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WD Black 500GB Performance Desktop Hard Drive: 3.5-inch, SATA 6 Gb/s, 7200 RPM, 64MB Cache WD5003AZEX

1,637 customer reviews
| 19 answered questions

List Price: $94.99
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500 GB
  • WD Black high performance 3.5-inch SATA hard drives combine 7200 RPM spin speed, 64 MB cache, and SATA 6 Gb/s interface for the ultimate in power computing.
  • High performance electronics architecture features dual processors and bigger, faster caches for maximum read and write speeds.
  • StableTrac - The motor shaft is secured at both ends to reduce system-induced vibration and stabilize platters for accurate tracking, during read and write operations.
  • 500 GB capacity holds up to 100,000 digital photos, 125,000 MP3 files, and 60 hours of HD video.
  • 5 year limited warranty.
84 new from $63.27 5 used from $45.00 1 refurbished from $59.99
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Frequently Bought Together

  • WD Black 500GB Performance Desktop Hard Drive: 3.5-inch, SATA 6 Gb/s, 7200 RPM, 64MB Cache WD5003AZEX
  • +
  • WD Black 1TB Performance Desktop Hard Drive: 3.5-inch, SATA 6 Gb/s, 7200 RPM, 64MB Cache WD1003FZEX
  • +
  • Asus 24x DVD-RW Serial-ATA Internal OEM Optical Drive DRW-24B1ST (Black)
Total price: $169.09
Buy the selected items together

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Capacity: 500 GB

Compare to Similar Items

This item: WD Black 500GB Performance Desktop Hard Drive: 3.5-inch, SATA 6 Gb/s, 7200 RPM, 64MB Cache WD5003AZEX
Customer Rating 4 out of 5 stars (1637) 4 out of 5 stars (1544) 4 out of 5 stars (4033) 5 out of 5 stars (52)
Price $68.99 $79.15 $52.99 $56.73
Shipping FREE Shipping FREE Shipping FREE Shipping FREE Shipping
Sold By Platinum Micro, Inc.
Hard Disk Size 500 GB 1 TB 1000 GB 500 GB
Speed 7200 RPM 7200 RPM 7200 RPM Information not provided
Form Factor 3.5 inch 3.5 inch 3.5 inch 2.5 inch
Hardware Interface sata 6 0 gb sata 6 0 gb sata 6 0 gb sata 6 0 gb
Cache Memory Installed 64 64 64 32
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Product Description

Capacity:500 GB

Western Digital Desktop Hard Drive (WD5003AZEX)

Next-generation desktop performance, designed to intensify your PC experience.

WD Black

For the Gamer…
Smarter than the average drive

Performance and workstation PCs equipped with high-end components often omit vibrations and acoustics that can reduce the precision and performance of your hard drive. Even the best chassis on the market cannot always compensate against this. The new generation of WD Black hard drives feature Vibration Control Technology (VCT) which allows the disks inside the drive to adapt to any mounting problems or vibration conditions that are inside your case, resulting in increased data accuracy, performance and reliability over time. Put simply, this means you can game harder, faster and longer.

For the Enthusiast…
Action meets stable traction

In addition to Vibration Control Technology (VCT), WD Black is also equipped with StableTrac Technology, which secures the motor shaft inside the drive at both ends to help reduce additional system-induced vibrations. StableTrac confidently stabilizes the platters inside, resulting in more accurate tracking in a particular sector during read and write operations and delivers increased performance. (2 TB models and above)

For the Creative Pro…
High resolution for a high definition world

Underlying its athletic stance of performance and capacity, WD Black features a new High Resolution Controller (HRC) with an improved architectural design, resulting in increased data precision across the hard drive. This translates to superior responsiveness evolving your high definition world to the next level.

WD Black Desktop
Product Features

Inspiring performance and capacity
For the creators, the gamers and those that demand the best, we delivered the next generation of hard drives to enlarge your PC playground. The latest WD Black desktop hard drives offer enhanced features that maximize system performance, allowing you to spend more time doing what you love most and less time waiting. WD Black is designed to intensify your PC experience with generous capacity and incredible performance, pushing the boundaries of personalization.

Protecting your moments
The worst thing that can happen during a rendering process is losing data due to power fluctuation or power failure. The new generation of WD Black hard drives is equipped with Corruption Protection Technology (CPT), which helps to protect and limit the potential problem of data loss during power failure or power loss to the hard drive. Overall, Corruption Protection Technology can save you time and money on your project.

Dynamic Cache
WD's dynamic caching algorithm improves performance in real time by optimizing cache allocation between reads and writes. For example, if there's an overwhelming percentage of read traffic as opposed to write traffic, the drive automatically allocates more cache for read data, which reduces congestion and improves overall drive performance.

