• Guest, The rules for the P & N subforum have been updated to prohibit "ad hominem" or personal attacks against other posters. See the full details in the post "Politics and News Rules & Guidelines."

Why is WD trying to come out with a HDD for every purpose?

jtvang125

Diamond Member
Nov 10, 2004
5,399
51
91
I remember back then you had basically 5400rpm, 7200rpm and Enterprise class. Now you can get one for just about every color of the rainbow. Blue for general home use. Purple for surveillance. Red for NAS and now Red Pro which looks to be just a 7200rpm model. Green for the environmentalists. Black for when you want more reliability but don't want to pay the Enterprise tax. Why the need for so many options?
 

Ketchup

Elite Member
Sep 1, 2002
14,494
220
106
I like the idea personally. Choose from cheap, fast, super reliable, efficient, or good all-around. All you have to do is pick color for your need and your size. I have a black in my desktop, and a green in my parents' desktop (to cut down on the heat).
 

13Gigatons

Diamond Member
Apr 19, 2005
7,064
317
126
I still buy "black" if I bother to buy spinning rust otherwise I invest in SSD or m.2 drive.

I really wish there was a solid state device with high capacity.

PS: The other drives kinda suck (Green, Purple, Red, Gold, etc. )
 

Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
61,093
9,171
126
www.uovalor.com
I suppose they are tweaked for those applications, but I do wonder if it's more of a marketing thing more than anything. IMO I can see having "Green" drives that are low performance and good enough for general storage, then "black" drives for high performance, and then "enterprise" drives for businesses that are willing to pay extra just because it says enterprise on it (but it would basically be a black drive with a better warranty) but I don't see what is special about needing a drive for surveillance when a green would probably do.

I tend to stick to Black myself for my raid arrays. I have some Reds too, just because they exist, but I'm not really sure if there is a huge difference. The blacks may actually be better, but never really ran some proper tests and it's not fair to compare a random red drive in a random raid array to another as settings etc may be different.
 

rchunter

Senior member
Feb 26, 2015
933
72
91
I have a bunch of reds and a few blacks but lately I've started buying hgst ultrastar drives mainly.
They're all good though. I've probably got like 20 reds and never had one fail yet.

One thing is about the green and blue they dropped the warranty period from 3 years down to 2 so it's probably better to just pay slightly extra for the red to get a 3 year warranty. They are essentially very similar drives though. The red just has some extra raid features like TLER enabled.
 

13Gigatons

Diamond Member
Apr 19, 2005
7,064
317
126
One thing is about the green and blue they dropped the warranty period from 3 years down to 2 so it's probably better to just pay slightly extra for the red to get a 3 year warranty. They are essentially very similar drives though. The red just has some extra raid features like TLER enabled.
The black is still 5 years from their website and the price is negligible. Black's are better suited as single performance drives. (Really need a SSD or M.2 with it)

The red actually has a data recover feature "disabled" so it can operate in a raid array without dropping out. TLER is made up corporate speak for Time Limited Error Recovery. Red drives are best used in an array.
 

Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
61,093
9,171
126
www.uovalor.com
I find for raid the biggest thing you want to avoid is drives that go to sleep, like greens. I did the mistake of building a cheap array with greens as performance was not needed since it was just for archive data at church, but the greens go to sleep, and when that happens they drop out of the array like flies... in a different kind of raid. So for that particular array I ended up just writing a script that does a full recursive dir of the entire folder structure and writes it to a file, then reads it back to /dev/null and it just keeps running in the background. There's probably some complicated linuxy way of disabling the head parking but that was just something dirty but quick and easy and works. I now know not to use greens anymore for raid. In fact, even as single drives. The head parking is really annoying as it takes about 30 seconds for the drive to become available when you go to use it. I hope this never becomes a mainstream trend on even higher end drives.
 

rchunter

Senior member
Feb 26, 2015
933
72
91
The black is still 5 years from their website and the price is negligible. Black's are better suited as single performance drives. (Really need a SSD or M.2 with it)
Blacks run a lot hotter than reds. Just depends on what a person wants. For NAS purposes the reds are perfect. Even for my big 24 bay servers I don't buy blacks because they run too hot and the largest size they offer is 6TB. 10 & 12TB HGST Ultrastar drives run very cool and fast that's why I started buying them. Blacks haven't had a tech update in a while, I imagine if they ever make the jump to 8TB and higher Helium they will get a lot cooler.

The red actually has a data recover feature "disabled" so it can operate in a raid array without dropping out. TLER is made up corporate speak for Time Limited Error Recovery. Red drives are best used in an array.
Yes
 

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
14,929
5,118
136
I like the idea personally. Choose from cheap, fast, super reliable, efficient, or good all-around. All you have to do is pick color for your need and your size. I have a black in my desktop, and a green in my parents' desktop (to cut down on the heat).
Out of curiosity, when wouldn't you want reliable? Is that the WD "In Law" edition or something?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Flayed

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
52,184
7,034
126
The black is still 5 years from their website and the price is negligible.
WD Black HDDs are nearly 100% more expensive than their Blue counterparts.

Thankfully, WD still makes a 1TB WD Blue drive that's 7200RPM, but all of the other (larger) Blue drives are 5400RPM, and are really just re-branded Green drives.

So, if you want a WD Consumer drive for desktops, that's 7200RPM, you're STUCK paying the double-per-TB price of their Black line. It's pretty ridiculous, to be honest.

That's one reason that I'm a fan of Toshiba and Hitachi. They still make 7200 desktop drives, without an insane price premium.
 

Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
61,093
9,171
126
www.uovalor.com
I think they do make blue 7200rpm drives but yeah it seems you do end up paying more most of the time for 7200rpm, which is a must if you're going to use it in a raid array. I don't use spindle drives stand alone anymore unless it's a backup drive (then I treat it kind of like a tape) as it's too much data to lose at once and have to rebuild etc. Currently my raid arrays are mostly blacks, and Hitachi/Toshiba drives. I think Hitachi and Toshiba are actually basically the same drive. I had to RMA a Hitachi and got a Toshiba, and they look the same. I've had good luck with them overall. Seagate is tempting because they're so cheap, but their stats don't bode well lol. Suppose if I was building a large raid 51 or something then I could afford to put the cheapest drives I can find in it.
 

cmdrdredd

Lifer
Dec 12, 2001
26,867
286
126
WD Black HDDs are nearly 100% more expensive than their Blue counterparts.

Thankfully, WD still makes a 1TB WD Blue drive that's 7200RPM, but all of the other (larger) Blue drives are 5400RPM, and are really just re-branded Green drives.

So, if you want a WD Consumer drive for desktops, that's 7200RPM, you're STUCK paying the double-per-TB price of their Black line. It's pretty ridiculous, to be honest.

That's one reason that I'm a fan of Toshiba and Hitachi. They still make 7200 desktop drives, without an insane price premium.
This is why WD did what they did. For the money
 

13Gigatons

Diamond Member
Apr 19, 2005
7,064
317
126
That's one reason that I'm a fan of Toshiba and Hitachi. They still make 7200 desktop drives, without an insane price premium.
After looking up recent prices on Amazon I'd probably lean towards one of the Toshiba drives.

x300 4TB = $119 = 2 year warranty

WD Black 4TB = $185 = 5 year warranty
 
  • Like
Reactions: whm1974

PliotronX

Diamond Member
Oct 17, 1999
8,883
107
106
And Seagate skates by with monikers like "Iron Wolf?" These systems make it a lot more accessible than "WD4000WTFBBQ" . JM2C
 

jtvang125

Diamond Member
Nov 10, 2004
5,399
51
91
I think they do make blue 7200rpm drives but yeah it seems you do end up paying more most of the time for 7200rpm, which is a must if you're going to use it in a raid array. I don't use spindle drives stand alone anymore unless it's a backup drive (then I treat it kind of like a tape) as it's too much data to lose at once and have to rebuild etc. Currently my raid arrays are mostly blacks, and Hitachi/Toshiba drives. I think Hitachi and Toshiba are actually basically the same drive. I had to RMA a Hitachi and got a Toshiba, and they look the same. I've had good luck with them overall. Seagate is tempting because they're so cheap, but their stats don't bode well lol. Suppose if I was building a large raid 51 or something then I could afford to put the cheapest drives I can find in it.
I've been replacing the 2tb HGST drives that have been dropping out of my array with Toshiba drives. The HGST drives have been rock solid but they do have near 10 years on them so it's to be expected. I think if I did a better job of cooling them they'll probably last a little longer. Air flow through the rack mount server box sucks. It's still too early to judge the toshibas but they do run almost 20 degrees cooler without any additional cooling according to the SMART. The price for their 7200 drives is very competitive too. Just about every seagate drive I owned has died so I avoid them going forward.
 

Charlie22911

Senior member
Mar 19, 2005
613
227
116
Physically they are all similar, with potential variations in tolerances that determine which drives become what SKU. Mostly the differences seem to be down to firmware.

Economically it makes sense, set up tooling in your manufacturing lines to make drives with minimal variation and increase your margins up the product stack at minimal additional cost.

At least this is the case with the ~2015-2016 era WD drives I have in my possession. I have little experience with their new drives, I only recently acquired 5x 8TB WD Reds for a backup target.

EDIT: I cant spell.
 

spikespiegal

Golden Member
Oct 10, 2005
1,219
9
76
It's mostly a bunch of marketing baloney to try and draw attention to their product. Obviously a 5400 rpm drive will consume less power than have less iOPS than a 7200rpm drive, and as to why 5400rpm drives still exist defies me. Thing is, nobody uses SATA with tier 1 enterprise storage, and anybody with 'workstation' requirements will be using SSD. I've been in a lot of data centers the past decade, and even the ones that use SATA for tier 2 storage or NAS don't use WD with color designations and I would be mocked if I brought it up. Anti-Vibration technology is theoretically of importance, but again I've never seen WD blues used in a large storage vault.

You can claim all you want for MTF ratings. Please provide links for those stats. Otherwise all we have is things like Blackblaze and their reports.
 

Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
61,093
9,171
126
www.uovalor.com
I actually replaced a "black" with a "blue" in one of my raid arrays, if felt like a huge sin to do that, but the blue was a 7200rpm model so figured it's probably practically the same. Cache and stuff might not be quite the same though.

I'd go enterprise grade but I hate to pay like 3x the price just because it says enterprise on it. I doubt it offers 3x the performance. Maybe like 1.5x at most.

My biggest thing for raid drives is that it can't be a drive that goes to sleep.
 

SlowBox

Member
Jul 4, 2018
80
5
16
They wan't to target any and everyone. But WTF why buy a hard drive now adays. Just slap on a SSD or what not.
 

Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
61,093
9,171
126
www.uovalor.com
They wan't to target any and everyone. But WTF why buy a hard drive now adays. Just slap on a SSD or what not.
Hard drives are still more viable for mass storage. Specifically raided. Best bang for buck, and no write limit. Though corporations can afford SSDs for mass storage and the write limit does not matter since they swap out everything after 3-5 years anyway. But even then, you take a company like Backblaze and it just makes more sense to use HDDs for their use case. You want the highest capacity for the least amount of money.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY