I’ve noted similar problems with my new ED15EARS drives. I’m still attempting to track down if the “advanced format” is causing me issues or not. In one machine, the drives seem to move fine individually, getting 76MB/s transfer rates. in another, they slow down to about ~10MB/s. These aren’t the painfully slow speeds that others are describing, but I’m wondering if they might be related. The 64k buffer of the EARS series might stave off some of the problem, but not all.
I disabled the power saving features of Win7 (i.e. Disk sleep after 20 minutes) though it seems odd that would cause any problems immediately. And…if the drive is transfering data…then it wouldn’t exactly be idle. That could be a problem with either the HDD reporting or windows software detecting.
Also, since it is an advanced format drive, I was concerned that perhaps the factory “alignment” of the sectors wasn’t done correctly. I’ll have to research the WD tool to verify, but it would be nice if Win7 could tell you that outright.
The only other obvious differencse are that the machine which is slower is an ICH9R system running 64bit Win7, while the “fast” machine is ICH10R system running 32bit Win7.
Has anyone run the alignment utility on a newer OS to see if everything is in order?
After running a few more tests, I can confirm that the problem (for me) occurs when placing the WD15EARS drives in any form of RAID, be it via the Intel BIOS or within windows. I’m sure someone could explain the technical reasons for this. (I thought I saw somewhere a post that mentions “green” drives running at unique RPM…and therefore out of sync with one another. Sounds like BS, but I’m not that up on HDD technology)
I do not have problems with the drives in standalone…sequential/sustained writes occur at about 70 MB/s. For now this means simply not using these drives in RAID. One wonders if this is a firmware issue or yet another attempt to force everyone to pay more for “RAID approved” drives. C’mon…if I’m buying a 1TB+ drive, what are the odds that I woudln’t be interested in securing my data with a mirror or going for broke with a massive single volume? I understand that performance might not be AS GOOD as with black or enterprise, but I think intentially cripling the hardware via the firmware is just stupid in the long run. Not to mention, as the first “Advanced Format” drives, you’d think they would want them to be as robust as possible to help with adoption. If things keep up, NewEgg will have to throw one of these in free with every order of $100 or more just to get them out of their warehouse.
I hope this is just a firmware problem and not a marketing decision.
I originally poked around the slow transfer rate problem in the Windows forums, since my drives tested and formatted OK. Now I’ll have to go back and check and see if the folks blaming Microsoft were running WD drives.
2nd Edit: Interestingly enough, a striped array built in Windows disk management produced good results…110MB/s sustained writes and 70MB/s internal copies. A windows mirror array was still epic fail though. I like the portability of Intel ICH built RAIDs more…so the drives are still going back within a week if WD doesn’t respond to support request. I’m willing to argue the levels of RAID peformance to a point, but as of now these drives seem like they have been crippled specifically to fail in RAID.