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Western Digital Red NAS Hard Drive Review Discussion


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#1 Brian

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 06:55 AM

The WD Red is a new purpose built hard drive designed exclusively for small NAS use.

Western Digital Red NAS Hard Drive Review [WD30EFRX]

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#2 willsmith

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 09:33 AM

Currently the article link to the discussion page is wrong - it just points back to the article. So don't expect much discussion on your article until this is fixed!
Fixed!

Edited by willsmith, 10 July 2012 - 10:18 PM.

#3 willsmith

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 09:44 AM

According to the spec sheet for the RED range
www.wdc.com/wdproducts/library/SpecSheet/ENG/2879-771442.pdf
the non-recoverable read error rate for these drives is no better than the others at <1 in 10^14 bits.
(warranty, 3 years).

For the BLACK range, spec sheet is at
www.wdc.com/wdproducts/library/SpecSheet/ENG/2879-771434.pdf
and the read error rate is also <1 in 10^14 bits.
(warranty, 5 years)

For the GREEN range, spec sheet is at
www.wdc.com/wdproducts/library/SpecSheet/ENG/2879-701229.pdf
and the read error rate is also <1 in 10^14 bits.
(warranty, 2 years)

It's only the RE4 editions, spec sheet
www.wdc.com/wdproducts/library/SpecSheet/ENG/2879-701338.pdf
where the error rate is <1 in 10^15 bits.
(warranty, 5 years)

For the VeliciRaptor, the error rate is even better, show its enterprise origins:
www.wdc.com/wdproducts/library/SpecSheet/ENG/2879-701284.pdf
at <1 in 10^16 bits.
(warranty, 5 years)

And there's potential confusion with the little-mentioned RE4-GP - RE4 with lower power:
www.wdc.com/wdproducts/library/SpecSheet/ENG/2879-701312.pdf
(1 in 10^15 bits, warranty 5 years)
Although I suspect this family doesn't have much of a future, given how well hidden it is on the Western Digital webpage.

So with capacities of 3Tb there's a 24% chance of a read error on one drive at 1 in 10^-14. Multiple that up to RAID5 and the RED range is not really suitable for NAS after all if you are worried about RAID rebuild errors.

From examining these specs and the rest of the spec sheet (rotational speed, power, acoustics), it's pretty clear that the RED edition is a modified GREEN edition with custom firmware rather anything with RE4 heritage.

Edited by willsmith, 17 July 2012 - 01:19 AM.

#4 ChrisMcPole

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 10:50 AM

And there's potential confusion with the little-mentioned RE4-GP - RE4 with lower power:
www.wdc.com/wdproducts/library/SpecSheet/ENG/2879-701312.pdf
(1 in 10^15 bits, warranty 5 years)
Although I suspect this family doesn't have much of a future, given how well hidden it is on the Western Digital webpage.

From examining these specs and the rest of the spec sheet (rotational speed, power, acoustics), it's pretty clear that the RED edition is a modified GREEN edition with custom firmware rather anything with RE4 heritage.


Actually RE4-GP is per-installed in WD's SOHO NASes, such as Sentinel 4000. As of the origin, the Red line does look "green", with Hitachi 1TB platters inside. But really, calling it "Reds"? Yeah...

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#5 RoadToNever

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 11:22 AM

Actually RE4-GP is per-installed in WD's SOHO NASes, such as Sentinel 4000. As of the origin, the Red line does look "green", with Hitachi 1TB platters inside. But really, calling it "Reds"? Yeah...

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Damn, I've been waiting for a low RPM drive with 1TB platters at 3TB. Hope they'll come out with a consumer version soon.

#6 ChrisMcPole

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 12:19 PM

Damn, I've been waiting for a low RPM drive with 1TB platters at 3TB. Hope they'll come out with a consumer version soon.

Technically, the Red line IS the consumer-kinda version. Why not update the Black line first, I'm not sure. But this is, indeed, the first 1TB platter drives from WD, ever.

#7 Brian

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 12:57 PM

Right, and it's not like this is Hitachi tech...yet, this is WD's still.

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#8 DigitalFreak

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 01:15 PM

I'd pay the extra $10 for the Red over the Green, even for just the extra year of warranty.

#9 johnw42

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 02:26 PM

It would be nice if you included an HD Tune scan showing how the sequential speeds vary from the outer to the inner parts of the platter. Usually it is around a factor of 2 difference, but some drives (like the Hitachi 5K4000) seem to have more a speed drop than others.

#10 continuum

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 04:20 PM

I'll reserve judgement til a few months down the line... the power consumption looks nice but the rest looks distinctly consumer-flavored. Which isn't so bad, but as willsmith points out, the uncorrectable BER on consumer-flavored drives is always a little worrying.

#11 ChrisMcPole

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 04:29 PM

I'd pay the extra $10 for the Red over the Green, even for just the extra year of warranty.

You know you're supposed to use AV-GP drives in such cases? 3 year warranty and there is a non-4k version avaliable.


this is WD's still.

I would not trust them on that. Why develop your own tech, if you have already paid for it... kinda.


PS. Just realized that all 3 models are 4K-enabled. SO no use for home PVRs etc. Sad.

