Western Digital Black 4TB
SCORE ✪✪✪✪✪ PRICE £172 (£195 inc VAT) from pcpro.link/274bla
With the demise of Western Digital’s 10,000rpm VelociRaptor drives, the WD Black has been the go-to choice for performance hard drives for years. However, that crown has now slipped a little: the Black 4TB model we tested was consistently and comfortably outperformed by the Seagate BarraCuda Pro 6TB.
Some of that advantage is down to the higher capacity, especially as at 6TB and above the BarraCuda Pro moves to 256MB of cache, but the consistent performance gap suggests the Pro would maintain a lead if the capacities were the same.
Notably, this WD Black didn’t pull far ahead of its Blue brother in some tests. In PCMark 8, there was never more than a ten-second difference between the drives, while the Pro was often 30 seconds faster.
On the plus side, the Black runs at consistently fast sequential read/write speeds, and it offers fast access times. As well as making the drive snappier than cheaper models, that sometimes resulted in performance victories against the Pro, such as a big lead in 4KB random reads in CrystalDiskMark.
Another victory for the Black is that it’s quieter than the Pro when idle: 38dB versus 40dB for its rival. It also comes with a free copy of Acronis True Image WD Edition. And the final selling point: it has a five-year warranty, and is rated for continuous and heavy use. That makes the Black ideal for anyone seeking a speedy drive for storing bulk data that will be changed frequently.