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Discussion Starter #1
I recently RMA'ed a nearly 3 year old WD Caviar Blue 500GB SATA drive. The replacement was also a 500GB SATA Caviar Blue. When I picked up the new drive it felt light. I tossed it on a postal scale. Seems it shed about 1/3 of its weight compared to the other 3 year old AAKS I have.

WD5000AAKS-00V1A0 = 425g (2010)
WD5000AAKS-22YGA0 = 625g (2007)

I would think that the extra mass would be helpful in reducing heat build-up. I certainly hope the Greens, Blues and Blacks continue their good performance.

PS: I have to admit the WD RMA went well. I went online filled out the information, printed the label and waited for the replacement to arrive. Once it did I used that shipping package to send the defective drive back. It was a perfect fit and I did not have to read the 4 page "how to properly pack your drive or else we will not accept it" PDF.

Even their website reflects the 2007 weight.
http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.asp?driveid=301
 

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Disk densities have roughly quadrupled in the past 3 years...
3 year old WD Caviar Blue 500GB SATA drive: ~160 GB/platter = 3 platters.
New WD Caviar Blue 500GB SATA drive: ~640 GB/platter = 1 platter.
Controller board densities and chip counts have also been reduced. Drive motor, actuator, arm and read/write head sizes have also shrunk. I think you will also find that the new drive takes about half the power and runs about 10c cooler. The heaviest component is probably the enclosure.
 

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I'm guessing it might have more to do with the platter density. The newer drive probably uses fewer platters.
 

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Were there any symptoms prior to failure?
I have a 5000aaks (2007-2008ish) as well and would be interested in knowing, lol

Any difference in performance to your old one?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I was running the two Blues in my DNS-323 NAS. Due to crappy power management the drives would be 42C 24/7. But it was no longer recognized by the NAS or PC. Since it was in a RAID1 configuration I just pulled the files off the other Blue. Prior to that the array had to be rebuilt a couple of times.

I have not run any performances tests to compare. The NAS is limited to 15MB/s anyway.

Here is a list of single platter 500GB Blues.
WD5000AAKS-00M9A0/00D2B0/00V1A0/65V0A0

Here is a list of double platter 500GB Blues.
WD5000AAKS-00A7B0/22A7B0/65A7B0/75A7B0/00H2B0
 

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I have WD5000AAKS-00YGA0 and WD5000AAKS-00TMA0. Any idea what they are? Haven't had any problems with them or any other WD drives. I've had lots of problems with Seagate drives in the past couple of years. The WD drives consume less energy and run cooler than other brands of drives as well. WD drive warranties dropped to 1 year briefly and then went back to 3 years. I'm guessing they are trying to cut costs due to the huge drops in drive prices. Some drives still have 5 year warranties but tend to cost more, at least for the WD drives.
 

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WD5000AAKS-00V1A0 = 425g (2010)
WD5000AAKS-22YGA0 = 625g (2007)
Well, what do you expect? There's no data on a new drive! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The first 2 digits of the revision number (i.e. 22YGA0) represents a distribution channel. I suspect 00 is directly from WD. So I guess that would make your YGA0 (like mine) a two platter but I have not found that explicitly stated anywhere. I am just basing that on the weight.

As James said once we fill them up the weight will change. ;)
 

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My drives are definitely OEM models, not retail packages. Maybe 00 is OEM and 22 is boxed retail. The last four digits probably stand for production runs or various hardware and software revisions. More info can be determined from the serial number but we would need WD's production records for that. My drives are both about 3 years old so I would guess they are both 2 platter. I wouldn't be surprised if some earlier 500GB models were 3 platter drives.
 
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