Western Digital paints its Green hard drives Blue in rebranding

Western Digital's Green hard drives, known for their combination of high capacities with reasonable performance and low noise, are no more—at least not in name. The company says it's folding the Green drives into its Blue line-up to make it "easier for customers to choose the right drive for their PC."

In practice, the new Blue line-up seems more confusing. Before this rebranding, Blues represented value-oriented 7,200-RPM disks with slightly slower performance than the top-of-the-line Black series (at least on the desktop). Now, buyers will need to distinguish between "5,400-RPM-class" and "7,200-RPM-class" drives under the Blue umbrella for some capacities. WD's product page suggests that the easiest way to do so is to look for a "Z" at the end of the model number. For example, the 3.5", 1TB, 5,400-RPM-ish Blue drive is the WD10EZRZ, while the 1TB, 7,200-RPM drive is the WD10EZEX.

Be careful that you're getting the drive you really want next time you go parts-shopping, and check out WD's Blue product page for a full accounting of the affected models.

Comments closed
    • NoOne ButMe
    • 4 years ago

    Honestly, both speeds are terrible…

    • cynan
    • 4 years ago

    Probably to do with the fact that the WD Green were the pretty much the only WD skus in recent memory that got some bad press regarding reliability and failure rates. (I think this was sort of corroborated by the Backblaze data – though everyone was focusing on the Seagates).

    Instead, they’ve recently come out with the Purple – which for the life of me, sounds like they’re meant for pretty much the same application as the Red. But the main point being that since both are “special” purpose, WD can charge a bit more than for the Green/Blue.

      • Klimax
      • 4 years ago

      IIRC the only known larger scale of failure for Greens were initial version which got “parked to death” under Linux due to aggressive parking policy of drive and periodic access by “Linux to drive.

    • TruthSerum
    • 4 years ago

    Can’t we all.. can’t we all just agree that it’s amazing that mechanical drives are as fast as they ARE, man?

    C’mon. It’s amazing stuff. We talk about spinning platters of billions of bits of information.
    The fact that any of them work for even a year! golfclap? golfclap!

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    Next time, it’s not just those Green drives you’ll see on the grass; you’ll start seeing Blue drives on that same patch of grass too.

    • Roo5ter
    • 4 years ago

    Screw you WD! We are going to become lifelong Seagate customers instead! Wait a tick…. please forgive me, I didn’t really mean it. Don’t make me buy a Seagate!

    • SuperSpy
    • 4 years ago

    In a world with 7200 RPM Hitachi NAS drives (that cost like $10 more in the 4TB version) I don’t see a place for the 5400 RPM drives.

      • LoneWolf15
      • 4 years ago

      Depends on the operating temps. I’m not saying Hitachis run hot, but WD Reds run very cool, which is good for cramped enclosures.

    • HERETIC
    • 4 years ago

    Looks like WD went to the Intel school of naming………………………..

    5400 RPM drives have their uses-my setup
    SSD-OS and programs.
    Samsung 103-7200RPM working/encoding drive.
    Samsung 204-5400RPM storage drive.

    Was a sad day when Seagate bought Sammy’s drives-
    The 103 was faster than the Black of the time-used less power run cooler and much cheaper.
    The 204 was a lot more reliable than the greens of the day…………………….

      • LoneWolf15
      • 4 years ago

      And then Seagate rebranded their own lousy drives as Samsung and discontinued making the Samsungs. RMA rate doubled on drives labeled the same model number that had completely different mechanics –go figure.

    • just brew it!
    • 4 years ago

    “Hey, our Green drives seem to have a mediocre reputation for performance and reliability. How can we fix this?”

    “Well, people still seem to like the Blue ones well enough. What if we just call the Green ones Blue from now on?”

    “Wouldn’t fixing the actual drives be better?”

    “Naaah, changing the color of the ink in the label printer is MUCH easier.”

    “OK, sounds like a plan…”

      • Meadows
      • 4 years ago

      Admittedly, my last several HDD purchases have been from Samsung and Toshiba simply due to better value (even though I used to buy quite a few WD drives some years ago), and it’s news like this that makes me even less likely to return.

        • BIF
        • 4 years ago

        I agree. The day of the Raptor is long gone.

    • Bensam123
    • 4 years ago

    Awww… they didn’t complete the rainbow before they decided it was too much. 🙁

    Hitachi and Toshiba are my gotos now as far as what I recommend for disks. Both WD and Seagate have pooped out in one way or another.

    • tipoo
    • 4 years ago

    I’m surprised spinny disks haven’t all had a small amount of NAND slapped onto them yet. The BoM cost for 8GB must be trivial by now, and the difference in user feel with the right algorithms is substantial.

      • davidbowser
      • 4 years ago

      Samsung bought NVELO a few years back, and that ended the best consumer grade SSD-HDD caching option for Windows. I still have one system with it running as a cache for my DATA drive.

      The other two options I am familiar with require specific hardware. Intel SRT SSD caching reportedly works well, but requires Intel SSDs (expensive). The Seagate hybrid drives made for laptops have not gotten great reviews mostly because they have been compared to SSDs. They are faster than laptop drives (everything is), but they are effectively obsolete for anyone with a sufficient budget.

        • biffzinker
        • 4 years ago

        The requirements for using a SSD as cache with Intel RST is:
        Cache Device Properties
        The Accelerate area is only available if the following requirements are met:
        ■ Processor: Intel® Core™ i3, Intel® Core™ i5, Intel® Core™ i7, or Intel® Xeon® processor family
        ■ Operating system: Refer to System Requirements for a list of the supported operating systems.
        ■ Chipset/Platform Controller Hub:
        ■ Intel® 9 Series Chipset Family SKUs
        ■ Intel® 8 Series and Intel® C220 Series Chipset Family SATA RAID Controller SKUs
        ■ Intel® 7 Series Chipset and Intel® C216 Chipset SATA RAID Controller SKUs
        ■ Intel® 6 Series Chipset SATA RAID Controller SKUs
        ■ BIOS: RAID-Ready system and Accelerate feature bit is set.
        ■ A solid-state drive with a minimum capacity of 14.9 GB present at boot time connected with either an internal configured SATA port or connected with a PCIe Card.

