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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

Specifications, Pricing and Availability




In the past we've categorized HDDs based on platter speeds, but that changed when Western Digital launched products that dynamically adjust the platter speed based on usage. IntelliPower adjusts platter speed to save energy and increase performance based on user demands. Western Digital launched three new Red products and they differ by capacity. At the top is a 3TB model, in the middle is 2TB and the smallest drive is the new 1TB model. All three use a large 64MB cache buffer and a SATA 6Gbps interface. Since we are using the new Red Series to test all of our NAS products for reviews, we requested the 1TB capacity size which reduced the time to format the NAS by roughly a third.


Newegg has already taken delivery of all three Western Digital Red models and the pricing at the time of writing is $109.99 (1TB), $129.99 (2TB) and $179.99 (3TB). The prices are quite attractive when compared to existing RE products and just a little higher than products found in the Green Series when measuring at the same capacity points.


With the cost out of the way we can start to look at the features that make Red a special product. This is where Western Digital's new NASware comes in. NASware Technology is a feature set, not just one specific enhancement.


To simplify things, NASware Technology is a direct port of many enterprise features that should be used in your NAS array drives. Consumer HDDs don't handle bad blocks on the platters the same way RAID specific drives do. When we are talking about sensitive data, RAID 5 and RAID 6 are where you start, but for total protection those array types really need to be span across proper disks.




Western Digital didn't just stop with a technically advanced drive, though. The new Red Series gets premium 24/7 support and a five year warranty insures you have Western Digital's full attention for a long time after the purchase. Behind the scenes, Western Digital is also working closely with NAS manufacturers to insure that every batch of Red products works flawlessly with dual to five bay NAS products, both existing and future. That means when you purchase Western Digital Red products you know they've already been tested with your NAS and are already listed on the compatibility sheet.


When you factor in the cost that is much lower than products like the RE4 enterprise RAID products, the compatibility testing make this new series of products your first choice for SMB and home NAS systems... and that is exactly what Western Digital is aiming for.

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