WD Red NAS HDD Review: When Durability Matters Most

Originally published at: https://www.ogbongeblog.com/wd-red-nas-hdd-review.html

We have been following Western Digital products for years and I think one constant thing with the brand is ‘innovation’. It’s quite impressive how the brand has over the years improve each products with different features and specifications.

Just like we have done for some products in the past, here is a review of the WD Red HDD.

Features & Specifications

One of the biggest issues WD’s Red drives remedy relates to error correction, a great feature for the desktop but one that could create a critical problem in a NAS or RAID configuration. Typical desktop drives are not designed to work with a RAID controller, resulting in both the OS and the RAID controller trying to handle errors. In the event that the OS prevents the RAID controller from doing its thing, a drive could disappear from the RAID, and could cause the controller to believe that the array needs to be rebuilt. Clearly, this is the sort of problem that could ruin your evening.

To avoid that issue, Red drives have an error recovery time set to a very low value, allowing your NAS to be in charge of handling errors (which it should be). In a similar vein, problems that arose with WD’s own Green drives in the past had to do with head-parking. With desktop drives, this is typically fine, but it’s not for NAS usage which generally demands 24/7 access. Here, WD disabled the parking entirely – but that doesn’t mean that power consumption has been worsened as a result. In fact, we’ll soon see that Red drives offer the best power consumption of any other desktop offering in WD’s line-up.

Because WD Red drives are designed for NAS use, it’s not recommended that they be purchased in lieu of Green drives if it’s going to be used in the desktop. With proper software tools, both the error correction and head-parking timer can be adjusted – essentially, back to Green levels.

The above features are important, but that’s not all Red brings to the table. Also here is reduced vibration (vs. Green, and well, any other WD drive), reduced power consumption, higher MTBF (mean-time between failures) vs. the Green, and compared to the also-suitable-for-NAS RE4 enterprise drives, is a bit lighter (-0.26lbs 1TB vs. 1TB).

Like its Green drives, WD doesn’t publicly state the rotational speed for its Red drives. Instead, both models fall into the “IntelliPower” category, as they’re optimized for power efficiency. Based on math done by others in the past, it’s safe to assume that the average RPM speed during activity is 5300~5400.

Though Red drives carry a premium over the Green, I’d say the added year on the warranty makes it worth it. But to sweeten the pot, Red is more power efficient, can operate in hotter environments (actually beating out the rest of the desktop line) and perhaps best of all, is much quieter (24dBA vs. 29dBA of the Green). All in all, the Red sports great features for the price.

Capacity

1 TB

Interface

SATA

Disk Speed (RPM)

5400 rpm

Transfer Rate

up to 144MB/s

Compatibility

Designed with CMR technology for small or medium-sized businesses in RAID-optimized NAS systems with up to 8 bays. Perfect for handling increased workloads, including expanded OS compatibility and ZFS.

Recording Technology

CMR

Dimensions (L x W x H)

3.94″ x 2.75″ x 0.374″

Verdict

The WD Red drive offers solid performance with extra storage for increasing a user’s net capacity enough to make a difference. This makes it the perfect fit for small business.

Overall, the WD Red is a reliable NAS drive gives users the (budget-friendly) flexibility they need to grow as their data requirements expand. If you need to stack your NAS, the WD Red drive is a great choice.

For more digital storage solutions from Western Digital visit: www.digitalpoint.com.ng

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