        ■ A hard disk or RAID volume (array members must all be hard disks) is eligible for acceleration.
        ■ No recovery volume is present.
        Limitations
        • The maximum cache size is 64 GB.
        • Only one disk or volume at a time can be accelerated per system.
        • Matrix arrays are not supported: If two volumes are present on a single array (they share the same array of disks), neither volume can be accelerated.
        • Once a volume is accelerated, a second volume cannot be added to the same array.
        • Once a solid-state drive is configured to be used as a cache device, the option to create a recovery volume is no longer available. Recovery volumes do not support system configurations with multiple volumes.
        • The maximum number of volumes allowed in the storage system is four. In the event that the combination of the solid-state drive configuration (data volume and cache volume) and system or data volumes reaches the limit, the application will not allow the acceleration of a disk or volume. You will need to delete one of the data volumes present in the storage system to enable acceleration on a disk or volume.

          • davidbowser
          • 4 years ago

          Thanks. I had it stuck in my head (maybe from an early version) that it required an Intel branded SSD. Cool.

        • tipoo
        • 4 years ago

        I meant on-drive ones such as the Momentus XT. Wouldn’t need any software compatibility, it would all be through the drives own controller.

          • biffzinker
          • 4 years ago

          Speaking of Seagates Momentus XT, what happened to Western Digital’s 120GB SSD+Hard Disk?
          High price tag perhaps for the WD1001X06XDTL?

          I see Western Digital also has WD Blue SSHD similar to Seagate Momentus XT.

    • Ninjitsu
    • 4 years ago

    So instead of just saying “pick Green for multimedia storage, Blue for your primary drive”, we now have to say “pick the Blue with a Z at the end of the model name for the primary, otherwise pick the one without the Z at the back”.

    gg WD, gg.

      • tipoo
      • 4 years ago

      Because now it’s *simplified*!

      • ColeLT1
      • 4 years ago

      Primary drive should not be a hard disk drive.

      • VincentHanna
      • 4 years ago

      I have a solution for you. Say this instead:

      “Pick black for everything.”

      • NTMBK
      • 4 years ago

      “Pick an SSD”.

    • VincentHanna
    • 4 years ago

    [quote<]The company says it's folding the Green drives into its Blue line-up to make it "easier for customers to choose the right drive for their PC.[/quote<] Lol, I would have kept the "green" branded HDDs. Consumers love "green" drives. Who wants a WD blue drive making their PC sad? "green" drives are energy efficient and make all the other PCs "green with envy."

    • Meadows
    • 4 years ago

    [quote<]to make it "easier for customers to choose the right drive for their PC."[/quote<] My oh my. Is it opposite day already?

      • Misel
      • 4 years ago

      > My oh my. Is it opposite day already?
      No, it isn’t.

        • willmore
        • 4 years ago

        Betteridge’s law strikes again!
        [url<]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betteridge's_law_of_headlines[/url<]

    • kuttan
    • 4 years ago

    Who really wanted to buy a 5400RPM HDD now ?? Even the fastest HDD is much slower compared to a SSD, there is no point in having a 5400 RPM drive for a few watts of power saving advantage for the cost of performance.

      • odizzido
      • 4 years ago

      For many things such as media storage they are easily fast enough. 5400 drives can be pretty quiet and are certainly much cooler to the touch(a few watts, as you say) compared to the 7200 WD drive I have beside it. They’re also cheaper.

      If there are no disadvantages with the files/programs you use it for then the cost savings, power savings, and noise reduction can put them in a nice spot.

      Course there is the question of their reliability.

      • VincentHanna
      • 4 years ago

      Price is almost always an issue.
      The ability to fit Programs, projects and medias on a HDD/SSD is oftentimes an issue.
      HDD Speed is very rarely an issue. Worst case scenario it adds 30 seconds to OS boot times, 2 seconds to application boot times and 1/10th of a second to everything else.

      • Hinton
      • 4 years ago

      Uh, thats some interesting logic.

      No, there’s no point in purchasing the faster drives. For storage you’d obviously want the cheapest and most silent.

    • One Sick Puppy
    • 4 years ago

    Hopefully this is the beginning of the decline in “green” marketing.

    • BIF
    • 4 years ago

    I am angry at drive manufacturers for omitting spindle speeds from their descriptions and retail packages.

    I need fast performance, even for drives that are only intended to hold Macrium backups. For the big partitions I have, I need to be able to get my maintenance tasks done in reasonably fast order, including backups, virus scans, defrags (yes I have a few stragglers that still get defragged), and so forth.

    And then there’s everyday usage. Until some of these SSD manufacturers get off the stick and start making REAL high capacity SSDs, I will continue to have some spinners that hold terabytes of various software assets. And they need to be fast. I ain’t getting any younger! 🙂

    But seriously. Why hide your specs behind glossy words like “green” or “efficient”? If you think 5400 RPM is good, then sing it loud and sing it proud! If you have to hide or obfuscate it, then maybe it’s not all that great.

      • Krogoth
      • 4 years ago

      HDDs are practically at their limits as far as I/O throughput is concerned. It doesn’t really matter since the difference between a modern 5400RPM and 7200PRM is trivial at best. You are barking up the wrong tree.

      If you want more I/O throughput. The only way to go is solid-state media and 1TiB+ units are just becoming “affordable” instead of being “prohibitively expensive”. You will see more of this in 2016. Sure they are still more expensive than HDD on a $$$/TiB basis, but if time is $$$$. They are worth it.

