Will buying a different “color” brand of Western Digital hard drive really increase reliability?

Joseph V October 13, 2013
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I’m about to buy some large capacity Western Digital hard drives — and they have at least 3 lines to choose from (red, black, green).

I have a lot of data, and love the idea of the 4TB drives.

My question is – are the more expensive models really likely to last longer and be more reliable – or for the same investment (or a little more) is buying 2 of the lower models (and duplicating the backup) more likely to offer more protection?

I only need one-time backups (no RAID) most of my library is music, movies, books, etc… where I don’t need real time RAID.

  1. Susendeep D
    October 28, 2013 at 11:45 am

    HDDs have become costly.So,if you plan to use them as a NAS,then get the RED edition ones.
    As most of the above commenter suggests,Green ones are have low RPMs while the black one has the highest and is for high performance,typically video editing.

    If you want one time backup and don't mind low speed then Green version is best suited for you.Else for a little more speed(7,200RPM)you get the blue one.

  2. Jan F
    October 13, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    The MTBF is pretty much the same for all drives.
    I couldn't find a current specifications but for the WD Blue & Green but I believe it is around 750.000 hours wherein the Red & Black is 1.200.000h and the VelociRaptor 1.400.000 hours.
    Selection of the drive is/should be based primary on the desired usage.

    The WD Red are intended for NAS ~ they are:
    medium speed, low noise, medium temperature, low power consumption

    The WD Black are intended for high performance and storages at reasonable cost:
    fast drives, high noise, high temperature, high power consumption

    The WD Blue are basically your standard desktop drives:
    average in all categories.

    The WD Green are for low power and compact systems:
    slower drivers, low noise, low heat, low power consumption

    The VelociRapter are 10.000RPM drives, they are the fastest with the next step being SSD
    fastest drives, high noise, high temeprature, average power consumption.

    Again, for reliability it doesn't matter which one you chose as long as you 'handle' them properly. Don't let them fall, don't put them in the hottest spot in the system, properly shutdown your system, don't pull the power cord and have the drives do an "instant" stop, etc...

    I have 4 WD Green drives in my NAS, they all have a Power_On_Hours count of 35.619 (that is 4 years!) and none of them has failed so far, only one of the drives has a single (1) reallocation count.

  3. Oron J
    October 13, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    Yes, the more expensive lines come with a longer warranty, and this is based on a lower failure rate. I can't tell you whether they are engineered differently or selected for different "colouring" by QA, but they are definitely more reliable.

  4. Hovsep A
    October 13, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    check the warranty like 5years so at least for 5 years you will not face hard drive failure unless unexpected accidents.

    i think western digital red edition is better and faster
    to compare black green
    http://www.storagereview.com/php/benchmark/suite_v4.php?typeID=10&testbedID=4&osID=6&raidconfigID=1&numDrives=1&devID_0=368&devID_1=371&devCnt=2

    Western Digital Red: NAS-Specific SATA 6Gb/s Drives, Reviewed
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/red-wd20efrx-wd30efrx-nas,3248-3.html

    Difference between Desktop edition (WD Blue, WD Green and WD Black) and RAID (Enterprise) edition drives
    http://wdc.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1397/~/difference-between-desktop-edition-(wd-blue,-wd-green-and-wd-black)-and-raid

    Western DigitalWD30EFRX REd 3TB vs caviar black 1TB
    http://hard-drive-comparison.whoratesit.com/Compare/Western-Digital-Red-3TB-vs-Western-Digital-Caviar-Black-1TB/1386vs1580