Others have provided good comments. I'd just like to add that none of this has anything to do with the specific model hard disk you've got or the fact that it's an Advanced Format drive; those details are buried several layers deep in the abstractions between the 1s and 0s on the disk platter and the files you see and manipulate with your file manager.
One more point....
You should check that all your primary and logical partitions begin on 8-sector boundaries. You can do this by typing "sudo parted /dev/sda unit s print". Change /dev/sda to /dev/sdb or whatever's appropriate. The result will resemble the following:
Also, how do I check that this drive is being utilized correctly with the 4k sector size technology?
Examine the values under the "Start" column. (You can ignore any extended partitions; you're only interested in primary and logical partitions.) If they're all multiples of 8, you're set. This example is fine, since all the Start values are multiples of 8.
$ sudo parted /dev/sda unit s print
Model: ATA WDC WD10EARS-00Y (scsi)
Disk /dev/sda: 1953525168s
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: gpt
Number Start End Size File system Name Flags
1 40s 439s 400s BIOS boot partition bios_grub
2 440s 410039s 409600s fat16 EFI System boot
3 410040s 819639s 409600s ext2 Linux /boot (unused)
4 819640s 1229239s 409600s ext2 Linux /boot (unused)
5 1229240s 1953525134s 1952295895s Linux LVM lvm
If you find that any partitions do not begin on 8-sector boundaries, you can either delete and re-create the partition(s) (obviously easiest if you've not yet stored lots of files on it) or use GParted or some other tool to move/resize the partition to an appropriate boundary. Bad alignment will result in degraded performance, particularly when writing large numbers of small files. See this article I wrote on the topic a few months ago.