      There’s a reason why 10K-15K RPM HDD market is practically a walking corpse.

        • BIF
        • 4 years ago

        5400 RPM drives are NOTICEABLY slower. I don’t care what stats you pull out of your hat, when something is noticeably slower, then it’s slower period.

        How does it hurt the manufacturers to just put the specs clearly on the package?

        Oh right, because 5400 sucks and everybody knows it.

          • Krogoth
          • 4 years ago

          The difference isn’t that large anymore. You are grasping at straws. HDDs are a dead-end tech as far as I/O performance is concerned. You get HDDs for bulk data storage for content that doesn’t need super-fast I/O performance.

          The future of I/O performance is alternative non-volatile medias.

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    Whenever I buy hard drives I’m a little turned off by WD’s offerings. See, Seagate offers their ‘standard’ Barracuda 7,200rpm drives and Hitachi/Toshiba had ‘standard’ 7,200rpm drives as well that go beyond 1TB. With WD, I thought their Blue series was their standard mainstream 7,200rpm drives but they go up to 1TB only even today (according to their website), so if I want more capacity I’d need to go with their Green or Black drives. Greens are priced fine but slow, Blacks are fast but also significantly more expensive. So really, I’m usually compelled to go with Toshiba or Seagate for anything mainstream that’s bigger than 1TB and doesn’t spin like a Quantum Bigfoot drive. WTH.

    • TopHatKiller
    • 4 years ago

    I have a WD 170MB drive from twenty years[?] Still works. It was called Cavair….something.

      • Klimax
      • 4 years ago

      Caviar?

        • Rza79
        • 4 years ago

        Yes, actually all WD HDDs are called Caviar. It has always been like that.

        [url<]http://www.davidarichie.com/images_wdc%5C03%20-%20wd%20170mb.jpg[/url<] [url<]http://content.hwigroup.net/images/products_xl/095521/western-digital-caviar-black-1tb-sata3-64mb.jpg[/url<]

          • tipoo
          • 4 years ago

          Had a few of them, I think they still work. I think most of my failures were Seagate actually. Though of spinny disks the Momentus XT remains a favorite.

          • LoneWolf15
          • 4 years ago

          Actually, not all. The mobiles are called Scorpio. But for desktop drives, you are mostly correct.

          WD has removed Caviar from most of its branding, although Caviar Black and Caviar Blue used to be used in the nomenclature, and prior to that, the Black line was Caviar SE (special edition, the first major 7200rpn drives for them). There’s also the Velociraptor line, but that’s separate.

            • TruthSerum
            • 4 years ago

            Correct, caviar black became black, etc.

            • TopHatKiller
            • 4 years ago

            Not when I brought my original WD drive. As has been pointed out: WD called every consumer line Caviar. [Ages ago.] I suppose that was simple. Mind you, what the dead eggs of a proud noble fish have to with magnetic data storage is anybody’s guess.

      • LoneWolf15
      • 4 years ago

      I used to keep an 40MB one around when they were RLL drives adapted to IDE via the controller board. Exposed stepper motor with a clear plastic shield over the motor spindle. It was still working the last time I plugged it in before I finally recycled it.

      [url<]http://offog.org/notes/archiving/misc-hard-disks/wd93044a_size1600.jpg[/url<] Good times.

        • Deanjo
        • 4 years ago

        Oooooh!!!!! You were one of the lucky ones with no bad sectors to map out in the controller!

        How I miss
        [code<] a:>debug g=c800:5 [/code<]

    • UnfriendlyFire
    • 4 years ago

    OEMs that put 5400 RPM HDDs as boot drives and pair them with i7s earn a special place of annoyance.

      • Klimax
      • 4 years ago

      Warning: Expected hell, found annoyance.

      That’s interesting variant on usual sentiment.

        • UnfriendlyFire
        • 4 years ago

        There are plenty of examples that involve much worse crimes.

        Such as OEMs that built laptops with the worst and cheapest (ex: TN 768p screens) components and throw in some expensive stuff to make them quite unbalanced.

        I’ve seen a laptop with a quad-core i7 and a GT 610M, with 2GB VRAM.

        I’ve also seen an IT department put Windows 7 professional desktop rigs in mission-critical operations that need to run 24/7. I remember seeing a server that contained 24 desktop towers all zip-tied together that had their own operating system and were doing different things.

          • w76
          • 4 years ago

          [quote<]I remember seeing a server that contained 24 desktop towers all zip-tied together that had their own operating system and were doing different things.[/quote<] They were just prototyping their virtualization plans -- just without, you know, virtualization! Edit: Oh and bonus points if that mission-critical Win7pro desktop-in-a-server-role had no form of backup running, too.

            • UnfriendlyFire
            • 4 years ago

            Then that has to be quite an old prototype, I’ve been told that it was running for more than few years. The last time one of the rigs faulted (aka still running but the application needed to be rebooted), we lost several hours of statistical data that were suppose to be recorded constantly.

          • VincentHanna
          • 4 years ago

          [quote<]There are plenty of examples that involve much worse crimes.[/quote<] What does the severity of the crime have to do with who/what goes to hell and or who gets a special room? According to Greek mythology, there was ONLY hell. Archaic ideas like the 7 circles of hell or limbo come from these mythologies which were later incorporated into church doctrine. Even according to the modern church, people guilty of no crime at all still go to hell, so I don't see a contradiction here.

            • oldog
            • 4 years ago

            Annoyance = Hell?

            • Voldenuit
            • 4 years ago

            Heck.

      • cobalt
      • 4 years ago

      That covers a LOT of OEMs. (Not that you’re wrong.)

      • One Sick Puppy
      • 4 years ago

      The 5400rpm HDD in the low end Mac mini seems like nothing but a deliberate crippling to make the higher end models more appealing.

