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Western Digital Red 6TB and Red Pro 4TB Full Review - Bigger and Faster

Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: Western Digital
Tagged: wdc, WD, Red Pro, red, hdd, 6tb, 4TB

Internals, Testing Methodology and System Setup

Internals

I won't be breaking into the clean-space of these new drives, but here's a peek under the PCBs:

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A closer look at the 6TB Red:

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...and a closer look at the 4TB Red Pro:

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The Red Pro has additional components lifted from WD's enterprise series drives, including accelerometers used for their RAFF vibration compensation.

Specific to this Review

Back in our Caviar Black WD1002FAEX (6Gb/sec SATA) review, we determined that the current Marvell 6Gb/sec controllers and drivers, while decent, fall a bit short of Intel's native controllers.  Luckily these days we have native 6Gb/sec from Intel and we are not stuck with these stop gap measures. My standing recommendation is to always use the native chipset when employing high speed storage. We've seen 15% drops in write speeds in some instances with the Marvell controller paired to high end HDDs (for some benches) - and that was comparing to a 3Gb/sec native controller!
 
 
 
Marvell controllers and drivers are not sufficiently refined for comparative HDD testing.
 

Test System Setup

We currently employ a pair of testbeds. A newer ASUS P8Z77-V Pro/Thunderbolt and an ASUS Z87-PRO. Variance between both boards has been deemed negligible.

PC Perspective would like to thank ASUS, Corsair, and Kingston for supplying some of the components of our test rigs. 

 
Hard Drive Test System Setup
CPU Intel Core i7-4770K
Motherboard ASUS P8Z77-V Pro/TB / ASUS Z87-PRO
Memory Kingston HyperX 4GB DDR3-2133 CL9
Hard Drive G.Skill 32GB SLC SSD
Sound Card N/A
Video Card Intel® HD Graphics 4600
Video Drivers Intel
Power Supply Corsair CMPSU-650TX
DirectX Version DX9.0c
Operating System Windows 8.1 X64
  • PCMark Vantage and 7
  • Yapt
  • IOMeter
  • HDTach *omitted due to incompatibility with >2TB devices*
  • HDTune
  • PCPer File Copy Test
July 24, 2014 | 01:49 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I am a capitalist. I do not use red drives!!! lol!

July 24, 2014 | 08:50 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Then buy a purple drive, you fairy :-P

July 24, 2014 | 11:03 AM - Posted by BBMan (not verified)

If you ain't black, you ain't crap.

July 25, 2014 | 11:58 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Don't be mean, buy Green.

July 24, 2014 | 10:19 AM - Posted by Patrick3D (not verified)

Good to know these are affordable. I've still got about a year before I run out of space using 4TB REDs, then I'll start upgrading with 6TB drives. I tried Seagate's NAS drives but the one's I bought (at least) were way too loud for use at home.

July 24, 2014 | 11:45 AM - Posted by SilverBullet (not verified)

3TB is still the best $/GB at $0.043/GB. Better density for the NAS drives, though not sure the price is worth it.

July 25, 2014 | 12:00 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

No. 5TB Seagate externals are $190. $0.038/GB. I can't buy them fast enough!

July 26, 2014 | 02:22 PM - Posted by IanW (not verified)

I think your failure premise is a bit contrived. No one should be running a RAID system of any type without full SMART checks on a regular basis at the very least.

July 28, 2014 | 09:35 AM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

I've personally had RAIDs fail in that scenario even with SMART checks in place, as well as weekly full array data scrubs. Fact is that unless you have some form of TLER, a second drive failure that occurs mid rebuild will cause most RAID controllers to offline the array.

Ryan had also had such a failure (using Seagate drives), and I had to recover his array by imaging the non-failed drives and manually de-striping in software.

August 2, 2014 | 12:55 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Curious Allyn, which imaging software did you use to rescue that array ???

August 26, 2014 | 12:53 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

It wasn't the imaging software that did the rescue - all it did was create images of the drives (and read past the unreadable areas after hours of timeouts / retries). One I had the images, I coded something myself to re-stitch, using alternating parity (i.e. two drives had unreadable sectors in (mostly) alternating areas relative to each other).

That was for my array recovery. Ryan's was easier, as he had just one drive with a small cluster of bad sectors causing his array to timeout. I was able to image that drive and re-stitch that array back together with a tool from Runtime Software - but with some custom settings I had to come up with myself, as Ryan's array was not easy for that software to 'lock' onto in auto mode.

July 27, 2014 | 02:09 AM - Posted by Anonymous2 (not verified)

So the pro is "better" & expected to last longer, yet is 6dBA LOUDER than the standard WD RED....

Also, did anyone else notice they changed the "Non-recoverable read errors per bits" to look better despite being the same?

July 28, 2014 | 09:37 AM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

It's a 7200 RPM enterprise spec drive. *Of course* it is faster / louder.

July 28, 2014 | 07:52 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You should look into how Seagate is intentionally crippling consumer HDDs with low APM states and special firmware to scare enterprise customers into buying more expensive drives.

July 28, 2014 | 12:01 PM - Posted by Josh9000 (not verified)

Can we mix and match Green and Red drives?

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