WD Red 6TB and 1TB (2.5-inch) Hard Drives

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WD Red 6TB and 2.5-inch Red 1TB HDDs

September 2, 2014 by Lawrence Lee

Product
WD Red 6TB
3.5" Hard Drive
WD Red 1TB
2.5" Hard Drive
Manufacturer
Western Digital
Street Price
US$300 US$80

The launch of Western Digital's Red line of hard drives is a notable water mark in in the history of PC storage. Essentially, WD took the popular Caviar Green series, which had helped bring affordable high capacity and energy efficient drives to the masses, and optimized the firmware for 24x7 operation and better compatibility in RAID/NAS devices for the growing SOHO and consumer markets. Up to that point, the best option for this type of usage was overkill: Pricey, high performance Enterprise models. WD helped create a whole new category of desktop storage and the rest of the industry (namely Seagate) followed suit.


The WD Red 1TB (2.5 inch) and 6TB.


Undersides.

The Red drives we're going to examine today come in starkly different form factors. The Red 6TB is more of what we've seen before, the latest high capacity desktop flagship for users with limited drive bays who want to maximize their storage potential. The drive features 1.25TB platters, 64MB of cache, and NASware 3.0. WD claims the new firmware version improves reliability, performance, and includes optimizations for larger NAS setups (up to 8 drives).

The second drive is a 2.5 inch model that is somewhat confusingly called the Red 1TB (there's a desktop version with the same name). Despite its form factor, it's not meant for use in notebooks but is rather targeted at a relatively new segment of ultra small/slim NAS devices. The idea behind it is actually more interesting than the drive itself. It's a standard 9.5 mm thick drive with a pair of 500GB platters (notebook drives seem to have stalled at this 1TB configuration for some time now), 16MB of cache, and running the older 2.0 firmware.


Closer look at the Red 6TB.

In our Seagate's Enterprise Class 6TB review, we remarked on how its large casing was almost flush with the controller board due to its six 1TB platters. The Red 6TB by comparison isn't quite as chunky, though the recess on the underside is not as pronounced as lower capacity versions. Fewer platters also results in a lighter product, with the 6TB model weighing 730 grams (vs. the Seagate's 780 grams) according to our measurements. The 1TB version tipped the scales at 110 grams, which unsurprisingly, is more or less the same as other 1TB notebook models.


Labels.

According to the labels, the 6TB and 1TB samples rolled off the assembly line in July 2014 and August 2013 respectively.

WD Red 6TB & 1TB Specifications
(from the product line data sheet)
Model number WD60EFRX WD10JFCX
Interface SATA 6 Gb/s
Formatted capacity 6 TB 1 TB
Form factor 3.5-inch 2.5-inch
Max. data transfer rate 175 MB/s 144 MB/s
Cache 64 MB 16 MB
Rotational speed IntelliPower
Avg. power requirements
(read/write / idle / standby/sleep)
5.3 / 3.4 / 0.4 W 1.4 / 0.6 / 0.2 W
Avg. acoustics, idle / seek 25 / 28 dBA 24 / 25 dBA
Physical dimensions
(H x L x W)
1.028 x 5.787 x 4 in
26.1 x 147 x 101.6 mm
0.374 x 3.94 x 2.75 in
9.5 x 100.2 x 69.85 mm
Weight 1.65 lb
0.75 kg
0.25 lb
0.115 kg
MTBF 1,000,000 hours
Limited warranty 3 years

As usual, WD plays coy with the rotational speed in the specifications but we've confirmed all previous members of the Red family have a rotational speed of 5400 RPM and we expect these two drives to be no different. The rest of the numbers seem par for the course, though the power consumption figures stand out as particularly optimistic.

Reliability is one of the key selling points for the Red series and WD's strategy for inspiring confidence includes a 3 year warranty and 24x7 support. They also claim the Red line has an exceptional MTBF (mean time before failure) of 1,000,000 hours (a 35% bump over standard models).



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