Tag Archives: Helium drive

The 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) Hard Disk Drive Review

The popularity of Network-Attached Storage (NAS) systems has fuelled a surge in demand for large capacity hard disk drives. This interest led Western Digital to create the WD Red NAS-optimised family of hard disk drives. Today, we are going to look at the first helium-filled WD Red model – the 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) NAS drive!

 

The WD Red Family

The WD Red family of NAS-optimised hard disk drives, with storage capacities from 750 GB all the way to 10 TB. Here is a specification comparison of the five key models:

Specifications10TB WD Red8TB WD Red6TB WD Red5TB WD Red4TB WD Red
ModelWD100EFAXWD80EFZXWD60EFRXWD50EFRXWD40EFRX
HelioSeal TechnologyYesNoNoNoNo
Advanced Format TechnologyYes (512-byte emulation)Yes (512-byte emulation)Yes (512-byte emulation)Yes (512-byte emulation)Yes (512-byte emulation)
Spindle Speed5400 RPM5400 RPM5400 RPM5400 RPM5400 RPM
Cache256 MB SDRAM128 MB SDRAM64 MB SDRAM64 MB SDRAM64 MB SDRAM
Maximum Read / Write Speed210 MB/s178 MB/s175 MB/s150 MB/s147 MB/s
Average Read / Write Power Consumption5.7 W6.4 W5.3 W4.5 W4.1 W
Idle Power Consumption2.8 W5.2 W3.4 W3.3 W2.7 W
Acoustics (Seek / Idle)29 dBA / 20 dBA29 dBA / 20 dBA28 dBA / 25 dBA28 dBA / 25 dBA24 dBA / 23 dBA
MTBF (hours)1 million1 million1 million1 million1 million
Rated World Load (Per Year)180 TB180 TB180 TB180 TB180 TB
Warranty3 Years3 Years3 Years3 Years3 Years

They all share the following common features :

  • NAS Compatibility – Advanced firmware technology built into every WD Red drive, enables seamless integration, robust data protection and optimal performance for systems operating in NAS and RAID environments.
  • Exclusive NASware 3.0 Technology – WD’s exclusive NASware 3.0 technology further optimizes the WD Red for the NAS environment, allowing the WD Red to support small NAS systems with up to 8 bays!
  • 3D Active Balance Plus – This enhanced dual-plane balance control technology significantly improves the overall drive performance and reliability. Hard drives that are not properly balanced may cause excessive vibration and noise in a multidrive system, reduce the hard drive lifespan, and degrade the performance over time.[adrotate group=”2″]
  • Enhanced Reliability – With a 35% MTBF improvement over standard desktop drives, the WD Red drive is designed and manufactured to be a more reliable and robust solution.
  • Energy Efficient – Innovative technology reduces power consumption and lowers the operating temperature, resulting in a more reliable and affordable solution for always on 24×7 NAS environments.
  • Premium Support – Exclusively for WD Red drive customers, a free dedicated 24/7 support line is available in English. Other regional support hours vary.
  • Longer Warranty Coverage – The WD Red drive is backed by a 3-year limited warranty for greater peace of mind.

Now, let’s check out the 10TB WD Red (Lowest Price) hard disk drive!

 

 

A Quick Look At The 10TB WD Red

The 10TB WD Red (Lowest Price) hard disk drive came in a sealed antistatic plastic pack. Notably, it lacked the usual sachet of desiccants. That’s because the drive is hermetically-sealed in the factory, and filled with helium. Also notable is their use of two gold-coloured screws to lock the PCB in place.

To remove the drive, just tear off the top or cut it open, and slide out the drive. Be sure to ground yourself before removing and handling the hard disk drive as static can damage it. In particular, you should try to avoid touching the exposed PCB located on the lower underside of the drive.

Next Page > The 10TB WD Red NAS Drive, HelioSeal, SATA 6 Gb/s

 

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The 10TB WD Red NAS Drive

Despite featuring a hermetically-sealed chassis, the 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) drive looks deceptively like any other 3.5″ hard disk drive. In fact, it even sports the same printed label on the top plate, with an uncovered PCB on the underside.

The label has a lot of important information, like the hard disk drive model, storage capacity as well as its date and place of manufacture. This particular drive was manufactured in Thailand on the 1st of April, 2017. You can also see that the drive uses the Advanced Format Technology to achieve its high storage density.

 

HelioSeal Technology

The 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) NAS-optimised drive is one of the few hard disk drives in the market to feature the revolutionary HGST HelioSeal technology. It is hermetically sealed at the factory, and filled with helium.

Instead of a breather hole that is present in all “air-filled” hard disk drives, it has two sealed ports that are used to extract air from inside the chassis, and replacing it with helium.

Because helium is only 1/7th the density of “regular air”, it allows for less friction conferring the following benefits :

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  • The lower friction reduces the amount of power required to spin the platters, reducing both energy costs and thermal output.
  • Internal turbulence is greatly reduced, which makes tracking more precise and reliable. This indirectly allows for greater areal density.
  • The lower power requirement and internal turbulence allow more platters and heads to be added in the same volume of space.
  • The completely sealed environment eliminates reliability issues that can occur if breather filters get clogged up with dirt.

The only things stopping helium-filled drives from becoming mainstream are the relatively high cost of helium, and the difficulty in sealing the drive.

 

SATA 6 Gb/s

This is a Serial ATA drive, with native support for SATA 6 Gb/s. However, it is backward-compatible so you will have no problem using it with older SATA 3 Gb/s controllers.

The SATA 6 Gb/s interface is necessary for optimal performance since the 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) NAS drive boasts a maximum sustained internal (platter-to-buffer) transfer rate of 210 MB/s, and a large and fast DDR3 SDRAM cache.

Like all Serial ATA drives, it comes the standard SATA data (left) and power (right) connectors and is hot-pluggable. That means you can connect and disconnect this hard disk drive to the server, computer or NAS while it’s still running.

Next Page > Under The PCB, Testing The 10TB WD Red NAS Drive

 

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What’s Under The PCB?

Western Digital has a penchant for keeping all surface-mounted components on the reverse side of the PCB – to prevent static damage and to allow for better cooling. The PCB is protected by a thin foam cutout on the chassis side, with a thermal pad to help transfer heat from the HDD controller to the hard disk drive chassis.

Unfortunately, we can’t make out the hard disk drive controller Western Digital used, but we can see that it uses the ST Microelectronics L7232 motor drive controller, which features their proprietary Smooth Drive pseudo-sinusoidal digital drive technology.

The 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) NAS drive boasts a large 256 MB SDRAM cache, courtesy of an EtronTech EM6GD16EWXC-12H chip. This is a DDR3-1600 SDRAM chip with 8 memory banks and timings of 11-11-11. This gives it a peak transfer rate of 400 MB/s.

Finally, the 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) NAS drive has two shock sensors that allow it to better detect shock and vibration events, and dynamically adjust the flying height of the read/write heads to avoid head crashes.

