Odd Caviar Black Slowdown

I recently bought a new 1TB Caviar Black (WD1002FAEX-00Y9A0; firmware: 05.01D05) to replace a dieing Seagate for some video editting however I’m getting some weird slowdowns in exporting the final product.

I use both Virtual Dub and Adobe Premiere Elements but I’ve only noticed this problem so far when I’m using Virtual Dub (I’ll test out Premiere later); it’ll export fine (render rate: ~26 fps) for a while but suddenly drop dramatically down to like 2-3 fps for 30 minutes or so before speeding back up to the 20s - reoccurring sometimes more than once during the export.

The slowdown is annoying enough for me to use my Samsung Spinpoint F3 boot drive (HD103SJ) which only gets 13 fps but is at least consistent. :neutral_face:

I’ve formatted the Caviar Black drive as 2 primary partitions (W: 732GB; R: 199GB); the slowdown happens in exporting to either one. The WD DLGDIAG says the health status is good so I’m not sure what’s happening.

I’ve run ATTO and CrystalDiskMark but I’m not sure how the scores fare (I don’t benchmark often) nor why there seems to be a difference between the partitions. 

ATTO and CMD for W: partition:



ATTO and CMD for R: partition:



Anyways, any advice on the matter would be greatly appreciated.

I used to do a lot of video editing, back in the day, and I never partitioned my scratch disk.  Have you tried using the drive with just one partition on it?  Does it slow down then?

oh, and have you checked with virtual dub to see if there are any issues with compatibility on this drive?

I couldn’t find any mention of compatibility issues with Virtual Dub. I guess I’ll ask around the Virtual Dub forums too in case there actually is some rare issue.

I’ll try the single partition tonight along with seeing if the slowdown also happens in Premiere.

I can’t answer your slowdown question, but the reason for the performance difference between your two partitions is that your W: volume is on the outer edge of the platter, while R: is closer to the spindle. This means that R: has less bits per track than W:, which in turn means that R: transfers less bytes per revolution that W:

Here is a HD Tune read benchmark graph:

Notice the gradual reduction in transfer rate as you go from the outer zones to the innermost ones.

Hmm, I’ll take your word on the reason for the partition difference. Anyway, the slow-down happens for Premiere as well. Looks like I’ll have to do some more sleuthing to figure this out.

Well I finally had some time to reformat the drive as one single primary partition; unfortunately, the problem still persists.

I decided to see if maybe there was some weird connection issues going on but after reconnecting everything, using known cables that worked, switching which mobo port it’s plugged into, etc., I don’t believe anything is wrong with the drive in that regard.

Any advice on whether I should continue troubleshooting or should I just start up an RMA procedure with the retailer I bought it at (I still have a week or so as of this post before I’m out of their covered warranty)?