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6 TB Western Digital Black (WD6001FZWX) Hard Disk Drive Review
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The 6 TB Western Digital Black (WD6001FZWX)

Like many other 3.5" desktop hard drives, the 6 TB Western Digital Black (WD6001FZWX) drive has a label on the top plate and an uncovered PCB on the underside. The label has a lot of important information, like the hard drive model, storage capacity as well as its date and place of manufacture. This particular drive was manufactured here in Malaysia on the 31st of May, 2015. Interestingly, Western Digital also added a QR code so you can scan it using your smartphone to learn more about the WD Black hard disk drive.

While this is an Advanced Format drive, there is no warning on the label about using WD Align with older operating systems like Windows XP. This is because Western Digital does not expect this drive to be used with older operating systems like Windows XP. You can use this drive in Windows XP or even Windows 98, but you will be limited to the first 2.1 TB.


Connectors & Jumpers

This is a Serial ATA hard drive, with native support for SATA 6 Gb/s. However, it is backward-compatible so you will have no problem using it with older SATA 3 Gb/s controllers.

The SATA 6 Gb/s interface is necessary for optimal performance since this Western Digital Black hard disk drive boasts a maximum sustained internal (platter-to-buffer) transfer rate of 218 MB/s, and a very large and fast DDR3L SDRAM cache.

Like all Serial ATA drives, it comes the standard SATA data (left) and power (right) connectors and is hot-pluggable. That means you can connect and disconnect this hard disk drive to your PC while it's still running.

To the left of the SATA connectors is the jumper block. However, Western Digital does not provide any jumper with their drives. This is because the jumper block should only be used in exceptional cases.

According to Western Digital, jumpering pins 1 and 2 enables Spread Spectrum Clocking (SSC). Placing the jumper across pins 5 and 6 will force the drive to use the slower SATA 3Gbits/s transfer speed. This is only necessary for certain SATA controllers that do not properly implement the SATA 6 Gb/s speed negotiation.


Breather Holes

The 6 TB Western Digital Black hard disk drive does not have any clearly-marked breather holes on the top plate. The underside has a breather hole (see picture on the right) near the top of the drive. This hole must not be covered.

Breather holes allow condensation inside the hard drive to escape. They also equalize the hard drive's internal pressure with the ambient air pressure. The hard disk drive needs them to function properly, so please make sure you do not occlude these holes!


Peeking Under The PCB

Western Digital has a penchant for keeping all surface-mounted components on the reverse side of the PCB - to prevent static damage and to allow for better cooling. With the PCB out of the way, you can see two thermal pads. The thermal pads help to transfer heat from the controllers to the hard disk drive chassis.

Unlike the 6 TB Western Digital Red and the 6 TB Western Digital Green, the 6 TB Western Digital Black (WD6001FZWX) uses an LSI TT07143 SoC (System-On-Chip) for the first time. There is no information on this controller, other than it has a dual-core processor.

It also uses the Western Digital PIKE motor drive controller, instead of the usual ST Microelectronics motor drive controller (WDHC8TD), which features the proprietary Smooth Drive pseudo-sinusoidal digital drive technology. There is no information on this WD PIKE controller either.

The6 TB Western Digital Black (WD6001FZWX) is their first hard disk drive to feature a very large 128 MB SDRAM cache, courtesy of a Samsung K4B1G1646G-BCK0 chip. This is a 1 Gbit DDR3-1600 SDRAM chip with 8 memory banks and timings of 11-11-11. This gives it a peak transfer rate of 400 MB/s.

What really threw us off was the presence of seven Winbond 25Q80BWVIG flash memory chips. Six of them are clustered together, with the seventh located at the usual spot seen in other Western Digital drives. We have no idea why they would need so many chips in this model as these are serial flash memory chips with a peak transfer rate of just 40 MB/s. They are meant to store the drive's firmware, not used as a flash cache.

Finally, the 6 TB Western Digital Black (WD6001FZWX) features three shock sensors (that can be seen), as seen in higher-end drives like the 4 TB WD Red Pro (WD4001FFSX) and the 4 TB WD Re (WD4000FYYZ). The extra sensors allow the drive to better detect shock and vibration events, and dynamically adjust the flying height of the read/write heads to avoid head crashes.

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6 TB Western Digital Black Review


Introduction, Specifications, Packaging


The 6 TB Western Digital Black
Peeking Under The PCB


Testing The 6 TB Western Digital Black
Usable Capacity, Max. Temperature


Transfer Rate Range, Platter Profile
WinBench 99 Test Results


IO Meter Test Results


IOPS Scaling (Random Access)


IOPS Scaling (Sequential Access)


Conclusion, Award, Lowest Price

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