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Testing The 10TB WD Red NAS Drive

Processors Intel Core i7-2600K
Motherboard Intel DP67BG
Memory Four Kingmax 2 GB DDR3-1333 modules
Graphics Card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
Hard Disk Drives 10 TB Western Digital Red
8 TB Western Digital Gold
6 TB Western Digital Black
6 TB Western Digital Red
6 TB Western Digital Green

4 TB Western Digital Red Pro
4 TB Western Digital Re
4 TB Western Digital Black Gen. 2

4 TB Western Digital Red

3 TB Western Digital Red
Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit
Microsoft Windows Vista 32-bit

 

Testing Methodology

Next Page > Usable Capacity, Platter Profile, Operating Temperature

 

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Usable Capacity

The 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) NAS drive has an official formatted capacity of 10 terabytes. We checked that out by formatting it in NTFS using Microsoft Windows 7.

The actual formatted capacity was 10,000,695,029,760 bytes, which is about 695 MB higher than the official storage capacity. With about 494 MB allocated to the NTFS file system, the actual usable capacity was slightly above 10 TB.

 

Platter Profile

The platter profile of the 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) NAS drive was pretty good. There appeared to be some use of replacement sectors, but nothing particularly significant.

We also compared its platter profile to that of the 6TB WD Red, which was the last WD Red drive we reviewed. We can see right away that the 10TB WD Red uses higher density platters, which gave it a very high throughput.

In fact, the outermost tracks of the 6TB WD Red only equalised the 10TB WD Red at the 6.5 TB point. Even at its slowest tracks, the 10TB WD Red was as fast as the 6TB WD Red at its 5 GB point.

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Maximum Surface Temperature

We monitored the surface temperature of seven hard disk drives during their benchmarks. The following chart shows their operating temperature range, from idle to maximum load. Please note that instead of giving you the absolute numbers, we are showing the temperature delta, which is the difference between the actual temperature and the ambient room temperature.

Despite packing 2 additional platters than the 6TB WD Black, the 10TB WD Red drive was significantly cooler at full load. It ran a little warmer than the 8TB WD Gold – another helium-filled drive, but was cooler at idle.

This reduced thermal output (and power consumption) is a key advantage of helium-filled hard disk drives like the 10TB WD Red drive. When used in large NAS systems with up to 8 drives running non-stop, the lower energy costs of running them, and keeping them cool, will be very significant.

Next Page > Transfer Rate Range, WinBench Results

 

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Transfer Rate Range

This chart shows you the range of platter-to-buffer transfer rates from the innermost track to the outermost track. In other words, it shows you the range of disk transfer rates of the hard disk drives (from minimum to maximum).

The 10TB WD Red NAS drive has an official peak throughput of 210 MB/s, which was confirmed by our tests. In fact, it actually peaked at 217 MB/s. While it was still slightly slower than the 6TB WD Black, that puts it ahead of most of its competitors.

Both the 8TB WD Gold and the 10TB WD Red have 7 platters. The 10TB WD Red use higher density 1.43 GB platters to compensate for the 8TB WD Gold‘s higher 7200 RPM spindle speed. This proves yet again that HDD performance is not always about the spindle speed… 😉

 

Business Disk WinBench 99

Even though it’s not optimised for desktop applications, the 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) NAS drive did very well in this benchmark, coming in faster than even the 6TB WD Black.

Hard Disk Drive Model Capacity Business Disk
WinMark 99
Difference Useful Links
Western Digital Red 10 TB 32.5 MB/s Baseline Lowest $
Western Digital Black 6 TB 26.1 MB/s – 19.7% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Green 6 TB 25.6 MB/s – 21.2% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Black 4 TB 24.0 MB/s – 26.2% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Red Pro 4 TB 23.4 MB/s – 28.0% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Gold 8 TB 23.3 MB/s – 28.3% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Re 4 TB 20.4 MB/s – 37.2% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Red 6 TB 19.4 MB/s – 40.3% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Red 4 TB 17.5 MB/s – 46.2% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Red 3 TB 16.1 MB/s – 50.5% Review Lowest $
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High-End Disk WinBench 99

The 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) NAS drive was top in this benchmark too, edging out the very fast 6TB WD Black.

Hard Disk Drive Model Capacity High-End Disk
WinMark 99
Difference Useful Links
Western Digital Red 10 TB 150 MB/s Baseline Lowest $
Western Digital Black 6 TB 143 MB/s – 4.7% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Green 6 TB 140 MB/s – 6.7% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Black 4 TB 138 MB/s – 8.0% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Red Pro 4 TB 137 MB/s – 8.7% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Gold 8 TB 133 MB/s – 11.3% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Re 4 TB 121 MB/s – 19.3% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Red 6 TB 121 MB/s – 19.3% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Red 4 TB 118 MB/s – 21.3% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Red 3 TB 107 MB/s – 24.0% Review Lowest $

Next Page > IO Meter (Random Access) Performance

 

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IO Meter (Random Access)

We compared the 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) NAS drive to the 6TB WD RedFor more performance comparisons, please take a look at The Hard Disk Drive Performance Comparison Guide.

 

Random Throughput

The small random reads and writes are the most important tests for applications that make a lot of random accesses, so those would be key performance indicators for drives that are used as boot or system drives, but not very important for NAS systems.

With the exception of small reads, the 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) was far superior than the 6TB WD Red in all other aspects. Most impressively, it was 3X faster at small writes, most likely due to its large, fast cache.

Test  WD Red
(10 TB) 
 WD Red
(6 TB) 
Difference
512 KB Read 27.92 MB/s 18.70 MB/s + 49.3%
512 KB Write 31.65 MB/s 20.81 MB/s + 52.1%
4 KB Read 0.27 MB/s 0.26 MB/s + 3.8%
4 KB Write 0.76 MB/s 0.24 MB/s + 216.7%

 

Random Access Time

Test  WD Red
(10 TB) 
 WD Red
(6 TB) 
Difference
512 KB Read 18.78 ms 28.04 ms – 33.0%
512 KB Write 16.56 ms 25.19 ms – 34.2%
4 KB Read 15.24 ms 15.81 ms – 3.6%
4 KB Write 5.36 ms 17.29 ms – 69.0%

The access times dropped significantly across the board. The small decrease in the 4KB read access time is more than compensated by the incredibly large decrease in the 4KB write access time.

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Random CPU Utilisation

Test  WD Red
(10 TB) 
 WD Red
(6 TB) 
Difference
512 KB Read 28.79 % 0.41 % + 6922%
512 KB Write 29.07 % 0.44 % + 6507%
4 KB Read 28.83 % 0.38 % + 7487%
4 KB Write 28.82 % 0.39 % + 7290%

We are not sure what HDD controller Western Digital used for the 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) NAS drive, but they appeared to have decided to focus on performance at the expense of CPU utilisation. This is not a problem for NAS systems because they have a processor that is dedicated to such operations. Such high CPU utilisation though means the 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) would not make for a very good desktop drive.

Next Page > IO Meter Sequential Access Performance

 

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IO Meter (Sequential Access)

We compared the 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) NAS drive to the 6TB WD RedFor more performance comparisons, please take a look at The Hard Disk Drive Performance Comparison Guide.

