Western Digital RE4 (WD2003FYYS) 2TB 3.5in internal hard drive
Western Digital's first 7,200rpm 2TB hard drive is power-hungry but faster than energy saving equivalents
- Fantastic read speeds with large files, 7,200rpm spin speed, 64MB drive cache
- Comparatively poor performance when accessing smaller files, consumes a lot of power
The Western Digital RE4 internal hard drive provides two terabytes of storage over four platters that spin at 7,200rpm. It's power consumption doesn't make this an environmentally friendly drive, but it has fantastic read speeds when accessing large files, making it worth consideration if you have large storage arrays.
Price$ 429.00 (AUD)
Hitachi was the first to market with its 7,200rpm 2TB hard drive, but it no longer has this space to itself. Western Digital has released two new 2TB hard drives that sacrifice the power-saving technologies of their GreenPower counterparts in favour of performance. Targeted at the enterprise, the Western Digital RE4 2TB 3.5in internal hard drive boasts 64MB of cache and the ability to read large files quickly, although it certainly consumes more power than other 2TB hard drives currently available.
As with other 2TB hard drives, the Western Digital RE4 3.5in internal hard drive fits its storage capacity over four 500GB platters. On older 2TB hard drives, however, these platters were limited to a slower spin speed than most conventional desktop drives; Seagate's Barracuda LP has a spin speed of 5900rpm whereas Western Digital's GreenPower options are closer to 5400rpm. While these hard drives did have lower power consumption, the slower spin speed also had an impact on the drives’ overall performance.
The move to a 7200rpm spin speed helps to improve performance, and the use of a 64MB drive cache ensures the hard drive can handle large amounts of data at any one time. Western Digital has also implemented other technologies in this internal hard drive including a dual actuator system and dual processors to improve performance. Dual actuator technology places a second actuator in the WD RE4 internal hard drive to increase the accuracy of the head position when it’s reading and writing data, while two processors on the hard drive's circuit board theoretically increases the overall performance when it’s running multiple tasks.
One familiar piece of technology in the Western Digital RE4 internal hard drive is StableTrac, which reduces potential vibration. During testing, the hard drive was certainly quiet, although it could be heard when performing intensive read/write tasks.
In our tests, the Western Digital RE4 2TB internal hard drive consumed an average of 6.1 watts when idling and 9.6W when reading or writing; a far cry from the 6-7W range the Western Digital RE4-GP (GreenPower) 2TB hard drive recorded. When idling the Western Digital RE4 2TB will consume less than similar capacity hard drives like the Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1.5TB but we still wouldn't recommend it if you're trying to shave a few dollars off your energy bill.
If you are looking for performance in a high storage capacity, however, the Western Digital RE4 internal hard drive certainly has its charm. We conducted our tests by transferring two lots of files between the hard drive and a 300GB Western Digital Velociraptor. The first test comprises 20GB of large files (about 3 or 4GB each) while the second test involved 3GB worth of 1MB files.
In the 20GB test, the RE4 2TB internal hard drive had a write speed of 76.4 megabytes per second (MBps), a read speed of 113.5MBps and it performed a simultaneous read/write task at a rate of 58.8MBps. Though write speeds don't differ significantly from the slower spinning 2TB hard drives, read and simultaneous tasks are performed much faster.
Speeds in the small file test — 3GB of 1MB files — weren't as impressive. Here, the RE4 2TB internal hard drive wrote at a rate of 31.3MBps, read at 34.5MBps and had a simultaneous read/write speed of 49.2MBps. This test is typically more intensive than the 20GB test and, as such, yields slower results. However, the RE4 hard drive still fell behind Seagate's Barracuda LP in overall speeds in these tests.
Our tests reveal that the RE4 2TB internal hard drive's strengths lie in reading large files. The 64MB cache and dual processor technology also allows for it to perform simultaneous tasks quickly. However, the comparatively poor results in the small file test show that this drive is better at dealing with large files — uncompressed videos or image backups for examples — rather than continually accessing smaller files.
With a cost per formatted gigabyte of 23c, the Western Digital RE4 is slightly cheaper than the RE4-GP internal hard drive was at its inception. Its performance advantages are also clear, particularly when dealing with large files. The exclusion of Western Digital's GreenPower technologies did impact the drive's overall power consumption, and we think this is worth taking into account.
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- 2 Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- 3 LG G6 phone: full, in-depth review
- 4 Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- 5 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Prices of SSDs and DRAM will crash in 2019, Gartner predicts
- Pure adds more NVMe with an eye to the next storage speed bump
- What one company learned from testing Intel's superfast Optane SSDs
- New, colourful LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt USB-C was designed by Neil Poulton
- Western Digital begins production of the world's tallest 3D NAND 'skyscraper'
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 CPU Australian review
- Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTGraduate Technical ConsultantACT
- FTOperational Safety Project ManagersSA
- FTPMO CoordinatorACT
- CCEnd User Services ArchitectNSW
- FTTechnical WriterACT
- FTTest Automation Lead | 6mth ContractVIC
- TPSecurity Controls Specialist - ISO 27002VIC
- CCInteraction DesignerNSW
- FTField Engineer - Hardware RolloutsNSW
- CCEnd User Services ArchitectNSW
- CCSystems Administrator - Cloud, Azure and LinuxQLD
- CCSenior Project OfficerNSW
- FTSenior .NET DeveloperVIC
- CCVisual DesignerACT
- FTPayroll Systems AnalystQLD
- FTSenior MS Server Administrator with HyperVNSW
- TPOffice 365 Deployment SupportQLD
- FTProject Manager, Asset Vision- SaaS, PaaS- Gov backgroundNSW
- FTRecruitment ConsultantSA
- FTTest Analyst - HCMSNSW
- TPLevel 2/3 Desktop Support AnalystVIC
- TPPMO LeadNSW
- FTSenior Desktop Engineer - SCCM / AD / 2012 ServerNSW
- FTHealth Electronic Claiming Systems BA - Permanent - North Ryde areaNSW
- FTDigital Sales Account Manager - Global Ecommerce BrandNSW