on March 7, 2010
First, this is a state of the art, newly introduced drive from WDC. In my opinion it is the best general-use drive you can get at this price point.
Prior to my purchase, I read several negative reviews from prior customers who voiced dissatisfaction with Amazon's packaging of OEM drives. Any chance of damage in shipping would indeed be reason to shop elsewhere for such a sensitive item, but on one such page of ranting and frustration I saw a note from Amazon that they had recently addressed these concerns, so I proceeded to order the drive.
Here's the latest and I hope final word on this issue: Problem solved. The drive arrives sealed in an anti-static bag, secured by two end-mounted shock absorbing plastic caddies, then double-boxed with the usual sealed air padding. The redundant packing system appears to be well-designed and the drive has been working like a champ.
So buy with confidence and kudos to Amazon for responding to customer reviews and ensuring appropriate, safe packaging for this product.
on July 15, 2010
I've been using Western Digital hard drives since getting into computers in 1998. In fact I've never owned anything but WD hard drives (from 4.3gig to 1TB). In all my years of using them I've only had 2 go bad, though they never "completely" failed. This speaks of Western Digital's consistency in reliability.
With that said I love the Caviar Blacks and have 3 of them in my system - 500, 750, and now the new 1TB SATA 3 (64Meg cache).
While there is a noticeable speed gain over my previous 1TB Caviar Black (32Meg), the previous version was/is extremely quiet! This new SATA 3 drive is LOUD! It sounds like a percolating coffee pot at its highest boiling point, especially during boot-up or accessing files. Very annoying, especially if it's the noisiest part of your system!
I just put an i7 system in a Cooler Master HAF X case which has 4 fans - 1 Front bottom 230mm 700RPM 19dBA (Red LED), 1 Top 200mm 7000RPM 19dBA, 1 Rear 140mm 1200RPM 19dBA. My Noctua CPU cooler fan tops out at 1200RPM load at 19dBA as well. At idle my ATI 4890 video card fan runs around 27 percent, making it in-audible above the other fans.
My point.... My case is extremely quiet.... Save for WD's new Caviar Black SATA 3 HD!!! Because of this I'm seriously considering going back to my previous 1TB 32meg cache Caviar Black HD.
BTW this is a replacement drive as I thought the first drive was faulty due to the same noise. With that I called Western Digital about this issue.... and to make a long story short, they say this is normal and that drive wasn't designed with noise in mind, that if you want a "quieter" drive, get the Caviar Blue.
Make of that what you will....
All I know is that the older 32mge cache Caviar Black drives ARE quieter than their 64meg cache cousins.
Those looking for quieter WD drives might consider looking elsewhere (Blue or Green series) if noise is a factor over speed.
Edit. Went back to my previous drive because of the noise. If you want a caviar black that's quiet, go with the 1FALS (32meg) vs the 2FAEX (64meg)
Edit 2 - Jan 9, 2015 - Please remember folks, this review was on the 1TB Western Digital Caviar Black (WD1002FAEX) which was done nearly 4 and a half years ago! I'm quite sure the new iterations have changed.
And for the record, I still use WD Caviar blacks, bought a 2TB about 2 years ago and love it. You can still hear it thrashing a little when in use, but that's normal of all mechanical drives as opposed to SSD drives which are virtually silent. That said, my 2TB WD Black is not as bad as the model I reviewed here. On the other hand I'm not using it as a main drive like I was with the model reviewed before moving to an SSD drive. Today my system is composed of a 512gig Samsung 850 Pro SSD drive as my main drive and the WD Caviar Black as my data / backup drive.
Anyway bear in mind this is a 4.5 year old review with a different model, in a different role, before posting your comments.
on February 22, 2013
I'm tentatively giving this 4 stars for the reasons below, but the real test of a hard drive is the test of time. I will update this review if problems arise.
Without being able to test its durability, there's not much you can say about a particular hard drive other than it works and it performs to it's specifications on the tests I did. It maxes out the transfer rates of my other drives (~55 MB/sec). If you want to run more thorough and sophisticated synthetic benchmark tests, you can find those tests on tech review websites; I'm having difficulty inserting the specific links into the review.
YOUR CHOICES FOR 4TB HARD DRIVES
If you want a consumer-grade 4 TB hard drive, your choices are pretty limited at the moment (Feb 2013). You've got this WD Caviar Black 4TB, the Hitachi Deskstar 7K4000, and the Seagate Desktop HDD 4TB. If you need 24x7 operation, then rule out the Seagate, since it's not rated for this.
