Western Digital Caught Misrepresenting HDD RPM Speeds, Too

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Image credit: Christaan Colen/Flickr

Previously this calendar year, Western Digital acquired caught lying by omission when it arrived to disclosing that specified drives made use of shingled magnetic recording (SMR) as an alternative of common magnetic recording (CMR). Now, the organization has been caught misrepresenting how quickly selected hard drives spin — and attempting to weasel out of it with reference to a promoting claim that does not indicate what it made use of to.

Seemingly, fanatics have been trying to demonstrate Western Electronic challenging drives spin at the mistaken speed for more than a calendar year. While WD Pink drives are shown as “5400 RPM class” in Western Digital’s literature, the drives truly spin a lot quicker than that, at 7200 RPM. This may well appear like a non-concern, given that buyers immediately advantage from acquiring a 7200 RPM generate. But a 5400 RPM drive and a 7200 RPM travel are not immediately fungible: 7200 RPM drives attract extra ability and dissipate extra warmth than a 5400 RPM push. 7200 RPM drives are also noisier than 5400 RPM products.

How do you tell if a travel is spinning at 7200 RPM? You evaluate its acoustic signature. Redditor DataHoarder writes:

The immediate way to evaluate rotational velocity is by using the acoustic frequency profile. If you have a disk spinning at 7200 RPM (7200/moment = 120/2nd = 120Hz) then resulting vibrations will be at this foundation frequency or integer multiples (overtones) of it (120Hz, 240Hz, 360Hz, …). For 5400 RPM this would be multiples of 90Hz as an alternative (180Hz, 270Hz, 360Hz, …).

This has been carried out and the final results validate that these WD Purple drives are spinning at 7200 RPM, not 5400 RPM.

This acoustic plot is from a WD80EMAZ-00WJTA0 drive within a WD Features 8TB SSD. The caption from Imgur states: “This push is marketed as 5400 rpm and even stories as such via Intelligent, but the frequencies below obviously point out 7200 rpm!”

Ars Technica contacted WD and questioned them about these discrepancies. Here’s the company’s reaction:

For pick products and solutions, Western Electronic has revealed RPM velocity inside of a “class” or “performance class” for a lot of a long time rather than publishing precise spindle speeds. We also high-quality-tune pick hard push platforms and the relevant HDD traits to create many different variants of these kinds of platforms to fulfill distinctive current market or software demands. By performing so, we are in a position to leverage our economies of scale and pass together those people financial savings to our buyers. As with just about every Western Digital products, our product or service information, which incorporate ability, acoustics and general performance (knowledge transfer charge), are examined to fulfill the technical specs presented on the product’s info sheet and promoting collateral.

This is disingenuous. I bear in mind when WD commenced introducing “performance class” drives. It was not a way to secretly ship 7200 RPM drives without having telling any one. These drives basically spun a little bit down below 5400 RPM if I keep in mind appropriately, in the title of conserving energy. The WD Inexperienced could really have been the drive to introduce this feature/nomenclature, and it wasn’t some thing WD employed to secretly increase functionality. If a travel marketed at 5400 RPM in fact spins at 7200 RPM, what’s the variance in between 5400 RPM and 7200 RPM drives? I’m rather selected WD isn’t transport 10K hard drives in 7200 RPM packaging.

Telling consumers you are marketing them a 5400 RPM push when it’s in fact a 7200 RPM travel could lead to issues if the components that travel is intended for cannot dissipate the additional warmth or present enough electricity. While this may possibly not be a worry for a vast majority of customers, it is also not the first time we have noticed dishonest conduct from Western Digital. This is the 2nd time in a calendar year that the firm has misrepresented the hardware that it’s shipping and delivery to customers. Real, in this situation, the scenario arguably breaks in the customer’s favor — but that doesn’t make it a good strategy for businesses to participate in quickly and loose with specs. The phrase “performance class” utilized to signify one thing distinctly diverse than it seemingly does now, and Western Electronic under no circumstances bothered to inform anyone it was changing the indicating of the phrase.

The big change amongst this problem and the SMR incident is that in this case, absolutely everyone outside the house the compact team of folks who might have hardware difficulties from managing a 7200 RPM travel in a 5400 RPM enclosure/chassis is arguably getting helped. Irrespective, Western Digital’s situation in this subject is just about anything but exemplary. The tradition of breaking the difficult drive current market up by spindle pace is practically a long time previous, and Western Electronic will help no one when it plays online games like this. Just for the reason that something is not actively harming prospects at the instant does not make it a great notion, and getting dishonest on bundle labeling isn’t serving to, possibly. There are additional aspects on the topic at the Reddit thread over, including a precise listing of afflicted models (all 8TB or greater).

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