Conclusion, Pricing, and Final Thoughts

Conclusion:

PROS:

  • Excellent sequentials (finally beating the 10K RPM Velociraptor!)
  • Larger DRAM cache enables best-in-class IOPS performance
  • 5 year warranty (great to see on a mechanical storage device)

CONS:

  • Higher power consumption / heat output of 7200 RPM drives must be considered in the system build (any object drawing 10W of power with no cooling will run hot).

Pricing:

Intro MSRP's:

Black:

  • 5TB: $264 ($0.053/GB)
  • 6TB: $294 ($0.049/GB)

Red Pro:

  • 5TB: $269 ($0.054/GB)
  • 6TB: $299 ($0.050/GB)

With the Red Pro coming in at only $5 more than the Black, I'm inclined to suggest the Red Pro for single drive usage to anyone who has the slightest possibility of migrating the drive to a RAID-1 (or larger) at some point in the future. Regardless of warranty or track record, you never want 5-6TB of your data relying on a single device.

Warranty:

  • 5 years!

Final Thoughts:

Western Digital continues to show they can simultaneously innovate and iterate across all of their product lines. While my go-to recommendation for low cost bulk storage will stay with the slower spinning Red and Green models, those looking for high performance storage in the 5TB and 6TB capacities can't go wrong with the new Black edition drives. Those needing more performance from their NAS or RAID should definitely go with the Red Pro, provided they can handle the added power draw and heat output that comes with 7200 RPM drive speeds. With a 5-year warranty and coming in at a competitive cost/GB, you really can't go wrong with either of these new models!

Awarding gold here as my default recommendation to the majority of bulk data storage use cases remains with the more power efficient Red and Green lines.

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