 

Sequential Throughput

Test  WD Red
(10 TB) 
 WD Red
(6 TB) 
Difference
512 KB Read 215.25 MB/s 172.71 MB/s + 24.6%
512 KB Write 215.45 MB/s 173.09 MB/s + 24.5%
4 KB Read 84.70 MB/s 51.64 MB/s + 64.0%
4 KB Write 71.53 MB/s 50.09 MB/s + 42.8%

This is the most important test for the NAS drives because it shows their ability to read and write files sequentially. The large sequential transfer performance is particularly important since many NAS system deal with large files (larger than 512 KB in this context).

Without a doubt, the 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) is much faster than the 6TB WD Red in all aspects. The biggest boost was in small sequential reads.

 

Sequential Access Time

Test  WD Red
(10 TB) 
 WD Red
(6 TB) 
Difference
512 KB Read 2.43 ms 3.03 ms – 19.8%
512 KB Write 2.43 ms 3.03 ms – 19.7%
4 KB Read 0.05 ms 0.08 ms – 39.2%
4 KB Write 0.06 ms 0.08 ms – 30.0%
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Sequential CPU Utilisation

Test  WD Red
(10 TB) 
 WD Red
(6 TB) 
Difference
512 KB Read 29.84 % 0.96 % + 3008%
512 KB Write 29.49 % 1.14 % + 2487%
4 KB Read 35.77 % 8.52 % + 319.8%
4 KB Write 35.17 % 9.15 % + 284.4%

Even in sequential accesses, the 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) took up an excessive amount of CPU utilisation. Again, this is not a problem for NAS systems, but will be an issue for those who choose to use this drive in their desktop systems.

Next Page > IOPS Scaling (Random) Performance

 

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IOPS Scaling (Random)

We tested the drive’s ability to tackle multiple input/output operations, comparing the 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) to the 6TB WD Red. For more performance comparisons, please take a look at The Hard Disk Drive Performance Comparison Guide.

Although we don’t know what hard disk drive controller used in the 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX), we can see that it is significantly faster than the Marvell 88i1047-NDB2 controller used in the 6TB WD Red. Its performance was particularly impressive in the 4 KB random write test.

 

4 KB Random Read

Outstanding I/Os  WD Red
(10 TB) 
 WD Red
(6 TB) 
Difference
1 66 IOPS 63 IOPS + 3.7%
8 112 IOPS 98 IOPS + 14.1%
32 142 IOPS 136 IOPS + 3.7%

 

4 KB Random Write

Outstanding I/Os  WD Red
(10 TB) 
 WD Red
(6 TB) 
Difference
1 186 IOPS 58 IOPS + 222.3%
8 192 IOPS 58 IOPS + 228.7%
32 186 IOPS 57 IOPS + 224.2%
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512 KB Random Read

Outstanding I/Os  WD Red
(10 TB) 
 WD Red
(6 TB) 
Difference
1 53 IOPS 36 IOPS + 49.3%
8 72 IOPS 37 IOPS + 96.2%
32 76 IOPS 47 IOPS + 61.4%

 

512 KB Random Write

Outstanding I/Os  WD Red
(10 TB) 
 WD Red
(6 TB) 
Difference
1 59 IOPS 40 IOPS + 52.1%
8 57 IOPS 40 IOPS + 43.6%
32 60 IOPS 40 IOPS + 47.5%

Next Page > IOPS Scaling (Sequential) Performance

 

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IOPS Scaling (Sequential)

We tested the drive’s ability to tackle multiple input/output operations, comparing the 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) to the 6TB WD Red. For more performance comparisons, please take a look at The Hard Disk Drive Performance Comparison Guide.

The 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) was much faster than the 6TB WD Red in all aspects. Its performance was particularly impressive in the 4 KB sequential read test.

 

4 KB Sequential Read

Outstanding I/Os  WD Red
(10 TB) 
 WD Red
(6 TB) 
Difference
1 20,680 IOPS 12,608 IOPS + 64.0%
8 52,847 IOPS 37,207 IOPS + 42.0%
32 52,441 IOPS 36,793 IOPS + 42.5%

 

4 KB Sequential Write

Outstanding I/Os  WD Red
(10 TB) 
 WD Red
(6 TB) 
Difference
1 17,463 IOPS 12,228 IOPS + 42.8%
8 46,286 IOPS 38,668 IOPS + 19.7%
32 46,609 IOPS 38,560 IOPS + 20.9%
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512 KB Sequential Read

Outstanding I/Os  WD Red
(10 TB) 
 WD Red
(6 TB) 
Difference
1 411 IOPS 329 IOPS + 24.6%
8 411 IOPS 329 IOPS + 24.8%
32 414 IOPS 329 IOPS + 25.5%

 

512 KB Sequential Write

Outstanding I/Os  WD Red
(10 TB) 
 WD Red
(6 TB) 
Difference
1 411 IOPS 330 IOPS + 24.5%
8 412 IOPS 331 IOPS + 24.5%
32 411 IOPS 330 IOPS + 24.6%

Next Page > Our Verdict & Award, Full Specifications

 

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Our Verdict & Award

This is our second review of a helium-filled hard disk drive (after the 8TB WD Gold), and we continue to be impressed. Even from its specifications alone, we can already see a significant reduction in power consumption and noise levels. These are not minor either.

The 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) boasts 11% lower power consumption than the air-filled WD Red models at peak loads, and an astounding 46% lower power consumption during idle! It accomplished this despite packing 2-4 more platters than the other WD Red drives.

The platters of the 10TB WD Red (WD100EFAX) still spin at a relatively sedate 5400 RPM, but they have a very high areal density, boasting a storage capacity of 1.43 GB per platter. This high areal density gave it a very high throughput, allowing it to beat even the 8TB WD Gold, which has a spindle speed of 7200 RPM.

Our benchmarks show that it is one of the fastest hard disk drives in the market, beating even high-performance drives like the 6TB WD Black. This is very impressive performance for a 5400 RPM drive that is optimised for NAS systems.

The downside though is its high CPU utilisation. This is not a problem if you intend to use it in a relatively new NAS system, but it may be a problem if you pack more than two of them in an old NAS system with a slow processor. The high CPU utilisation will also be an issue if you intend to use this drive in your desktop PC.

Despite the high CPU utilisation, its stellar performance deserves our Reviewer’s Choice Award. Congratulations, Western Digital!

