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640AAKS VS. 6401AALS

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October 22, 2008 9:13:31 PM

Everybody talks about how good Western Digital's 640AAKS Hard Drive is. I was wondering if anyone has any info on the 6401AALS version.

More about : 640aaks 6401aals

October 22, 2008 11:30:38 PM

The 640AAKS is the Blue and the 6401AALS is the Black. The black will be faster and it has 32mb cache compared to the 16 of the AAKS. On the WD website is seems to state that the AAKS has sustained of 70 and the AALS has sustained 113, however, i know the AAKS are faster than 70 so i think those figures should be taken with a grain of salt.
October 23, 2008 1:44:04 PM

So which one do you guys recommend for me to purchase?
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October 23, 2008 2:01:10 PM

I would go for the black because that has better performance then the blue.

WD now has 3 groups Green, Blue and Black Green is there low power hd's blue is there mainstream drives and black there high performance drives

just a side note (The Velociraptor does not fall under any of these categories but belongs to there enterprise lineup)
a b G Storage
October 23, 2008 2:42:49 PM

I would pay $10 more for the "black" version. I wouldn't pay an extra $15 or more. Where did you find the 6401AALS and what's the price?
October 23, 2008 3:17:10 PM

i have 5 the aaks's in a raid five array, and i'm happy as a pig in poop with them
a b G Storage
October 23, 2008 3:26:28 PM

LOL, it is exactly $10 more, just like I expected.

The WD6401AALS has a longer warranty (5 years instead of 3). Google's study of their hard drives showed that about 6% of them died in the 4th and another 6% in the 5th year, so that's worth something IMO. Specifically, insuring a $75 product when the chances of failure are 12% is worth 12% of $75 i.e. $6.

The average transfer rate is 89.2 MBs, just like the WD6400AAKS.

The tech spec sheet on WD's site mentions a "dual processor" but I didn't see that helping in benchmarks.

The bigger cache will help in some scenarios, I guess. For years WD has claimed that 32MB of cache doesn't bring any advantage over 16MB, but I guess that's when they had 16MB and Seagate had 32MB. I suspect they added it just to level the playing field between their marketing people and Seagate's.

October 23, 2008 3:27:53 PM

I just bought 2 blue because black wasnt out. If it were I would of went black.
a b G Storage
October 23, 2008 5:49:17 PM

aevm said:
LOL, it is exactly $10 more, just like I expected.

The WD6401AALS has a longer warranty (5 years instead of 3). Google's study of their hard drives showed that about 6% of them died in the 4th and another 6% in the 5th year, so that's worth something IMO. Specifically, insuring a $75 product when the chances of failure are 12% is worth 12% of $75 i.e. $6.

The average transfer rate is 89.2 MBs, just like the WD6400AAKS.

The tech spec sheet on WD's site mentions a "dual processor" but I didn't see that helping in benchmarks.

The bigger cache will help in some scenarios, I guess. For years WD has claimed that 32MB of cache doesn't bring any advantage over 16MB, but I guess that's when they had 16MB and Seagate had 32MB. I suspect they added it just to level the playing field between their marketing people and Seagate's.


The dual processor means one can be dedicated exclusively to servo functions, while the other can be used for everything else. It helps ensure more accurate tracking, and can in fact speed up benchmarks slightly.
October 24, 2008 12:34:33 AM

roadrunner197069 said:
I just bought 2 blue because black wasnt out. If it were I would of went black.


And never go back?

I live in AUS and find it extremely hard at the moment to find the blacks anywhere so i was stuck with the blues. haha that works two ways
October 30, 2008 4:52:52 AM

I have this same question. I bought an AAKS/Blue back when it first came out, and although I am very happy with it, I might be able to offload it onto a friend and replace it with the AALS/Black and only have to (basically) pay the price difference. If it's not significantly faster I might not bother going through the effort of swapping to a new drive.

-mcg
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