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Western Digital's 18TB Hard Drive Breaks Cover With $648 Price Tag

WD Gold

WD Gold (Image credit: Western Digital)

The WD Gold 18TB (WD181KRYZ) is one of the biggest hard drives on the market right now. Although the hard drive has yet to be spotted on U.S. soil, it's already listed at an overseas retailer, along with the 16TB (WD161KRYZ) variant.

The WD Gold 18TB belongs to Western Digital's Gold family. It comes in the 3.5-inch presentation just like your conventional SATA III hard drive. However, the WD Gold 18TB is specifically designed to operate 24/7 under the most demanding and gruesome conditions.

Unlike other WD drives that have gained a bad reputation for utilizing shingled magnetic recording (SMR) technology, the Gold drives leverage conventional magnetic recording (CMR). Therefore, you won't have to worry about the performance hit that's associated with SMR drives under continuous workloads.

Western Digital Gold Specifications

Model NumberCapacityData Transfer RateCache
WD181KRYZ18TB262 MBps512MB
WD161KRYZ16TB269 MBps512MB
WD141KRYZ14TB267 MBps512MB
WD121KRYZ12TB255 MBps256MB
WD102KRYZ10TB262 MBps256MB
WD8004FRYZ8TB255 MBps256MB
WD6003FRYZ6TB255 MBps256MB
WD4003FRYZ4TB255 MBps256MB
WD2005FBYZ2TB200 MBps128MB
WD1005FBYZ1TB184 MBps128MB

Similar to the other Gold variants, the WD Gold 18TB is a 7,200 RPM hard drive. However, the drive's exact specifications are unknown. Western Digital hasn't updated its product page to reflect the 18TB and 16TB models.

For reference, the WD Gold 14TB, which is currently the largest drive on the list, comes equipped with a 512MB cache and flaunts a data transfer rate up to 267 MBps. We expect the higher capacity models to match -- if not surpass -- the 14TB drive's numbers here.

SPAN, a retailer in the U.K., sells the WD Gold 18TB and 16TB for $648 and $578 excluding VAT (value-added tax), respectively. This comes down to $0.036 per gigabyte on both models. The drives should be fairly cheaper in the U.S., since hardware is generally more expensive in Europe. For comparison, SPAN listed the WD Gold 14TB for $503, when the same drive only costs $449.95 in the U.S. That's a 11.78% price difference.

If we apply the same difference to the listed WD Gold 18TB and 16TB drivers, they could end up costing around $580 and $517, respectively, once they hit the shelves in the U.S. As it is the norm with WD Gold drives, Western Digital backs them up with a limited five-year warranty.