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WD Red Pro 4TB Enterprise NAS HDD Review

By: Paul Alcorn | HDDs in IT/Datacenter | Posted: Sep 30, 2014 10:16 pm
TweakTown Rating: 92%Manufacturer: WD

Final Thoughts




The NAS segment is experiencing more stratification as manufacturers focus on delivering refined solutions that target specific use cases. The WD Red Pro does not directly compete with the Seagate NAS HDD and the original WD Red, but we included those results as a point of reference for comparison to client NAS solutions. The WD Red Pro is geared for larger deployments, but there are always bleeding-edge users seeking performance above all other factors. The WD Red Pro will surely find its way into smaller NAS systems as well.


The WD SE and the Red Pro share many attributes in random workloads. In some cases, it appears the Red Pro is merely a rehash of the SE, but our testing found key differentiators between the two drives. Both HDDs offer robust performance that regularly outperforms the competition. The WD Red Pro provides spectacular performance that topped the charts in numerous workloads; this is due to the faster spindle speed and enhanced performance optimization for more demanding environments. The strong performance of the WD Red Pro wasn't only specific to pure read or write environments, it also provided leading performance in our mixed random testing.


The Seagate NAS HDD trailed the test pool in most tests, but a particular strength of the Seagate offering has always been its sequential speed and power efficiency. The WD Red Pro managed to unseat the Seagate NAS HDD from the top of the chart in sequential read/write workloads, and it led the pack in the demanding mixed sequential workloads. Surprisingly, the Red Pro also distanced itself by a healthy margin from the WD SE in sequential workloads.


The Red Pro's solid performance continued during our server workloads, and it easily led the transactional-based OLTP workload. The only hiccup in performance came during our fileserver workload, where it placed lower than the SE and the original Red. During the heavy random-write email workload, the Red Pro also provided faster performance than competing solutions.


The key differentiation between the WD Red Pro and the competition came down to the surface during our power testing. Higher power consumption is expected due to the faster spindle speed, but we were surprised that the Red Pro required more power than the similar speed WD SE, and fell behind the test pool in our efficiency tests. Low power consumption isn't as much of a concern in the SMB/SME segment targeted by the Red Pro, and these environments tend to feature bursty workloads that will not require constant, full utilization.


Our testing focuses on sustained performance, and the WD SE provides far more efficient power consumption metrics that may be more desirable for those with larger deployments of drives. The SE's performance is on par with the Red Pro in most random workloads, and for some, the power trade-off might not be the best option. For those looking for significantly faster sequential performance, the Red Pro will be worth the increase in power consumption.


The WD Red Pro touts enterprise class features that make it a very attractive solution for the SMB/SOHO space. The NASware 3.0 firmware provides significant performance and reliability enhancements, and the addition of hardware-based vibration resistance adds another layer of protection. A five-year warranty brings the WD Red Pro up to the enterprise grade-level, and the WD Red Pro wins our TweakTown Best Features Award.



PRICING: You can find the WD Red Pro 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 Pro (2TB) retails for $144.73 at Amazon, the WD Red Pro (3TB) retails for $179.00 at Amazon, and the the WD Red Pro (4TB) retails for $249.00 at Amazon.


Canada: The WD Red Pro (2TB) retails for CDN$194.47 at Amazon Canada, the WD Red Pro (3TB) retails for CDN$241.79 at Amazon Canada, and the WD Red Pro (4TB) retails for CDN$307.96 at Amazon Canada.

Product Summary Breakdown

TweakTown award
Quality, Design, Build and Warranty92%
General Features94%
Performance Consistency93%
Power Consumption and Efficiency87%
Overall TweakTown Rating92%

The Bottom Line: Western Digital's Red Pro offers a slew of features to enhance its performance and reliability for 8-16 bay NAS systems in the SMB and SME market. NASware 3.0, 3D Active Balance Plus, RAFF and NoTouch ramp load technology make the Red Pro a great fit for demanding environments.

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