Are you in the market for some large storage drives? The folks at Western Digital have sent us the latest batch of their 4TB drives, and we here at Techwarelabs thought it might be helpful to do a quick 4TB roundup of three of their top four drives to see how they stack up against each other. The three drives we will be looking at today are the Western Digital Red (WD40EFRX), Se (WD4000F9YZ), and Re (WD4000FYYZ). Although we have reviewed some of these drives individually, we thought it would be good to do a comparison review to see what “real world” difference is between them.
Before we jump into the benchmarking, here are the technical specifications for each drive.
For the most part, aside from advertised performance, reliability (MTBF/Load), rotational speed (Red being the odd man out with ~5400RPM Intellipower), and warranty coverage , these drives read eerily similar on paper. They each have their target market, WD Red primarily for NAS and Se/Re for SMB/Enterprise with low to high load and MTBF specifications being the respective differentiators. Now don’t get me wrong, depending on your particular system configuration and usage, these specification differentiators can be the lone factors that drive you to choose one drive over another. However, if you’re primary focus is performance, with everything else being a “nice to have”, than seeing how well they perform against one another can be useful in your decision.
The only other variable I will touch on, is the advertised 5 drive limit on the Western Digital Red drive. There is alot of uncertainty when it comes to this 5 drive limit, but the consensus appears to be that since the WD Red drives lack rotational vibration sensors, vibration resonance can cause issues if you attempt to load up more than 5 drives in the same enclosure. Where we haven’t tested this ourselves, we have seen reports ranging from individuals running more than 5 of these drives without issue, and conversely some reporting being completely incapable of getting a 6th drive to configure. With that said, if you’re looking for a >5 drive deployment, you may want to take this limitation into consideration.