    • Krogoth
    • 4 years ago

    Who honestly cares at this point?

    HDDs are just commodity goods that are the cheapest and densest solution for rewritable, non-volatile, bulk data storage.

    Don’t rely on them for long-term archival storage.

    • DarkMikaru
    • 4 years ago

    Come on WD… that’s just stupid. Over the past…what… almost 10yrs I have never heard anyone ever be confused about the difference between Green, Blue & Black drives. Hell.. several years ago I used to use the Green drives as OS drives back in the day on low end budget builds. I remember being pleasantly surprised with the performance. Combine that with the lower power draw of 3 to 4w (if memory serves) these rounded out my old Green PC’s well.

    This is just a cost cutting measure… plain and simple.

      • Krogoth
      • 4 years ago

      Pretty much.

      HDD industry is feeling the pressure from SSDs. Their higher profit margin segments (High RPM HDDs) have been completely destroyed by SSDs.

        • DarkMikaru
        • 4 years ago

        Yeah, you make a very good point on that! Sure, for some power users who do tons of editing and need that 500GB / TB+ storage on the regular you can’t beat the value of a HDD. But with 250 & 500GB drives running from as low as 79 / 149 respectively… why spend that money on a Black series drive which cant touch those read & write speeds. Your better off with say an SSD/HDD combo. Best of both worlds.

        I wonder how many of those SSD/HDD hybrid drives..what were they called… WD Black2 drives?

        [url<]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822236642[/url<] Ok..clearly... not many... 485 bones..get outta with that! lol

    • JustAnEngineer
    • 4 years ago

    Did WD recently hire a former NVidia evil marketing genius? They already deceptively changed their “5400 rpm” hard-drives to “Intellipower” drives to avoid admitting that they were that slow. Now they’re re-naming them from Green to Blue to further confuse the issue.

    My simple solution to WD’s distinct lack of price-competitiveness in recent years has been to switch to Toshiba 7200 rpm hard-drives in [url=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822149396<]3.0 TB[/url<], [url=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822149633<]3.0 TB[/url<], [url=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822149570<]5.0 TB[/url<] or [url=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822149628<]5.0 TB[/url<] sizes.

      • willmore
      • 4 years ago

      5 or 5 ? Nice to have options.

        • Freon
        • 4 years ago

        There’s a link there to “newer version” which takes you from the first of each pair to the second. Not sure if JaE was trying to be funny there or not.

      • VinnyC
      • 4 years ago

      I’m curious how nVidia is going to name their next line of cards, seeing as we’ve hit the “9’s” again. GeForce 2G8T0X ?

        • Freon
        • 4 years ago

        We’ve been through the cycle a few times. 7800, 9800, … GTX 280! Similarly, AMD topped out on their 7xxx line and jumped back to 2xx more recently.

        I’m guessing “GTX” will be retired.

    • DrDominodog51
    • 4 years ago

    Kudos to whoever makes/picks the images that appear on the front page. The image for this story was pretty good.

      • Jeff Kampman
      • 4 years ago

      Thanks—I borrowed it from WD and tweaked it a bit to make it fit better, so the credit mostly goes to their marketing department 😉

    • LoneWolf15
    • 4 years ago

    I may not be the world’s biggest Seagate fan, but if WD is going to make me research among confusing models for basic builds, I’ll go Seagate, or see if Toshiba is on sale.

    They can lose my business on the budget line completely all because it was easier to confuse buyers than it is to make a better line of Greens.

    • albundy
    • 4 years ago

    “with reasonable performance” -made me laugh hard. thanks!

      • willmore
      • 4 years ago

      Yeah, I’m not sure how “There isn’t a slower drive available at that capacity” is the same as “with reasonable performance”. Maybe in absolute terms, but clearly not in relative ones.

    • NovusBogus
    • 4 years ago

    So basically when we get asked to recommend an entry level hard drive for a budget system, we have three options:

    1. Recommend a WD Blue, knowing that they’ll screw up and get the one that’s poorly suited for boot/OS.
    2. Recommend a WD Black, knowing that the extra 20-30 bucks is eating into another important component like the graphics card.
    3. Recommend another brand’s budget drive.

    There’s no way that this strategy can possibly go wrong.

      • DrDominodog51
      • 4 years ago

      We could solve one by linking to the good blues, but that will only work for people who have access to online retailers

        • JustAnEngineer
        • 4 years ago

        Choose 3!

          • DrDominodog51
          • 4 years ago

          HGST FTW! 😀 I’ve actually never used a WD drive; only Maxtors, Hitachi/HGST, and Seagate. I know HGST is owned by WD, but it seems that their drives are independently designed and made.

        • VincentHanna
        • 4 years ago

        And it also assumes that the person goes to the link, and buys the specific drive that you have recommended, and doesn’t then buy “the same drive” from amazon or (shudder) ebay.

        It also assumes that YOU will have some knowledge over what current batch serial number/model name is the “good” one. It’s not like there will be a mfg published cheat sheet available.

          • Klimax
          • 4 years ago

          If you tell them model number like WD7500AZEX they should be able to get it right. (Idiots can’t be helped and would screw up anything so those shouldn’t be considered)

      • ronch
      • 4 years ago

      Yup, especially when it mimmicks the color branding of a certain popular brand of scotch whisky.

    • Archer
    • 4 years ago

    I want a drive with a 1 RPM platter that’s 2,200,000 miles in diameter.

    It could transfer the entire LOC in seconds…seconds!

      • DrDominodog51
      • 4 years ago

      I think that hard drive would collapse under its own gravitational pull

        • ronch
        • 4 years ago

        Ok, I’m too lazy to do the calculations right now but would’t centrifugal forces blow the disc to smithereens?

