A scorching potato: When is a 5400 RPM drive not a 5400 RPM drive? When it comes from Western Digital, apparently. An investigation has revealed that plenty of of the company’s drives, which it calls “5400 Class,” are actually rotating at 7200 RPM.
As well-known by Ars Technica, this problem was first investigated by German-language dialogue board hardwareluxx.de over a 12 months prior to now. It was re-examined by redditor /u/Amaroko, who examined the drives by inserting them on an empty cardboard discipline with a Blue Yeti mic held immediately above. Spectral analysis of the audio confirmed these “5400 Performance Class” drives had been actually spinning at 7200 RPM.
HDD spin-up frequency plots reveal if a drive is 5400 rpm or 7200 rpm
While an HDD rotating faster than marketed could seem like a bonus, there are some issues to ponder: further noise, heat, and power consumption. Ars in distinction the spec sheet of a “5400 RPM Class” Western Digital Red and an 8TB, 5400 RPM Seagate Barracuda, and WD’s product consumes way more power whereas full of life, idle, and in standby mode.
Western Digital is not any stranger to having fun with fast and unfastened with its product labeling. The agency was found to be using shingled magnetic recording (SMR) know-how in plenty of of its HDD fashions earlier this 12 months with out informing prospects. SMR tech can negatively impact effectivity, notably in NAS and RAID setups. As it was being utilized in Western Digital’s Red NAS drives, WD was hit with plenty of class-actions filed by laws firms inside the US and Canada over the observe.
Regarding the model new findings, Western Digital gave the following marketspeak-filled assertion:
For select merchandise, Western Digital has revealed RPM velocity inside a “class” or “performance class” for fairly a couple of years pretty than publishing specific spindle speeds. We moreover fine-tune select onerous drive platforms and the related HDD traits to create plenty of fully completely different variations of such platforms to fulfill fully completely different market or utility needs. By doing so, we’re able to leverage our economies of scale and cross alongside these monetary financial savings to our prospects. As with every Western Digital product, our product particulars, which embody power, acoustics and effectivity (data swap value), are examined to fulfill the specs provided on the product’s data sheet and promoting collateral.
Despite the company’s use of the phrase “class,” this nonetheless comes all through as deceptive. With the SMR scandal nonetheless modern in people’s minds, it’s one different PR blow for Western Digital.
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