Conclusion, Pricing, and Thoughts
- Outstanding performance from the Red Pro line, on-par with enterprise units.
- Quiet, vibration free operation.
- Great sequential read and write speeds.
- Supported in 8-bay (Red) and 16-bay (Red Pro) configurations.
- 3-Year (Red) / 5-year (Red Pro) warranty with 24/7 support hotline.
- 6TB Red could not be properly evaluated due to a firmware issue we discovered early in our evaluation of the drive.
Pricing and Availability:
Intro MSRP's are as follows:
Red (new higher capacities only):
- 3.5" 6TB: $299 ($0.050/GB)
- 3.5" 5TB: $249 ($0.050/GB)
Red Pro (all introduced capacities):
- 3.5" 4TB: $259 ($0.065/GB)
- 3.5" 3TB: $199 ($0.066/GB)
- 3.5" 2TB: $159 ($0.080/GB)
Note that these are intro MSRP's and will likely come down a bit once they are on the market for a bit (this especially applies to the Red Pro, which is currently priced above the street price of the equivalent WD SE).
Red: Standard Western Digital 3-year Warranty (plus 24/7 support hotline specific to Reds)
Red Pro: Western Digital 5-year Warranty (plus 24/7 support hotline specific to Reds)
It's great to see Western Digital expand the capacities of the Red all the way up to 6TB. The upgraded NASware 3.0, extending support to NAS devices up to 8-bays is also a welcome addition. An additional bonus was the new Red Pro line, which is essentially high performance enterprise internals hiding under a red label – supported in arrays of up to 16 drives thanks to hardware vibration compensation. The Red Pro performed extremely well in our tests, but a firmware configuration bug present in the 5TB and 6TB Reds prevented us from seeing the full potential of those new higher capacities. We are expecting a firmware fix from Western Digital in the very near future, and will revisit the 6TB Red results at that time.
I'm awarding Gold to the Red Pro for delivering enterprise-level performance under a lower-cost and more consumer friendly label. The jury is still out on the 5TB and 6TB Red until we can re-test on updated firmware for those models.