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western digital black drives in hyperv?


scottbakertemp
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I'm not sure that that's a reasonable way to compare the different models.

 

How isn't it?  They use the same physical hardware (they look identical), and they benchmark pretty much similarly.  Therefore, I can only conclude that WD are building all the same drives, and then binning them - drives that test out better become an RE4 or Black, ones that aren't so good become a Blue.  Same with the 5900rpm units, they're probabl binned to differentiate which ones become Reds, Purples or Greens.  Then they just blow on whatever firmware they need and the suits that particular drive's characteristics.

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Your last sentence hit on one of the reasons you can't just compare them by appearance: the firmware. Firmware isn't some add-on to the drives; it's a fundamental component. You also might want to compare the physical controller boards on the drives, to see if they're identical. Also, just because some drives are made using the same chassis casting doesn't mean the innards are identical. The read/write heads could be different, the servo could be different, the bearings could be different, and so on. Without opening the drives, there's no way to know.

 

I do agree that the evidence suggests that manufacturers do bin drives, most likely based on performance characteristics. I would go further and suggest it's possible that manufacturers bin some of the individual components of drives, the platters being an obvious target.

 

Now, I don't have any proof of this. I base my statements on a belief that it's an obvious thing for OEMs to do, and on the real-world hard drive experience of me and my colleagues. schoondoggy doesn't believe it. I look at it this way: if OEMs of RAM DIMMS go to the trouble of testing, packaging, and selling matched sets of DIMMS, it seems highly unlikely that drive OEMs don't do something similar in testing their products. There is hugely greater room for variation in hard drives than there is DIMM manufacturing. And we all know that CPU makers bin their products. If DIMMs and CPUs have such variation in their quality, how is it even remotely possible that hard drives don't?

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  • 2 weeks later...

CPUs aren't mechanical devices, hard-drives are.  Drives are built to such tight tolerances, that it pretty much ends up every drive is identical.  Modern hard-drives are the most precise mechanical device ever built, so by that virtue they must be almost identical.

 

Car manufacturers, who build highly complex mechanical devices to very tight tolerances bin their engines - mechanically identical engines can come in 3 or 4 different power outputs, the only difference is the firmware on the ECU.  

 

In a production line situation, it doesn't make sense to do it any other way - build a 7200rpm 1 or 2 platter drive, and depending on the requirements either put on firmware for a Blue, a Black, or a RE.  WD's data sheets even point to this, where RE-specific features aren't available on lower sized drives.  Check out the data sheets for the Blue, the Black, and the RE.  You'll see the 1TB RE and the 1TB Black both lack StableTrak.  Why?  Because they're a Blue.  As I said, they look the same, they perform the same.  They must be the same drive.

Edited by HellDiverUK
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In the case of video card manufacturing, NVidia has been well known for using the exact same chips between their gForce and Quadro variants... while the GPU may be from the same die, the remaining components on the card are different as is the firmware.  I would have to say the same practice goes for HDD and others.... basically the same hardware, with varying components for the model.

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Yeah, I remember changing a resistor on an old nVidia card and turning it in to a Quadro, because they wanted to run some CAD software that needed a Quadro.

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