back to article Fast is the new Black: WD gives laptops' spinning rust a new whirl

WD has bumped up the I/O speed of its Black line of desktop disk drives, with dynamic caching technology featuring in its marketing material. Blacks are re-branded Caviar technology, and span a 500GB to 4TB capacity range, spinning at 7,200rpm and using a 6Gbit/s SATA interface. There is no specific reason provided for the …


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  1. HamsterNet


    Wrong tree WD, wrong tree!

    SSD are for performance, and are so far ahead HDDs will never catch up.

    Rust's only remaining use is for slow reliable bulk storage - make these discs reliable and larger - much much larger or else you're doomed, mainly because the SSD are catching up in the space arena as well.

    1. localzuk

      Re: Humgh

      The Black disks are aimed at enthusiasts and similar. So, there's definitely a market for them in terms of speed vs capacity.

      How many enthusiasts could afford a 4TB SSD?

    2. pPPPP

      Re: Humgh

      >SSD are for performance, and are so far ahead HDDs will never catch up.

      Yes, the article talks about I/O, yet the numbers and the graphs talk about throughput. There's no mention of block sizes or randomness so my guess this is large block, sequential I/O. And if you purchase SSDs for that sort of I/O then you either have money to burn or you're ignorant.

      Flash is great at random I/O. When it costs a similar price per GB to spinning disk then it will be great at sequential I/O. Until then both flash and disk drives are "for performance".

      By the way, SSDs are just flash devices pretending to be disk drives. The only reason they exist is so they can be used in the same physical slots as hard drives, and connect to the same interfaces. There's absolutely no reason for them to emulate cylinders, heads and tracks. Dedicated PCI adapters already exist, as do dedicated SAN-attached devices. Both of them respond to I/O significantly faster than SSDs (microseconds as opposed to milliseconds).

      SSDs in their current form will most likely become obsolete before hard drives do.

    3. Muhammad Imran/mi1400

      Re: Humgh

      for God sake WD,.. slow down hdd no matter down to 4000 rpm but make it power adapter free. develop some desktop RED series with 4TB ..powered by USB .. not AC adapter... u can call this segment "semi-portable" where user will get RED quality robustness to carry around in car etc i.e. moderate shock environments and 4TB desktop class space... there are discusisons on internet showing desktop hdds theoratically capable of USB power sufficient at low rpms. how about USB powered myCloud series !?!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The title row of says it all...

    ... the new megabytes are just slightly smaller.

  3. Ant Evans


    The 2.5" drives are the gem in this range. No readily accessible useful info on which form factors are getting the upgrade to be seen on the WD site. Instead, we are informed that WD drives provide better traction.

    Still, it's not as if magnetic disks are under any competitive pressure, so everything'll probably be okay.

  4. Graham 24

    Data density?

    >>> How WD has managed to make the I/O faster isn't known. The spin speed, interface and cache sizes are unchanged between the old and new generation products.

    My guess: they've either increased the areal density of each platter, or increased the number of platters, or both. Either way you get more data moving under each head for each rotation of the disk, so you get higher throughput without changing the rotational speed.

    1. Ged T

      Re: Data density?

      My guess: some of the above plus a firmware tweak or two?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They've upgraded the marketing?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Competition caught up?

      Then take the slugs out the firmware....

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The end of WD?

    As soon as seagate go heat assisted magnetic recording tech, WD's Helium filled tech wont cut the mustard...

    SSD's are great for boot, but the standard magnetic disk will be around for years to come.. especially when we start getting above a terabit per square inch.

    Day dreams of filling the current NAS with 10 x 60TB Drives ummmmm storage.

    Sadly as ever seagate and others are more likely to drip feed us larger sizes.

    1. Roo

      Re: The end of WD?

      "Sadly as ever seagate and others are more likely to drip feed us larger sizes."

      That's because they are approaching the ultimate limit of what magnetic media can do density wise, and still achieve the stability and longevity that we have come to expect from spinning rust... They may be able to squeeze some more density by sacrificing reliability - but personally I'd rather they didn't do that.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: The end of WD?

        " and still achieve the stability and longevity that we have come to expect from spinning rust."

        You must be living in a different universe to me, because the last 5 years have seen a marked decrease in reliability of spinning media across the board here - and Seagate/WD must feel the same way, or they probably wouldn't have slashed warranty periods on their bread'n'butter devices.

        SSD makers are starting to deploy RAIN (Like RAID, but for NAND) internally on larger sizes. The next 18 months look to be _very_ interesting.

        I've had a few cheap SSDs go phut, but a lot more spinning ones do so, with a large spread of "quality". The higher spec SSDs I have are still going strong after several years of heavy abuse and show no signs of wearout.

  7. Brian Miller

    And what about SAS?

    The SATA Black drive gives a maximum 171Mb/s, while the SAS Xe gives 204Mb/s.

    As for SSD, the WD SiliconDrive A100 is touted at running 240Mb/s read and a measly 120Mb/s write, at only 128Gb capacity.

    Read the fine print, eh?

  8. unitron

    The headline says laptop...

    ...the article talks about desktop.

    So W(hich)TF are they talking about here?

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