          • Goty
          • 4 years ago

          You would have to balance against gravitational forces, which would be easy to approximate assuming a thin disk geometry. I think the biggest issue would be the yield strength of aluminum, or are we assuming some other material for the platter?

        • Krogoth
        • 4 years ago

        There’s no material strong enough to scale to such a size.

        Gravitational pull is one of your last concerns.

        FYI, did some rough calculations but the dish over almost 3 solar radii. It is about the size of an average sub-giant F/main sequence A-B class star.

      • TruthSerum
      • 4 years ago

      I want a drive that’s all heads, no seeking needed! Oh wait, that’s what SSD is.

      • ronch
      • 4 years ago

      And I thought small form factors are the ‘in’ thing right now…

      • barich
      • 4 years ago

      Seek time would be a bitch, though.

    • Wildchild
    • 4 years ago

    Going to have fun explaining this one to clients.

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    If you want the faster 7,200rpm models, just ask for the [b<]"ZEX™"[/b<] series. It's faster, hotter, and more exciting.

      • chuckula
      • 4 years ago

      I SEE YOUR SUBTLE SUBLIMINAL MESSAGE THERE!!!

      You cleverly misspelled Zen to suggest that you were talking about Zen while not spelling it out fully!

      Yeah, that’s it.

      • willmore
      • 4 years ago

      “Oh, that new drive is so ZEXey!”

      • Freon
      • 4 years ago

      But does it come with a limited slip?

      • BiffStroganoffsky
      • 4 years ago

      But, you have to pay up front and do not necessarily have a choice of when it blows.

    • TwistedKestrel
    • 4 years ago

    I actually kinda liked WD’s branding scheme before, as it was pretty straightforward. Nothing good can last, I guess

      • ImSpartacus
      • 4 years ago

      Yeah, the colors were really good. They were intuitive.

      What a shame.

        • Dygear
        • 4 years ago

        100% this was a bad idea. They are dirtying their own branding hopeing that you buy the wrong drive. Not something that I expect from WD and very much a let down.

    • auxy
    • 4 years ago

    [list<][*<]makes HDD lineup intentionally more obfuscated [/*<][*<]says it's "to make it easier for customers to choose the right drive for their PC" [/*<][*<]sells ludicrously overpriced HDDs in a world where HDDs are becoming decreasingly relevant[/*<][/list<] Typical corporate behavior, nothing to see here! ( *´艸`)

    • fhohj
    • 4 years ago

    I have a green and an SSD. good combinations. what’s peoples beef with 5400rpm? it’s slower so it should be more reliable. and in my experience I find the my green quite fast. fast enough that I am routinely impressed by loading times.

      • TruthSerum
      • 4 years ago

      They had an issue with the 3TB configurations once upon a time.
      But it wasn’t limited to the green drives IIRC.

      • cygnus1
      • 4 years ago

      Nothing wrong with 5400 or 7200. But they have different capabilities and it honestly made more sense to call them two different names… because of them, you know, being two different things.

      • Sargent Duck
      • 4 years ago

      Yep, same. SSD for my OS and programs drive, Green drives for all my storage. Never had a problem.

      • kmm
      • 4 years ago

      Quieter, less power consumption / less heat / needs less cooling…

      I prefer 5400 rpm drives. Well, SSDs obviously for any heavy lifting and applications, but for data, backups, etc.

      • Deanjo
      • 4 years ago

      [quote<]it's slower so it should be more reliable[/quote<] That however does not translate to real world use however especially when it comes to WD where the 5400 RPM drives have been the least reliable on desktops.

      • egon
      • 4 years ago

      Heck, I’d be happy with 4500 RPM. Main performance annoyance I have with HDDs nowadays is head parking, which seems to introduce very small but noticable delays when accessing the drive.

      • DrDominodog51
      • 4 years ago

      My problem is with how often Greens spin down which puts unnecessary load on the mechanical components of it

        • TruthSerum
        • 4 years ago

        Which, in this case is a power saving feature. Perfect for archival storage.

          • DrDominodog51
          • 4 years ago

          Which was exactly what the green brand was for. The Blue brand was for general use.

          • LoneWolf15
          • 4 years ago

          Actually, that’s the Purple. Meant for AV recording like for camera systems, for long-term use and regular writes.

          Almost everything about the Green is “low power on a budget”. Not saying that’s bad, but to me, the word “archival” implies long-term, and that’s not what I’d use a Green for.

            • TruthSerum
            • 4 years ago

            Green actually is for long term infrequent accessed storage… wheras the purple has a high-workload special sauce capability so it’s better for long term high-workload multiple camera systems. (I haven’t personally verified those claims, but they say that)

            You don’t want to punish the green the same way. An external enclosure is the best use.
            That way you aren’t cycling it all the time when you don’t need it.

            The black = re3 clones, you can abuse those in terms of workload.
            They’re just too hot and too fast to justify in a fanless DVR system.

        • captaintrav
        • 4 years ago

        Run wdidle3 on them. Since disabling the spin down, I haven’t lost one even though a couple have better than 5 years worth of power on hours

      • NovusBogus
      • 4 years ago

      In addition to the lower RPM Greens aggressively spin down when not in use, which is great for media storage but not for a boot drive.

        • egon
        • 4 years ago

        Greens don’t spin down any more aggressively than other drives – it’s controlled in OS power management settings, and Greens, Blues, Reds, Deskstars, Barracudas, etc. will respect whatever it’s set to, at least when installed internally (externals will sometimes do their own thing).

        What sets Greens apart is they [i<]head park[/i<] quite aggressively by default. Head parking reduces idle power consumption.

      • travbrad
      • 4 years ago

      Not all 5400rpms are created equal either, and they are generally getting faster over time as platter densities increase. 10+ years ago I had a 7200rpm that was only capable of about 30MB/s. Nowadays most 5400rpm drives are 3x that fast.

