With its “Se” series of enterprise hard drives, WD is targeting those in need of “bulk storage”, whether it be in a datacenter or NAS. Its biggest perk is that it almost perfectly mimics the company’s Re drives, boasting a 5-year warranty, models ranging from 2 – 4TB, and best of all, a price tag of up to $80 less.
When I first learned of WD’s Se series, I saw the word “datacenter” and assumed it was worth talking about, but not worth getting a drive in for review. As I began to read more, however, my interest piqued – there was reason to check it out, after all. Thankfully, WD doesn’t read my thoughts, so it automatically sent us a drive faster than I could request one (quite literally). Manufacturing date? May 14th. Hot off the presses.
In gist, WD’s Se series is like its Re series, and that’s good. When I took a look at the 4TB Re a couple of months ago, I was compelled to award it an Editor’s Choice based on all that it offered. And now, we’re given an option that offers much of the same in terms of features and performance, but costs up to $80 less (-$70 for the 2TB; -$80 for 4TB). That’s substantial, just for the trade-off of slightly worse performance in certain areas, and a lower total throughput threshold.
Although the trade-off is easy to explain, it’s also easy to brush it off without much thought. Before pursuing Se, you need to consider how much data you expect a drive to manage on a given day, and then multiply that by 365. If your total throughput exceeds 180 TB / year, Re drives should be heavily considered instead. Otherwise, tell your wallet to rest easy.
If you’re finding yourself unsure about your throughput needs, consider the fact that at 550 TB / year, which the Re is rated for, it’s effectively a transfer of 1.5 TB per day, or about 40% of the entire 4TB model. The Se, on the other hand, is capable of dealing with at least 500GB per day, or 1/8th of the total 4TB drive.
Se’s place in the “bulk storage” market is clear, but what about the home or small business? Is it worth considering Se over the Red series? If you’re looking for 4TB drives, you’re in luck: your decision has already been made for you. Why WD doesn’t offer 4TB Reds yet is unclear, but I wouldn’t rule out the fact that the company could release them sometime in the near-future. After all, with Seagate having a $200 4TB option, I don’t think WD will want to sit idly by for too long.
While versus the Red, Se definitely carries a price premium, it’s also a far better performer, carries enterprise features and bumps the warranty to a full 5 years (vs. 3). For many, including myself, that’s a justified premium. Sometimes, it’s hard to put a price on piece of mind, especially when you expect these drives to store your important data.
I hope that by this point, you’re familiar enough with the Se series to make a final decision on whether or not it’s for you. If you skipped to this page without reading anything, feel free to enjoy our tl;dr in the form of a pros / cons list. With all those pros and the lack of a con, WD’s Se series handily earns itself our Editor’s Choice award.
WD Se 4TB Enterprise Hard Drive