Western Digital WD1600AAJS
- Good performance, runs cool and quiet.
- Small capacity.
It's not the largest drive on the market, but its low noise and heat emissions make it a desirable choice for a media centre or a silent PC.
Price$ 95.00 (AUD)
At 160GB, this 3.5in internal Serial ATA hard drive doesn't hold much in terms of desktop drives, but it's aiming to be one of the quietest and coolest drives on the market. The key feature of this hard drive is its single disk platter design. Most hard drives generally spread their capacity over multiple double-sided disk platters and multiple sets of heads. This drive, however, contains only one double-sided platter, which spins at 7200rpm and has one set of heads. Its power requirement is lower because of this feature and the amount of noise and heat that is produced after long periods of operation is considerably lower than a conventional hard drive with multiple platters in it.
Not only that, Western Digital is aiming to make this one of the most reliable drives on the market by incorporating ramp load technology. This is a technology that is present in many mobile hard drives. Its purpose is to reduce the chances of the heads crashing onto the platter if the drive receives a hefty bump or experiences excessive vibration. Instead of being positioned over the platter during times when the drive is powered off, idling or spinning up, ramp load technology actually parks the heads on a ramp until they are needed to read or write data.
The data density has been increased in order for Western Digital to be able to fit 160GB on a single double-sided platter. This has been achieved without using perpendicular recording technology, a technology that stands the data bits up instead of laying them flat end to end, thereby allowing more bits to fit in the same space. This new platter capacity will also allow the company to produce more efficient high-end capacities by reducing the number of platters required to meet the storage target, such as a two platter 320GB drive, or a three platter 500GB drive.
For the moment, this 160GB drive, which features an 8MB cache and native command queuing (NCQ) remains an excellent choice for a media centre PC or even a silent PC. NCQ is a technology, which orders the data requests so that they are executed in an orderly fashion rather than out of sequence. As well as maximising the drive's efficiency, NCQ reduces the wear on the drive over time. With a formatted capacity of 149GB and a retail price of $95, its cost per gigabyte is around 63 cents.
In our tests, the drive proved to be a very quiet performer. It was hardly audible during our testing period, even during vigorous seek operations. We tested the Western Digital WD1600AAJS by copying large sets of files from one location on the drive to another. It was able to copy an average of 20.72MBps, which is just above the average for a typical 7200rpm hard drive and compares favourably against larger drives with multiple platters, such as Western Digital's 250GB Caviar, which recorded an average rate of 20.2MBps in the same test.
Using the HDTach 3 benchmarking program, the 160GB drive recorded an average read speed of 64.7MBps. This is a good result when compared against larger drives. The 250GB Caviar scored 52.3MBps in the same test.
As the tests indicate, the single platter in the 160GB is a good performer, in addition to being a cool and quiet runner. If you're in the market for a sub-$100 hard drive, this one is hard to go past.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Smart LED Bulb LB130
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Google Daydream VR headset
Acer Swift 7
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® Portable SSD
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 2 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
- 3 Panasonic Blu-ray recorder PVR set-top box review
- 4 Garmin Fenix Chronos fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 5 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
Latest News Articles
- New, colourful LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt USB-C was designed by Neil Poulton
- Western Digital begins production of the world's tallest 3D NAND 'skyscraper'
- WD will make a record-breaking 14TB hard drive available next year
- Start hoarding SSDs: Prices are expected to spike as supply gets tight
- Intel's silence on Optane SSDs raises questions about launch and focus
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- Subaru XV 2017 review
- LG G6: unboxing, hands on review and detail shots
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTInternal Recruitment | $36phVIC
- FTDevOps - Web AdministratorQLD
- FTEnterprise ArchitectQLD
- FTInfrastructure ArchitectVIC
- TPSQL Server Developer | 3 month contract |NSW
- CCNetwork Testing Integration SpecialistVIC
- FTWeb Business AnalystACT
- CCIT Project Scheduler- Port MacquarieNSW
- FTAgile CoachVIC
- FTDatabase Modelling SpecialistQLD
- CCJava/ Guidewire DeveloperQLD
- FTC# / ASP.NET DeveloperSA
- FTSenior Technical Consultant - Microsoft / VMWareVIC
- FTLevel 2/3 Application Support SpecialistQLD
- FTKey Account ManagerVIC
- FTSenior Java Developers (Several positions available)QLD
- CCDevOps Engineer - TelcoVIC
- FTService Desk ConsultantACT
- FTGraduate Application Support Analyst -SMSF SoftwareNSW
- TPSystems Analyst - WHS ImplementationNSW
- CCPega TesterVIC
- TPJava DeveloperWA
- FTDatabase DeveloperQLD
- CCDB2 System ProgrammerVIC