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The 10TB WD Red Specifications

Specifications10 TB WD Red NAS Hard Disk Drive
ModelWD100EFAX
Form Factor3.5 inch
Platter And Head Count7 Platters with 14 Read/Write Heads
Advanced Format TechnologyYes (512-byte emulation)
Formatted Capacity10 TB
Native Command QueuingYes
InterfaceSATA 6 Gb/s
Spindle Speed5400 RPM
Sustained read / write performance210 MB/s (maximum)
Cache256 MB DDR3-1600 SDRAM
Average Power ConsumptionRead / Write : 5.7 W
Idle : 2.8 W
Temperature Rating0 to 65 °C (Operating)
-40 to 70 °C (Non-Operating)
Shock RatingOperating : 65 G (half-sine wave, 2 ms)
Non-Operating : 250 G (half-sine wave, 2 ms)
AcousticsSeek : 29 dBA (average)
Idle : 20 dBA
Load / Unload Cycles600,000
Non-Recoverable Read Errors per Bits Read14
MTBF (Maximum Time Before Failure)1,000,000 hours
Rated Workload (Per Year)180 TB
Warranty3 Years
Physical Dimensions101.6 mm (4.0") wide x 147.0 mm (5.787") long x 26.1 mm (1.028") high
Weight650 g (1.43 lbs)

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The 8TB WD Gold Datacenter Drive (WD8002FRYZ) Review

WD Gold Datacenter Drives

On April 20, 2016, Western Digital launched the new WD Gold family of hard disk drives. These hard disk drives are designed for maximum performance and reliability in the highly demanding conditions of a datacenter. In fact, they are rated to handle workloads of up to 550 TB per year (1.5 TB per day), with a MTBF rating of up to 2.5 million hours!

Today, we are going to take a look at the 8TB Western Digital Gold hard disk drive. This is one of the two helium-filled WD Gold models to feature a hermetically-sealed chassis with an internal helium environment. That’s not what’s different though. For your convenience, we created a specification comparison of the WD Gold family of datacenter drives :

Specifications10TB WD Gold8TB WD Gold6TB WD Gold4TB WD Gold
ModelWD101KRYZWD8002FRYZWD6002FRYZWD4002FYYZ
HelioSeal TechnologyYesYesNoNo
Advanced Format TechnologyYes (512-byte emulation)Yes (512-byte emulation)Yes (512-byte emulation)No
Spindle Speed7200 RPM7200 RPM7200 RPM7200 RPM
Cache256 MB SDRAM128 MB SDRAM128 MB SDRAM128 MB SDRAM
Maximum Read / Write Speed249 MB/s205 MB/s226 MB/s201 MB/s
Sequential Read / Write Power Consumption7.1 W / 6.7 W7.2 W / 7.0 W9.3 W / 8.9 W9.0 W / 8.7 W
Random Read / Write Power Consumption6.8 W / 5.0 W7.4 W / 5.1 W9.1 W / 7.1 W8.8 W / 7.0 W
Acoustics (Seek / Idle)36 dBA / 20 dBA36 dBA / 20 dBA36 dBA / 29 dBA36 dBA / 29 dBA
MTBF (hours)2.5 million2.5 million2 million2 million
Warranty5 Years5 Years5 Years5 Years

Now, let’s check out the 8TB WD Gold datacenter hard disk drive!

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Unboxing The 8TB WD Gold Drive

The 8TB WD Gold (WD8002FRYZ) hard disk drive came in a sealed antistatic plastic pack. Notably, it lacked the usual sachet of desiccants. That’s because the drive is hermetically-sealed in the factory, and filled with helium. Also notable is their use of two gold-coloured screws to lock the PCB in place.

To remove the drive, just tear off the top or cut it open, and slide out the drive. Be sure to ground yourself before removing and handling the hard disk drive as static can damage it. In particular, you should try to avoid touching the exposed PCB located on the lower underside of the drive.

Next Page > The 8TB WD Gold, HelioSeal & Media Caching Technologies

 

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The 8TB WD Gold Datacenter Drive

Despite featuring a hermetically-sealed chassis, the 8TB WD Gold (WD8002FRYZ) datacenter drive looks deceptively like any other 3.5″ desktop hard disk drive. In fact, it has the same label on the top plate, with an uncovered PCB on the underside.

The label has a lot of important information, like the hard drive model, storage capacity as well as its date and place of manufacture. This particular drive was manufactured in Thailand on the 26th of March, 2016. You can also see that the drive uses the Advanced Format Technology to achieve its high storage density.

 

HelioSeal Technology

The 8TB WD Gold datacenter drive is one of the few hard disk drives in the market to feature the revolutionary HGST HelioSeal technology. It is hermetically sealed at the factory, and filled with helium. The hole, which normally serves as the breather hole in a normal “air-filled” hard disk drive, is likely the port through which the air is extracted and replaced with helium.

Because helium is only 1/7th the density of “regular air”, it allows for less friction conferring the following benefits :

  • The lower friction reduces the amount of power required to spin the platters, reducing both energy costs and thermal output.
  • Internal turbulence is greatly reduced, which makes tracking more precise and reliable. This indirectly allows for greater areal density.
  • The lower power requirement and internal turbulence allow more platters and heads to be added in the same volume of space.
  • The completely sealed environment eliminates reliability issues that can occur if breather filters get clogged up with dirt.

The only things stopping helium-filled drives from becoming mainstream are the relatively high cost of helium, and the difficulty in sealing the drive.

 

Media Caching Technology

This feature was mentioned only perfunctorily in the Western Digital press release, which led many writers to assume that they added a NAND flash cache, like the ones used in SSHDs (examples : 4TB WD Blue SSHD, 1TB WD Blue SSHD). Unfortunately, that’s not true.

The media caching technology used in the WD Gold datacenter drives are also a HGST technology, like HelioSeal. It doesn’t use any additional components, just the existing SDRAM cache and the hard disk drive platters. This is how it works :

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  • Small media cache areas are created in regular intervals across the platters. These are only visible to the drive controller, and are hidden to the computer and operating system.
  • Data written to the SDRAM cache are combined and regularly written down to the nearest media cache areas at a higher internal queue depth.
  • These dispersed media cache areas boost write performance by greatly reducing head movements as data is written to the drive.
  • The write data is simultaneously de-staged, which eliminates burst activity and their impact on reads from the platters.
  • In the event of a sudden power-off event, the media cache areas is used to quickly restore the SDRAM cache.

Generally, the media caching technology increases random write performance with a slight boost in read performance.

Next Page > SATA 6 Gb/s, What’s Under The PCB?

 

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SATA 6 Gb/s

This is a Serial ATA drive, with native support for SATA 6 Gb/s. However, it is backward-compatible so you will have no problem using it with older SATA 3 Gb/s controllers.

The SATA 6 Gb/s interface is necessary for optimal performance since the 8TB WD Gold datacenter drive boasts a maximum sustained internal (platter-to-buffer) transfer rate of 205 MB/s, and a large and fast DDR3 SDRAM cache.

Like all Serial ATA drives, it comes the standard SATA data (left) and power (right) connectors and is hot-pluggable. That means you can connect and disconnect this hard disk drive to the server, computer or NAS while it’s still running.

 

What’s Under The PCB?

Western Digital has a penchant for keeping all surface-mounted components on the reverse side of the PCB – to prevent static damage and to allow for better cooling. The PCB is protected by a thin foam cutout on the chassis side, with a thermal pad to help transfer heat from the HDD controller to the hard disk drive chassis.

