PC Hardware

General discussion

Advanced Format Hard Drive?

by katkat88 / December 21, 2009 4:30 PM PST

Hi Folks,

I was wondering if you guys have heard of this 'Advanced Format Hard Drive' thingy from Western Digital?

According to the description ...

The Western Digital 'Advanced Format Hard Drive' gives user 7 to 11% more disk space of its initial capacity when used with an utility software called WD Align (you would need to run this if you're using XP). For Windows 7, Vista and MAC OS users, you do not even need to use the utility software in order to get that extra space.

I did some calculation and this means I would get an extra 35 to 55GB disk space if I have a 500GB WD advanced format hard disk. The best part is this advanced format hard disk has a 64MB cache which is doubled of the current industry standard and it comes with 5 years warranty instead of 3 years!

It sounds like a great deal but I would love to hear your opinions, especially those who have purchased this product.

Thanks in advance!

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Misconception
by galentoh / December 22, 2009 12:19 PM PST

I would like to dispel some misconception that exist in the market. As consumers, are we going to see 7%-11% increase in capacity? NO! And the reason is that the drive is already formatted at the factory and when we use the OS to partition and format the drive, we are really just putting in the boot information and the partition information. There is no real formatting of drives once we moved away from the controller cards in the PC XT and AT days some 15 years ago, where we had to key in the defect list manually.

Hence the manufacturer has already taken advantage of the increase in capacity and you will only get the amount of capacity as stated on the drive label. It does not work like over-clocking of CPUs.

However, there are OS out there that are not advance format aware and this will include Windows XP and all its predecessors. In such cases, like Windows XP, you will need an "align" utility that is available from WD website.

For Mac OS, Windows Vista and Windows 7 installations it should be a plug and install.


For more info, you can check out this article.
http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=3691&p=1

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an advanced format drive will yield more usable space
by ramarc / December 23, 2009 9:43 AM PST
In reply to: Misconception

because it doesn't have to allocate as much ecc. the format efficiency of an af drive should be 91% vs 86% for a non-af drive. so a raw 500gb af drive should result in a 450gb+ of usable space vs 430gb for a non-af drive.

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5% more only?
by katkat88 / January 6, 2010 1:44 AM PST

if according to your info, then there's only 5% more disk space than non advanced format hard drive??

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