#12 RoadToNever

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 09:23 PM

You know you're supposed to use AV-GP drives in such cases? 3 year warranty and there is a non-4k version avaliable.



I would not trust them on that. Why develop your own tech, if you have already paid for it... kinda.


PS. Just realized that all 3 models are 4K-enabled. SO no use for home PVRs etc. Sad.

Deskstar 5K3000 have 512B sectors. 667/GB platters though.

#13 Mickey

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 10:32 PM

I suspect it will be quite a while before you see Hitachi tech under a WD badge. As part of the terms to gain regulatory approval for the merger/buyout, the Hitachi GST and WDT subsidiaries have to run separately for 2 years. So no "cross-pollination," at least not for 2 years.

#14 ChrisMcPole

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 11:49 PM

I suspect it will be quite a while before you see Hitachi tech under a WD badge. As part of the terms to gain regulatory approval for the merger/buyout, the Hitachi GST and WDT subsidiaries have to run separately for 2 years. So no "cross-pollination," at least not for 2 years.


I've heard it's 1 year, and only applies to branding, not IP <_<

#15 rugger

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 03:16 AM

The WD Red is a new purpose built hard drive designed exclusively for small NAS use.

Western Digital Red NAS Hard Drive Review [WD30EFRX]


If these drives are going to be as expensive as the RE2 RAID drives, then count me completely uninterested!

#16 Brian

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 08:23 AM

It would be nice if you included an HD Tune scan showing how the sequential speeds vary from the outer to the inner parts of the platter. Usually it is around a factor of 2 difference, but some drives (like the Hitachi 5K4000) seem to have more a speed drop than others.


For NAS use this kind of test isn't relevant. If it's just something neat you want to see though, we'll see about getting those numbers for you.

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#17 johnw42

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 05:35 PM

For NAS use this kind of test isn't relevant. If it's just something neat you want to see though, we'll see about getting those numbers for you.


Of course it is relevant. The sequential read/write speed of the disk can drop by about a factor of 2 as it fills up and you get to the inner portion. That affects read, writes, and rebuilds. The question is exactly how much it drops for these HDDs as compared to other HDDs.

And of course I want to see it, that is why I posted about it.

#18 continuum

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 06:39 PM

If these drives are going to be as expensive as the RE2 RAID drives, then count me completely uninterested!

They're supposedly a $10 premium over WD Greens right now, but I'm not sure on actual pricing as I haven't checked.

For NAS use this kind of test isn't relevant. If it's just something neat you want to see though, we'll see about getting those numbers for you.

I'd love to see it too. Not that I would spec these drives in any of my nearline customer stuff without doing extensive in-house qualification, but I have enough friends with homebrew NAS's at home on Openfiler or FreeNAS or whatever who would be very curious about performance of these drives. Not to mention being home users they don't want to justify an extra $100+ a drive for nearline drives, but they can justify $10/drive more for these if it saves headaches...

#19 johnw42

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 08:32 PM

http://www.pcper.com...view/HDTune-401

PCper's review uses HDTune to find a sequential read speed range of 64.9 to 150.5 MB/s. I would have preferred to see the actual HD Tune trace, since sometimes there is a bit of fluctuation with the measured speed, and the MIN and MAX may be a transient blip rather than the main trendline. But at least they did measure the minimum sequential speed, which gives PCper a leg up on SR's review.

#20 Mickey

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 11:35 PM

I've heard it's 1 year, and only applies to branding, not IP <_<

Well, the initial announcement was 2 years. As for IP, keep in mind that the various HDD makers all have cross-licensing agreements in place for specific portions of their IP portfolio. If the particular tech needed is part of the agreement, it could have been shared even before this merger. I somehow doubt the various regulatory agencies would be happy with wholesale copying, though.

At any rate, should be interesting to see this product once it's released/shipping.

#21 danwat1234

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 01:25 PM

"3D Active Balance technology" = trailer sway control. Perhaps it sends counter vibrations via the platter motor to cancel other vibrations.

It's too bad WD didn't use their piezoelectric servo arms in these Red drives. Maybe it raises cost too much or not much benefit here with the lower RPM.

Edited by danwat1234, 12 July 2012 - 01:25 PM.

#22 lunadesign

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 08:45 PM

Any word on whether this drive has TLER or not?

Per http://www.wdc.com/e...ts.aspx?id=810:

"With built in intelligent error recovery controls, NASware also prevents hard drives from being dropped off the RAID due to extended error recovery. This provides more availability and less down time rebuilding the RAID."

Unless I'm misreading this, it seems like it does.

#23 Flatpack20

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 06:50 AM

The article didn't mention much about head parking. What is it like compared to a WD Green or Blue?

#24 Kevin OBrien

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 10:05 AM

The article didn't mention much about head parking. What is it like compared to a WD Green or Blue?


We haven't found excessive head parking yet, still working with them to make sure this holds true though.

#25 compwizrd

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 03:09 PM

So these are just Greens with the firmware limitations reversed? Noticed something about TLER and a pile of marketing crap about NASware that didn't actually give any useful information.

Hitachi has withdrawn many of their drives from the market after being acquired by WDC, I used to use the 7k3000's but those aren't available anymore in 3TB.

Seagate is STILL screwing up on firmware with their new drives from what I've seen, so they're still not an option.



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