Please read: Western Digital has a rather infuriating way of telling which drives have what platter capacity, using unique identifier codes after the main model number of the drive. For example:



-WD5000AAKS is the main model number.
--Caviar Blue, 500GB, 3.5" drive with 16MB cache, SATA-300 interface, spinning at 7200RPM.
-00V1A0 is the identifier code.
--This code has been confirmed to mean that the drive is a single-500GB-platter design.

Therefore, drives on these lists are sorted into each platter density category by their identifier codes. Parts of these identifier codes can change among drives of the same main model number to suggest things besides platter density (such as firmware revisions and OEM distributor), but generally the three alphanumeric characters between the first two digits and the last digit of the codes remain the same for a specific platter density. As an example, the code above (00V1A0) can be found in different forms on different WD5000AAKS drives (such as 22V1A0), but both retain the "V1A" part and are 500GB/platter units, so the drives are listed as a collective "WD5000AAKS-xxV1Ax" in the 500GB/platter section of the Caviar Blue/SE/SE16 list.

One would need to look at STRs (sustained transfer rate) between the unknown new drive and other drives of known platter density in order to figure out how many platters and how much data per platter the drive uses. One can also look at the exterior design of the bare drive to determine the amount of platters, as well. This makes it easy to tell the single-platter and quad-platter 3.5" WD drives from the others, as they have unique base casing and lid designs, but two/three platter units and 2.5" WD drives are more difficult, as they mostly all share the same casing. Of course, there's also comparing weight between drives, let alone opening them up and physically counting the platters and read/write heads.

I do research online to find this data, as well as check with drives that I own and sometimes purchase. Feel free to comment in the appropriate section if you want me to try to identify a drive that is not on a list, or if you see any errors in the data. I'll do my best to fix them.

Anyway, pick a drive width here.


Posted by RML527 at 3:00 PM