Having released audio-video hard drives in the past (dubbed “AV”), I’ve long wondered if Western Digital would release a series targeted at one of the most thriving storage markets out there: network-attached storage. Lo and behold, it’s happened, making me wish I had jotted that thought down to paper (rather, Notepad… as if I remember how to use paper).
Due to their focus on RAID configurations and ultimate stability, WD’s own RE4 enterprise drives have been perfect for NAS boxes, but their higher price have made most people opt for something else. NAS tends to mean “24/7″, and for that, you want a drive that’s as reliable as possible. With Red, WD is targeting NAS solutions head-on, while offering some specific functionality and coming in at a lower price (vs. RE4).
The most notable feature the Red series brings to the table is time-limited error correction, reducing or eliminating the chance that a RAID will ever detect a drive as faulty due to a delayed response. As RAID controllers themselves handle error correction, a drive trying to do the same just slows things down – hence the need for time-limited correction when used for this purpose. This is more of a feature removed than a feature added, but it’s ideal for this use.
WD has designed Red to be long-lasting and operate under 24/7 conditions. The drives include a 3-year warranty, vs. 2-year of the Green and Blue (but falling short of the Black’s 5-year) and tout improved temperatures, better handling of vibration and better power efficiency. RPM speed is being noted as “IntelliPower”, which is marketing for ~5300 RPM. As such, performance should be on par with the Green drives, but carry a slight premium due to their specific design.
The 1TB Red will retail for $109, the 2TB for $139 and 3TB for $189. The 2TB Caviar Green is selling for $125 at Newegg, so for the $15 premium on the Red drive, you get a drive designed for NAS use and one that can handle more strenuous conditions (such as 24/7 use and higher temperatures) and, perhaps most importantly, adds an extra year warranty. We’ll be taking a look at the Red series in the near-future, so stay tuned.
For those wondering, the QR code on the drive leads here.