|Series / sub-brand||WD Red Pro||WD Blue SSHD||WD Red||WD Black|
|Interface||SATA 6GB/s||SATA 6GB/s||SATA 6GB/s||SATA 6GB/s|
|Formatted Capacity||5 TB||4 TB||2 TB||5 TB|
|Native Command Queuing||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|– Buffer to Host||6 Gb/s||6 Gb/s||6 Gb/s||6 Gb/s|
|– Host to drive||194 MB/s||150 MB/s||147 MB/s||194 MB/s|
|Cache (MB)||128 MB||64 MB||64 MB||128 MB|
|Non-recoverable read errors per bits read||<1 in 10^14||<1 in 10^14||<1 in 10^14||<1 in 10^14|
|– Read / Write||10.6||6||4.1||10.6|
|– Operating||5 to 60||0 to 60||0 to 65||5 to 55|
|– Non-Operating||-40 to 70||-40 to 70||-40 to 70||-40 to 70|
|– Operating 2ms read/write||30||30||30||30|
|– Operating 2ms read||65||NA||65||65|
|– Non-Operating 2ms||300||350||250||300|
|– Seek (average)||34||26||24||34|
|– Height (mm)||26.1||25.4||26.1||26.1|
|– Length (mm)||147||147||147||147|
|– Width (mm)||101.6||101.6||101.6||101.6|
|– Weight (kg)||0.75||0.45||0.6||0.75|
The best approach to comparing drives would have been if we’d received drives of the same capacity across all sub-brands. Unfortunately, we had to make do with whatever we had on hand. Do note, these are claims made by WD and do not reflect benchmarks, we’ll get to that in a later. From the specifications and the data sheets, it becomes evident that the Black drives no longer come in 10K RPM SKUs which pretty much ruled the roost up till a few years back. But with the fact that SSDs have become really popular, this move does make sense. WD Red Pro and WD Black seem to be the fastest among the ones that we received for testing and this comes at a price, literally. Also, these drives consume a lot more power than the others. All other specification seem to be within the vicinity of each other, so it’s doubtful if there’ll much performance difference because of these. Speaking of performance, here’s what we did with these drives.
HD Tune Pro
This graph may seem a bit confusing at first and that’s just normal for data graphs traced along three dimensions. It depicts the number of operations the drives could handle within a time period along with data transfer rates. Since these are physical drives, the IOPS scored by individual drives were very less. And since most of the tests were random, the WD Blue SSHD couldn’t cope with the remaining drives. All drives performed well with regards to sequential data transfers with the WD Black and WD Red Pro scoring the highest. And between the two, the WD Black had slightly better numbers overall.
With regards to the write characteristics, we see that Burst rates are more or less within the vicinity of each other with the WD Red outperforming all other drives. As for Sequential data transfer, the WD Black again, surfaces as the better drive and the WD Red Pro is only behind by a sliver.
The results of this particular benchmark were a little surprising. And we had to redo this after having swapped SATA slots just to be sure. Turns out that the WD Blue SSHD drive is a lot better than the others at Random reads across varying file sizes. The bigger the file size, the better the performance. The IOPS figures corroborate this particular trend as the numbers went up into the thousands while all other drives would only score in the tens. This can only be attributed to the 8 GB NAND memory on board the hybrid drive.
Unfortunately, the same performance was not recorded in the Random write tests. The WD Red drive showed huge spikes in access times which isn’t a good thing for any drive. Even the other 5400 RPM drives. The numbers for all drives were all over the place and didn’t result in any discernable pattern.