      That being said I would never want to use a 5400rpm for an OS/application/games drive. They are great for most other stuff though (documents, video, audio, photos, etc). I wouldn’t really want to use a 7200rpm for OS either though. Once you go SSD you can’t go back.

    • crabjokeman
    • 4 years ago

    Whoever made this decision should be forced to use a 5400RPM drive for eternity.

      • TruthSerum
      • 4 years ago

      5400 works fine for what it is. I’d much rather have a green 1tb than a blue or red 3tb.

        • LoneWolf15
        • 4 years ago

        Glad you’re speaking for you, and not for me.

          • moose17145
          • 4 years ago

          I will give the 5400 Reds this… it’s quite impressive what they can pull off for read speeds when there is 6 of them in a RAID 5….

            • TruthSerum
            • 4 years ago

            All I’ve read about the reds is bad. Better make sure it’s Raid 6 and not 5.

            • moose17145
            • 4 years ago

            Have had good luck thus far. The array has been going for over a year now.

            Had one drive that was DOA… But I am choosing to blame newegg on that one considering the drive looked like it had been dropped since the metal top plate was bent on the corner and half the protective air sleeves on the protective bag were popped…

            • ronch
            • 4 years ago

            I just don’t like how WD’s Red series page says

            RPM Class: IntelliPower

            Whatevah.

            • Chrispy_
            • 4 years ago

            Intellipower means somewhere between 4500 and 5900 RPM and it’s a fixed speed depending on the model and capacity.

            My guess is that the RPM is chosen to be as low as possible whilst maintaining a minimum transfer rate based on areal density and platter count.

            Intellipower also means that the platters can spin down but the drive can be “active” in windows with the hard drive firmware using the cache for incoming writes and only spinning up the drive if the reads aren’t in cache also.

            • ronch
            • 4 years ago

            Yes I know. But it’s a term that shrouds the specs in mystery.

            IntelliPower = slow.

            • Krogoth
            • 4 years ago

            Modern 5400RPM HDDs are not really that much slower than a modern 7200RPM HDD. The beefy on-board caches and areal density on modern platters masks most of the differences.

            HDDs are near their practical limits as far as I/O throughput is concerned. If you need more than the only viable option is going solid-state.

            • ronch
            • 4 years ago

            Had a 1TB Green a few years ago. Noticeably slower.

            • Krogoth
            • 4 years ago

            Not as much as you would think.

            It is a far cry from units from early-2000s and older.

            SSDs completely blow HDDs out of the park save for $$$/GiB ratio and data density.

            • ronch
            • 4 years ago

            Then again I got that Green in 2009 so comparing it to drives from the turn of the century isn’t exactly fair.

            • Chrispy_
            • 4 years ago

            well, the differences between 5400rpm and 7200rpm are irrelevant apart from noise and power use. If you want IOPS or performance from your mechanical disk you’re choosing between an old biplane and an old triplane whilst anyone needing performance is flying the space shuttle instead.

            All mechanical drives are slow, have terrible IOPS, massive latency and generate heat, noise and vibration. you can’t do anything about the first three things, but a 5400rpm is cooler, quieter and vibrates less at least.

            • ronch
            • 4 years ago

            While I can’t argue against the Greens producing less heat and being less power hungry, I would stick with my claim that they were noticeably slower than my 7,200rpm drive when I still had them. True, although a Green isn’t so bad today when you consider most folks would put in an SSD and use the Green drive strictly as a data drive only anyway, I must point out that back when I had my Green SSDs were still far from being common and mechs were all I had.

            Would I buy a Green today? Maybe. But my previous experience somewhat turned me off. And they aren’t really cheaper either. Seagate and Tosh both offer capacities higher than 1TB just like the Green series does + they spin faster than ‘IntelliPower’ and cost roughly the same. So why wouldn’t I go for Tosh or Seagate? I’m not afraid of a few db or °C.

            IntelliPower. It’s a sly marketing term that should’ve given a hint at the sort of marketing folks WD has had all along, a marketing team that now gives you a Green drive disguised as a Blue. So really, nothing new from WD. Move along.

            • moose17145
            • 4 years ago

            With regards to my raid array…. I have ZERO issues with the drives being 5400 RPM… I use the array as a giant media Array for movies, music, general mass storage, etc. The ONE thing I have an issue with is how aggressively they spin down…

            Like if you pause a movie for 10 minutes to go number 2, when you come back and you need to wait for the drives to spin back up to resume the movie… and waiting for all 6 of em to spin back up takes longer than just waiting for 1…

            • ronch
            • 4 years ago

            Oh yes, the spin downs. Back then I was kinda baffled when I sensed the drive spinning up and down. Just annoying.

            • JustAnEngineer
            • 4 years ago

            [quote=”ronch”<] Seagate and Toshiba both offer capacities higher than 1TB just like the Green series does + they spin faster than 'IntelliPower' and cost roughly the same. So why wouldn't I go for Tosh or Seagate? [/quote<] Not just roughly the same. The competitors' 7200 rpm hard-drives are actually [b<]less expensive[/b<] than Western Digital's 5400 rpm "Intellipower" hard-drives. [url=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148844<]3.0 TB[/url<], [url=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822149396<]3.0 TB[/url<], [url=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822149633<]3.0 TB[/url<], [url=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822149570<]5.0 TB[/url<] or [url=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822149628<]5.0 TB[/url<].

            • Chrispy_
            • 4 years ago

            I’m not sure why you think that Greens should be cheaper than 7200RPM drives; They have practically the same bill of materials and differ mainly in firmware. Given the restrictions of “spinning rust” storage you then get to choose:

            Green/Red
            lower RPM to reduce noise and power use with slower seeking to reduce actuator noise and vibration.