HOW DO THEY COMPARE?
In terms of current Amazon price (Feb 22, 2013), the Seagate is the cheapest (210) by quite a bit. The WD is in the middle (310), and the Hitachi is the highest but not by much (318 sold through a third party).
Performance-wise, on average the Seagate is slowest, as expected given it's a 5900 rpm drive and the others are 7200 rpm. The WD is in the middle, and the Hitachi is fastest. Under both low and high load, the Hitachi outperforms the WD by quite a bit.
On warranty, the Seagate is worst at 2 years, the Hitachi in the middle at 3 years, and the WD best at 5 years.
WHICH ONE SHOULD YOU GET?
If you're highly concerned about price and plan to use this for non-performance PC or external USB enclosure, go for the Seagate. Personally I'm concerned about the short warranty--are they only warrantying it for 2 years because they expect many of them to break down after that? If you can afford the extra 100 or so for the WD and Hitachi, it comes down to performance vs. warranty. The Hitachi outperforms the WD in just about every aspect. But you need to ask yourself whether you need such a high performing hard drive. If not, the WD offers two extra years of warranty. Again, that might be a signal of WD's confidence in its product. Time will tell.
Finally, do note that 3 TB hard drives are still better value per gigabyte right now (Feb 2013), so unless you'll need the capacity or the higher performance, consider that option too.
Full disclosure: I received a test model of this hard drive to review but was not otherwise compensated. It is possible that the test model is slightly different from the final retail model.
on August 11, 2010
I bought this drive to store pictures, music and files on as replacement for an older WD drive that failed. I went with the Black series for it's speed and reliability. Amazon's packaging was fine (see pics that I added to product above) and installation, initialization and formatting went without a hitch. The drive performed very well; was fast and pretty quiet (especialy compared to the OEM WD Blue drive in my PC). I did notice that the drive would get rather warm when I still had the computer case open but, I have three fans spinning in there so didn't think much of it. Six weeks later, I received a "drive not accessible" error and after running the WD Data LifeGuard diagnostics, determined that the drive had multiple bad sectors and failed the SMART test. I tried to recover the sectors but, it wouldn't work. A call to WD tech support confirmed that it was toast and they sent me out a replacement. The interesting part was that the replacement was shipped in nothing more than a small corrugate box with just the drive and the plastic end caps inside. The new drive has been in for two days now and so far it's OK. I gave this 3 stars for failing after 6 weeks but, still think it's a good drive for the money and believe that I had some bad luck. If I write back in 6 weeks with another failed drive, I wont be so charitable.
on May 27, 2011
Purchased one of these to put in my new build which was built around a Gigabyte GA-890FXA-UD5 m/b and AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black edition CPU. After reading more than several reviews that stated this drive was loud, and even more stating it was quiet, I frankly did not know what to expect in that regard, so I went ahead with my purchase having trust through my own experience with Western Digital HDD's I've owned and am still using in my back up PC. Well it's been four days since I first fired up my new build and trust me, initially I turned a close ear to give particular attention to the sounds coming from the HDD. It's not silent, other than SSD's not any HDD is silent, but it certainly runs no louder than any other HDD's I've owned. When installing the OS, a time when the HDD is continously reading/writing, my optical drive won the shouting contest by far. So I'm here sitting on the bench where all the others are proclaiming this drive is quiet. I'm not going to accuse anyone who is claiming this drive as being loud of doing something wrong, they all got defective drives? Well something is wrong here. I did not set mine up in a RAID configuration, but even if I had it shouldn't make no difference audibly. It's a Western Digital, it's fast, quiet and relating to my own experience with WD HDD's I expect longterm dependability as well. I only bought one because I wanted to check it out first before I went off to buy another, well I'm definately going to add another one of these to my build. The verdict is in...5 stars all the way.
on June 6, 2011
Well this hard drive lasted about 2 months so I contacted the manufacture because the hard drive comes with a 5 year warranty. They sent me out a replacement. I noticed on the replacement hard drive that it stated recertified above the serial number. This seemed odd since the one I had originally purchased did not say that. I phoned Western Digital and was told that it is still brand new that it must have been returned from a retailer without being purchased. Well that did not seem to make sense so I went on Western Digital web site to find out a different picture of recertified. My replacement hard drive actually is not new as I was told and it only has a six month warranty instead of a 5 year warranty that I had paid for. Here is a link about there recertified drives: [...]
on September 18, 2011
worked fine until about 35 days. The failure occurred between system boots; I suspect the controller circuitry since the BIOS halts for quite a while when trying to communicate with it, but what do I know.
