on March 23, 2010
I was skeptical at first.
But I bought two, and put in a RAID1 mirror config, in a 8-drive raid box with 2 x multilane infiniband interfaces and a RocketRaid card.
The 64MB cache is noticeable, totally. It is not hype. On average, I get 100MB/sec copying across a gigabit network in the LAN from one machine to this RAID volume. In a similar test (using the same source machine, to a volume of 750GB AAKS', I get ~82MB/sec across the wire. Again, the cache is noticeable in my tests.
I am amazed at the quality of this drive.
I recommend these drives to anyone who needs to use a RAID config, and needs capacity, and reliability.
I only use WD, period.
I currently own 46 hard drives, all WD.
The only WD hard drive I ever had fail, was a green 750GB one.
The older AAKS series was phenomenal, and these are the new ones to get!
(I have had drives fail a great deal using other manufacturers)
UPDATE 2-28-2015 -- AEON MICRO'S RESPONSE TO MY PROBLEMS AND NEGATIVE FEEDBACK
I need to update my experience. Upon posting this review, I received a call from David, a Senior Account Manager from Aeon Micro. He told me that he was extremely concerned about my experiences, and that after looking into the issue he found that quite a few of their customers who have purchased products from them may have in fact received used drives like me. He said that this may be an issue with a Vendor they get the drives from, and that they were taking action to make things right with the customers who may have received a drive in a condition less than as-promised in the listing. He seemed legitimately concerned about their company's reputation, as well as my satisfaction as a customer.
Aeon Micro refunded my money, took the used drive back in a return, and then sent me a brand new Western Digital Re (which is the updated RE4 and considerably more expensive) for free via overnight priority shipping. The drive arrived in the exact condition as promised, and had the full 5-year warranty from Western Digital.
Rather than deleting the initial review, I want to let you know what happened so you can come to your own conclusions. It seems like Aeon Micro was legitimate about fixing this issue...they went above and beyond by both refunding my money and sending me a free product that was even nicer than what was ordered. They did not make excuses for this and they did not try to blame the customer; rather, they acknowledged they made a mistake and that I am not the only one who has had this happen, and told me they are dedicated to making this right. I have to give them the benefit of the doubt and I removed the direct Seller feedback I left, which was negative & did not give me the option of revising it accordingly.
So I still think it is important that you be very careful who you buy a hard drive on Amazon. Especially with sizes under 2-3 TB, it is very possible that an item listed as "brand new" is in fact a used item. However, in my instance, after realizing I was a sent a problem that did not match what was described, the Seller took action to compensate me substantially for this issue.
AMAZON HARD DRIVE, DECEPTIVE SELLING PRACTICES, AND HOW AMAZON IS ENABLING THIS: DO NOT BUY A RE4 FROM AMAZON.
When does a problem with selling practices of an item transfer over from an individual seller feedback into the main product review? This happens when an unethical practice becomes widespread among many sellers, and when sellers are attempting to hide their behavior. That is the case here. While I understand the purpose of the product review is to discuss the product, the fact that so many Sellers are engaging in this unethical conduct means that it does in fact affect the product itself and the only way to reach all buyers is through the standard review. If I do not speak up regarding an attempt to scam me, then there is no way other buyers will know. It is not fair to me. It is not fair to you. And it is not fair to Western Digital.
I purchased a 250 GB WD RE4 from Aeon Micro, Inc. This drive was sold as being, 1) Brand NEW, and, 2) with a 5-year warranty.
The RE4 I got from Aeon Micro, Inc. was made in early 2012...which would not be an issue except for the fact that it had over 7,000 power-on hours on the drive, and it was intentionally packaged in materials designed to mimic genuine WD packaging. In other words, it had about a year of run time and was intentionally disguised to look new to deceive the buyer into thinking the product they got was OEM Western Digital. The drive was NOT new and Western Digital has verified this.
Given these companies have some great buys on drives, if they honestly listed these as 'used' or 'refurbished', I would probably consider buying them anyway...after all, the RE4 is designed for long-term usage and is incredibly reliable. However, making statements that the drive is new when it is not, and repackaging it to trick buyers into thinking it is original gives the impression that these Sellers must have something to hide. Such practices are incredibly deceptive, and Aeon Micro is one of numerous companies engaging in this practice. Even worse, many of these companies are 'Fulfilled by Amazon' certified (Aeon Micro is). The fact that Amazon is aware of this issue but has not acted on it disturbs me. As someone who spends tons of money on Amazon and loves to review products, I am disappointed in the company that is generally the best when it comes to customer care.
