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Should I return this hard drive and buy a new one? Answered

I bought a 1 TB Western Digital Caviar Green hard drive from Frys for $60. It said its RPM was "5400-7200 Variable" and I assumed that the hard drive would slowdown/speed up based on how much it was being used, so I went for it. After I hooked it up to my PC and installed everything, I found out that the hard drive actually spun at 5400 and that it scored the lowest in the Windows performance thing (5.9, everything else was around 7.2). So, should I return it and buy a Western Digital Caviar SE16 500GB (I bought the 1 TB Caviar Green for $57 on sale, and the SE16 is around the same price)? Will it be faster?

If you need more info:
My drive's model # is WDBAAY0010HNC-NRSN.
It stores 1 TB
It has a 64 mb cache. 



Best Answer 6 years ago

What I am finding is the "green" drives work good for storage that is not always being used. In a usb external bay the drive will power down and the drive motor turns off. If you check it you will find its at room temp or just barely warm. So for this it works great. But for a boot drive or one that is being constantly used they are slow.
If you can afford it, an SSD drive is the fastest right now, but they are expensive. Personally, I use 2 500 gig 7200 drives in a RAID array. That way I get better read speed and the redundancy of having 2 drives that are the same. I have had drive failures and the raid has saved the day.

I used to like WD drives and have a fair number of them but latelly I have heard of a large number of failures. My son had 8 of 10 drives fail. (He is a tech) and he has stopped using WD for the moment until they get a handle on the problem. Instead we have been getting Samsung drives. They appear to be more reliable and in general are performing better.

If I were you I would hang on to the WD drive and use it for backups of pictures and videos and such and get a Samsung 7200 500 gig. But that is just me.

I'll follow your advice, but how much faster will my PC be if I replace the Caviar Green with a 7200 RPM drive?


6 years ago

Any speed improvement that you might see would come from reduced read and write times. The drive will be more responsive and will access data faster so programs should load a little faster but probably not enough to be dramatically noticeable . Putting a second drive into a mirrored raid array does make a pretty big difference though. They did some research into this a few years ago because there was a question as to whether it was better to get an expensive 10,000 RMP drive, like a raptor or instead get 2 slower drives and put them in an array. For read speeds the array won. The reason is that it actually pulls data off of both of the mirrored drives at the same time which almost doubles the read speed. The write speed however is not effected since both drives have to be written to at the same time.
The times when drive speeds are an important factor are when doing file transfers, loading programs and booting up.
The biggest speed improvement you can always make is to add more system RAM. The next is the processor and finally the video card.
Drives do make a difference but not a big one, unless you go to a SSD or a raid array.
When storage started moving into these giant capacity hard drives a lot of us were a little concerned about it. The thing is those drives contain so much data that anymore its a lot to loose if the drive fails. And Drive Savers will tell you that every drive does fail, its just a matter of when. Having duplicates is usually a very good idea.

THIS review (of an earlier version of your drive) suggests that the speed is somewhere between 5400 and 7200 RPM, but WD aren't saying where, but it looks like it's at the low end.
It looks like the drive is designed with compromises for low power consumption and quiet running which it does well at, but if you're looking for speed it isn't the one for you.