I was in the process of backing up one partition, which I got, before rebooting, but the remaining (monstrously large) I had not yet backed up, so there goes the data. Its quite sensitive data as well, so I am reluctant to send it back for warranty, so I guess I'm going to wind up eating this one....
on February 27, 2010
Amazon's product review of this product is incorrect. This is not an Advanced Format drive as stated. "WD Advanced Format technology increases media format efficiency, thus enabling larger drive capacities. WD Advanced Format drives are specifically optimized for Mac and the latest Windows operating systems such as Windows Vista and Windows 7"
The advanced format is only available currently on the "Caviar GREEN drives" All "BLACK" drives are 512kb sector drives not 4k. Check description on Western Digitals web site using product WD1002FAEX or under Caviar Black drive description. I confirmed this via WD tech support.
In the future, WD and other manufactures will be going to 4k sector drives.
Having said that, this appears to be a nice drive. You might see some speed increase due to 64mb cache but not from SATA 6Gb transfer, no drive can read/write that speed. 5 year warranty, 1tb capacity, makes a nice boot drive. I will purchase a "Green" drive as a data and back-up drive for less heat, noise, and power consumption.
I purchased this from Amazon and I ordered the factory packaged drive, not the bare, less packaging drive, and I'm glad I did. The package shipped via UPS arrived smashed in on one end on the outer box. Had this been the minimal packaging I think the drive would have been damaged. Amazon needs to fully wrap shipments in better protective packages to survive transport.
I erased, zeroed and reformatted this drive to use in a MacPro. For Mac boot drives, do not use as it comes, reformat to Apple Partition Map(APM) journaled for PowerPC (G3,G4,G5) and as GUID journaled for all Intel Macs. Time Machine likes GUID, but you do not need to journal if using only for back-up or data storage. Western Digitals web-site gets this wrong as well, and says to use APM for Intel Macs. Intel macs will not boot from APM drives, but can read/write to them.
Hope Amazon corrects the product description.
Hope WD corrects knowledge base on partition/format for Macs.
on December 6, 2012
First let me make this clear, This hard drive is faster than the previous 2TB Black, it's MUCH more quite and less noisy than the previous blacks but it's not as fast as the seagate 3TB which does use 3 1TB plates, this 4TB Black use 5x 800GB plates
Before you buy it though ask yourself do you need 4TB "Right now" because currently this hard drive come at a premium price with no competition (WD bought Hitachi this year so their 4TB belongs to them too) WD basically got monopoly on the 4TB 7200RPM market currently and that's why it does cost 3x more than the "Faster" seagate 3TB 7200RPM hard drive, if you can wait a while do that because Seagate will release 4TB 7200rpm next year
WD 4TB Black speed = 127MB Average
WD 2TB Black speed = 115MB Average
Seagate 3TB Speed = 152MB Average
WD Green 3TB is about 96MB average
As you see, if you prefer faster speed + better value for your money there are better options, for me personally i went for the black 4TB because I'm a professional and reliability is super important (Specially for a 4TB drive you don't want a 4TB drive to die even if you does back it up) WD black drives are known for being reliable and WD does offer 5 years warranty for it.
This drive is great for my use, plenty of space, fast and quite (compared to other blacks which is too noisy)
My only Con is why i only have access to 3.6TB, where did my 400GB GO ????? (/Sarcasm) can't really find a con on this drive besides its price i guess.
on March 18, 2011
I bought 2 of these. So far I installed one and works very well.
Don't forget to enable the AHCI (instead of IDE) mode in your PC.
Just google "enable ahci" to get instructions.
Update: THIS DRIVE IS DEAD. The bios doesn't recognize it any more. I tried everything: switching cables, SATA ports, BIOS configurations, DLGdiag program from western digital (code 0120 - no drive connected). Now I don't know if I would send it back yo WD or not, because my personal data is there. I backed up my data, but not the full Windows configuration, so I am up to countless hours of machine setup.
I hope when solid state hard drives come to the market they have a better reliability. I lost faith in Western Digital, but I don't think the other competitors are brilliant.
Update: I sent the dead drive to WD and they sent me another one back. :-|