The 8TB WD Gold datacenter drive uses the LSI 7101B hard disk drive controller, and the ST Microelectronics L7229 motor drive controller, which features their proprietary Smooth Drive pseudo-sinusoidal digital drive technology.

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The 8TB WD Gold datacenter drive boasts a large 128 MB SDRAM cache, courtesy of a Samsung K4B1G1646G-BCK0 chip. This is a DDR3-1600 SDRAM chip with 8 memory banks and timings of 11-11-11. This gives it a peak transfer rate of 400 MB/s.

Finally, the 8TB WD Gold datacenter drive has two shock sensors that allow it to better detect shock and vibration events, and dynamically adjust the flying height of the read/write heads to avoid head crashes.

Next Page > Testing The Drive, Usable Capacity, Platter Profile, Temperature

 

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Testing The WD Gold 8TB Datacenter Drive

Processors Intel Core i7-2600K
Motherboard Intel DP67BG
Memory Four Kingmax 2 GB DDR3-1333 modules
Graphics Card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
Hard Disk Drives 8 TB Western Digital Gold
6 TB Western Digital Black
6 TB Western Digital Red
6 TB Western Digital Green

4 TB Western Digital Red Pro
4 TB Western Digital Re
4 TB Western Digital Black Gen. 2

4 TB Western Digital Red

3 TB Western Digital Red

3 TB Western Digital Caviar Green
Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit
Microsoft Windows Vista 32-bit

 

Testing Methodology

 

Usable Capacity

The WD Gold 8TB datacenter drive has an official formatted capacity of 8,001,563,222,016 bytes. We checked that out by formatting it in NTFS using Microsoft Windows 7.

The actual formatted capacity was 8,001,427,599,360 bytes, which is about 136 MB lower than the official storage capacity. With about 338 MB allocated to the NTFS file system, the actual usable capacity remained slightly above 8 TB.

 

Platter Profile

As expected from a premium, datacenter-grade hard disk drive, the platter profile of the WD Gold 8TB datacenter drive was phenomenal. There were absolutely zero dips in throughput that would signify a significant use of replacement sectors. Lots of them would be evidence of poor platter quality.

We also compared its platter profile to that of the 6TB WD Black – Western Digital’s top-of-the-line desktop hard disk drive. We can see that the denser platters allow the 6TB WD Black to achieve a higher throughput initially, but the 8TB WD Gold equalised it at around the 3.5TB point.

Thereafter, the 8TB WD Gold was faster. In fact, at the 6TB point, the 8TB WD Gold was about 36% faster than the 6TB WD Black.

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Maximum Surface Temperature

We monitored the surface temperature of seven hard disk drives during their benchmarks. The following chart shows their operating temperature range, from idle to maximum load. Please note that instead of giving you the absolute numbers, we are showing the temperature delta, which is the difference between the actual temperature and the ambient room temperature.

Despite packing 2 additional platters than the 6TB WD Black, the 8TB WD Gold drive was significantly cooler at full load. In fact, it ran cooler than the 4 TB WD Black Gen. 2, and the 4 TB WD Red Pro drives!

This reduced thermal output (and power consumption) is a key advantage of helium-filled hard disk drives like the 8TB WD Gold drive. When deployed in the hundreds or thousands in a datacenter, the lower energy costs of running them, and keeping them cool, will be very significant.

Next Page > Transfer Rate Range, Disk WinMark Results

 

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Transfer Rate Range

This chart shows you the range of platter-to-buffer transfer rates from the innermost track to the outermost track. In other words, it shows you the range of disk transfer rates of the hard disk drives (from minimum to maximum).

The 8TB WD Gold drive has an official peak throughput of 205 MB/s, which was confirmed by our tests. In fact, it actually peaked at 209 MB/s. While that puts it ahead of most of the competition, it was still slower than the 6TB WD Black.

This is because the 8TB WD Gold uses platters with slightly lower areal density (about 1,142 GB per platter) than the 6TB WD Black, which boasts 1,200 GB per platter.

 

Business Disk WinBench 99

The 8TB WD Gold datacenter drive is not optimised for desktop applications, so it’s no wonder that it isn’t the fastest drive in this test. Even so, the 8TB Gold datacenter drive did reasonably well, coming within 12% of the 6TB WD Black.

Hard Disk Drive Model Capacity Business Disk
WinMark 99
Difference Useful Links
Western Digital Black 6 TB 26.1 MB/s + 12.0% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Green 6 TB 25.6 MB/s + 9.9% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Black 4 TB 24.0 MB/s + 3.0% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Red Pro 4 TB 23.4 MB/s + 0.4% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Gold 8 TB 23.3 MB/s Baseline Lowest $
Western Digital Re 4 TB 20.4 MB/s – 12.4% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Red 6 TB 19.4 MB/s – 16.7% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Red 4 TB 17.5 MB/s – 24.9% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Caviar Green 3 TB 16.3 MB/s – 30.0% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Red 3 TB 16.1 MB/s – 30.9% Review Lowest $
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High-End Disk WinBench 99

Again, the 8TB WD Gold was fast, but it was not exceptionally fast because it’s not optimised for desktop applications.

Hard Disk Drive Model Capacity High-End Disk
WinMark 99
Difference Useful Links
Western Digital Black 6 TB 143.0 MB/s + 7.5% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Green 6 TB 140.0 MB/s + 5.3% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Black 4 TB 138.0 MB/s + 3.8% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Red Pro 4 TB 137.0 MB/s + 3.0% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Gold 8 TB 133.0 MB/s Baseline Lowest $
Western Digital Re 4 TB 121.0 MB/s – 9.0% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Red 6 TB 121.0 MB/s – 9.0% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Red 4 TB 118.0 MB/s – 11.3% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Caviar Green 3 TB 114.0 MB/s – 14.3% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Red 3 TB 107.0 MB/s – 19.5% Review Lowest $

Next Page > IO Meter – Random Access Performance

 

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IO Meter (Random Accesses)

We compared the 8 TB Western Digital Gold to the 6 TB Western Digital Black – the fastest desktop-grade hard disk drive in Western Digital’s arsenal. For more performance comparisons, please take a look at The Hard Disk Drive Performance Comparison Guide.

 

Random Throughput

Test  WD Gold
(8 TB) 
 WD Black
(6 TB) 
Difference
512 KB Read 31.86 MB/s 31.97 MB/s – 0.3%
512 KB Write 31.34 MB/s 28.54 MB/s + 9.8%
4 KB Read 0.32 MB/s 0.32 MB/s
4 KB Write 0.74 MB/s 0.39 MB/s + 89.7%

Check out the incredible boost in the random write speed, especially for small random writes. The 8TB WD Gold delivered almost double the performance of the 6TB WD Black drive in small random writes, and a 10% boost in performance in large random writes.

This is the key advantage of the HGST media caching technology that Western Digital included into the 8TB WD Gold. This is a tremendous performance advantage in file storage servers that serve hundreds or thousands of users.

