WD Blue faster than Black? Can this really make sense?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by camner, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. camner macrumors regular

    Jun 19, 2009
    I bought a couple of 1TB WD Blue drives for backup purposes (WD10EZEX) and a 1TB WD Black for boot drive purposes (WD1002FAEX) and before putting them into service I ran Diglloyd DiskTester on them (primarily to see if they were duds or good).

    Much to my surprise, both the read and write speeds on the Blues were significantly faster than on the Black (read = 185 Blue on outer tracks vs read = 128 Black on outer tracks). Both Blues tested the same.

    I also have a slightly older 1TB WD Black (WD1001FALS) whose performance is essentially identical to the newer Black.

    The Diglloyd test writes (and then reads back) 1000 files of approximately 1GB each, and, of course, the read/write speeds slow down as the drive gets to the inner tracks.

    I then ran BlackMagicDesign DiskSpeedTest on the drives, and had essentially the same results: the WD Blacks had read/write speeds of approx 125MB/sec and the Blues 175MB/sec.

    Finally, I ran AJA System Test on the drives, and again, exactly the same results (~175MB/sec Blue vs ~125MB/sec Black).

    This makes no sense to me. I can't see why/how the new Blues should be faster than the (new and older) Blacks.

    Am I missing something obvious?

    (I should mention that prior to running the tests I erased the drives so all the writes were being done on a completely blank drive)
  2. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 603

    Mr. Retrofire

    Mar 2, 2010
  3. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    Apparently that is correct numbers.

    They have higher access times than the blacks and database may be slower than a black but the 1GB platter density rules until the Blacks get 1TB platters at least for streaming operations and bandwidth. The 1TB velociraptor would still feel faster as a boot drive, for instance. Maybe a great RAID media set if they can last.
  4. camner thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 19, 2009
    Thanks to all for your replies.

    So, the issue is that the Blue has 1TB/platter and the Black has 500GB/platter, correct? Greater density = faster transfer speed

    So, the question is which to use for my "data" drive? I'm going to install an SSD for the boot drive. The "data" drive will have VMs, my digital pics, the iTunes Music folder, etc.

    Which is more important? The seek times or the transfer times? I'm guessing that with the possible exception of the VMs, the faster seek time will make things feel snappier than the faster transfer time....or do I not understand this well?
  5. LeicaM8 macrumors member


    Nov 29, 2012
    West Michigan
    I'd say that What matters, if these drives are going to be your archive drives, is that the drives be of a high grade and a more reliable design. As in: what's the use of the cheaper Blue drives having faster throughput than the Blacks if the Blues are designed and manufactured in such a way that makes them likelier to fail sooner than the Blacks. Save 20-30 bucks &/or gain some efficiencies in the near term, but at cost of putting your data at risk &/or the fuss and bother of rescuing it or rebuilding it. Trust me, avoid the latter at all costs. I'm hip deep in sorting out a problem just one more good hard drive around would have prevented.
    That's my thoughts anyway,
    Your Mileage May Vary,
    Not Valid In California,
    Richard in Michigan
  6. makaveli559m macrumors 6502

    Apr 30, 2012
    The Caviar editions are the best of WDs out there I would try to get one of those and the Caviar also take a lot of beatings lol
  7. DPUser macrumors 6502a

    Jan 17, 2012
    Redundancy is a good thing when it comes to back ups... you can be black and blue and still not sing the blues when your data ends up in a black hole. Point? Have multiple backups, no matter which drive you use for what. I run an external drive pair, rotated on and off site, for Time Machine in addition to manuel nightly backups to internal drives. Clients are less happy to pay when their session is lost forever.
  8. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    I'd still get a Caviar Black as they have better response times for a coupled data drive AFAIK. There isn't much info on those blues. I have a WD Green that takes ages to respond and a Raptor that my user folder is on and it is super snappy but the green matches it in streaming bandwidth numbers (7ms vs. 18ms-25ms) Use the drive with the best operations per second as your main data drive. Big sequential numbers don't matter as much as response for this purpose as the intent to to be an invisible "bridge".
  9. rezwits macrumors 6502a


    Jul 10, 2007
    Las Vegas
    WHat he said - THanks

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