Over the last few months I have been focusing on the benefits and specifics of the Solid State Drive as it pertains to gaming and performance. The SSD is an excellent high-performance platform for storage devices in any system, yet the price per GB of storage is still significantly higher than the standard and reliable Hard Disk Drive systems. Add to that the differences in total storage size between the HDD and the SSD and now a smart gamer looking to upgrade his system begins to waver between the two.
The largest reason to keep the old standard HD technology is the storage sizes. As todays digital media moves into the higher definition standards, media and data storage capacity is at a premium. Many gamers are resorting to combining a fast SSD with a large HD to maximize the benefits of both technology types while most gamers on a budget continue to stay with a single drive configuration focused on the reliable technology of the HD and its extended sizes.
In an effort to show the benefits of the newer generation of Hard Disk storage, we will take a look at the Western Digital Black 4TB Hard Drive. In order to keep the information comparable to previously shown drives, the same four categories from previous posts will be used.
Drive Specifics: Western Digital Black 4TB
|Interface||SATA 6 Gb/s|
|Rotational SpeedBuffer Size 64 MB|
|Average Latency||Load/unload Cycles 300,000 minimum|
|Buffer To Host (Serial ATA) 6 Gb/s (Max)|
|Formatted Capacity||4,000,787 MB|
|User Sectors Per Drive||7,814,037,168|
The Four Main Categories to Look For: So how does the Black 4TB stack up?
1. Quick Read/Write Speeds: First, for a gaming system, you really want to have the best read/write speeds. The Black 4TB uses a drive speed of 7200 RPM with a latency of 4.20ms and a reported, by Western Digital, transfer rate of 154MB/s. This compares favorably to other non-SSD drives, but is significantly lower than the 0.1ms latency and 400MB/s read and 300MB/s write times of the SSD.
2. SATA III Support: The Western Digital Black 4TB features the SATA 6GB/s transfer speeds associated with the SATA III protocols.
3. A History of Reliability: The Western Digital Black series of drives is a known commodity from an established and well-respected manufacture. In addition to this, the Western Digital Black 4TB hard drive comes with a manufacturer’s warranty that is 5 years in length.
4. Price: As of the writing of this post, the Western Digital Black 4TB drive is listed on Amazon.com for a price of $285.53. That gives the Black 4TB a per/GB price of $0.07. Compare that with the Samsung 512GB SSD price of $0.88/GB, which is more than 12x the cost of the Black 4TB’s cost/GB.
All in all, the Western Digital Black 4TB Hard Drive is an excellent representation of the platter style technology. The Black 4TB shines in three of the four main categories for gaming performance drives, but is not able to compete with SSDs for access speed. In cases where storage capacity outweighs access speeds, the Western Digital Black 4TB will be the drive to buy.