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Western Digital drives

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a b G Storage
December 12, 2007 5:16:24 AM

I'm looking at buying a new harddrive, but can't seem to understand WD naming scheme. I see JS, YD, JD, SD, JB, etc. I have no idea which ones mean what. Why are they sometime written as "AAJS" and other times as just "JS"? Does anyone know of a website that has a quick read through? Does anyone know which of these should be avoided at all costs?

Links to the HDDs I mentioned.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... WD1600JS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... WD800AAJS

(they are both a Western Digital Caviar SE, does the AA mean anything?

More about : western digital drives

December 12, 2007 12:28:02 PM

I believe the "AA" series drives use a single higher-density platter, while the non-AA ones use two lower-density platters. I'm not positive on that, but I think the AA ones are later technology regardless.
Related resources
a b G Storage
December 12, 2007 4:26:53 PM

Thanks for the link firemist, but after doing some digging and reading the benchmarks, I already found out that the YS drives are the ones to get. I already have a 7200.10 drive as my OS drive, so speed isn't a concern for me. I just need another drive for more storage space. Someone on ebay has a new 250GB YD drive for $60 shipped. I didn't know what YD meant, I guess I still don't seeing as YD isn't on that list. I guess seeing as I have my 7200.10, I shouldn't care so much. I am curious to learn more about WD drives, if anyone has any meaningful links I'd be more then happy to look at them.
December 12, 2007 5:20:46 PM

AA-- = newest drives (high density, PMR)
AB-- = newest drives (high density, PMR) server edition "RE2" 1M hour MTBF
AY-- = " " 1.2M hour MTBF
-S = SATA300 interface
-D = SATA150 interface
-B = ATA100 interface
S- = 8MB cache server drives (higher MTBF) "RE"
Y- = 16MB cache server drives "RE"
B- = 2MB cache desktop drives
J- = 8MB cache desktop drives
K- = 16MB cache desktop drives
a b G Storage
December 12, 2007 5:39:02 PM

So if speed was important, I'd look for either a AAKS, or a AAYS. I already read a review on anand last night as saw the YS in action.

Thanks for the post.
December 12, 2007 7:17:12 PM

4745454b said:
So if speed was important, I'd look for either a AAKS, or a AAYS. I already read a review on anand last night as saw the YS in action.

Thanks for the post.

Yes, any of the AA, AB, or AY drives should be what you're looking for (250, 500, and 750 especially because of the higher density platters - I believe the 160 & 320 have lower densities - 250GB/platter vs. 160GB/platter).
December 12, 2007 8:44:25 PM

KyleSTL said:
AA-- = newest drives (high density, PMR)
That is not necessarily the case. The WD WD5000AAKS and smaller are not PMR. I like how WD confuses the issue about which drives are, and are not, PMR. I think it is a seriously questionable marketing tactic. You have to go to their website and read the fine print. I suspect many people have been duped, I almost was. Maybe the "AA" means 16MB cache, but it doesn't guaranty PMR. Here is a quote from WD's website, that is linked in this post.
Quote:
Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR) - The latest generation of WD Caviar SE16 drives employs PMR technology to achieve even greater areal density. (750 GB only)

December 12, 2007 9:04:22 PM

Bastards! I was also duped.
December 12, 2007 10:09:31 PM

KyleSTL said:
Bastards! I was also duped.
They almost got me. I couldn't understand why the top feature on the specs tab on Newegg for the WD7500AAKS said
Quote:
Top performance for Windows Vista
Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR)
And the same for the WD5000AAKS said
Quote:
Top performance for Windows Vista
IntelliSeek - Calculates optimum seek speeds to lower power consumption, noise and vibration.
That didn't make sense, so I checked WD site and found the subterfuge. Even though I didn't get burned, it really pisses me off. WD should be ashamed of themselves.
a b G Storage
December 13, 2007 5:06:57 AM

So does anyone know what the AA means? I like Seagate's naming scheme. 7200.9, 7200.10, 7200.11, etc. You know what your getting. WD seems to have different letters for what seems to be the same drives. If you look at what Kyle wrote, you could have the KS and the YS both mean the same thing. (SATA 300 and 16mb cache.) Being an "RE" drive would be the only difference. If you don't know what RE means, you might think that it doesn't matter. RE drives are the performance drives however, and are worth buying. RE2 drives seem to not be performance drives, but server drives, if I remember my reading correctly. I do agree, WD should be ashamed of themselves.
December 13, 2007 1:27:56 PM

RE means the higher MTBF drives suited for servers and severe 24/7 operation.

