WD Black WD4001FAEX 4TB:
Seagate Desktop HDD.15 ST4000DM000 4TB:
As you can see from the temperatures above the WD Black 4TB idles around 35C and the Seagate Desktop HDD.15 4TB idles around 29C. Not a huge difference, but it’s still six degrees Celsius and worth pointing out. Both hard drives are fairly quiet and were not audible inside our desktop system over the fans and the water cooler pump running.
Final Thoughts and Conclusions:
Companies love it when we do standalone reviews, but we wanted to try something different and do more of a versus style article. We always start a review without any favorites, but after looking at the specifications and writing the introduction the WD Black 4TB hard drive looked like it would be performance winner. Overall we did find that the WD Black 4TB desktop hard drive (part number WD4001FAEX) was in the lead more times than not, but it wasn’t that far ahead of the competition. Seeing that the WD Black 4TB hard drive was a 7200RPM product makes you think that it would destroy any comparable 5900RPM drive, but there is more to it than that. The Seagate Desktop HDD 4TB (part number ST4000DM000) performed exceptionally well not due to the spindle speed per say, but due to the fact that it has less platters. Hard drive makers often don’t say how many platters a drive has, so that is where we come in and we found that Seagate makes up for the lower rotational speeds by having less platters. The performance between the drives was therefore very close, so close that we are willing to call it a toss-up. That is something we don’t often do and certainly something we didn’t expect when looking at the price tag and specifications of these drives.
With performance being too close to call a clear winner, you need to look at other metrics when making a decision as to which drive is right for you. The strongest thing the WD Black 4TB drive has going for it is the peace of mind that a rather long 5-year warranty. The Seagate Desktop HDD 4TB runs cooler, uses less power and costs 58% less. When it comes to pricing the WD Black 4TB can be found for $290.63 shipped on Amazon and the Seagate Desktop HDD 4TB is $183.57 shipped on Amazon. This breaks down to $0.047 per GB on the Seagate drive and $0.073 per GB on the WD drive. Being $110 less expensive alone makes the Seagate Desktop HDD.15 4TB stand out from the crowd, but by the time you factor everything else in, it paints a compelling picture as to why it should be the best overall drive for the buck.
The WD Black 4TB hard drive had solid performance and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it, but at the end of a versus article there must be one winner. That winner, on this particular pair of drives has to be the Seagate Desktop HDD.15 4TB hard drive. You just can’t beat the price versus performance found on this drive. Sure it isn’t the performance king and has just a two year warranty, but it costs 58% less and feels just as snappy in your system as a secondary drive. A solid-state drive (SSD) solution should be the primary drive in any desktop system these days and rotational media is still the way to go for mass storage. The differences between these two 4TB drives in a system configured like that can’t be felt, so case closed. WD needs to come out with a price competitive WD Blue 4TB drive to compete with the Seagate Desktop HDD.15, because they aren’t even on the same playing field when it comes to price.
Legit Bottom Line: If you are looking for a 4TB hard drive for secondary storage, the Seagate Desktop HDD.15 offers the right mix of value and performance!