Most helpful positive review
68 of 69 people found the following review helpful
Wham, Bam! Speedy, Reliable, 5TB, and Cost-Effective. What more could you want?
on December 12, 2014
This is a review for the 5TB model. I do not understand why there are so many negative reviews on here, but this is probably due to the other, not 5 TB models. In my humble opinion, these are complete garbage, so do not waste your time. These smaller drives, I believe, were manufactured by Hitachi on contract with Toshiba. However, these are manufactured by Toshiba themselves, as they bought Hitachi's Desktop Drive Division a few months back.
This model, however, is a true feat of technological engineering. Primarily, this drive uses a completely new internal drive architecture, probably obtained from Hitachi. Before Hitachi sold its business off (and Toshiba acquired it), they were the leaders in pushing the capacity barrier with their 6TB Helium filled drives, and Toshiba has applied the same technology here. (Well, not the helium part). I do not really understand it, but the Toshiba uses a special technology called Perpendicular Magnetic Recording. Apparently, this uses some sort of different head to store data up and down instead of the traditional left and right sectors.
So, to get a real feel for these, I pried them out of their cases and tested them out. (Prying open the case is a fairly simple matter. Start from the bottom and use about 3-4 gift cards to shim the cover and loosen the latches. Then, pull it apart with your bare hands, and the case should still be pretty much intact.
So, onto why I think this drive is so great. Well, it is extremely cheap for one. Second, you cannot beat the price for the amount of capacity. Finally, the internal drive is a monster. For those curious about using this as an external drive, the drive works, and seems to be reasonably quick, and is free from most bloat. The power supply is an Asian Power Devices WD-36A12. The power supply is dual voltage, outputs 12V at 3A, and seems relatively well-built. Toshiba uses a SATA to USB adapter board, which uses a VIA/VLI VL711 SATA 6 to USB 3 Chipset. Construction of this board looks poor (CapXon caps, anyone)? but we aren't really concerned about that, are we? For those wondering, the drive is an MD04ACA500, part number HDETR10GEA51. This drive is a SATA 6 Compatible drive, and it does indeed spin at a whopping 7,200 RPM. Buffer size is a paltry 32 MB, but I will say that despite this the drive is incredibly quick as it is. With all these features, this drive should make for an excellent desktop drive. Let's take a look at benchmarks, shall we?
So, before putting these drives in my NAS, I tested them out on my desktop to get a gauge of the performance. It is an absolute beast. My test bed is an HP z620 workstation, so these numbers may be a little off, but not by much. Keep in mind that this is for a SINGLE DRIVE, with NO RAID whatsoever.
CrystalDiskMark x64 - 4 Trials, 4 Drives in total, 1GB each, Each Drive 1/3 Full:
Seq 213.6 MB/s 209.4 MB/s
512k 67.96 MB/s 116.3 MB/s (?!)
4k .786 MB/s 1.862 MB/s (Again, somehow write was faster than read. Confirmed with multiple drives.)
4K 1.888 MB/s 1.869 MB/s
Suffice it to say that this drive SCREAMS, and is perhaps the fastest conventional hard drive on the market today.
Well, onto reliability. That should be an important aspect. After all, what good is a drive that breaks after a few months? Well, I have been running these drives 24x7x365 in a home NAS in a RAID 10 array since mid-May (so four drives). So far, these drives have no SMART issues, and process data as quickly and reliably as the day I bought them. Additionally, these seem to play well with RAID, so you should have no issues there either. Besides, the warranty is excellent (see below)
On the negative side, the drive is a bit noisy when being accessed, but nothing too loud. It is nearly silent when there is no drive activity, and unlike some drives, this one does not have aggressive thermal management.
Toshiba has also released an internal, bare-desktop version of this drive, but I would not waste the extra $100 for the updated firmware and cache. This one is plenty fast and perhaps the fastest conventional hard drive on the market today.
Perhaps one of the biggest caveats here is the warranty. With most other manufacturers, breaking the drive out of the case voids the warranty unless you put it back in and RMA it. I checked the warranty of each of the internal drives and verified with Toshiba's specialized hard drive division (Formerly Fujitsu) that all the drives, although they have been ripped out of their case, are able to be RMAd as bare drives without any problems. I have yet to test this, but these drives have been rock-solid so far. Checking the online warranty checker on their website confirms.
Well, I hope that you have found this review helpful. Take a look at the photos if you need more details. I will check the comments, too, so if you want to have any clarification or questions, go ahead and shoot.