            Blue/Black
            higher RPM to increase transfer rates with faster seeking to reduce latency.

            If anything, the fact that annoys me most is that there are no [i<]configurable drives[/i<] in the consumer world. For years I have been controlling how fast my SAN drives rotate in the server room, think of them as WD "Rainbow" drives where you can tune RPM in software to save power and reduce vibrations for drives that have cold data and don't need max IOPS or transfer speed at the moment.

            • TruthSerum
            • 4 years ago

            Yeah. It’s a low power drive. It’s supposed to be slower.

            • f0d
            • 4 years ago

            that is what i have noticed also

            besides who actually puts stuff on a 7200rpm drive that is dependent on it performance?

            fast stuff (programs games etc) on ssd
            slow stuff (movies music etc) on hdd

            im probably a very niche case but i wish there was some way i could get a much bigger drive that had a trade off that it was much slower – like a modern day bigfoot that was 4000rpm but 10/15 Tb, i need mass storage but i dont care too much about how fast it is

            • DrDominodog51
            • 4 years ago

            What about 10,000 rpm drives?

            • BIF
            • 4 years ago

            I notice how slow 5400 is. Muddy-slow.

            • LoneWolf15
            • 4 years ago

            Absolutely, I have 4 in RAID 5 myself with an HP SmartArray P222 caching controller (HP Microserver Gen8). It works great.

            And another two in RAID-1 on an LSI 9260-8i caching controller (Lenovo Thinkserver TS-140).

            I was speaking of the Greens, which don’t do TLER and have such quick spinup/spindown that it affects both performance , and (I suspect) long term reliability.

          • TruthSerum
          • 4 years ago

          Well I’m glad you admitted you were wrong about the green versus purple misconception you had, oh wait, you never did.

            • LoneWolf15
            • 4 years ago

            I don’t respond to juvenile comments…Oh, wait, I just did.

            I come from a business networking world. I will never consider a WD Green drive appropriate for the definition of “archival data”. So I don’t consider myself to be wrong. If you want low-power storage, fine, but the Reds and the Purples are both better choices for archive storage, at least in part due to TLER support for RAID arrays, and are more robust. WD states clearly the Greens are not supported in RAID, and never should be.

            • TruthSerum
            • 4 years ago

            It is a consumer product, not an enterprise archival system, yes. We know.

            I thought that much was obvious.

            Nobody is saying make a RAID of green drives for your mission critical anything.
            Nobody.

            Purple was marketed at DVR systems where green is not for the reasons of head parking and throughput, and I corrected you to say that Green IS marketed as an infrequently accessed archival backup type use case, and that’s where it’s useful as the specs line up usefully.

            That’s all. I wasn’t “speaking for you” as much as I was stating the obvious, but you wanted to try to correct me on something with an incorrect assertion, and I rejected it in a nice way.
            If that’s juvenile then consider your reply.

      • Klimax
      • 4 years ago

      They are good for cheap high TB storage. (For sometime there were only 6TB Greens, not Blacks or other lines)

        • crabjokeman
        • 4 years ago

        Yes, but if you’re trying to buy one as a boot drive and want to make sure it’s 7200 RPM, it just got a lot harder.

          • TruthSerum
          • 4 years ago

          I dunno, Newegg has a ‘specifications’ tab. It was easier before but it’s still… fairly easy enough.

          I’m not going to defend the rebranding decision obviously, marketing is evil.

      • Krogoth
      • 4 years ago

      Pffft, that’s easy mode.

      Try running a MFM 10MiB HDD over PIO mode.

        • crabjokeman
        • 4 years ago

        I’m a harsh (but fair) judge; not sadistic.

      • Mr Bill
      • 4 years ago

      Its a 5400rpm poll tax. Problem: Not selling enough 5400rpm drives. How can we boost our candidate by getting people to accidentally make the wrong choice? Lets obscure the easy color scheme and impose a reading test.

        • BIF
        • 4 years ago

        This is EXACTLY what they’ve done.

      • jihadjoe
      • 4 years ago

      If they didn’t tarnish the Green name by with that over-aggressive head parking firmware they wouldn’t have had reason to do this.

      • chµck
      • 4 years ago

      the morons that made this decision probably don’t do anything intensive enough on their computers to notice the difference

    • shank15217
    • 4 years ago

    This is obviously because the their green drives have much worse reputation. Good job WD, you are a sly one.

      • Shambles
      • 4 years ago

      So now of greens being trash we’re going to just call all the blues trash as well. Good job WD marketing department.

        • albundy
        • 4 years ago

        WD or Seagate…pick your poison. Both SUCK! Its really too bad that Hitachi doesnt offer much to begin with.

          • eofpi
          • 4 years ago

          HGST is now owned by WD, but Toshiba kinda sorta wound up with HGST’s desktop drives.

      • TruthSerum
      • 4 years ago

      Not really, no. The greens are slower drives but people (who can read..) know that going in.
      They’re for nominal PC storage. You wouldn’t want that for an OS boot drive maybe.

      [url<]https://www.backblaze.com/blog/what-hard-drive-should-i-buy/[/url<] Their failure rate is nominal and low compared to say... seagate. Really you should skip the blues and get the blacks, 2 vs 5 year warranty among other reasons. Or the raptors. They're expensive but you can't buy a better desktop platter drive.

        • TO11MTM
        • 4 years ago

        [quote<]Their failure rate is nominal and low compared to say... seagate.[/quote<] The same could be said for trying to etch 1s and 0s into Plaster. But seriously, the Greens don't seem bad from a reliability standpoint (As long as they aren't locked up in a case that gets too hot, but that's true of most drives.) They are just sloooow.

      • Deanjo
      • 4 years ago

      Blue’s were never a good line. They were the cheapest drive in the line up primarily made for OEM’s to slap in their systems (which usually only had a 1 year warranty).

