Western Digital Hard Disks:

What do all the colors mean?

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New HDDs are coming, we now have 6 TB HDDs, and even helium filled 8 TB – HDDs are here to stay – as their Cost per GB are still incomparable to any SSDs regardless of generation or type of NAND Flash used. HDDs are undoubtedly here to stay for many years to come.

Selection

Now with such a wide selection of HDDs, it seems a bit confusing as to what capacity and performance bracket you require to finish the task at hand. Picking the best possible mechanical drive should be a concern for everyone. In the following, we will discuss the differences between WD’s color coded HDDs – mainly the Blue, Black, Red, Purple, and the Gold (unofficial) Data Center Drives. The differences are pretty straightforward to understand.

WD BLUE HDD: 

“Solid performance and reliability for everyday computing.” is the name of the game for the WD Blue HDDs. Lin Haw currently does not carry these, and remember that we can always bring them in for you: just call us to ask.

WD BLACK HDD: 

If you are more in search of performance than a better price per GB ratio, then the WD Black is the drive for you. The drive starts at 1 TB of capacity, going all the way up to 5 TB and 6 TB models. These drives also feature larger cache compared to the Blues with 64 – 128 MB cache.

The WD Black family features 5 years of warranty.

WD RED & RED PRO: 

The WD Red is built specifically for NAS or Network Assisted Storage. This drive is fully compatible with the majority of NAS systems or bay systems out there. Since NAS is also about capacity, the WD Red family features a minimum of 750 GB capacity model, with good increments up to the 8 TB version. Basic and intermediate RAID configuration is also supported, with 24/7 reliability under NAS conditions.

WD PURPLE & PURPLE NV: 

The WD Purple family is mean specifically for surveillance applications: it is built to operate around the clock 24/7, and to withstand a harsher physical environment than the other drives.

In the purple HDD family, errors in saving the recording videos are minimized with WD’s AllFrame technology. Both WD Purple and Purple NV feature a 3-year warranty.

WD DATACENTER (RE SE & AE): 

The WD Datacenter HDD family cater for enterprise solutions. These drives are available in 3 sub families with the WD Re being the fastest, while the WD Se goes for the middle ground between performance, and cost effectiveness in the series. The WD Ae however, are optimized for cold storage – meaning that those drives are specifically for archiving purposes. While it’s not officially stated by WD, Gold should be the denominating color of these Datacenter drives.

Make no mistake, though, as these drives feature the most sophisticated WD features. For example, the WD Re could handle 550 TB per year of data, with 2 million hours MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures). The drive also features StableTrac™ technology, Multi-axis shock sensor, and Dynamic fly height technology for the read and write head. Basically, these drives feature the most advanced WD technologies to date.

OTHER WD DRIVES: 

WD also offers drives specifically for A/V streamers, along with a few SSHDs and the 10, 000 RPM WD VelociRaptors: feel free to contact Lin Haw with enquiries about these. The WD Green family of drives has now been absorbed by the WD Blue family.

In Summary 

Blues are for general purpose storage, Blacks are for gaming, content creation, and enthusiasts, Reds are for NAS, Purple is for surveillance, and Gold (unofficial) are for industry movers with data center applications in mind. Check out our current selection of HDD here.