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64 of 72 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2013
Size Name: 4 TBVerified Purchase
As most people have noticed, the ratings for this product are very skewed and for extremely poor reasons. I can't believe two stars for no locking clips. Why are locking clips even that important? Are you always fiddling around with stuff inside of your computer, while it is running, and therefore risk unplugging the SATA cable while the drive is running? Or perhaps you aren't managing your cables very well and there is tension on them? You need to get a better computer case/practice better cable management if this sounds like you. Locking clips are of minimal importance on the features list of any hard drive. There should be no excuse why such a feature would be top on your priority list - enough to warrant a three star loss if excluded. I have practiced cable management long before I had a case which made it easy - the Coolermaster HAF X. Before, I had an Antec 900, the original version, which had no such routing mechanisms for cables. Still, I zip-tied everything down and out of the way, and installed SATA cables first - mind you, this was before locking SATA cables were created. I learned my lesson that data cables are very important when I stupidly pulled an IDE from a running hard drive and lost everything.

As for shipping, Amazon has never shipped me a dud or otherwise floating-around-in-an-empty-box drive. This is why I migrated away from the 'Egg, because too many reviewers were reporting poor shipping practices and were receiving DOA hard drives. And they also fiddle with their MSRP prices whenever they have "sales" to appear to have deeper discounts, but that's a story for another time.

[/rant]

This drive is fantastic. Here is my experience with it so far over four weeks of ownership: (disclaimer: I do not work for WD, just a huge fan!)

I have a Synology DiskStation DS1812+ with SHR2 enabled. I slowly add drives to it over time reducing upfront cost. I have added three WD RED 3TB drives since I purchased the DS1812+ in April in addition to 3x2TB drives from other computers and another 640GB I had laying around. I plan to upgrade each drive to 4TB over time, and move my 3TB REDs into another unit, perhaps an expansion unit. But for now, I really needed a large 4TB backup drive to backup my most essential files stored on the DS1812+. So I decided to get this drive to cross-purpose for main storage later. Again, I am using it for backup, however, so I cannot comment much on performance. The DS1812+ is not really the rig to be conducting performance benchmarks on anyway.

While I am here and talking about them, I have to say I am a huge fan of WD. I couldn't turn away a 5 year warranty, which completely justifies the cost of this drive. In fact, I would argue this drive is an absolute steal for the price, warranty, capacity, and features. Right now, a WD Black 4 TB drive is only dollars cheaper than this. Why wouldn't you get this one? Also, WD's warranty service is just fantastic. I have had to replace a few drives over the years, mostly for bad sectors near the end of their warranty period, and WD makes the replacement process absolutely painless, especially with their advance-shipment option.

Back to the 4TB SE...

WOW is it QUIET! I first plugged it into my desktop and left it hanging outside of the case. I could honestly not tell the drive was running until holding it to my ear. Even the seeking heads are silent! The Velociraptors heads in the desktop are like gunshots in comparison. In a large server environment though, this statistic is probably useless. I also plugged it into an external case and powered on and off the drive by itself: some of my other hard drives make ridiculous grinding noises when first powering on, the 4TB SE made no such sound - in fact, no sound period. I was worried the drive hadn't in fact turned on at all, until it comes up to speed at which makes a near-indistinguishable, very faint humming sound.

Another thing I was very impressed with was RAFF - this is no marketing gimmick. The drive displays excellent control over external forces applied to it. What I mean is, when I pick up another 7200rpm drive while powered and rotate it around in the air (be very careful with this, because I have crashed the heads on an older hard drive, in fact, I recommend not doing this), I feel a rotational (like a toy gyroscope) force due to the spinning platters within. With the SE 4TB drive, however, I felt no such force. I was a little shocked by this at first. From this little experiment, I conclude that the mechanical portion of the drive is very nicely controlled for high-vibration RAID environments. We have RAFF to thank for that.

This drive feels very solid to hold in your hand. I have handled many hard drives, and have grown very accustomed to how they feel. This drive is very balanced in its unpowered state; I was very impressed when I first removed it from the anti-static bag. It also seems significantly heavier than most 3.5" drives I have experienced, even other four-platter drives (edit: this is actually a 5-platter drive! Thus the additional weight! Thanks lager2010!). I was also impressed with the solid build quality. I know that how a hard drive "feels" in your hand may not sound like a quantifiable measurement, but this initial impression spoke volumes to me on the build quality of the drive: very solid, quality hard drive. I have high confidence this drive will last me years, which is furthered with WDs high claim of their extended workload testing - over 2 millennium!