What does that mean to you? Well, as a start I would recommend not buying hard drives on Amazon unless you are willing to deal with the nightmare that I and many other buyers here have experienced (see the other reviews and you will see how widespread this issue is). If you buy a product from these companies, be aware that they have a history of scamming consumers and, 1) look for AUTHENTIC WD packaging...they SEAL their products inside of a magnetic pouch with yellow WD watermarks (some older drives do not use this packaging), and 2) use the online WD Warranty Checker feature to physically type in the drive's unique serial number and validate that the drive is brand new and the warranty is valid. Use a software program that can read a drive's SMART data as it will tell you the power-on hours and run cycles of the drive. If your new Western Digital drive has significant power-on hours, that drive is not new and the Seller has either made an accidental mistake or intentional deception. If they did, DON'T LET THEM GET AWAY WITH IT...IF BUYERS DO NOT SPEAK UP AGAINST THIS PRACTICE, CONSUMERS WILL CONTINUE TO BE DECEIVED BY THESE COMPANIES WITH TERRIBLE BUSINESS ETHICS. With how well these sellers disguise these used drives, someone not aware of how to check a drive's age/warranty could easily mistake one of these drives as brand new.
If you get an authentic, new, an factory-spec RE4, it is one of the BEST hard drives ever made, sporting excellent speed, reliability & value, with a fantastic 5-year warranty.
WESTERN DIGITAL'S Re/RE4 LINEUP
The Western Digital Re/RE line is Western Digital's enterprise-grade hard disk drives available in both SATA and SAS interfaces. They are designed for usage in commercial applications where a disk is constantly going through read/write cycles, and where both speed and reliability are of critical importance. Unlike Western Digital's standard consumer-grade HDD warranty, their enterprise lines (and some of their other flagship & performance lines) are covered by a 5-year warranty of slightly different terms. And unlike many other enterprise drives, the Re/RE4 is reasonably affordable for this type of product. Between the speed, reliability, and affordability, these are absolutely fantastic drives for a RAID setup.
THE RE4 SPECS (AND THE NEWER Re)
The Western Digital RE4 was recently replaced by the newer Re. The RE4 was (and is) a highly successful drive ranging in capacities of 250 GB to 2 TB. I own & manage numerous RE4's in the 500 GB and 1 TB size, some of which are pushing around 5+ GB of data every day and have ran flawlessly for the past 5 years non-stop. As the service life of some of my 500 GB RE4's are coming to a close and as I need more space, I will be progressively replacing them with the 1 TB and 2 TB Re or RE4 models (whichever I can get for less at the time I need them.)
SPECS - The RE4 comes in the 250, 500, 1000, and 2000 GB sizes. It is a 3.5-inch 7200-RPM drive available in either a SAS or SATA 2 (3.0 Gbps) interface. It has a 64 MB caches, dual processors, 1.2 million hours MTBF rating, and advanced shock/vibration protection. The load/unload cycle rating is 600,000. It comes with a 5-year warranty (when purchased new from a WD AD.) Sustained read and write speeds are rated at about 130-140 megabytes per second depending upon the drive...I have personally gotten closer to 140 MB/s with virtually all of my RE4s.
The newer Re that replaces the RE4 adds these features:
--The (newer) Re adds the 3 TB and 4 TB sizes
--The Re uses a SATA III (6.0 Gbps) connection (the older RE4 used SATA II)
--The Re is rated at <1 in 10^16 Non-recoverable read errors per bits read (the RE4 was 10^15, which is a common rating on enterprise drives, where as 10^14 is more common on consumer drives)
--Transfer speeds on the Re improve over the RE4 in 2 TB size, and the 2, 3, and 4 TB Re's have notably fast speeds (upwards of 165-190 MB per second peak)
--The Re adds new encryption capabilities
--The Re has new (dual) processors
Virtually all hard drive makers produce both low-end and flagship hard drives because they need to produce products capable storing everything from the occasional home backup to the software used to operate a nuclear power plant. This RE4 is built with the intention of it having the capability for both. If you open up most of the pre-packaged external hard drives, you will quickly see that most have the lower-end drives and these drives do not have the best speed nor do they have the best reliability. You shouldn't have to and you don't have to settle for that.
If you have ever had to pay for data recovery, you know that it's not always successful but it gets expensive fast regardless (often thousands of dollars.) You also know virtually no hard drive warranties cover data recovery, even if the drive was faulty. By choosing the Re, RE4, or another high-grade or professional-grade drive, you have the option to reduce the chance you ever wind up in that situation (another part is, of course, redundancy...you never want to store any data on one single drive/location if losing it would be a problem...keep at least two copies of any data that you would not be OK with losing permanently. For critical data, consider storing the copies in different physical locations in the event of fire or water damage. In the event something happens to one of the drives you are using to store the data, you are prepared with a secondary copy capable of providing your data, and you should rapidly replace the lost drive without delay.)
So whether you are considering this for a main desktop drive, a secondary internal desktop drive, part of a RAID setup, part of a rack system on a server, or just for really reliable single-disk home backup, the RE4 is a solid choice (as is the new Re.) These are surprisingly affordable and you will get to enjoy data transfer speeds and reliability that not many other drives can match. I highly recommend the RE4!
The absolute bottom line here is that if you are going for a RE4, you want reliability. With the ongoing scams Sellers on Amazon are practicing, that is all the more reason to purchase this great hard drive somewhere other than Amazon. I am sorry I had to give such a poor rating to such a great product, with so many sellers offering this product delivering something other than what is advertised, I feel I have no choice.