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View Full Version : External HDDs and cache... What's the deal?



graemie
23rd May 2008, 02:04 PM
So I'm trying to work out which 1TB external HDD to buy, and I had almost made up my mind on the WD My Book Studio 1TB with FW800 etc (http://www.westerndigital.com.au/en/products/products.asp?driveid=374), but their product page didn't have info on the cache size.

I read that this is important and I didn't want to go for 8Mb since I've seen others with 16Mb, so I rang their support number (somewhere in Asia) and ask what the cache is on this particular drive...

What do you think he said?

He said: "I'm sorry we don't disclose this information".

I'm sorry? You don't disclose it? Why not?

"Because we've been told that it is not important for external HDDs. I've had this question before and asked, but I'm told we don't disclose this information."

So if it's not important, why not tell me? It wouldn't mean anything if you did. It would just be a fact.

"I'm sorry we don't disclose this information"

So anyway, I asked if he could escalate the enquiry because I wanted to know, and he was happy to take my email address and see if their head office in the US would tell me.

How weird is that? All the other drives I've looked at tell you the cache size. Why would they withhold that information? Do they vary the cache in the same model so if they lock themselves down they are accountable?

And is cache important in external HDDs anyway? I was under the impression it was.

Argh, rant complete. :(

g.

PS - Anyone else got this drive and have some feedback on it? Plus if you have it, do you know the amount of cache in yours?

thorevenge
23rd May 2008, 03:04 PM
Cache is important in all HDs over a certain capacity. This is to prevent over use of the drive as the most regularly accessed data is obviously cached. I think the cache on these drives stores the point on the HD as opposed to the actual data though.

jimdrum
23rd May 2008, 03:08 PM
Wow! What an incredibly frustrating response from them.
How do these sellers expect people to buy when they are met with this sort of thing??

jerrah
23rd May 2008, 03:09 PM
I daresay the 1TB Western Digital drive is the same as the standalone 1TB Western Digital drive.

It appears to be 16mb on their 1TB drive. Both of my Samsung 1TB drives have 32mb cache. The Seagate 1TB appears to be 32mb too. I suspect they don't want to bring attention to the fact that their drive has a smaller cache.

I wouldn't be too worried about it.

jerrah
23rd May 2008, 03:16 PM
Buried deep in their website:
16mb (http://www.westerndigital.com/en/library/sata/2879-701229.pdf). Obviously trying their hardest to avoid comparisons with Samsung and Seagate.

ClockWork
23rd May 2008, 04:20 PM
If interested in excellent External Enclosures and their best suited Hard Drives, see article here (http://forums.mactalk.com.au/20/41005-external-drives-dummies.html) - simplified and with piccies!

:)

cw

graemie
26th May 2008, 12:16 PM
Wow, here's an exciting update....

My escalated enquiry, which went to the US headquarters for Western Digital amounted to the following email:

"Hi [my name] ,
Thank you for contacting Western Digital.
We would like to apologize as we are unable to accede to your request.
We do not disclose the Cache size of our external hard drives.
Sincerely,
Western Digital Customer Support"

Man, you'd think they worked for the CIA or something.

chrism238
26th May 2008, 12:23 PM
Man, you'd think they worked for the CIA or something.Ahhh, you got through to the Cache Information Abstruseness department.

stewiesno1
26th May 2008, 12:26 PM
I'd be writing an email telling them because of their obvious stupidity for not disclosing this fact to you , you will be looking to purchase a hard drive from another manufacturer who will give you all the relevant tech details. Idiots. Just imagine going into a car yard and asking the salesman " How many cylinders does this engine have ?" only to be told " I'm sorry sir , we can't tell you that "
Good grief.

Stewie

NORMANDY
26th May 2008, 12:32 PM
Wow, here's an exciting update....

My escalated enquiry, which went to the US headquarters for Western Digital amounted to the following email:

"Hi [my name] ,
Thank you for contacting Western Digital.
We would like to apologize as we are unable to accede to your request.
We do not disclose the Cache size of our external hard drives.
Sincerely,
Western Digital Customer Support"

Man, you'd think they worked for the CIA or something.

its real simple... write back and say

"Dear WD,
Since you dont disclose information on YOUR cache sizes, I am now purchasing a XXXX (insert name of drive here), as they have full disclosure over their cache size's. Furthermore I am posting a full disclosure of your non disclosure policy to the all Mac related forums.

thank you and have a nice day :)"

uncyherb
26th May 2008, 12:57 PM
its real simple... write back and say

"Dear WD,
Since you dont disclose information on YOUR cache sizes, I am now purchasing a XXXX (insert name of drive here), as they have full disclosure over their cache size's. Furthermore I am posting a full disclosure of your non disclosure policy to the all Mac related forums.

thank you and have a nice day :)"

That's close to what I'd say... Although I would include:

"Your decision to not disclose a cache specification leaves me with only one way of comparing your drive in this regard: to treat it as if it has zero cache. As such, when weighing up my purchase options I will be buying a drive that has a stated cache size, even if the WD 1Tb external drive outperforms my eventual purchase in other specifications. I understand your right not to publish your cache specifications, and I hope you understand my right not to purchase your product because of this policy."