Western Digital has expanded their line of Red harddrives, which are specifically targeted towards the NAS customers looking to build smaller drive arrays but with lower cost drives. A few days ago, Western Digital announced that they would be expanding their WD Red line to add a 4TB drive capacity into the mix of their 3.5" sized drives, which we reviewed
when WD introduced the WD Red line of drives.
The addition of a 4TB capacity increases the overall maximum theoretical array sizes by 25% and further extends the value proposition of these drives. You could always use one of WD's enterprise drives like their RE or SE, however those enterprise drives will end up costing you more money per gigabyte and may not necessarily deliver the performance that you are looking for in the case of the SE drive. The WD Red drives have a very specific sweet spot and it looks like Western Digital is looking to expand their scope by the addition of the 2.5" formfactor which comes in both a 750GB and 1TB capacity. These drives are more intended for smaller formfactor builds where 2.5" slots are the only ones available or smaller formfactor external RAID boxes which are designed to be more compact and space saving. Admittedly, a 1TB Red drive doesn't really sound nearly as interesting as a 4TB drive and I'm fairly sure that you would need a lot more 2.5" 1TB drives to match a 3.5" 4TB drive in terms of RAID and overall space taken up.
These drives and the previously available capacities will also be updated to WD's new NASware 2.0 which will further improve the drive's ability to operate in NAS scenarios to reduce heat, noise and improve performance. The drives are already shipping through select distributors and retailers and will cost $99 for the 1TB 2.5" drive, $79 for the 750GB 2.5" drive and $229 for the 4TB 3.5" drive. As you can tell, the value proposition for the 4TB drive versus the 1TB drive is significantly greater with four 1TB 2.5" drives costing almost double the price of a single 4TB drive and likely taking up the same if not more space.
We're glad to see Western Digital expanding their line to finally include a 4TB drive solution. Having something like four or five of the WD Red 4TB drives would be great to have in almost any NAS box or personal NAS computer for archiving and media delivery.
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