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Western Digital Black Gen. 2 (WD4003FZEX) 4 TB Hard Disk Drive Review
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Western Digital Black Drives

The popularity of high speed hard disk drives have been curtailed by solid state drives which offer far superior random access performance and throughput. However, solid state drives are still hobbled by two weaknesses - high cost and low storage capacity. They combine to restrict SSDs to serve as boot drives in desktops, with the bulk of the storage still delivered by hard disk drives.

Desktop power users on a budget will often pair an SSD boot drive with a cheap, spacious 5400+ RPM desktop drive like the 3 TB Western Digital Green (WD30EZRX). However, while the latest 5400+ RPM hard disk drives can deliver very good throughputs, they are still much slower in random accesses. So, those who can afford it will still go for high-performance 7,200 RPM hard disk drives, like the new-generation Western Digital Black hard disk drives.

The new-generation Western Digital Black family differs from the previous generation by its use of Advanced Format Technology, which allows for greater capacity and throughput. The new Western Digital Black family now consists of five models, which differ only in their storage capacities :







4 TB

6 Gb/s

7200 RPM

64 MB


3 TB


2 TB


1 TB


500 GB

Today, we are going to take a look at the latest addition to Western Digital's family of Black drives - the WD4003FZEX with 4 TB of storage capacity. Here are its key features :

  • High resolution for a high definition world - WD Black features a new High Resolution Controller (HRC) with an improved architectural design, resulting in increased data precision across the hard drive.

  • Vibration Control Technology (VCT) - The new generation of WD Black hard drives feature Vibration Control Technology (VCT) which allows the disks inside the drive to adapt to any mounting problems or vibration conditions that are inside your case, resulting in increased data accuracy, performance and reliability over time.

  • StableTracâ„¢ Technology - In addition to Vibration Control Technology (VCT), WD Black is also equipped with StableTracâ„¢ Technology, which secures the motor shaft inside the drive at both ends to help reduce additional system-induced vibrations. StableTrac confidently stabilizes the platters inside, resulting in more accurate tracking in a particular sector during read and write operations and delivers increased performance. (2 TB models and above)

  • Corruption Protection Technology (CPT) - The new generation of WD Black hard drives is equipped with Corruption Protection Technology (CPT), which helps to protect and limit the potential problem of data loss during power failure or power loss to the hard drive.

  • Efficient dual processing - WD Black features a dual core processor that offers twice the processing power to maximize drive performance. Adding additional value, WD’s Dynamic Cache Technology increases performance by improving caching algorithms in real time and optimizing the cache allocation between reads and writes. This results in the drive automatically allocating more cache for read data, which reduces data congestion and increases overall performance.

  • Industry-leading 5-year limited warranty

Now, let's take a closer look at the new 4 TB WD Black hard disk drive!




• WD4003FZEX

Formatted Capacity

• 4,000,787 MB

Guaranteed Sectors

• 7,814,037,168

Bytes Per Sector

• 512 bytes (Emulated)


• 5 Platters (800 GB per platter)

Read/Write Heads

• 10 Read/Write Heads

Spindle Speed

• 7,200 RPM



Internal Data Transfer Rate

• 171 MB/s

Average Seek

• NA

Average Latency

• NA

Drive Ready Time

• NA


• Serial ATA 6 Gb/s

Supported SATA Data Transfer Mode

• 6.0 Gbits/s
• 3.0 Gbits/s
• 1.5 Gbits/s

SATA Hotplug Capability

• Yes

Native Command Queuing

• Yes

Advanced Format Technology

• Yes

Maximum Height

• 26.1 mm (1.028 inches)

Maximum Width

• 101.6 mm (4.00 inches)

Maximum Length

• 147.0 mm (5.787 inches)

Maximum Weight

• 780 g (1.72 lbs)

Power Requirements

• +12V DC ± 10 %
• +5V DC ± 5 %

Power Consumption

• 9.5 W (Read / Write)
• 8.1 W (Idle)
• 1.3 W (Standby / Sleep)

Ambient Temperature

• 5 °C to 55 °C (Operating)
• -40 °C to 70 °C (Non-Operating)

Maximum Shock

• 65 G / 30 G @ 2 ms (Read / Write)
• 300 G @ 2 ms (Non-Operating)

Drive Acoustics

• 29 dBA average (Idle Mode)
• 34 dBA average (Quiet Seek Mode)

Non-Recoverable Read Errors

• 1 error per 1014 bits read

Load/Unload Cycles

• 300,000 minimum


• 1 million hours


• 5 Years Limited Warranty



Western Digital sent us the WD4003FZEX in a brown cardboard box, with two plastic spacers to cushion it against shock during delivery. This is how hard disk drives should be packaged if they are to be sent by mail. The drive itself is sealed within an anti-static plastic packet, with a sachet of dessicants inside to keep it dry. All you need to do is just cut open the plastic packet and slide out the drive.

Be sure to ground yourself before removing and handling the hard disk drive as static can damage it. In particular, you should try to avoid touching the exposed PCB located on the lower underside of the drive.

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Western Digital WD4003FZEX Overview


Introduction, Specifications, Packaging


The 4 TB Western Digital Black
Peeking Under The PCB


Testing The 4 TB Western Digital Black
Usable Capacity, Maximum Temperature


Transfer Rate Range, Platter Profile
WinBench 99 Test Results


IO Meter Test Results


IOPS Scaling (Random Access)


IOPS Scaling (Sequential Access)


Conclusion, Lowest Price

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