WD Black 4TB hard drive arrives: 7200RPM, 5yr warranty, $340

By on November 20, 2012, 1:00 PM

Western Digital announced today the launch of its first 4TB mechanical storage offering aimed at desktop consumers -- the 3.5-inch, 4TB, 7200 RPM WD Black (WD4001FAEX). With an MSRP of $339.00, Western Digital claims their new drive is the fastest 4TB out there with a sustained throughput around 154MB/s. Here are the specifications (pdf). 

SSDs are an obvious choice when choosing a fast drive; however, with the cheapest 512GB SSDs hovering $350, having massive amounts of ultra-fast storage space seems to come at an unreasonable premium. Based purely on matters of price, mechanical drives will continue to be with us for some time -- a truth that Western Digital hopes to capitalize on by providing speedy mechanical drives with gigantic capacities.

The WD4001FAEX features all the usual suspects like a 6Gbps SATA connection and 64MB of cache, but also boasts a 5-year warranty -- an important feature for anyone who's had experience with mechanical hard drives. WD is also touting its dual-processor, dual-actuator, StableTrac and NoTouch technologies.

In the past, manufacturers had often sacrificed rotational speeds for capacity when it came to largest, newest models. With the advent of 3TB and (especially) 4TB models though, mechanical drive makers have been pushing the envelope with almost entirely 7200 RPM options.

This isn't the first 4TB drive Western Digital has released, but it is their first offering aimed at non-enterprise users. Other models like the WD4000FYYZ are part of WD's "RE" line-up which features a short Time-Limited Error Recovery. TLER is a beneficial feature for most RAID setups but a potentially bad idea for single drive configurations.




User Comments: 8

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howzz1854 said:

I heard NTFS has trouble formating anything beyond 3TB is that true? can someone look into this.

3 people like this | howzz1854 said:

Never mind... I just found what I was looking for. NTFS MBR only supports up to 2TB. for anything beyond GPT is needed for NTFS, which will require UEFI bios if the user plans on using it as a boot drive. but seeing that most people, such as myself, will only plan on using large drives like those 3TB or 4TB as storage, NTFS GPT will work just fine as a regular storage drive on regular BIOS.

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Jesse Jesse said:

Never mind... I just found what I was looking for. NTFS MBR only supports up to 2TB. for anything beyond GPT is needed for NTFS, which will require UEFI bios if the user plans on using it as a boot drive. but seeing that most people, such as myself, will only plan on using large drives like those 3TB or 4TB as storage, NTFS GPT will work just fine as a regular storage drive on regular BIOS.

Time to switch to ReFS if you are using it just for storage.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Never mind... I just found what I was looking for. NTFS MBR only supports up to 2TB. for anything beyond GPT is needed for NTFS, which will require UEFI bios if the user plans on using it as a boot drive. but seeing that most people, such as myself, will only plan on using large drives like those 3TB or 4TB as storage, NTFS GPT will work just fine as a regular storage drive on regular BIOS.

Time to switch to ReFS if you are using it just for storage.

Only supported on Win2012 Server atm isn't it?

Guest said:

Sees 4TB hard drive priced at $340... buys two 3TB hard drives for $320.

Western Digital, screwing people over the last 5 years.

1 person liked this | Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

They always are expensive when first entering the market. Give it time...

Release is great news!

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Sees 4TB hard drive priced at $340... buys two 3TB hard drives for $320.

Western Digital, screwing people over the last 5 years.

Any company (not limited to Western Digital) is going to try and make a profit from those willing to pay premium prices. If you want a single 4TB drive, you now have that option. You didn't have any options for a 4TB single drive five years ago, so why are you bitching about pricing when they first come out?

Guest said:

My motherboard has a utility you can run to enable access to a drive with more then 2TB.

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