        • TruthSerum
        • 4 years ago

        2 Years on the Blue vs 5 on the Black, kind of a no brainer. Save $40, or buy reliability?

        No brainer for me anyway.

          • Deanjo
          • 4 years ago

          Don’t get to comfortable with the thinking that a longer warranty necessarily means more reliable.

          All a longer warranty means is that cost of manufacture and the margins of profit are high enough that they calculate that return rate will not be significant enough to offset the increased volume of sales revenue that comes from offering a longer warranty.

          If longer warranties correlated to reliability then you would see manufactures guarantee their drives reliability with out the disclaimer of not being responsible for data loss.

            • TruthSerum
            • 4 years ago

            “If longer warranties correlated to reliability then you would see manufactures guarantee their drives reliability with out the disclaimer of not being responsible for data loss.”

            Untrue for other reasons but your previous point about warranty vs performance reliability is valid generally speaking.

            Although in this case, the black drives DO correlate to a lower failure rate than the blues, with the specific exception of the early 3tb designs (and some 1.5’s IIRC) which had flaws accross the board in all speed flavors.

            The blacks are basically chassis and platter upgraded blues with the same processing/cache.
            They last longer as a result of the better QC and components.

            A 5 year warranty doesn’t ‘prove’ anything you’re right. Annual failure mean does.

            They moved away from calculating MTBF which used to be about double for black/re3 drives as compared to the green/blue drives.

            1.2 million hours on the re3 drives, and I believe the black is “identicle” hw, just not “certified” the same way.

            • Deanjo
            • 4 years ago

            [quote<]The blacks are basically chassis and platter upgraded blues with the same processing/cache.[/quote<] Actually the Blacks/Red Pro/ Re line have a different processor than the blues (the processor in the higher lines are supposed to be "dual core"). I agree that the blacks are a better drive than the blue's, just saying that the length of warranties have little to do with reliability but more with marketability and the revenue generated from that false sense of security that the consumer has by willing to pay more for that warranty. We all have testimonies where a so called cheap drive outlasts the "better" drive regardless of warranty period. I've seen "enterprise class" Raptors fail in days and have decade old refurbished Maxtors that have been going strong running nearly 24/7 during that decade. And of course a ton of Seagates that were warranties for 5 years only to all die a couple years later if they lasted that long. It's all a numbers game (very similar to how manufacturers depend on over 90% of mail in rebates never redeemed).

            • TruthSerum
            • 4 years ago

            They have different platter density, different chassis, a lot of stuff is different. Same cache.
            What that dual-core overhead gets you isn’t a lot except on sustained long transfers.
            It’s good for about 20% max throughput over the blues. They’re a little snappier on seek too.
            But the reliability difference is much bigger to me when you talk about data storage devices.
            I’d pay the extra 20%-30% not for the 20% performance hike, but the 200% reliability.

            • Deanjo
            • 4 years ago

            [quote<]I'd pay the extra 20%-30% not for the 20% performance hike, but the 200% reliability.[/quote<] The thing is though that you are getting nowhere close to that 200% reliability by doing that. In reality you are probably getting less than 10% increase in reliability over the lower end.

            • TruthSerum
            • 4 years ago

            You’re saying the Black is less than 10% more reliable than the blue.

            I’m saying that’s a made up figure.

            Edit : no reply? Am I right?

        • LoneWolf15
        • 4 years ago

        Honestly, I never had major issues with the Blues. I just had fair expectations.

        Compared to 7200rpm drives of several generations earlier, the Blues are cooler, quieter, and at least as long-lived. No, they’re not the Blacks, but they don’t cost what the Blacks do either. Viewed as a basic drive for a basic build, they’re fine –and like any other drive, you should treat them like a political machine treats voting in Chicago –back up early, back up often.

          • TruthSerum
          • 4 years ago

          True, but would you save $50 on a HD of a given size knowing it would fail in half the time?
          Some would, I wouldn’t.

            • LoneWolf15
            • 4 years ago

            I think half is gross exaggeration, and can’t be quantified. They’re just meant for basic computer use, and not sustained enthusiast workloads.

      • Klimax
      • 4 years ago

      WD Green? Worse? Not sure. I have two old 1TB Greens still working perfectly (unlike 2TB Seagate of same price range) and one 6TB Green – good too.

      And newer Green has good sequential speed as well. (IIRC about 100MB/s)

      So as far as I can say, Greens are good. (But I do recall initial Greens had issue with Linux because of very aggressive head parking)

      • Voldenuit
      • 4 years ago

      [quote<]This is obviously because the their green drives have much worse reputation.[/quote<] Still not a patch on Seagates, at least according to Backblaze stats. I'm glad my last two drives were a WD RED and a Toshibatachi.

      • brucek2
      • 4 years ago

      What’s up with all the Green hate? I’ve been happy with mine. They provide bulk storage of media assets, where their performance already greatly exceeds what is needed for the job, and where their lower noise, power consumption, temperature, and expense are all assets.

      Are all the complaints from people who tried using them for the wrong application?

        • Vhalidictes
        • 4 years ago

        You could ask us… or you could check out the (terrible) NewEgg reviews for the Green series.

          • TruthSerum
          • 4 years ago

          Newegg reviews are not “qualified” or vetted information.

          You can absolutely use the green drives in the wrong application, or install them sideways or in a case that’s too hot, or never defrag and use the power button to turn the machine off without shutting down indefinitely and then complain about “the drive failing” whether or not that’s actually even the case.

          Then there’s the shills from other manufacturers who are literally paid to leave bad reviews for other brands, and if you think that doesn’t go on, my one word reply would be a “yelp”.

          Newegg doesn’t check to see that what you say is valid. You can even buy items and return them with free shipping just to leave a review, costing essentially nothing.

          But if you want to base your opinion on that, be our guest!

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