If there’s one thing the roll-out of 4TB hard drives has proven, it seems no vendor is interested in marketing them towards the regular consumer. That fact receives some backup today with WD’s announcement of its first 4TB models, falling under the RE (loosely, ‘RAID edition’) branding.
Both SAS and SATA models are being made available, with official model naming being “WD RE SAS” and “WD RE SATA”. This seems like a minor point to bring up, but previously WD had a sequential number scheme for its RE drives (such as RE4), so this continues WD’s rebranding of things.
Given that the company’s recently-released Red drives employed 1TB platters, it can be assumed that these new RE drives do as well. This isn’t only based on assumption, but the fact that performance matters for drives like these, and as we discovered in our review of the company’s Red drives, that thicker platter density sure does make a difference with throughput.
As far as I’m aware, WD’s previous RE drives only went up to 2TB, so a 4TB option is likely to be very attractive to anyone in need of such a large, sophisticated drive. But what else does it introduce aside from the greater density? For starters, dual-ports for full duplex connectivity, 1.4m of mean-time before failure, “NoTouch” ramp load technology that improves the wear of the recording heads, and “dual-stage actuation” and “rotary acceleration feed forward”, which is marketing for more efficient parts being used for improved overall operation.
Surprisingly, WD actually does offer pricing with today’s announcement. The SAS 4TB model carries an SRP of $479, while the SATA model drops that down to $459. Other WD RE drives from this revamped family are available from 1-3TB for SAS and 2-3TB for SATA.
|WD RE Enterprise Hard Drives
||Capacity and Features
||4 TB, SAS 6 Gb/s
||3 TB, SAS 6 Gb/s
||2 TB, SAS 6 Gb/s
||1 TB, SAS 6 Gb/s
||4 TB, SATA 6 Gb/s
||3 TB, SATA 6 Gb/s
||2 TB, SATA 6 Gb/s
You can expect to see our look at a SATA version of the drive in the weeks ahead.