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Western Digital Red Series Review: A Low Cost Validated NAS Specific HDD

By: Chris Ramseyer | SOHO NAS/DAS in Storage | Posted: Jul 18, 2012 4:02 pm
TweakTown Rating: 94%Manufacturer: Western Digital

Final Thoughts




The Western Digital Red Series isn't WD's first RAID environment HDD, but it is their first affordable for home use model. The RE class of products certainly helped the company to develop this new class of drive and we are thankful to say the least. For years we've been peppered with questions about what drive to buy for NAS servers and Western Digital just gave us an easy answer for sure.


While most may talk about the features onboard the Red Series I have to turn my attention to the price. I feel your pain in this area because anyone who has ever bought a nice NAS appliance knows that the 5, 6, 700 dollars you lay down for the NAS is just the beginning. After that you have to get drives and the money really starts to add up quickly. It doesn't take long for your $500 purchase to turn into a $2000 investment.


In the past we've seen Western Digital drives launch with really high prices only to see the price drop rapidly to finish in line with other manufacturers offerings. That didn't happen this time, WD came out of the gate with a realistic price that is competitive with existing products on the market, from their own stable and other manufacturers as well. The 1TB drives we reviewed today cost just $109.99 at Newegg. In a five drive, RAID 5 array you get around 3.79TB of redundant usable space that costs just under $550. Add in a nice five drive NAS like the Thecus N5500 and you are ready to start steaming your content all over the house for roughly a grand. This is a task that could of been done easily before, but not with the same level of confidence and not with drives built for 24/7 reliability.




NASware Technology makes all of the difference when it comes to reliability. With Red rated for five years at 24/7 operation it is easy to spot the difference between NASware and standard consumer mechanical drives rated at eight hours per day for three to five years. Backing up Red is 24/7 support so when you have an issue you don't have to wait till Monday to roll around.




To really get a good understanding of all the advanced technology put into this drive you should visit Western Digital's website for the full breakdown. WD has around eight pages dedicated to Red and if we put all of that data in this article we'd have a 20 page review. On their site they show a FLIR (infrared) image of Red and a competitor's HDD. In the image above we see four Reds running in the Synology DS412+, the temperatures don't get above 27C and that's under load. Just as 'cool' is the acoustics of these drives. With five drives running in another NAS under heavy load we couldn't hear them from a distance of two feet away.


As we mentioned in the introduction, we feel Western Digital did the right thing with this product in starting a new brand. At this price and with these features Western Digital invented a new product category for a growing market. We like it!



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