High-Capacity Business Hard Drives: Biggest Of The Bunch

Western Digital RE4, 2 TB (WD2002FYPS)

Although a RAID Edition drive like the new RE4 sounds like it should spin at 7,200 RPM and serve up high performance, the new WD2002FYPS is not a new hard drive. Instead, WD modified and re-validated the existing 2 TB Caviar Green WD20EADS to suit the demands of 24/7 applications in business and data center environments. For this reason, the cache memory was increased from 32 MB to 64 MB and the drive now reaches a 1.2 million-hour MTBF rating. This is exactly the same endurance specification as we found with Hitachi’s Deskstar E7K1000, but WD offers twice the capacity at reduced power consumption.

Power Consumption: New Idle Record With Four Platters

The Western Digital RE4 drive is only available at a 2 TB capacity; other models are not (yet) available. Four platters store 500 GB each and prevent the drive from reaching a lower power consumption, but the results are still respectable. Seagate’s Barracuda LP at 2 TB and also leveraging four platters requires more power at idle (4.2 W versus WD’s 3.5 W), making the new WD RE4 the most efficient four-platter drive at idle. Peak power for streaming reads leveled in at 6.7 W, which is an average result for a four-platter drive. The 5.1 W power during HD video playback is decent, but beaten by Seagate’s 2 TB four-platter drive. With that said, the 7.9 W at maximum I/O is more than we expected.

Performance: Some Records

The new RE4 definitely turns in the performance benchmarks: 14.0 ms is excellent for a 5,400 RPM drive. Although the RE4 is merely above the average in our throughput tests, it reaches best I/O performance scores in all four runs, which again is excellent for a drive that spins at a conservative speed. To give you another point of comparison, Hitachi’s Deskstar E7K1000 isn’t faster when it comes to I/Os. Finally, application performance in PCMark Vantage is between average and excellent, depending on the particular test run.