Before going into the conclusion, let’s touch on the cost delta between these three drives. The WD Re can be currently had for around $365, the WD Se around $279, and the WD Red around $196. So roughly $80-$100 separates each of these drives. At this point, you need to ask yourself aside from the 4TB capacity, what factors are important to you? Is it sheer cost per GB, reliability, warranty, or performance?
If performance is your goal, the Re is “best” performing of the three, but when you factor in the cost delta and look at the small performance gap between the Re and the Se model, it’s not a clear choice. Continuing that train of thought, the Se essentially performs like a less expensive alternative to the Re model, with just lower reliability.
If cost is your deciding factor, it’s hard to not look at the WD Red, given the PCMark 7 synthetic results. With the lower spindle speed, it held it’s own against the more expensive Re and Se models. Aside from the 5 drive limit mentioned earlier, the WD Red was surprisingly competitive with the higher end models, especially factoring in the cost delta.
At the end of the day, cost, MTBF, load capabilities and warranty coverage can be determination factors alone for a purchase, as any of these items may be significant enough to justify going with one drive over another. However, it’s good to see that WD covers the bases here, and really leaves the consumer with the decision as to what is important to them. When it comes to sheer performance, it almost appears that regardless of what direction you go, there will be minimal chance of buyer’s remorse.