Temperature - This is perhaps the only other thing I can report on that would differentiate the drive from others. I does run rather warmer than the 3TB REDs. This is perhaps because the REDs are utilizing WDs IntelliPower spindle speed, ~5400 RPM vs. 7200 RPM for the SE. Other drives in the 1812+ include a 2TB WD Caviar Black and an older 640GB Caviar SE16. These two drives in particular run around 40C at 7200 RPM. The 3TB RED drives are each 35, 34, and 34C. The other drives are all 5400RPM and report similar temperatures. The SE 4TB drive, installed in the same environment as the others, is sitting at 40C. The ambient temperature in the room at the time of all measurements is 24C (74.7F). I have the drives installed in the 1812+ such that the 7200 RPM drives are sandwiched between 5400RPM for better heat distribution and, I'll admit, more by pure luck while randomly installing the drives. In summary, the 4TB SE doesn't run much warmer than your average 7200 RPM drive.

So far, nothing in my DS1812+ has failed. Therefore, I cannot comment on longevity, nor compare it to other drives. The 640GB drive itself is over 5 years old (purchased in Aug 2008) and still going strong (no bad sectors, SMART checks out). Only time will tell whether the REDs or the SE are better drives. My DS1812+ is on 24/7 unless the power goes out. So, we will wait and see.

I plan to purchase more of these, hopefully at a once-monthly rate. For now, I need to go rescue my banana nut bread in my breadmaker which smells delicious and is now beeping at me that it's done.

Thanks for sticking with me on this long review. I like to consider myself a pro-sumer, but I will also admit I am not using this drive for its main purpose: large, cloud-based arrays (WD does mention the SE is also in the market for NAS). Therefore, I do not have the tools or resources to extensively test this hard drive, other than letting it run over a long period of time. If you feel I am off the mark on anything, let me know in the comments and I will tell you how you are wrong. Just kidding, I am open for discussion and answering any questions you may have!

Thanks!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on October 19, 2013
Size Name: 4 TB
I own six of these drives and use them in my Synology 1813+ NAS. At the time of my NAS purchase, WD did not make a 4TB NAS Red product, so I chose to spend a bit more money on these drives to have a RAID tolerant 4TB drive setup. These drives are solid performers in the NAS environment and run at 7200 RPM (faster than the Red version). The drives report their S.M.A.R.T. status without issue. Typical running temps for my setup are 37-40 deg C. They are configured in SHR-2 RAID.

I've purchased many WD products over the years and am extremely satisfied with them as a company. These drives have been outstanding with consistent speed that allows my NAS to reach high I/O speeds in real-world use. I will purchase additional 4TB SE drives as my storage needs increase over time.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Size Name: 4 TB
On purchasing a Synology 713+ I decided that I would install two WD Se drives using the Synology SHR hybrid RAID with 1-disk redundancy, instead of my normal choice of WD Red drives and for the reasons I have outlined below. The drives installed and formatted very quickly, a lot quicker than the 3TB WD Reds in my 1813+.

WD Se is a low-cost version of WD Re enterprise drive, which is very popular in the marketplace. The WD Se gives a MTBF (mean-time before failure) of about 800,000 hours.
These drives addresses the fast-growing SMB to mid-range network-attached storage (NAS) market that gives you 24x7 'work-horse' of a drive. What you get is a robust enterprise-class design and higher workload capabilities, add the fact you get a 5 year warranty on top made this drive a good choice for me.

Some more of the Technical Stuff:

Type: Hard drive - internal
Capacity: 4 TB
Form Factor: 3.5" x 1/3H
Interface: Serial ATA-600
Data Transfer Rate: 600 MBps
Buffer Size: 64 MB
Spindle Speed: 7200 rpm
Features: Native Command Queuing (NCQ), Rotary Acceleration Feed Forward (RAFF), Time-Limited Error Recovery (TLER), dual actuator technology, StableTrac, NoTouch ramp load technology, dual processor, Multi-axis shock sensor , S.M.A.R.T.
Dimensions (WxDxH): 101.6 mm x 147 mm x 26.1 mm
Weight: 750 g

In terms of temperature of the drives well they seem to vary now, from 36c to 40c. For me noise has not been an issue at all. Well it is still `early days' and I shall update this review if things change, be they positive or negative. One last point, please check around as prices can really vary for this drive.
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21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2013
Size Name: 4 TB
Amazing price for a 4TB Enterprise level raid drive, 7200 rpm speed, 64mb buffer, 24x7x365 reliability, 800,000 hours mean time between failures, and Western Digital's 5-year limited warranty!

All of which begs the question: what's not to like?

You might think that a product of this quality would receive nothing but 4 and 5 star reviews, but not in this case. There are several reviewers dragging down the star rating for the drive and thereby probably casting doubt on the product in the minds of anyone who doesn't take the trouble to read all the reviews.

So is the drive smaller, slower, less reliable than advertised? If not, then what?

Here are some of the comments:

*** Price is steep for a 4TB drive
** this series does not support locking SATA cables. The drives are intended for use in server RAID backplanes.
* Absolutely horrible packing job

Too bad Amazon allows complaints about pricing, intended target market , and reseller packaging to affect the star rating of the product itself. These factors have nothing to do with capacity, speed, and reliability factors which most buyers actually care about.

Once you get past the misguided reviewers, you are left with only one thing:

One of the finest storage devices ever made.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2014
Size Name: 4 TBVerified Purchase
Bought a couple of these drives for my QNAP NAS. Performance is excellent and they are not too loud.

Amazon packages them well and I've had no issues with damage due to rough handling during shipment. These drives were shipped internationally, so I'm all the more impressed.

One thing to note: if you are mounting these drives using the 6-32 threaded holes at the bottom of the unit, you need to know that they are shallower than other drives. The 3/16" length flat head screws that shipped with my NAS were TOO LONG to securely attach the drive. The screws jammed leaving about 1/32" unthreaded. I had to file down the screws just so that they fit all the way. You might want to make sure you have short 6-32 screws available.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 2014
Size Name: 4 TBVerified Purchase
The good: This drive has an absolutely enormous amount of space. Having searched for a drive that was TRIM capable, but wouldn't break the bank (like an RE-class drive would), I'd say this is a great balance between enterprise-class performance, and bulk storage.

The drive itself is similar to the Western Digital RED series, but is not limited by drive count. As Western Digital didn't want to take away from their Enterprise drive market, they configured the RED series to work with 5 bay units (or smaller). Anything over that, and you tend to get limited to no support. However, the SE series has no such limitation.

Their performance to date has been very smooth, although I'm still retaining backups just in case. I've got these in a 2-bay NAS, in RAID 1 configuration, and they have been quite responsive so far. They formatted in the NAS, with a combined actual capacity around 3.64TB, giving me plenty of starting room for data storage.

On the cons - these drives are quite heavy, and should definitely be checked thoroughly with WD DriveTools, or any third-party drive analyzer, prior to use. Shipping is also a concern - check for *ANY* damage to the internal shipping boxes. While nicely packaged, they can still take damage if they're tossed around in their packaging.

I ran a full drive check on both, and then a parity scrub via the NAS, and they both passed without issue. However, YMMV.. Be aware, however, that they may take a VERY long time to complete any testing, depending on your system. In my case, I set them up for testing, and left them for the evening. It took about 5 hours for the scrub, after both completed WD drive full test (about 2.5 hours).

Other thoughts: I would point out, that the SE drives have a lower rated MTBF, compared to the RE (enterprise) line. However, when placed in a redundant array of any sort, this becomes rather academic. I have yet to personally see a drive reach MTBF in practice, before starting to wear out. As this purchase was made in conjunction with a NAS unit, and redundancy was the intent, I saw no reason to spend an additional $100 or so, for the same capacity in an RE drive. Overall, quite happy so far, with my purchase. I will be purchasing more as my budget permits!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2013
Size Name: 2 TBVerified Purchase
I have a pair of these (2TB) in a tower server configured as RAID1 with mdadm. The server's in my home, where it occupies a sort of a halfway position - it has considerably more work to do than your typical home server, but less than a datacenter server would have. I replaced two Samsung 1TB drives not because they had failed (they hadn't) but because they were coming to the end of their warranty. Not wanting to do this again for a while, I picked the enterprise-grade WD-Se drive rather than the consumer-level WD Red, partly because of the longer warranty (5 years vs. 3) and partly for quicker throughput and better performance.

So far they have not disappointed. The drives were operational out of the box and behave just like any other SATA device. The resulting array seems quicker than it did before. I don't know if the drives are noisy or not, because the server lives in the basement.

Regarding the other commenter's note about the SATA connection, I didn't notice that. The cables I used seemed secure but I have to admit I didn't check that specifically. Now that I'm aware of it, I'll keep it as something to look at when (or if) I open this server up for physical maintenance someday.

**EDIT FOLLOWS**

Follow-up after 11 months: the drives are still performing flawlessly after 11 months in 24/7 service. SMART reports zero raw read errors, zero reallocated sectors, zero seek errors, zero bad blocks for both drives. In fact, all the error-related metrics are zero for both units, and the error logs are empty.

I couldn't be happier with my purchase. These are solid drives, and have run perfectly since the day they were put into service. I would absolutely buy them again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 28, 2014
Size Name: 4 TBVerified Purchase
installed 6 drives in readynas ultra, no issues.
the rated MTBF is over 90 yrs, nice if it is true....drives are running 24/7, so far all is well
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 12, 2014
Size Name: 2 TBVerified Purchase
I bought 9 of these. Within 2 months one had failed. To Amazon's credit I had a a new drive the next day. It now remains to be seen how long they last. They are Enterprise Class drives so they should have a long life.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on August 12, 2013
Size Name: 4 TBVerified Purchase
I put five of these into my new Drobo 5D. It makes a full 16TB with the RAID overhead. The drive is tuned to be in the Raid array (low retries to prevent the controller from thinking the drive has fully failed).
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