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WD Red 6TB NAS Enterprise HDD Review

By: Paul Alcorn | HDDs in IT/Datacenter | Posted: Oct 7, 2014 1:06 pm
TweakTown Rating: 95%Manufacturer: WD

Final Thoughts




WD experienced tremendous success when they pioneered the client NAS HDD segment with the popular WD Red series. The Red series addresses DAS RAID users as well, providing a value option for smaller RAID arrays that was not present a few short years ago. Professional users with RAID controllers, and even those with large onboard RAID arrays, have flocked to the Red series for its compelling mix of performance and value. Other HDD manufacturers have entered the client-NAS segment, but have not been able to deliver solutions that are as competitive in as many performance metrics.


WD has expanded upon their leading performance on two fronts with the new line of WD Reds. First, they increased the bay count from one to five bay applications up to eight bays via the benefits of NASware 3.0 firmware enhancements. This allows the Red to address even larger arrays with the same great value, high performance, and low power consumption. WD's success with the Red series also prompted the release of the WD Red Pro, which broadens the series out to eight to sixteen bay applications with a faster 7,200-RPM spindle speed.


We included the WD Red Pro in our results to highlight the higher performance of a leading 7,200-PRM HDD. While the WD Red Pro leads performance across the board, it also highlights the increase in power consumption experienced when moving to 7,200-RPM HDDs. One of the most impressive features of the 6TB WD Red is its miserly power consumption. Drives that feature low power consumption often feature lower performance, which adversely affects IOPS-per-Watt efficiency. The 6TB Red manages to pull off the lowest power consumption, and best efficiency metrics of our test pool, unseating the Seagate NAS HDD from its role as the HDD with the lowest power consumption.


Another area the Seagate NAS HDD previously had a big advantage was in sequential performance. The 6TB Red also unseated the Seagate NAS HDD's lead in sequential performance measurements with an impressive increase over the previous generation 4TB capacity point. The improved sequential performance is rather impressive from a 5,400-RPM drive, and even approaches the speed offered by the faster Red Pro offering.


The random performance of the 6TB WD Red remained on par, or slightly above the performance offered by the previous-gen 4TB WD Red. The 6TB Red managed to best all other client-NAS specific HDDs in the majority of the workloads, with the notable exception of the fileserver workload. The 6TB Red fell behind the 4TB variant in this workload, but managed to keep a healthy lead over the Seagate NAS HDD. Power consumption remained incredibly good during our random testing.


Previously, users with RAID controllers and large onboard RAID arrays had to choose between risking the use of desktop HDDs, or purchasing high-performance datacenter-class drives that also feature a big price tag. The WD Red offers a great compromise that provides increased performance with RAID-specific reliability features, and all within an impressively low power envelope. The WD Red series also commits all outstanding commands to the platters during power loss - a notable feature for those utilizing RAID controllers. The three-year warranty and workload rating of 180TB a year are complemented by a 24/7 premium support line and broad compatibility, winning the WD Red series with NASware 3.0 the TweakTown Editor's Choice award for the one to eight bay NAS/RAID segment.



PRICING: You can find the WD Red Enterprise HDD for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.


United States: The WD Red 6TB retails for $292.00 at Amazon, the WD Red 5TB retails for $244.00 at Amazon, the WD Red 4TB retails for $169.00 at Amazon, the WD Red 3TB retails for $121.99 at Amazon, the WD Red 2TB retails for $98.00 at Amazon, and the WD Red 1TB retails for $65.29 at Amazon.


Canada: The WD Red 6TB retails for CDN$375.48 at Amazon Canada, the WD Red 5TB retails for CDN$312.37 at Amazon Canada, the WD Red 4TB retails for CDN$203.16 at Amazon Canada, the WD Red 3TB retails for CDN$139.98 at Amazon Canada, the WD Red 2TB retails for CDN$119.99 at Amazon Canada, and the WD Red 1TB retails for CDN$74.98 at Amazon Canada.

Product Summary Breakdown

TweakTown award
Quality, Design, Build and Warranty95%
General Features93%
Performance Consistency93%
Power Consumption and Efficiency97%
Overall TweakTown Rating95%

The Bottom Line: It's not easy to improve upon a leading mix of high performance and low power consumption, but the 6TB WD Red offers significant improvements and more capacity for NAS and DAS RAID users at an exceptional price point.

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