Western Digital WD1600AAJS

Western Digital WD1600AAJS
  • Western Digital WD1600AAJS
  • Western Digital WD1600AAJS
  • Western Digital WD1600AAJS
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Good performance, runs cool and quiet.

Cons

  • Small capacity.

Bottom Line

It's not the largest drive on the market, but its low noise and heat emissions make it a desirable choice for a media centre or a silent PC.

Would you buy this?

At 160GB, this 3.5in internal Serial ATA hard drive doesn't hold much in terms of desktop drives, but it's aiming to be one of the quietest and coolest drives on the market. The key feature of this hard drive is its single disk platter design. Most hard drives generally spread their capacity over multiple double-sided disk platters and multiple sets of heads. This drive, however, contains only one double-sided platter, which spins at 7200rpm and has one set of heads. Its power requirement is lower because of this feature and the amount of noise and heat that is produced after long periods of operation is considerably lower than a conventional hard drive with multiple platters in it.

Not only that, Western Digital is aiming to make this one of the most reliable drives on the market by incorporating ramp load technology. This is a technology that is present in many mobile hard drives. Its purpose is to reduce the chances of the heads crashing onto the platter if the drive receives a hefty bump or experiences excessive vibration. Instead of being positioned over the platter during times when the drive is powered off, idling or spinning up, ramp load technology actually parks the heads on a ramp until they are needed to read or write data.

The data density has been increased in order for Western Digital to be able to fit 160GB on a single double-sided platter. This has been achieved without using perpendicular recording technology, a technology that stands the data bits up instead of laying them flat end to end, thereby allowing more bits to fit in the same space. This new platter capacity will also allow the company to produce more efficient high-end capacities by reducing the number of platters required to meet the storage target, such as a two platter 320GB drive, or a three platter 500GB drive.

For the moment, this 160GB drive, which features an 8MB cache and native command queuing (NCQ) remains an excellent choice for a media centre PC or even a silent PC. NCQ is a technology, which orders the data requests so that they are executed in an orderly fashion rather than out of sequence. As well as maximising the drive's efficiency, NCQ reduces the wear on the drive over time. With a formatted capacity of 149GB and a retail price of $95, its cost per gigabyte is around 63 cents.

In our tests, the drive proved to be a very quiet performer. It was hardly audible during our testing period, even during vigorous seek operations. We tested the Western Digital WD1600AAJS by copying large sets of files from one location on the drive to another. It was able to copy an average of 20.72MBps, which is just above the average for a typical 7200rpm hard drive and compares favourably against larger drives with multiple platters, such as Western Digital's 250GB Caviar, which recorded an average rate of 20.2MBps in the same test.

Using the HDTach 3 benchmarking program, the 160GB drive recorded an average read speed of 64.7MBps. This is a good result when compared against larger drives. The 250GB Caviar scored 52.3MBps in the same test.

As the tests indicate, the single platter in the 160GB is a good performer, in addition to being a cool and quiet runner. If you're in the market for a sub-$100 hard drive, this one is hard to go past.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?