Western Digital Red 10TB And 8TB NAS HDD Review


There are several things to consider when you're comparing hard drives for your NAS. First, pricing is exceptionally important due to the magnified expense of buying more than one drive for each system. Reliability, and its close cousin, reputation, are a close second. Performance is often an afterthought for home users, but it plays a larger role if you are running applications either on or through the NAS.

Price is a big part of the equation because mass storage is expensive. It doesn't matter if you pay for an eight-bay NAS with small drives or buy a smaller NAS with larger drives. You pay somewhere. The first step in building a NAS is the extensive research and planning involved if you go the DIY route. You can always go the more expensive but easier route and buy Western Digital's complete systems that come loaded and configured from the factory.

We often see a price drop on the existing models when new products come to market with a new capacity tier. That works out in our favor. The new 10TB Red 10TB currently sells for $380, which comes to $1,520 for a four-drive array. Dropping a capacity tier, the 8TB Red drives sell for $247 each, so a five-drive array costs just $1,235. Provided your NAS supports five drives, it would be better and cheaper to use five 8TB Red drives instead of four 10TB drives. You will gain more usable storage capacity and even gain a slight performance advantage in most cases.

Western Digital's reputation for reliability is also important. A recurring case study from cloud provider Backblaze has moved this from simple word-of-mouth to quantifiable reliability statistics. The reports are far from ideal, but they are the best we have. HDD vendors have historically hidden this type of data from the public eye but Backblaze has ignored the potential fallout and given us an extensive look behind the curtain. Western Digital and HGST products perform very well in the reports I've read over the last few years.

The new Helium-filled Red series appears to be tuned to favor high sequential performance more than random workloads. The Reds are a great fit if you're looking for a drive to handle core NAS features and very little application work. If you plan to use heavy virtualization or use the NAS for applications, it would be better to look at Red Pro or true enterprise models like the new Gold series. With that said, the Red family has progressed to a point where the performance is more than most of us can use. Just as NAS systems have overachieved through increased processor performance and features, the Red product line has done the same. The new Helium-filled 10TB and 8TB Reds are often faster than the Red Pro 6TB that WD released just a few years ago.


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  • royalflush1993
    How many platters are in them?
  • royalflush1993
    How many platters are in them?
  • Ronald_31
    Would have liked to see Red PRO models included in the review.
  • Giroro
    It's a shame these aren't 7200 RPM. Are there 7200 RPM drives out there with the helium goodness?
  • AndyWiryaPeaceful
    These drives are meant to be used in a quiet RAID environment. If you want 7200RPM RAID Drives for editing / rendering, you should use WD RE series instead.
  • blackmagnum
    I have no want for them as my entertainment needs get streamed from the internet.
  • kellysi
    I had a Western Digital a few years back and had problems with sectors, basically, it wasn't usable, that put me off for good, I do realize that might have been just my bad luck.
  • mitch074
    I've just built a Synology NAS for myself using a couple 8Tb Red - happy as a clam! I have 2 extra bays free in the NAS, and Synology allows transparent migration from a RAID-1 array to a RAID-5 one, so I can drop 16 Tb of extra storage tomorrow and get them as pure storage with better performance. Happy!
  • MichaelElfial
    ANDYWIRYAPEACEFUL, the 7200 rpm will probably be a minus for the Reds. These are the only series that give you HDD with a significantly lower power consumption - just check the specs and check the NAS disks from Seagate for instance or any other model you choose. Yes the specs are mostly correct, I have 6 DIY boxes that one can call NAS or NAS-like (in some cases ;) ) and both the power consumption and temperatures are notably lower than boxes filled with other disks. The performance is good, especially for storage and not great, but acceptable for application usage as the review said - it applies to the old models even more. The balance of the features is Ok in my opinion and speeding the platters up will only give you something like a not so good equivalent to the new Gold series. The Golds are very quiet, but their temperatures are not as low as with the Reds, they are also faster and much better in random access scenarios - much better than what you would expect from just speeding up the rotation. So, every scenario has its specific demands and after using these for a few years I find them quite well designed for the most NAS usage scenarios. as for the bad sectors KELLYSI mentioned - I had some problems too, but in each case (thankfully) everything was corrected after full format (takes a lot of time with these capacities) - from 10+ Reds this happened to only one and it was from the first 3TB models (6TB were not available yet).
  • mras
    Would love to have seen HGST He12 or He10 included.
    They sell for less here, and is remarkable quiet (about same, or lower, as my current WD green 5400rpm, that they replaced, vs the 7200rpm).
    They use quite low power as well.
    And yes, i would else agree with 5400rpm is better for consumers for archive usage.