NoTouch Ramp Load technology
The recording head never touches the disk media ensuring significantly less wear to the recording head and media as well as better drive protection in transit.

The WD advantage
WD puts our products through extensive Functional Integrity Testing (F.I.T.) prior to any product launch. On average, each new product goes through 600,000 hours of testing. WD also has a detailed Knowledge Base with more than 1,000 helpful articles. You can also call toll-free support 7 days per week in the U.S. and Canada. See the WD Support site for full details.

Upgrading your drive is easy
WD Acronis TrueImage, available as a free download on the WD Support site, enables you to copy all your data to a new drive so you don't have to reinstall your operating system to get all the benefits of a new drive.

Ideal for:
  • Desktops
  • High-performance workstations
  • All-In-One PCs
  • Gaming PCs
  • Gaming consoles
  • Home Media PCs

Features at a glance

  • Next-generation desktop performance hard drive designed to intensify your PC experience
  • Inspiring performance and up to 4 TB massive capacity
  • Improved Architectural Designs: Dual Core Processor, High Resolution Controller (HRC), StableTrac Technology
  • Improved Data Protection: Vibration Control Technology (VCT), Corruption Protection Technology (CPT), NoTouch Ramp Load Technology
  • Superior responsiveness with the next-generation speed that you need
WD Certified

WD-certified packaging
All WD drives purchased from are shipped in WD-certified hard drive packaging. It is designed and fully tested to provide WD products with the highest of safety while in transit. With WD-certified packaging, you can rest assured that your WD hard drive will arrive safely, fully protected, in a non-descript, easy-open package.

Recommended use
WD Black hard drives are tested and recommended for use in PCs, high-performance workstations, all-in-one PCs, gaming PCs, game consoles and home media PCs.*

*Desktop drives are not recommended for use in RAID environments, please consider using WD Red hard drives for personal/small/home office, 1-8 bay NAS systems and WD Red Pro hard drives for medium to large size business, 8-16 bay NAS systems.

You might also consider:

3.5-inch Internal
Comparison Chart

WD Blue

WD Green

WD Black

WD Red

WD Red Pro

WD Purple
Solid performance
and reliability for everyday computing.
Cool, quiet operation with massive capacity. Maximum performance
for power computing.
The right drive for personal, home
or small office NAS.
The right drive for medium or large business NAS. Built for personal, home office or small business surveillance systems using up to 32 cameras.
Ideal for Family and business computing. Desktop PCs, secondary storage and external drives. Photo and video editing, and maxed out gaming systems. Specifically designed and tested for personal, small and home office, 1-8 bay NAS. Designed and built for medium and large business, 8-16 bay NAS systems. Home / SOHO / SMB
Capacity range 80 GB – 1 TB 500 GB – 6 TB 500 GB – 4 TB 1 TB – 6 TB 2 TB – 4 TB 1 TB – 4 TB
Interface SATA 6 Gb/s
PATA 100 MB/s
SATA 6 Gb/s SATA 6 Gb/s SATA 6 Gb/s SATA 6 Gb/s SATA 6 Gb/s
Form factor 3.5-inch 3.5-inch 3.5-inch 3.5-inch 3.5-inch 3.5-inch
Cache 8 MB – 64 MB 64 MB 32 MB – 64 MB 64 MB 64 MB 64 MB
Highest capacity
Highest performance
Photo/video editing
Network Storage Systems
Video Surveillance

Product Details

Capacity: 500 GB
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 4 x 1 inches ; 2.1 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item can be shipped to select countries outside of the U.S. Learn More
  • ASIN: B008968L6M
  • Item model number: WD5003AZEX
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,637 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
  • Manufacturer’s warranty can be requested from customer service. Click here to make a request to customer service.
  • Date first available at June 7, 2012

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

462 of 484 people found the following review helpful By pluto1999 on March 7, 2010
Size: 1 TB Verified Purchase
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.
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231 of 263 people found the following review helpful By A. D. Minton on July 15, 2010
Size: 1 TB
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....
Read more ›
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61 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Peachbulb on February 22, 2013
Size: 4 TB Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
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.


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.


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.


If you're highly concerned about price and plan to use this for non-performance PC or external USB enclosure, go for the Seagate.
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123 of 145 people found the following review helpful By Chris H. on August 11, 2010
Size: 1 TB Verified Purchase
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.
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WD Black 500GB Performance Desktop Hard Drive: 3.5-inch, SATA 6 Gb/s, 7200 RPM, 64MB Cache WD5003AZEX
This item: WD Black 500GB Performance Desktop Hard Drive: 3.5-inch, SATA 6 Gb/s, 7200 RPM, 64MB Cache WD5003AZEX
Price: $68.99
Ships from and sold by