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Western Digital WD RED 8TB NAS HDD Review

Western Digital WD RED 8TB HDD Review

The WD RED series by Western Digital is one that we’ve already have a lot of looks at. That doesn’t mean that we can’t have another one, does it? Today I’m putting the 8TB HDD through the paces and benchmarks.


The WD RED series is designed and intended for use with NAS devices. While that’s said, it doesn’t prevent you from using them in your desktop or other systems. They’re just optimised for the type of usage that happens in a NAS. They’re also safeguarded against issues that could happen in such a setup.

In the 3.5-inch form factor, the drive is available from 1TB to 10TB, allowing you to find a match for your setup. You can’t just pick the size, you can also pick the level of performance you want. There is a normal version as well as Pro which comes with slightly better figures.

Built for Storage

WD RED are built with NASware 3.0, as Western Digital call it. The technology is purpose-built to balance performance and reliability in NAS and RAID environments. It is certified for 24/7 usage which is important for such systems. And it doesn’t matter whether they’re NAS, RAID enclosures, or just single drives. At the same time, they are engineered to run cool and quiet while offering perfect compatibility with NAS devices.

As I said above, there is nothing which prevents you from using this drive in your desktop, but you shouldn’t do such a thing in reverse. Don’t put desktop drives into your NAS. Multi-drive devices such as NAS’ can catch these vibrations which can affect performance and reliability of the drives.

To combat this, we have the 3D Active Balance Plus. This dual-plane balance control maintains the drive’s performance over time and protects it from excessive vibrations and noise.

With all this, WD is able to rate the drive for usage in enclosures with up to 8 drive bays. Eight times 8TB makes 64TB raw capacity, a nice number any day!

Performance and Endurance

Let us talk about the performance for a while. Right out of the box, we know that the WD RED won’t be the fastest HDD. The fact that it is based on 5400 RPM tells us that. The WD RED Pro, for example, is a 7200RPM drive. That said, there’s a reason for this. A slower speed means less noise and a more noise-friendly environment in return.

The 8TB version is packed with 256MB cache. This is the same as the 10TB model, but four times that of the 6TB drive. And in speed, we get a sustained transfer speed of 210MB/s in return.

Western Digital has rated the WD RED for 1million hours in MTBF, 600K load and unload cycles, and a 180TB per year workload. As far as warranty goes, the WD RED is backed by 3 years while the Pro is backed by 5 years.

Where Should I Use a Drive Like This?

This is an easy question to answer for the WD RED by Western Digital. Any multi-bay storage enclosure will be the perfect home for such a drive. Whether it’s a NAS or DAS. You could also use it in your PC for extra storage, backups, or even your steam library. Sure, it’s no where close to modern SSD speeds, but it still delivers a good result which is plenty for game loading.

What Did Company Have to Say?

MVP OF NAS. There’s a WD Red drive for every compatible NAS system to help fulfill your data storage needs. With drives up to 10TB, WD Red offers a wide array of solutions for customers looking to build a high performing NAS storage solution. Built for single-bay to 8-bay NAS systems, WD Red packs the power to store your precious data in one powerhouse unit. With WD Red, you’re ready for what’s next..”

Feature Highlights

  • Up to 10TB capacity (8TB version reviewed)
  • NASware 3.0 technology for optimal usage in up to 8-bay enclosures
  • Sustained transfer speeds of up to 210MB/s
  • 256MB cache and 5400RPM spindle speed


The specifications are valid at the time of this review, but might be subject to changes in possible reivisions of the product. Changes are rare, but can happen.

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Bohs Hansen

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