It is that time of the year when Western Digital updates their Red lineup. Launched in 2012, the WD Red drives target network attached storage units with an optimized set of features for SMB / SOHO NAS units (up to 8 bays). It was initially launched in 1, 2 and 3TB capacities. In 2013, we saw a 4TB variant being added to the lineup along with some 2.5" drives. 2014 saw the addition of a Pro lineup (2,3 and 4TB) intended for use in NAS units with up to 16 bays. A 6TB Red version was also introduced. This year, we get 5 and 6TB WD Red Pro units. In addition, WD is also launching 5 and 6TB WD Black drives targeting gamers and creative professionals with a need for large capacity and high performance.

The important features of the WD Red Pro drives being announced today include:

  • 128 MB cache
  • Transfer rates up to 214 MBps
  • Vibration tolerance and shock protection using a multi-axis shock sensor and dynamic fly-height technology

There doesn't seem to be any updates to the firmware (NASware 3.0, introduced last year, is retained). The Red Pro drives carry a 5 year warranty. The WD Red Pro 5TB version (WD5001FFWX) has a MSRP of $269, while the 6TB version (WD6001FFWX) is priced at $299. In terms of MSRP, this seems to be lower than the Seagate Enterprise NAS HDD by $50.

The WD Black is Western Digital's desktop hard drive lineup with a focus on performance. Similar to the WD Red Pro, the Black lineup is also getting 5 and 6TB members priced at $264 and $294 respectively. These drives also have a 128 MB cache and spin at 7200 RPM (just like the WD Red Pro units). While WD didn't provide hard performance numbers, the press release indicates that the 6TB version is 29% faster than the WD Black 4TB in terms of maximum data throughput, while scoring 10% more in PCMark Vantage. It also comes with a 5-year warranty.

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  • ruthan - Tuesday, August 18, 2015 - link

    I personally using them for less noise - HDD 2,5 could be inserted into 3,5 HDD silencer box, for 3,5 HDD you need 5,25 silence box and position.
  • ddriver - Tuesday, August 18, 2015 - link

    Yeah, either that, or you can save yourself some money, get better price / capacity and simply put your NAS somewhere in your house where noise won't be an issue, and forget about the silencer box.
  • DIYEyal - Tuesday, August 18, 2015 - link

    By the time the price per GB of the 2.5" HDDs will match the 3.5" ones, both will be pointless because SSDs would probably be cheaper per GB and with higher capacity. For now it would be best to stick to the 3.5" drives for their better price per GB and higher performance.
    Right now you wouldn't be saving much space. Even if we ignore parody (lets just talk about raw capacity).
    4x6TB (3.5") vs 12x2TB (2.5). Your power consumption will increase by going with more small drives, and if you need 12 sata ports, you will need a motherboard with more sata ports (can be found if you take a server ITX motherboard) or a PCIe card. So you can get it but it will be better to use the first solution. Also if you're going with 12 HDDs in a single hardware raid array, you will need a not so cheap raid card. If you're going with a ZFS configuration it would be fine..
    I don't know about that 4TB drive, is it shingled or not? If its shingled its worthless for a NAS and will be mostly useful for cold archive or an application which rarely rewrites on previously written content. That's the reason I didn't compare the 8TB 3.5", right now all 8TB drives are shingled.
  • danwat1234 - Thursday, August 20, 2015 - link

    Yup, Scorpio Black at 750GB 7200RPM, Scorpio Blue at 1TB (being 9.5mm thick) at 5400RPM is getting old, real quick. The Samsung M9T 9.5mm 2TB and the Hitachi Travelstar 7K1000 9.5mm 1TB 7200RPM drive is superior.
  • danwat1234 - Thursday, August 20, 2015 - link

    Scorpio black at 750GB for the past 4 years! Crazy
  • slideruler - Tuesday, August 18, 2015 - link

    Judging by how long it took for WD to respond to Seagate's 8TB drive with anything reasonable, WD were caught with their pants down.
  • hlmcompany - Tuesday, August 18, 2015 - link

    Which Seagate 8TB drive are you referring to?
  • Beaver M. - Tuesday, August 18, 2015 - link

    With what drive has WD (not HGST) responded to Seagates 8 TB drive?
    Still waiting for them to wake up, while Seagate recently again announced even bigger drives.
  • DIYEyal - Tuesday, August 18, 2015 - link

    Seagate's 8TB drives are shingled (SMR) and are not intended to be used in a NAS. They are meant for archive or anything that would rarely rewrite data on the drive.
  • Beaver M. - Tuesday, August 18, 2015 - link

    Irrelevant information to my question.

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