Western Digital's RE series of data center hard disks has been renowned for its top-tier performance and durability for some time now. Buyers will need to stop looking for the RE branding and start looking for Gold in the near future, though. The RE series of drives will soon be superseded by a new product line called WD Gold.
The new Gold series isn't just a rebranding. These new server storage solutions use revised electronics and WD's Helioseal technology. WD says the changes improve the drives' power efficiency by 26% compared to older models. Golds are also faster than their predecessors. WD claims sequential performance is improved by as much as 18%, and random write performance is up as much as 30% over the RE4 drives.
All of the new Gold disks use the SATA 6Gbps interface. They're described as "7200-RPM-class" drives, and they come with 128Mbyte cache. Golds come in 4TB, 6TB, and 8TB models, and WD says their workload capacity of 550TB per year is the highest of any 3.5" disk. The rated 2.5 million hour MTBF is certainly impressive. A quick look at online retail suggests the Gold disks are only just becoming available, but Newegg Marketplace already has the 4TB disk for $294.
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