 

Random Access Time

Test  WD Gold (8 TB)   WD Black (6 TB)  Difference
512 KB Read 16.45 ms 16.39 ms + 0.3%
512 KB Write 16.73 ms 18.36 ms – 8.9%
4 KB Read 12.81 ms 12.79 ms + 0.1%
4 KB Write 5.54 ms 10.50 ms – 47.3%

As you can see, the HGST media caching technology truly has a significant effect on performance. It cut down the random access time, even though that’s a limitation imposed by physics.

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Random CPU Utilization

Test  WD Gold (8 TB)   WD Black (6 TB)  Difference
512 KB Read 0.56 % 0.60 % – 6.7%
512 KB Write 0.57 % 0.62 % – 8.1%
4 KB Read 0.35 % 0.43 % – 18.6%
4 KB Write 0.53 % 0.37 % + 43.2%

The LSI 7101B hard disk drive controller used in the 8TB WD Gold is definitely more powerful than the LSI TT07143 controller used in the 6TB Western Digital Black. The extra processing power was certainly useful in handling the extra media caching duty.

Next Page > IOMeter – Sequential Access Performance

 

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IO Meter (Sequential Accesses)

We compared the 8 TB Western Digital Gold to the 6 TB Western Digital Black – the fastest desktop-grade hard disk drive in Western Digital’s arsenal. For more performance comparisons, please take a look at The Hard Disk Drive Performance Comparison Guide.

 

Sequential Throughput

Test  WD Gold (8 TB)   WD Black (6 TB)  Difference
512 KB Read 209.29 MB/s 225.60 MB/s – 7.2%
512 KB Write 209.89 MB/s 228.38 MB/s – 8.5%
4 KB Read 90.87 MB/s 94.82 MB/s – 4.2%
4 KB Write 53.91 MB/s 84.54 MB/s – 36.2%

The WD Gold 8TB datacenter drive uses less dense platters, so its sequential throughput is understandably lower than that of the 6TB Western Digital Black. That would account for about a 5% deficit in performance, with the rest due to the drive being optimised for random writes.

In fact, we can see here that the HGST media caching technology actually results in a large drop in small sequential write performance.

 

Sequential Access Time

Test  WD Gold (8 TB)   WD Black (6 TB)  Difference
512 KB Read 2.50 ms 2.32 ms + 7.8%
512 KB Write 2.51 ms 2.29 ms + 9.4%
4 KB Read 0.04 ms 0.04 ms + 4.2%
4 KB Write 0.08 ms 0.05 ms + 56.4%

No surprises here. The 8TB WD Gold is optimised for small random writes, not small sequential writes.

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Sequential CPU Utilization

Test  WD Gold (8 TB)   WD Black (6 TB)  Difference
512 KB Read 1.25 % 1.33% – 6.0%
512 KB Write 1.41 % 1.50% – 6.0%
4 KB Read 8.66 % 8.95% – 3.2%
4 KB Write 8.59 % 9.23% – 6.9%

Again, we can see that the LSI 7101B hard disk drive controller used in the 8TB WD Gold is more powerful than the LSI TT07143 controller used in the 6TB Western Digital Black.

Next Page > IOPS Random Scaling Performance

 

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IOPS Scaling (Random)

In these tests, we tested the drive’s ability to tackle multiple input/output operations. We compared the 8 TB Western Digital Gold to the 6 TB Western Digital Black – the fastest desktop-grade hard disk drive in Western Digital’s arsenal. For more performance comparisons, please take a look at The Hard Disk Drive Performance Comparison Guide.

The LSI 7101B hard disk drive controller used in the 8TB WD Gold is definitely faster than the LSI TT07143 controller use in the 6TB WD Black. However, you can see that Western Digital optimised it for random write performance. Together with the HGST Media Caching Technology, it trades some random read performance, for a big boost in random write performance, particularly in small, random writes.

 

4 KB Random Read

Outstanding I/Os  WD Gold (8 TB)   WD Black (6 TB)  Difference
1 78 IOPS 78 IOPS – 0.1%
8 125 IOPS 132 IOPS – 5.6%
32 172 IOPS 190 IOPS – 9.5%

 

4 KB Random Write

Outstanding I/Os  WD Gold (8 TB)   WD Black (6 TB)  Difference
1 181 IOPS 95 IOPS + 89.7%
8 195 IOPS 95 IOPS + 104.2%
32 196 IOPS 96 IOPS + 104.3%
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512 KB Random Read

Outstanding I/Os  WD Gold (8 TB)   WD Black (6 TB)  Difference
1 61 IOPS 61 IOPS – 0.3%
8 89 IOPS 95 IOPS – 6.7%
32 98 IOPS 108 IOPS – 9.0%

 

512 KB Random Write

Outstanding I/Os  WD Gold (8 TB)   WD Black (6 TB)  Difference
1 60 IOPS 54 IOPS + 9.8%
8 60 IOPS 54 IOPS + 10.1%
32 62 IOPS 54 IOPS + 13.3%

Next Page > IOPS Sequential Scaling Performance

 

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IOPS Scaling (Sequential)

In these tests, we tested the drive’s ability to tackle multiple input/output operations. Again, we compared the 8 TB Western Digital Gold to the 6 TB Western Digital Black – the fastest desktop-grade hard disk drive in Western Digital’s arsenal. For more performance comparisons, please take a look at The Hard Disk Drive Performance Comparison Guide.

It is obvious that the “price” for almost doubling the small random write performance is poorer sequential read and write performance.

 

4 KB Sequential Read

Outstanding I/Os  WD Gold (8 TB)   WD Black (6 TB)  Difference
1 22,185 IOPS 23,150 IOPS – 4.2%
8 44,074 IOPS 51,435 IOPS – 14.3%
32 42,976 IOPS 51,861 IOPS – 17.1%

 

4 KB Sequential Write

Outstanding I/Os  WD Gold (8 TB)   WD Black (6 TB)  Difference
1 13,162 IOPS 20,639 IOPS – 36.2%
8 45,863 IOPS 46,924 IOPS – 2.3%
32 47,559 IOPS 55,433 IOPS – 14.2%
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512 KB Sequential Read

Outstanding I/Os  WD Gold (8 TB)   WD Black (6 TB)  Difference
1 399 IOPS 430 IOPS – 7.2%
8 400 IOPS 430 IOPS – 7.0%
32 399 IOPS 431 IOPS – 7.5%

 

512 KB Sequential Write

Outstanding I/Os  WD Gold (8 TB)   WD Black (6 TB)  Difference
1 398 IOPS 436 IOPS – 8.5%
8 395 IOPS 430 IOPS – 8.2%
32 399 IOPS 435 IOPS – 8.4%

Next Page > Our Verdict & Award, Lowest Prices, Specifications

 

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Our Verdict & Award

This is our first review of a helium-filled hard disk drive, and we are very impressed. Even from its specifications alone, we can already see a significant reduction in power consumption and noise levels. These are not minor either.

The helium-filled 8TB WD Gold (WD8002FRYZ) datacenter drive boasts 22% lower power consumption, and is half as loud as the air-filled WD Gold models when they are not seeking. We confirmed these claims during our tests, noting how quiet it was, and how it ran almost as cool as 5400 RPM hard disk drives despite packing 3-4 additional platters than the drives we compared it to!

