Western Digital Red Review: Are NAS-optimized HDDs Worth the Premium?by Ganesh T S on August 17, 2012 4:20 PM EST
With the WD Red lineup, Western Digital continues its successful branding initiative. The three disks that we have had in-house over the last month have performed and held up quite well under stress. The disks have the optimal balance of firmware features necessary for usage in NAS systems. The icing on the cake is the fact that all of these features are configurable, if the end user so desires. The power consumption profile is also very attractive, and the reduced IntelliPower rotational speed doesn't seem to affect the performance much (at least in the SMB / SOHO 2 - 5 bay NAS systems that these drives are meant for).
Are these features worth the extra premium? We have no doubts about that, as the extended warranty period (3 years vs. 2 for the Green drives) and 24x7 support, as well as the lower power consumption should pay for itself over the course of the lifetime of the drive. Irrespective of the warranty / RMA possibility, consumers would do well to keep data on any hard drive (including the WD Reds) backed up (if possible, in a different location).
On the basis of our evaluation, we have no reservations in recommending the WD Red lineup as the drives of choice for a NAS system. As usual, it is extended usage and consumer reports a few months down the line which will tell the true story. At the moment, however, WD does have a winner in the NAS market segment with the WD Red hard drives.