Sometimes, benchmark results frame a product as decidedly average. After looking at all of our numbers, Western Digital’s WD4001FAEX certainly seems to qualify as just another 4 TB drive; nothing particularly noteworthy. But it’s important to consider the Black drive’s intended usage before jumping to a final decision on it.
We’ve already seen that the WD4001FAEX’s performance is generally middle-of-the-road. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though. It simply means no one attribute stands out compared to the other 3 and 4 TB drives out there. The Black drive manages to place third in our desktop performance suite, which is weighted most heavily to throughput, but also includes PCMark and I/O results. Only Seagate’s Barracuda and Hitachi’s Deskstar 7K4000 finish higher, and only one of those two drives is a 4 TB model.
So, who should buy Western Digital’s WD4001FAEX? The company says its drive is meant for PC enthusiasts and professionals. But we can’t quite agree because Seagate’s Barracuda is, quite simply, faster.