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Thread: Western Digital 3200AAK External HDD Review

  1. #1
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    Default Western Digital 3200AAK External HDD Review

    After using a 40GB IDE Drive for ages, I decided I needed more storage room. IDE drives are not that easy to get that easy anymore, so an external HDD seemed like the best option for me. After using this drive, the Western Digital 3200AAK 320GB External HDD, I decided to write a review for OC3D. I'm going to talk about the drive itself, so how it looks like, the general performance, the performance compared to my IDE Drive, "Better Performance" and the heat this thing generates. What are you waiting for? Read along!

    The Drive Itself

    The drive itself doesn't look bad at all, it even looks quite nice on my desk. It's a matte black drive with a green LED as HardDrive Activity indicator. And I really like the looks of it.



    When we turn the drive around, we find two inputs: one for the USB-Cable and one for the Power Cable. Pretty standard. Also we can see some ventilation holes, but we'll come back to that later.



    To make the device ready to use, you need to follow these two steps.

    Step 1: Plug in one the power or the USB-Cable



    Step 2: Plug in the other cable, obviously:



    And there you have it, Windows automatically detects your drive. I've used mine before and partitioned it. But when I used it for the first time windows automatically detected it and it was ready to go imediately.



    And here is the drive sitting comfortably on my desk.



    General performance:

    This drive performs pretty well, even for an USB2.0 HDD. I use this drive to store files and documents, and I created another partition for applications, like Ao Oni (recomendable game) and some other games. To test the performance of this drive, I used an application called: "CrystalDiskMark". This is a great program to test the performance of your HDD/SSD. Here are the results:



    Not enough info? Here are some charts!

    Here are the Read/Write Speeds



    Here you can see the File Benchmark



    Here is the Random Access Benchmark



    And here are some other tests and the read/write speeds while the file sizes are increasing.



    Not bad, but can my old IDE Drive do better? Lets find out!

    Now, let's see how this drive performs againts my IDE Drive. To make the comparison, I used CrystalDiskMark again. Are you curious how this drive performs compared to an IDE Drive? Well I am, so lets see!

    Comparison between the External HDD and my IDE Drive (Left = External HDD and Right= IDE Drive):



    Even though the IDE Drive has better Read/Write Speeds, my external HDD seems to perform better. Not really strange, because Read/Write speeds aren't that important.

    This might not be bad, but there is a really easy way to increase the performance slightly.

    At first, you need to open op Device Manager and locate your External HDD



    The you need to right click on the drive and select properties. In properties, select the tab: "Policies" and turn on "Better Performance".



    Here are the speeds with Better Performance enabled:



    Comparison between with and without Better performance: (Left = without, Right = with).



    Warmth

    So far a great drive, but the only thing that bugs me is the heat that this thing produces. It's about 50*Celcius! It is really warm to touch it when it has been running for a couple of hours. Especially when you see that my IDE drive stays at a nice 34*Celcius most of the time. It's not that dangerous, the device has a thermal thershold of 80*C. But it is really warm to touch and I don't feel comfortable knowing that my drive is that hot.



    Here is a graph of the warmth of the drive.



    That is pretty warm, and also, this message scared the living s#!t out of me:



    That would be a bummer of this drive, it gets really hot. Make sure you are in a cool room when using this drive, or you could just put a noctua or a gentle typhoon on it. This is not a huge problem, but this should have been unnecesairy. And when I get messages saying that my drive is at critical temperatures, I know enough. It seems the ventilation holes in the back of the drive don't work properly, and this could have been a lot better. The drive loses some points for this.

    Conclusion

    An external HDD is a great choice for someone who is still running IDE Drives or is traveling a lot. The USB-3 External HDDs should perform just as good as a regular HDD. A SATA 3,5" HDD that is. The drive performs OK and even beats my IDE Drive. Not that that's really hard or something, but it is quite good for a external HDD. The thing that bugs me about this drive is the heat this thing produces. That thing is HOT! And I don't mean with aestatics, although it does look good on my desk ). And when I get messages from HDTunePro that the temps are critical, I know enough. Though when I put my Drive on it's side, it cools down a bit. Though that place on my desk gets really hot.

    Pro's:

    -Compact

    -Easy to use

    -Faster than IDE Drive

    -Looks quite good

    Cons:

    -Not as fast as a regular HDD

    -HEAT!!!

    Score: 7.8

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Western Digital 3200AAK External HDD Review

    My dad dropped the drive straight on it's connectors and now it only recognizes 1,5Mb. So he's getting me a new 1Tb drive
    Review asap

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    Default Re: Western Digital 3200AAK External HDD Review

    Then have him get you the new WD 1TB 10,000 rpm VelociRaptor

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Western Digital 3200AAK External HDD Review

    I tried him getting me that, but my pc only supports IDE
    So he got me a WD Elements 1Tb USB3.0. I love it, it doesn't need a power brick, so he can't run into the powercable, killing the drive

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    Default Re: Western Digital 3200AAK External HDD Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor_Death View Post
    Then have him get you the new WD 1TB 10,000 rpm VelociRaptor
    LOL Stan!

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    Default Re: Western Digital 3200AAK External HDD Review

    30 Mb/s is pretty good for USB 2

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Western Digital 3200AAK External HDD Review

    Quote Originally Posted by PoLoMoTo View Post
    30 Mb/s is pretty good for USB 2
    I was quite suprised too
    But my current drive, the WD Elements 1TB pumps out the same speeds without 'better performance' on

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    Default Re: Western Digital 3200AAK External HDD Review

    Sounds like it's time to upgrade your system, IDE went out years ago

  9. #9
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    Default Western Digital 3200AAK External HDD Review

    I'm upgrading asap
    Hoping to be able to afford an i3 system with a 7870 Tahiti LE in June
    Won't be able to buy a monitor with it though, so I'm stuck with my 1440x900 monitor :/

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