WD1003FZEX CAVIAR BLACK poor access time explained!

Hello World,

My new WD1003FZEX has very poor access time (between 16 and 17 ms), despite a good transfer rate (170max, 95 min). This is a “green-like” performance, not really corresponding to a black model.

The other models of the serie (WD2003FZEX,WD3003FZEX,WD4003FZEX) are around 11-12ms.

The result of theses poor access time is slow windows loading/reactivity.

Has another person noticed same issue on this model?

Others users found the same bad performances. May be a firmware issue ?


Best regard.



 You can try using another SATA cable, or running a DLG test to verify if there are any hardware problems


I’ll keep you informed if it solves anything, but others users did’nt have any hardware problems.

I’ll even try on another motherboard.

Best regards.


I found the reason why this hard drive is slow.

This HDD, sold as a CAVIAR BLACK, has the “CAVIAR BLUE” specifications (Weight, aspect) instead of CAVIAR BLACK

The case of a REAL CAVIAR BLACK:


The case of MY CAVIAR BLACK is as bellow (it is not my personnal one, but it is identical)


The case of the corresponding CAVIAR BLUE (identical except the color of the stamp!!!)

So it appears that Western Digital made “savage rename” on blues, and sold them as black. (weight is not in conformity with your specifications)

I am very disappointed, i bought this hard drive for high performance, and even in SATA 6GB, access time is 15.7ms on a Z77 with AHCI activated. This access time is “CAVIAR BLUE” compliant, not black.

I hope that WESTERN DIGITAL will react quickly and give us back the BLACK drives that we like, not a disguised BLUE!

I have several of the WD1003FZEX drives, the top image is the newer style drive, the bottom image is just a slightly old drive of the same name. I both, the later drives look like the top image. they all perform the same, exactly the same in my box.

Your weight compairison is some far fetched stuff… the old and new drivers have different housings, that could be the weight difference.

Caviar blue WD1003EZEX HDTUNE found on the web…almost  identical to mine  :

Same weight, same housing, same performance. Coincidence?

The Black’s maximum transfer rate seems very slow compared with the Blue. Is it really a 1TB-per-platter model?

Can you rerun the HD Tune benchmark, but this time shortstroke it to 3GB? This should show up the individual heads, as in the following examples:

How to determine number of heads using HD Tune:

Hello, Thank you for information. I made quickly the test this morning.

According to the method linked, my HDD has only 2 heads( it looks like “square signal”, so i think it is a single platter drive, so it is really the same configuration than the EZEX)

I will join the Western Digital Support quickly on this affair.

looks like they may have used the blue single platter drive stuck a black label on it.  The wd1002faex oem version 1tb looks like the top picture, has better access speeds.  There is a wd1003fzex  has lower dba spec more in line with blue specs i.e. 30dba seek vs 34 dba.   Less platters should result in slower access speeds.  

It is exactly that i think.

I dont understand why a well known manufacturer can authorize theses methods.

May be, they think that with the HDD market concentration, they can do anything stupid without consequences.

Well here are the results.

It has been bought yesterday and all I installed was 1 game and few drivers.

Anyways here is the result, in case uyou need more info, my WD black looks the second photo (similar to blue one)

Your images are not visible.

I have poor eyesight and yet, both image are visible.

Until a moderator approves them, inline images are only visible to the owner.

Ah no wonder, he couldn’t see it.

Well here is the link for the image if the moderators is too busy…

GREAT…Just had one delivered from Newegg yesterday.  Debating if I should even open the box or just send it back.  I purchased this drive for the performance as well.



I bought a new WD1003FZEX 1TB black drive from newegg.  After a few days of use I noticed  this drive was performing considerably slower than my 2009 WD6401AALS black drive.

I then tested the drive with HDtune and HDsentinel and both showed a slow 17ms access time. My drive from newegg is the same one as the 2nd picture shown on the first page. I paid a premium to buy this ‘performance drive’  now I have read people saying this is a rebadged blue drive.

What is going on here,  are there two editions of the WD1003FZEX or is there a batch of falty drives. I have now sent this back to newegg now and had a full refund for mis-sale of goods.

Is there an update on this situation?   I found this “performace drive” to have a higher access time than the 8 year old seagate I replaced.  Seagate was 13ms, this drive is 16.

Hi I just bought a 5003azex and i ran the hd tune pro tests. It is running on a sata 2 connection and the access time was 12.7 with a burst rate of 204.7. This is a older model I guess as it does not have the rubber pads on it. Try a new sata cable that is about all i can suggest.