. These new high-density drives also are an outcome of our focused R&D investments over recent years that will bring high value to our customers worldwide."

About PMR

With PMR technology, the magnetization of each data bit is aligned vertically to the spinning disk, rather than longitudinally as has been the case in hard drive technology for decades. This enables more data on a given disk than is possible with conventional longitudinal recording, and provides a platform for future expansion of hard drive densities.

About WD Scorpio

Offering high performance from 5,400 RPM spin speed, WD Scorpio hard drives operate with power requirements comparable to 4,200 RPM drives yielding lower power consumption for longer system battery life and increased long-term drive reliability. Technological advancements in the WD Scorpio line of mobile 2.5-inch hard drives also provide customers optimized acoustics for quiet operation. WD Scorpio mobile hard drives are offered in capacities from 40 GB through 120 GB; feature up to 8 MB cache; are available with EIDE or SATA interface; and have a three-year warranty.
Link to press releases. I only listened to part of the conference call so I will go back and see if I can find more info.

maukka
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Post by maukka » Sat Jul 29, 2006 1:54 pm

Goldmember wrote:As companies usually do, WD announced new products immediately before their earnings conference call
Thanks for the info! Cancelled my order of WD3200KS and will gladly wait :)

elec999
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Post by elec999 » Sat Jul 29, 2006 3:03 pm

When buying a 320gig western digital how do you know how many platters it is.
Thanks

brj
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Post by brj » Sat Jul 29, 2006 3:47 pm

I agree that the new products look appealing, but, "volume production" aside, does anyone know when the new products will actually ship?

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Post by Goldmember » Sun Jul 30, 2006 1:01 pm

maukka wrote:Thanks for the info! Cancelled my order of WD3200KS and will gladly wait :)
You're welcome! Hopefully your new drive will be quieter, faster, and more energy efficient. :)
elec999 wrote:When buying a 320gig western digital how do you know how many platters it is.
Thanks
You are never really sure with Western Digital as their serial numbers are nearly indecipherable. Even an Enigma machine would have trouble. :) Hopefully they will use a different model number, e.g. WD3200TS, so that their customers can purchase the product they want.
brj wrote:I agree that the new products look appealing, but, "volume production" aside, does anyone know when the new products will actually ship?
During the Q&A session, they said that both products are currently in production and currently shipping from the factories. Now whether they have shipped 2 dozen drives or 2 million drives is another question. :wink:

Maybe Mike or Devon can e-mail their WD contact and request some review samples? I vote for the new 320GB and 500GB Caviars and the new 160GB Scorpio. :)

jandrade
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Post by jandrade » Sun Jul 30, 2006 7:53 pm

Hi, I'm also really interested in the new Caviar 320GB drives, and would hope they clearly beat out the Seagates 7200.10 in speed and silent operation. Did anyone notice the press release mentioned the new drives will have NCQ and ramp load technology? We might even see performance and efficiency improvements because of this, but I'll guess we'll have to see. I'm in the process of building a new Conroe PC and would like to get a couple of the new 320's. If they are in production already, maybe we'll see them in newegg this week? :-)

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Post by Goldmember » Mon Jul 31, 2006 2:59 am

jandrade wrote:Hi, I'm also really interested in the new Caviar 320GB drives, and would hope they clearly beat out the Seagates 7200.10 in speed and silent operation. Did anyone notice the press release mentioned the new drives will have NCQ and ramp load technology? We might even see performance and efficiency improvements because of this, but I'll guess we'll have to see. I'm in the process of building a new Conroe PC and would like to get a couple of the new 320's. If they are in production already, maybe we'll see them in newegg this week? :-)
Welcome to SPCR! :) If Anandtech reran the benchies with the new Caviar 320GB, then it would likely win most of the benchmarks. It'll be close since WD is using TMR media while Seagate is using PMR media so we shall see.

The ramp load feature is interesting in case anyone drops their desktop. :lol: It'll be great for external storage too. They said it should lower power consumption which is great, I just hope it doesn't increase noise.

I doubt we will see them at Newegg this soon. I shall keep my eyes open though.

P.S. How would the new Caviars compare to the current Raptors? Anyone care to guess? I know the seeks are slower but STR-wise, they should be pretty close.

RDaneel
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Post by RDaneel » Mon Jul 31, 2006 7:30 am

Bah - just when I felt comfortable settling on the 500gb Caviar, they come out with the 160gb platters! Guess a 3 platter drive would be pretty nice...