The 8TB WD Gold datacenter drive achieves its tremendous storage capacity, not by increasing areal density, but by packing 2 additional platters. This is only made possible by filling it with helium, reducing turbulence and friction.

While this allows Western Digital to quickly increase storage capacity, it doesn’t help with its performance. That’s why it was slightly slower than top-of-the-line desktop drives like the 6TB Western Digital Black. That doesn’t meant that the 8TB WD Gold datacenter drive is a slow drive. Far from it. It is a fast drive, but not in the way we expect.

The 8TB WD Gold datacenter drive is optimised for datacenter applications. Hence, it features the HGST media caching technology which trades sequential write performance for a big boost in its small random write performance. This is not a very useful trade-off for desktop users, but a big boon to servers that handle hundreds or thousands of users.

The 8TB WD Gold datacenter drive would be overkill for home or office users, even for NAS applications. But there is no doubt that it would offer a big boost in performance and a tremendous reduction in TCO (Total Cost of Ownership), considering its significantly lower power consumption and thermal output per TB of storage. In light of that, we think the WD Gold 8TB datacenter drive deserves no less than our Reviewer’s Choice Award! Congratulations, Western Digital!

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The 8TB WD Gold Specifications

SpecificationsWD Gold 8TB Datacenter Hard Disk Drive
ModelWD8002FRYZ
Form Factor3.5 inch
Platter And Head Count7 Platters with 14 Read/Write Heads
Advanced Format TechnologyYes (512-byte emulation)
Available Sectors15,628,053,168 (512-byte emulation) sectors
1,953,506,646 (4,096-byte physical) sectors
Formatted Capacity8,001,563,222,016 bytes
Native Command QueuingYes
InterfaceSATA 6 Gb/s
Spindle Speed7200 RPM
Sustained read / write performance205 MB/s (maximum)
Cache128 MB DDR3-1600 SDRAM
Average Power ConsumptionSequential read : 7.2 W
Sequential write : 7.0 W
Random read / write : 7.4 W
Idle : 5.1 W
Temperature Rating5 to 60 °C (Operating)
-40 to 70 °C (Non-Operating)
Shock RatingOperating : 70 G (half-sine wave, 2 ms)
Non-Operating : 300 G (half-sine wave, 1 ms) / 150 G (half-sine wave, 11 ms)
AcousticsSeek : 36 dBA (average)
Idle : 20 dBA
Load / Unload Cycles600,000
Non-Recoverable Read Errors per Bits Read15
MTBF (Maximum Time Before Failure)2,500,000 hours
AFR (Average Failure Rate)0.35%
Warranty5 Years
Physical Dimensions101.6 mm (4.0") wide x 147.0 mm (5.787") long x 26.1 mm (1.028") high
Weight650 g (1.43 lbs)

 

Lowest Prices


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10TB WD Purple Helium-Filled Surveillance Drive Launched!

Western Digital Corporation (NASDAQ: WDC), a storage industry leader, today announced the availability of the 10TB WD Purple HDD, the newest member of its high-capacity hard drive line for surveillance applications.

With increased capacity and proven leading-edge technology, the 10TB WD Purple (Lowest Price) HDD is optimized for 24×7 video surveillance systems and up to 64 high-definition (HD) cameras in home and small business security environments.

 

The 10TB WD Purple

Optimized to withstand the demands of always-on DVR and NVR recording environments, the new 10TB WD Purple (Lowest Price) hard disk drives offer low power consumption, exclusive WD technologies and many advanced performance features including:

  • AllFrame 4K Technology – AllFrame 4K technology enhances ATA streaming support to help reduce video frame loss with proprietary cache policy management technology to improve overall data flow and playback. 10TB WD Purple (Lowest Price) HDDs include exclusive firmware enhancements that help protect against video pixilation and interruptions within a surveillance system.
  • HelioSeal Technology – Enabling higher storage capacity and lower power consumption, the 10TB WD Purple (Lowest Price) HDD uses the third generation of HelioSeal technology, which has been shipping for over three years and on over 12 million drives as of December 2016.
  • Scalable Surveillance Systems – Designed for 24×7 operations with support for multi-bay systems with an annualized workload rating of 180 TB/year and tarnish-resistant components, 10TB WD Purple (Lowest Price) drives are ready for use in demanding high-performance, high-definition small- or large-scale surveillance systems

Don’t forget to read our article on the WD Purple family of drives – Is Your Hard Disk Drive Optimised For CCTV Recording?

Engineered for Compatibility

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Built for easy integration into new or existing video surveillance systems, WD Purple hard drives are designed and tested to surveillance-class standards and are compatible with industry-leading chassis and chip-sets. Without a current industry standard, WD worked closely with surveillance partners to develop a proprietary benchmark to define and demonstrate performance in surveillance systems.

 

10TB WD Purple Price and Availability

The 10TB WD Purple (Lowest Price) HDDs are shipping now and available in Malaysia. With the new 10TB drive, the WD Purple surveillance-class line is available in capacities ranging from 1TB up to 10TB, all covered by a three-year limited warranty.

The suggested Retail Price (SRP) for the 3.5-inch 10TB WD Purple (WD100PURZ) hard disk drive is RM 2,099 / ~US$ 49910TB WD PurpleGet the lowest Price here!

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10TB WD Red & Red Pro Helium-Filled Drives Launched!

Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC) today announced the 10TB WD Red (Lowest Price) and 10TB WD Red Pro (Lowest Price) NAS hard drives lineup with the introduction of 10TB capacity models optimized for use in personal, home and small to medium business NAS systems.

Western Digital has shipped more than 15 million helium-based high capacity drives into multiple applications, including for NAS systems, to date and is continuing to support customers with higher capacities and outstanding reliability. The WD Red line of NAS hard drives allow customers to scale up or down to meet their changing NAS storage needs.

 

10TB WD Red / Red Pro NAS Hard Drive

Designed with Western Digital’s HelioSeal helium-technology, the 10TB WD Red (Lowest Price) hard disk drive provides higher capacity and performance to meet the increasing storage needs of always-on, single-to-8-bay NAS systems. The helium-based design enables a 25% capacity increase from the 8TB WD Red NAS storage drive.

With support for up to 16 bays in tower- and rack-based systems, the 10TB WD Red Pro (Lowest Price) hard disk drive delivers the same high performance, reliability and capacity to systems operating in up to 16 bay NAS systems. Here are their key features and specifications of the 10 TB WD Red / WD Red Pro drives :

  • HelioSeal: Bringing Western Digital’s fourth generation, exclusive HelioSeal technology in 10TB capacity to the NAS storage market
  • 3D Active Balance Plus, an enhanced balance control technology that improves overall drive performance and reliability
  • Seamless integration with Western Digital’s My Cloud Pro Series NAS and My Cloud Expert Series NAS systems designed specifically for the creative community to enable seamless transfer of content between devices in any location, whether users are shooting remotely or editing at home
  • NASware 3.0, an enhanced version of WD’s original NASware technology, designed to improve reliability and system performance, reduce customer downtime and to simplify the integration process
  • Optimized performance class – 5400 RPM class for SOHO environments, 7200 RPM class for up to 16 bay NAS systems

The 10TB WD Red (Lowest Price) and 10TB WD Red Pro (Lowest Price) drives are finalizing compatibility testing with a number of leading NAS system providers.

