A Closer Look
On the outside the Red Drives look like any other of Western Digital’s drives. Under the hood, however, the Red Drives differ greatly from the other lines. Western Digital is touting new firmware for these line of drives, and it’s called NASware.
NASware provides tuning similar to that of the Green Drives, by dynamically adjusting how fast the platters spin (WD calls the feature Intellipower). On the other hand, the feature set is closer to that of their enterprise RE line of drives. The Red Drive supports things like TELR (Time Limited Error Recovery) which helps prevent a drive from being dropped from a RAID array. It is also supposed to be better balanced to help reduce vibration issues that may occur in large RAID arrays. The interface for the Red Drive is 6.0 Gb/s SATA 3 connection, as is common for all new hard drives.
WD is also claiming that this drive has increased compatibility with NAS devices. They’ve even gone so far as to make a web page dedicated to what NAS devices have been tested with the Red Drive. Another difference between the Red Drive and other WD drives is that the onboard cache is now DDR2, where as in the past it has been DDR. This should help speed things up.