Edit: I don't believe they have any performance advantage over non-RE/RE2 drives, just greater reliability and longer warrantees.
December 13, 2007 1:43:46 PM

RE or RAID Edition drives have Time Limited Error Recovery (TLER). From the WD site

http://wdc.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wdc.cfg/php/enduser/std...

Western Digital manufactures desktop edition hard drives and RAID Edition hard drives. Each type of hard drive is designed to work specifically in either a desktop computer environment or on RAID controller.

If you install and use a desktop edition hard drive connected to a RAID controller, the drive may not work correctly unless jointly qualified by an enterprise OEM. This is caused by the normal error recovery procedure that a desktop edition hard drive uses.

When an error is found on a desktop edition hard drive, the drive will enter into a deep recovery cycle to attempt to repair the error, recover the data from the problematic area, and then reallocate a dedicated area to replace the problematic area. This process can take up to 2 minutes depending on the severity of the issue. Most RAID controllers allow a very short amount of time for a hard drive to recover from an error. If a hard drive takes too long to complete this process, the drive will be dropped from the RAID array. Most RAID controllers allow from 7 to 15 seconds for error recovery before dropping a hard drive from an array. Western Digital does not recommend installing desktop edition hard drives in an enterprise environment (on a RAID controller).

Western Digital RAID edition hard drives have a feature called TLER (Time Limited Error Recovery) which stops the hard drive from entering into a deep recovery cycle. The hard drive will only spend 7 seconds to attempt to recover. This means that the hard drive will not be dropped from a RAID array.

If you install a RAID edition hard drive in a desktop computer, the computer system may report more errors than a normal desktop hard drive (due to the TLER feature). Western Digital does not recommend installing RAID edition hard drives into a desktop computer environment.
December 14, 2007 7:59:43 PM

I had sent a message to WD tech asking what the difference was between the WD2500KS and WD2500AAKS before I made my purchase and received no reply. Its been almost 2 weeks now since I asked them.

I went with a WD2500AAKS. I made a topic here asking what the difference was between the 2, WD2500KS and AAKS and most replys thought the AAKS was the newer better one. I hope I made the right choice. Both AAKS and KS were the same price at newegg for the OEM.

December 14, 2007 8:21:13 PM

Be aware that WD drives are shipped with something called 'acoustic management' enabled. To get the full performance of the drive you have to download Hitachi's Feature Tool to disable acoustic management. The difference in noise is miniscule, the difference in performance is noticable.
December 14, 2007 9:32:03 PM

godsizesnakeyes said:
I had sent a message to WD tech asking what the difference was between the WD2500KS and WD2500AAKS before I made my purchase and received no reply. Its been almost 2 weeks now since I asked them.

I went with a WD2500AAKS. I made a topic here asking what the difference was between the 2, WD2500KS and AAKS and most replys thought the AAKS was the newer better one. I hope I made the right choice. Both AAKS and KS were the same price at newegg for the OEM.
It probably is the better one and I'm sure it's a good drive. The irritation is that it does not use PMR - Perpendicular Magnetic Recording, which is the latest and greatest HDD tech. The the 7500AAKS model uses PMR and it confuses people into thinking that all AAKS drives are PMR when they are not.

If you need to understand PMR then see the link to a video. It is a somewhat complex explanation but I'm sure you can follow it. ;) 
Perpendicular Magnetic Recording Explained
December 14, 2007 11:07:52 PM

AAKS > AAJS
a b G Storage
December 14, 2007 11:09:37 PM

Interesting post. Never knew this before. Guess you learn some thing new every day :) 
a b G Storage
December 15, 2007 4:42:46 AM

@Snakeyes, seeing as you didn't get a response, I wonder if the techs even know...

@nhobo, thanks for the info. I think I remember hearing something about this awhile back. Is there a reason why you'd use an Hitachi tool to disable it? I wonder if there are any other drives that do this?

@paul, thanks for the link, but it fails to describe anything. It is simply a list of drives. For instance, in the Caviar SE section, what is the difference between the WD1600JS and the WD1600AAJS? They are both 7200RPM drives, with the same interface, and the same amount of cache. What does buying the AA drive get you?
a b G Storage
December 15, 2007 9:10:42 AM

Thanks for the link Zorg. I don't think turning it on or off is going to make much difference in my case. Any way you slice it, my 7200.10 hdd is 99% full, and has never been defragmented. One of these weekends I'm going to do a review of what happens if you have a drive like I do, and "fix" all thats wrong with it. Truthfully, I don't think the drive is slow at all. The only time I find it slow is when I load a level of TF2, but thats probably because of the slow 3500+ that powers my whole system, not the drive.
December 15, 2007 8:43:24 PM

Your probably right, just something to check on new drives etc. I've seen widely varying results.
December 21, 2007 1:26:36 AM

Good news to everyone interested in this. My question was finally answered by WD tech support on what the difference is between WD2500KS and WD2500AAKS.

