WD Red grows to 6TB, adds faster Pro family

WD has expanded its lineup of NAS-specific hard drives on two fronts. The Red family now includes higher-capacity 5TB and 6TB models, and there's a new batch of Red Pro units with higher spindle speeds.

Full specifications haven't been posted online just yet. However, AnandTech indicates that the 6TB monster is a five-platter design. The drive reportedly uses traditional magnetic recording technology, and I don't see any mention of Helium-filled internals or other exotic attributes. Like the other Reds, it and the 5TB variant have ~5,400-RPM "IntelliPower" rotational speeds and three-year warranties.

They also have company. The standard Reds have been joined by a Red Pro family that cranks the spindle speed up to 7,200-RPM and the warranty up to five years. The Pros top out at 4TB, but thanks to robust vibration compensation, they're good for systems with up to 16 bays. The standard drives are only meant for machines with up to eight bays, and then only with the latest NASware 3.0 firmware. Five bays was the official maximum for the old Red firmware.

Here's how the new models stack up against WD's existing NAS drives:

  Spindle speed Warranty Price $/GB
Red 1TB 5,400 RPM 3 years $69.99 $0.07
Red 2TB 5,400 RPM 3 years $99.99 $0.05
Red 3TB 5,400 RPM 3 years $121.99 $0.04
Red 4TB 5,400 RPM 3 years $174.99 $0.04
Red 5TB 5,400 RPM 3 years $249.99 $0.05
Red 6TB 5,400 RPM 3 years $299.99 $0.05
Red Pro 2TB 7,200 RPM 5 years $159.99 $0.08
Red Pro 3TB 7,200 RPM 5 years $199.99 $0.07
Red Pro 4TB 7,200 RPM 5 years $259.99 $0.06

Along with the older drives, the NAS 6TB and NAS Pro 4TB are both in stock at Newegg right now. The other additions are listed as out of stock with no ETA.

WD also plans to introduce 5TB and 6TB versions of its Green drives, which are similar to the Reds but lack NAS- and RAID-specific features. I don't see the new Greens selling online, but they should appear soon and will also be found in some of WD's external storage products.

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