How quickly can MikeC get his hands on some of these in 320 and 500??? ;)

jandrade
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Post by jandrade » Mon Jul 31, 2006 9:20 am

I just called the WD online store customer service line to ask them about the new drives. Unfortunately the person I spoke to had never heard about the new drives and was not aware of the press release until I pointed it out to him. He put me on hold for a few minutes to go and try to find out more info, but no luck. He thinks that when they come out they might have a new model number, but it was only a guess. I'd imagine they would be the first to get these new drives once they come out, who knows...

MatewPauls
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Post by MatewPauls » Mon Jul 31, 2006 12:51 pm

Why measured noise level on AT review is higher than in spcr review?

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Post by Devonavar » Mon Jul 31, 2006 3:59 pm

Differences in methodology. When you're measuring sound, the measurement distance is crucial. SPCR measures from a distance of one meter to approximate the distance from the user that the drive is likely to be and to minimize boundary effects. Anandtech's measurements are done from 5 mm ... so it's understandable that their figures are much louder... and less reliable thanks to boundary effects. SPCR also records the drives with no other noise-making components active, so there is less background noise in our measurements and recordings.

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Post by Goldmember » Tue Aug 08, 2006 8:23 am

FYI, Matbe says the new Caviars will be available in September. Not sure who told them that though.

Also, I prefer SPCR's noise measurements over AT's. :wink:

Jasper
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Post by Jasper » Thu Aug 10, 2006 3:52 am

Goldmember wrote:
elec999 wrote:When buying a 320gig western digital how do you know how many platters it is.
Thanks
You are never really sure with Western Digital as their serial numbers are nearly indecipherable. Even an Enigma machine would have trouble. :) Hopefully they will use a different model number, e.g. WD3200TS, so that their customers can purchase the product they want.
Do WD typically/always use at least different model numbers (the suffixes, at least) when they change areal densities, or are there/have there been cases where both, say, 2 and 3 platter versions of a given capacity Caviar SE16 might have the same model number, right down to the last two letters (WDnn00aa)?

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Post by Goldmember » Thu Aug 10, 2006 7:38 am

Jasper wrote:Do WD typically/always use at least different model numbers (the suffixes, at least) when they change areal densities, or are there/have there been cases where both, say, 2 and 3 platter versions of a given capacity Caviar SE16 might have the same model number, right down to the last two letters (WDnn00aa)?
Good question Jasper, but I don't know the answer. :) Sometimes WD just adds a new code after the model number as Devon mentioned in one of his recent WD reviews. Other times, they will come up with an entirely new model number. It's very confusing.

In the past, there was no way in knowing if a WD 120GB would be 3 x 40, 2 x 60, or 2 x 80(3 heads). I'm not even sure if WD has a 1 platter 120GB on the market right now. They don't seem to care how they reach a certain capacity point. The reason is that most of their business is OEM like Dell and HP. Retail or E-tail customers like us are, for the most part, unimportant to them.

Sorry to be so negative but that's my opinion of WD. It's sort of like buying an Antec power supply or P150. You just roll the dice and hope you got the revision you want. :(

paapaa
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Post by paapaa » Thu Aug 10, 2006 8:22 am

Does anyone know the number of platters of the new WD2500YS or how silent it is? It is a very new model and they put the information on the website maybe 1 week ago. Here is the link:

http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products ... anguage=en

winguy
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Post by winguy » Thu Aug 10, 2006 10:23 pm

WD2500YS probably uses 125GB platters like WD5000YS (compared to 3 platters in WD2500YDwhich the YS replaces). The same for WD1600YS I guess, 3 heads vs 4 heads in WD1600YD (speculating...). No idea about WD4000YS.

http://www.wdc.com/en/library/eide/2879-001119.pdf

paapaa
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Post by paapaa » Mon Aug 14, 2006 5:10 am

winguy wrote:WD2500YS probably uses 125GB platters like WD5000YS
I asked about this and Western Digital answered:
The drive has 100 gig per platter and 3 platters, 5 heads.
So, it's 3 platters, not 2 :(

winguy
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Post by winguy » Mon Aug 14, 2006 6:53 am

paapaa wrote:I asked about this and Western Digital answered:
The drive has 100 gig per platter and 3 platters, 5 heads.
So, it's 3 platters, not 2 :(
Ouch :|
Let's wait for their 160GB/platter drives.

jozi
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Post by jozi » Tue Sep 12, 2006 9:06 am

Emailed Komplett today, wanted to order a Western Digital Caviar SE16 320GB, about how many platters this drive has.
They replied it has 4 platters, i wasnt expecting 4 more like 3 and hoping for 2.
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