Viewing page 1 of 6 pages. 1 2 3 4 5 6 NextWestern Digital Red 4TB & Se 4TB Hard Drives
October 21, 2013 by Lawrence Lee
WD Red WD40EFRX
4TB 3.5" HDD
WD Se WD4000F9YZ
4TB 3.5" HDD
While the PC market continues expanding and migrating to mobile platforms,
one desktop computer component continues to sell well. Sales of storage devices
are increasing, with considerable growth in the home server and NAS markets.
While people are computing on lighter and smaller devices, we still need some
place to store all the ever increasing digital content. Though hard drives are
arguably the most antiquated technology left in our PCs, they buck the trend,
and continue to grow steadily in capacity.
In this article, we have a pair of 4TB drives from Western Digital, the WD
Red and WD Se. If you look at the spec sheet, they seem to be
from very distinct classes but they're actually two sides of the same coin.
The WD Se 4TB (left) and WD Red 4TB (right).
The Red series is a upscale version of the eco-friendly WD Green, upgraded
with a 3 year warranty, around the clock support, and NASware firmware
designed specifically for operation in multi-drive RAID configurations used
in consumer NAS devices. The main difference is support for TLER (Time-Limited
Error Recovery) which limits the time a drive will spend attempting to remap
a bad sector. If the drive takes too long, the RAID controller interprets this
unresponsiveness as drive failure and drops it from the array. The Red series
is unique in that WD tests it for compatibility with many of the popular NAS
models on the market.
The Se is an enterprise drive less concerned about user experience and more
about raw performance and reliability, qualities vital in more professional
settings. It's also optimized for RAID but it's the type of drive you'd use
in a data center where time and money are at stake, rather than storing your
home theater library and sitting on its butt most of the time. It's like a WD
Black in that it has a 5 year warranty, a 7,200 RPM motor, dual processors,
and dual actuators. However, each drive goes through an extended burn-in process
for better quality control and is outfitted with a multi-axis shock sensor.
Underside. Once again, Se on the left, Red on the right.
The underside of the Red 4TB lacks the ribs extending from the motor to the
outer shell found on the 3TB and 1TB versions, using a more all-encapsulating
casing. The Se 4TB has a larger PCB than the Red but it also seems to have fewer
exposed solder points suggesting more of the electronics is imbedded inside.
The portion where the board resides is also sunk in deeper on the Red. This
combined with the weight difference (our Se samples weighed 760 grams to the
Reds' 680 grams) suggests the Se has a more substantial housing, perhaps to
help limit the increased vibration caused by the higher rotational speed.
WD Red 4TB & Se 4TB Specifications
(from their respective product web pages here and here)
| User Sectors Per Drive
||SATA 6 Gb/s
||SATA 6 Gb/s
||7,200 RPM (nominal)
|Data Transfer Rate (sustained maximum host to/from drive)
||Idle Mode: 25 dBA
Seek Mode 0: 28 dBA
|Idle Mode: 31 dBA
Seek Mode 0: 34 dBA
||Read/Write: 4.50 Watts
Idle: 3.30 Watts
|Read/Write: 9.50 Watts
Idle: 8.10 Watts
1,200,000 hours (1-5 Bay NAS)
The differences in the specifications are classic for a low power vs. a high
performance model. The Se is spec'd considerably louder and for double the power
usage. It's hard to judge reliability purely from these numbers. The Red has
double the load/unload cycle limit but the 4TB version head-parks to save power,
so it likely will reach its limit sooner. Its mean time before failure is 200,000
hours longer, but the Se's 800,000 hours is still much longer than the average
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