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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
WD181KRYZ18TB??
WD161KRYZ16TB??
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.

  • Alvar "Miles" Udell
    These the first MAMR drives?
    Reply
  • Carlos Enrique
    Price is too unfair. I'll have to wait.
    Reply
  • Kamen Rider Blade
    I could get a Toshiba 16 TB Enterprise HDD @ $388 on NewEgg in the US.

    How does this WD Gold 18 TB justify it's existence @ $648?

    It's not like WD is going Multi-Actuator for a real Speed Boost to saturate the SATA Interface.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    Imagine the rebuild time on RAID arrays of those, got to run at least N+2 RAID6 or equivalent to feel reasonably confident you won't get screwed by a second drive failure before rebuild is complete.
    Reply
  • Mr5oh
    Kamen Rider Blade said:
    I could get a Toshiba 16 TB Enterprise HDD @ $388 on NewEgg in the US.

    How does this WD Gold 18 TB justify it's existence @ $648?

    It's name and reliability. I'm using a 14 TB Gold drive as my data / Steam drive on my main machine. Still have to pick up a second larger drive as the one I back up to in that machine is a 10 TB HGST drive and I'd like something a bit larger.

    When I asked about the HGST drives and the Gold drives on the LTT forum as I was looking for a good source for them I was told similar things, there are much cheaper drives, why but those. My data is important to me, the price difference isn't that much over the lifespan of the drive (knock on wood), so I got the "better" one. Is it actually "better"? That's debatable for some.
    Reply
  • nofanneeded
    InvalidError said:
    Imagine the rebuild time on RAID arrays of those, got to run at least N+2 RAID6 or equivalent to feel reasonably confident you won't get screwed by a second drive failure before rebuild is complete.

    Thats why you dont RAID high capacity drives ... anyways 10K rpm SAS drives are maxed out at 2.4 TB
    Reply
  • nofanneeded
    Mr5oh said:
    It's name and reliability. I'm using a 14 TB Gold drive as my data / Steam drive on my main machine. Still have to pick up a second larger drive as the one I back up to in that machine is a 10 TB HGST drive and I'd like something a bit larger.

    When I asked about the HGST drives and the Gold drives on the LTT forum as I was looking for a good source for them I was told similar things, there are much cheaper drives, why but those. My data is important to me, the price difference isn't that much over the lifespan of the drive (knock on wood), so I got the "better" one. Is it actually "better"? That's debatable for some.

    What name and reliability ? you can find 16TB Enterprise SAS 12 !!! drives from seagate for $420

    https://www.newegg.com/seagate-exos-x16-st16000nm002g-16tb/p/N82E16822184808#
    Reply
  • spongiemaster
    Kamen Rider Blade said:
    I could get a Toshiba 16 TB Enterprise HDD @ $388 on NewEgg in the US.

    How does this WD Gold 18 TB justify it's existence @ $648?

    $648 is unlikely to be the actual price. As the article mentioned, that's a converted price which will likely end up lower in the US. How much do competing 18TB drives cost? That's why this one will have a price premium. Highest capacity always carries a non-linear price increase.
    Reply
  • spongiemaster
    nofanneeded said:
    Thats why you dont RAID high capacity drives ... anyways 10K rpm SAS drives are maxed out at 2.4 TB
    10k drives use smaller platters which result in lower capacity. Development has basically ceased as well because SSD's have replaced high RPM mechanical drives in the enterprise. The current generation of 10k drives was released 3 years ago which is also right around the time Seagate officially killed off its 15k drives.

    Cloud based storage servers are largely high capacity 7200 RPM drives in some form of RAID.

    https://www.backblaze.com/b2/hard-drive-test-data.html
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    nofanneeded said:
    Thats why you dont RAID high capacity drives ...
    Tell that to Blackblaze and its 17+3 storage pods.
    Reply