 

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Price & Availability

The new 10TB WD Red (Lowest Price) and 10TB WD Red Pro (Lowest Price) hard disk drives are available in July at selected retailers and distributors.

The 10TB  WD Red (model #: WD100EFAX) hard disk drives feature a three-year limited warranty and a RM 2,249 (inclusive of GST) / ~US$ 539 manufacturer’s suggested retail price. Get the lowest price here!

The 10TB WD Red Pro (model #: WD101KFBX) hard disk drives feature a five-year limited warranty and a RM 2,449 (inclusive of GST) / ~US$ 589 MSRP. Get the lowest price here!

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WD Gold – The Gold Standard In HDD Technology

Hard disk drives have evolved into many distinct families to cater to different requirements – performance, low cost storageNAS, surveillance, etc. They often emphasise one attribute over others, to meet the requirements of their target market, while keeping costs low. But what if you wanted nothing but the best in hard disk drive technology? That’s where datacenter-grade hard disk drives like WD Gold come in.

Qualified for nearline storage use in datacenters, datacenter hard disk drives like WD Gold (Lowest Price) are designed to offer high storage capacities at maximum performance and reliability while operating continuously 24 hours a day. Virtually no expense is spared in making these drives the gold standard in HDD technology. That is likely why Western Digital gave their datacenter drives the WD Gold moniker.

Let’s take a quick look at why the WD Gold drives are the best hard disk drives in the industry.

 

Industry-Leading Storage Capacity

The WD Gold (lowest price on Amazon) is available in storage capacities from just 1 TB, all the way to the industry-leading storage capacity of 10 TB.

 

Constant Peak Performance

Unlike desktop-grade performance hard disk drives, the WD Gold (Lowest Price) is designed for peak performance at all times. While they may be classified as datacenter hard disk drives, the WD Gold drives can certainly be used in any desktop or consumer system.

On top of a 7,200 RPM spindle speed, the WD Gold also boasts a large (128 MB or 256 MB) SDRAM cache, and the HGST Media Caching Technology. They both help to sustain a high read and write throughput from the WD Gold drives.

 

Less Noise & Vibration, Lower Power Consumption

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The WD Gold (Lowest Price) is built around the revolutionary HGST HelioSeal technology, which seals the drive and fills it with helium. Because it is only 1/7th the density of “regular air”, helium imparts the following advantages to the WD Gold drives :

  • less friction for the spinning platters, reducing power consumption and thermal output
  • less internal turbulence, allowing for more reliable head-to-platter tracking
  • more capacity because more platters and drive heads can be fitted in the same volume of space
  • the completely sealed environment eliminates reliability issues from outside contaminants

 

24×7 Reliability

The WD Gold (Lowest Price) drives are designed to handle high workloads (up to 550 TB per year) continuously for years. They boast a phenomenal mean time before failure (MTBF) of 2.5 million hours. That is partly due to vibration control technologies like the Enhanced RAFF (Rotary Acceleration Feed Forward) technology, and extensive testing.

To ensure the best possible 24×7 reliability, the WD Gold (Lowest Price) drives undergo rigorous tests in the factory before they are certified for use. They are also extensively tested with a wide variety of systems, controllers and adapters to ensure maximum compatibility and ease-of-installation into any storage system.

 

Our Choice

The WD Gold (lowest price on Amazon) is designed for the most arduous and demanding conditions in the datacenter, but it doesn’t mean you can’t use it in a less-demanding desktop environment. In fact, tech enthusiasts who want nothing but the best hard disk drive and can afford to pay for the bespoke quality, can buy and use the WD Gold in their desktops or even NAS systems!

We tested the WD Gold extensively in our 10-page review, and came away very impressed with its performance. It was not just fast, it was also quiet and it ran really cool. That is why we awarded it our Reviewer’s Choice Award.

Now, the lower cost of ownership may not matter much for a desktop user with a couple of WD Gold drives, but it matters a great deal if you are running a datacenter with tens of thousands of servers. The WD Gold (Lowest Price) drives will not just reduce downtime from drive failures, they will greatly reduce the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership).

For more information, you can take a look at our in-depth review, or visit the official WD Gold product page.

 

Disclosure

This post was sponsored by Western Digital.

 

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WD HelioSeal Technology Expands Storage Capacity to 8TB

2 March 2016 – Western Digital Corporation today announced the expansion of its award-winning portfolio of performance storage solutions with 8TB capacity drives for NAS, video surveillance and desktop external applications. Increasingly centralized, rich-content, which continues to grow in popularity among enterprises, small business and consumers alike, is driving demand for greater storage capacities.

Launching throughout the first half of 2016, My Cloud personal storage devices (My Cloud, My Cloud Mirror, My Cloud EX2 Ultra), My Book external hard drives (My Book, My Book for Mac, My Book Duo and My Book Pro), WD Red, WD Red Pro and WD Purple hard drives will all be designed with the new high-capacity configuration. Each storage solution offers purpose-driven engineering and HelioSeal helium-technology with the new 8TB drives for maximum and efficient performance in the applications for which each model is designed.

The increase to 8TB or 16TB (with two 8TB drives in RAID 0) capacity applies to the following WD products:

 

External Hard Drives

  • [adrotate banner=”4″]My Book/My Book for Mac -– An external hard drive solution that provides complete backup and storage with USB connectivity.
  • My Book Duo/My Book Pro – Dual-drive external hard drive solutions which provide ultra-fast storage in RAID-0 and complete backup and storage with USB and/or Thunderbolt connectivity and up to 16TB capacity.
  • My Cloud/My Cloud Mirror – A personal storage device that plugs into your router at home to provide consumers with their very own private cloud.
  • My Cloud EX2 Ultra – As part of the creative professional series of My Cloud products, the My Cloud EX2 Ultra provides high-performance two-bay network attached storage.

 

Internal Hard Drives

  • WD Purple – Engineered for 24/7, always-on, high-definition surveillance security systems that use up to eight hard drives and up to 32 cameras
  • WD Red – Optimized for personal, home and small business NAS (network attached storage) systems
  • WD Red Pro – Optimized for small business and enterprise class NAS systems with high performance and reliability.

 

Availability and Pricing

My Book 8TB will be available in March at select retailers and is distributed by Eternal Asia (M) Sdn Bhd in Malaysia. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) for the My Book 8TB (model #: WDBFJK0080HBK) is RM 1,499.00 (~US$ 359).

My Cloud, My Book for Mac, My Book Duo, My Book Pro, WD Red and WD Purple 8TB configurations will be available during the first half of 2016.

 

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