The Western Digital RED family of NAS drives has been on the market for a while, and it keeps growing. There are 2.5-inch 750GB and 1TB drives just as there are 1TB to 6TB 3.5-inch drives in the WD RED series.
The 6TB RED HDD was released last year and Western Digital provided us with samples to use for our storage reviews. So it is about time that I take one of them for a stand alone spin on the test bench. After all, there are a lot of other factors in play than just the hard disks themselves when we’re testing NAS devices and enclosures and it will be great to get some baseline figures for these drives.
The WD Red drives are built primarily for a NAS (Network Attached Storage) environment, but are equally suited for small offices and home users who just want drives that deliver an enterprise level of performance and reliability without the hefty price tag that used to come along.
Network Attached Storage is making a bigger entry than ever before, and not just for businesses. Home users are investing in NAS devices like never before, and with good reason. We have more and more smart devices capable of using our files and we collect more and more data with the increasing resolution advances. Conclusion, we need more storage capacity.
Small and medium businesses, just as home users, will benefit greatly from using the new 6TB WD RED drives. They come with the latest firmware optimized for use in NAS environments and NASware 3.0 supports the use of enclosures with up to 8 bays.
Some people still think a hard disk is a hard disk and that there isn’t any real difference. They are wrong, there are huge differences between drives. Every type of hard disk is optimized for one type of usage and will both perform best and live longest when operated within the given specs.
What you might save in the short run by buying desktop drives, will cost you a lot more in the end. Not only will you need to buy new drives when they fail on you, you also risk losing your data. It is a bit like using an SUV as a tractor, it might work well for some time but you’ll eventually ruin the fine machinery. And since the WD RED drives don’t cost much more than most desktop drives, there really isn’t any need to comprise, get the right drives for the job.
The WD 6TB Red drive uses the Intellipower spindle speed for better acoustic levels as well as lower power consumption. The drive is rated for 25 to 28 dBa noise generation and consumes 5.3w under load, 3.4w when idle, and 0.4w in standby and sleep modes. Lower power consumption means a lower electrics bill, something that is relevant when having the drive running 24/7 and rarely single.
Western Digital is backing the drives with a three-year warranty. It has 64MB onboard cache and that is a relevant factor that severely increases the transfer rates. Speaking of which, the WD RED 6TB can achieve up to 175MB/s internal transfer rates.
The drives are rated to handle a workload of 120-150TB of data per year, well over the data throughput that most small businesses will ever put their drives through.