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WD Red NAS hard drives - good or marketing hyperbolae?

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A Press Release from Western Digital, posted on the Tom's Hardware web site.
These drives for SOHO NAS seem to ...
be 5400RPM
Have 3 yr warranty (prorated?)
Have some marketing firmware gizmos
Otherwise might be same as consumer drives?

Newegg's price

Some discussion on manufacturers' forums...

WD has released a new line of HDDs designed specifically for home and small office NAS systems.

Western Digital on Tuesday introduced the new line of WD Red NAS hard drives that are specifically designed for home and small office NAS systems with one to five drive bays. These drives are now shipping in 3.5-inch 1 TB, 2 TB and 3 TB variants, and are compatibility-tested and power/performance optimized for solutions provided by top NAS box manufacturers.

"Until now, customers had to choose between using desktop or high-end server drives for their home or small office NAS systems – neither of which were both cost effective for consumer solutions and fully NAS compatible," said Melyssa Banda, senior director of product marketing for WD. "WD saw this challenge as a perfect opportunity to design a better solution so we developed WD Red drives, an optimized product for this rapidly growing segment."

The new WD Red line features NASware technology that's designed to improve reliability and system performance, reduce customer downtime and to simplify the integration process. The new line also features 3D Active Balance Plus, add an enhanced balance control technology, which significantly improves the overall drive performance and reliability. Even more, WD is offering free premium 24x7 dedicated support and a three-year limited warranty.

The WD Red branding also signifies that the new NAS-oriented drives fall within the company's new "Power of Choice" client hard drive labeling. The WD Red naturally stands for home and small office NAS solutions, joining WD Blue (solid performance and reliability for everyday computing), WD Green (cool, quiet, eco-friendly), and WD Black (maximum performance for power computing).

On the technical front, all three drives connect via a SATA 6 Gb/s interface, and feature an RPM maintained by IntelliPower which is defined as "a fine-tuned balance of spin speed, transfer rate and caching algorithms designed to deliver both significant power savings and solid performance." This likely means the platters spin at around 5400 RPM (that's just a guess).

WD Red hard drives are available now at select resellers and distributors costing $109 USD for the 1 TB model (WD10EFRX), $139 USD for the 2 TB model (WD20EFRX), and $189 USD for the 3 TB model (WD30EFRX). More information about WD Red hard drives including terms of the limited warranty may be found on the company website at http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=810.

WD Red NAS HDD launch partners include WD's own branded products, QNAP Systems, Inc., Synology Inc., and Thecus Tech., Corp.

How does this read to you?
3D Active Balance Plus.
Our enhanced dual-plane balance control technology significantly improves the overall drive performance and reliability. Hard drives that are not properly balanced may cause excessive vibration and noise in a multidrive system, reduce the hard drive life span, and degrade the performance over time.
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If you want the story from a drive-centric point of view, check the Storage Review review.

Lots of data, but it doesn't compare Red vs. non-Red drives in the same NAS. I plan to be doing that shortly.

I think the main contribution for the Reds is on the revision control/fewer SKU side. I also think they have done some work on error flagging/recovery so that drives aren't as prone to falling out of RAID arrays unnecessarily.

But, time will tell.
Interesting review.
IO's per second numbers with Synology were 3x better with the Synology than their tests without it.

The 5400 RPM drives do quite well - benefiting in sequential I/O from the faster SATA interface, I guess.
Wow! I wonder if the Newer WD Green is in the 3TB 2012 package I have for My Live 3TB. Reds specs are better. But at what cost.
That was an interesting review. These new drives are appealing to me, but doesn't look like there is enough performance or energy savings for me to upgrade from my Samsung Spinpoint F4EG 2TB drives.
That was an interesting review. These new drives are appealing to me, but doesn't look like there is enough performance or energy savings for me to upgrade from my Samsung Spinpoint F4EG 2TB drives.

WD Blue ones seem to fail with 650GB and 1TB, the WD Green seems like in this review just slightly lower than the WD Red. Since this is newer drive wonder how well it will hold up. WD Black was the best one. Right now the cost of electric is going up and I am just working with the new WD Live 3TB NAS one for 2012. Seems very quick to me compare to using a file server that uses $30 bucks a month of electric.

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