Western Digital RE4-GP, 2TB: WD2002FYPS
There is one more Western Digital drive in this review. The company has introduced a new series of power-efficient HDDs for RAID arrays that is called RE4-GP. The series consists of only one, 2TB model so far, but it is interesting anyway.
Besides the typical technologies of Western Digital’s server-oriented HDDs, this model features RAFF (Rotary Acceleration Feed Forward) which helps minimize the influence of vibration produced by multiple HDDs in a rack. You can refer to the related document for details, but we want to note one curious fact. The influence of vibration used to be only accounted for in high-speed Raptor HDDs with their 10,000rpm, but now vibration is a factor even for HDDs with half that spindle speed. With the track density being so high now, even a weak impact can beat the head off the necessary track.
The second feature of the new series is the cache buffer which is now as large as 64 megabytes. Yes, this is the next milestone in the growth of HDD cache. From 2 megabytes HDDs have progressed to 8 and 16 megabytes of cache. Today, 32 megabytes is the most common size. And now, we’ve got a HDD with 64 megabytes of cache memory. On one hand, you can’t have too much of cache. But on the other hand, this cache must be used effectively. It won’t do if looking for data in the cache takes too much time. We will be able to see the benefits of the bigger cache by comparing this HDD with the very similar WD20EADS.
The following table lists the specifications and firmware versions of the tested HDDs.
Take note that we tested the Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 with the potentially dangerous firmware version. When we try to update it, they say that, according to the serial number, our HDD is problem-free. And it confirms this by having worked without any problems so far.
Testbed and Methods
The following testing utilities were used:
- IOMeter 2003.02.15
- IOMark 0.30b14
- FC-Test 1.0
- PCMark 2004
- PCMark 2005
- PCMark Vantage
- Raxco Perfect Disk 8.0
- WinRAR 3.60
- ASUS P5WDG2 WS Pro mainboard
- Intel Core 2 Duo E2160 processor
- IBM DTLA-307015 system disk, 15GB
- Radeon X600 graphics card
- 1GB DDR2-800 SDRAM
- Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP2 (and Windows Vista for PCMark Vantage)
We installed the generic OS drivers for the drives and formatted them in FAT32 and NTFS as one partition with the default cluster size. For some tests 32GB partitions were created on the drives and formatted in FAT32 and NTFS with the default cluster size, too. In every test, save for IOMark and the Defragmentation test, the drives were connected to a Promise SATA300 TX4302 controller installed into a PCI-X slot and had their NCQ support enabled.
We will be using abbreviated names of the HDDs to make the review more readable.