Here is the a quote of my question and the the response.

Q:I've decided to go with a single SE16 250GB HD for a system I am currently building. I've been researching but cant find information on what the difference is between the WD2500KS and the WD2500AAKS. From all the specs I have looked at they seem to be the same drive. Could you please explain. Thank You.

A:Thank you for contacting Western Digital Customer Service and Support.
The WD2500KS has both SATA and Molex power connectors, where the WD2500AAKS has only SATA power.

a b G Storage
December 21, 2007 3:39:18 AM

Interesting. Does Seagate use said method of controlling noise? (AAM)
December 22, 2007 10:26:25 AM

I think you will find AAM on some of the drives by all manufacturers. The only way to tell whether your drive has it or not is to run the Hitachi tool, Sandra or other similar program.
a b G Storage
December 24, 2007 3:48:20 PM

Not that this thread hijack isn't interesting, I decided I should let you guys all know what I'm getting. Looking at the retails ads in this Sundays paper, I saw the bestbuy ad. They have a Seagate 320GB drive for $60, no MIR. $60+tax will get you a Seagate 320GB drive. I'm not sure if its the 7200.10 or the 7200.9, as I've said before it doesn't really matter to me. I've already got a 7200.10, so getting an older drive to hold my data files is fine. I don't mind the thread hijack either, its good information, thanks for the education.
a b G Storage
December 24, 2007 10:52:48 PM

D@mnit! Sold out! The guy told me they will get another shipment in Wednesday, but would probably be Thursday due to the holiday. (he also wouldn't tell me if it would be thursday morning, or more like thursday evening.) Sorry to have interrupted your conversation with your coworker, BB is starting to turn into CC...

After I got home, I went online. After looking at newegg and the other newegg, I realized I probably don't want to shop there. Because I live in California, taxes would be added to either. Tiger was simply to expensive, as were most others I was looking at. I eventually found a drive at Directron. I'm getting a WD drive, 320GB. Its an AAKS drive, so I've even got the 16MB cache. My wifes DVD burner went out on her also, so I'm getting one of those for her to. Together with shipping I just spent $113. The drive was $78, more then BB, but cheaper then anything else I found. Their site wasn't the easiest to use, but overall I'm pretty happy about it. I'm also glad I posted this thread, Kyle's first thread was a big help.
December 29, 2007 3:29:57 PM

nhobo said:
Be aware that WD drives are shipped with something called 'acoustic management' enabled. To get the full performance of the drive you have to download Hitachi's Feature Tool to disable acoustic management. The difference in noise is miniscule, the difference in performance is noticable.



In the Feature Tool's manual Vista isnt listed as one of the OS that it works with. Have you or anyone tried it with Vista? And would it work to make a bootable CD instead of floppy? I dont have a floppy drive and I really dont want one.
December 29, 2007 4:26:34 PM

the acoustic tool, only seems to work on PATA drives (IDE)

also, I remember the older "intel application acelerator" did the same, but for only intel chipsets.
December 29, 2007 4:27:32 PM

godsizesnakeyes said:
In the Feature Tool's manual Vista isnt listed as one of the OS that it works with. Have you or anyone tried it with Vista? And would it work to make a bootable CD instead of floppy? I dont have a floppy drive and I really dont want one.


if you check carefully, you can burn it into a CD IMAGE..
ie, a CD
a b G Storage
January 15, 2008 9:02:58 PM

An update for anyone who cares.

The drive FINALLY showed up today. Ordering from Directron has been such a comedy of errors that I will probably post a review of my experience with them once I finish getting ALL of my order. (how hard is it to ship a hdd and a DVD drive???) I have the 320GB in my machine right now, I've almost finished formatting the last partition.

Once I get everything moved around, I'll see about checking whether the noise feature is on or off for both of my drives. (if tamalero is right, then it won't matter seeing as these are SATA drives.) So I now have a Seagate 7200.10 250GB drive, and a WD AAKS 320GB drive in my machine. Sweet!
!