Western Digital Black 6TB HDD Review
Conclusion; The Best Just Got Better
With SSDs now offering relatively good price / capacity levels and suitably high performance, hard drive manufacturers could have been pushed into an untenable situation. Not so with Western Digital. They have recognized there’s an opportunity to advance current HDD designs with updated technology and enhance throughput while continuing to offer cavernous amounts of storage space. The Black 6TB takes all of these ideas and wraps them up in an extremely impressive package.
As NAND prices fall current generation SSDs have seen a plunge in their respective prices which puts 1TB models well within the reach of many users (take a look at the Crucial BX200 series for proof of that). However, this trend has been paralleled by a pretty drastic increase in the space required by games, video, pictures and other content. Cloud storage has taken up some of the slack but home users like gamers and even budding content creators still find themselves in need of local space for quick access to their files. While storage enthusiasts may thumb their nose at mechanical storage, it is a medium that’s still alive and kicking.
What Western Digital has accomplished with the Black 6TB is nothing short of incredible. Through the effective application of an advanced drive head configuration, a larger cache buffer and other features, they have achieved performance metrics that equal 10,000RPM drives without needing to resort to exotic and costly next generation technologies. This approach pays dividends since the Black 6TB makes its 4TB predecessor look downright slow in comparison. We saw peak speeds of over 224MB/s and even when filled to capacity was still going strong at nearly 105MB/s. For the average user this makes every last byte of space on the 6TB Black usable which is a key metric for longevity.
Regardless of whether the Black is going to be used as a pure storage drive attached to a separate SSD-based OS or as a pure home for your operating system and all files, it has the capability to satisfy. However, as a repository for your gaming libraries, this thing is unsurpassed. After all, an average read speed of nearly 180MB/s is high enough to make load times in most games more than tolerable, and 6TB of capacity leaves plenty of room left over for less time sensitive data.
This combination of great performance with great capacity is going to make a lot of users awfully tempted to consolidate two or even three of their existing drives on to one new Black Edition 6TB. When you add in the reduced power consumption and a five year hassle-free warranty, this drive may just be the perfect HDD for everyone from gamers, to environmentally concerned consumers, to even small form-factor system builders. Western Digital has just breathed new life into their flagship lineup in a big way.