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Home » Reviews » Storage Drives » WD Red 5TB NAS Hard Drive Review – With RAID 0 Benchmarks

WD Red 5TB NAS Hard Drive Review – With RAID 0 Benchmarks

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Mid this year, WD announced and released two new higher capacities for their WD Red NAS hard drives, including a WD Red Pro series. Today, let’s take a look at the WD Red 5TB NAS hard drive featuring the new NASWare 3.0. Like its predecessors, the WD Red 5TB is primarily designed for 1 to 8 bay SOHO NAS systems. It’s also silent, power efficient and is highly compatible with most NAS sold today. It features IntelliPower but it’s a tad faster compared to the 4TB capacity. Ready to upgrade your storage? Please continue reading my WD Red 5TB review below.

WD Red 5TB NAS Hard drive review

WD Red 5TB NAS Drive Review

Aside from having a larger capacity, the WD Red 5TB and 6TB variant also comes with the new and improved NASWare 3.0. This basically sets apart the lower capacities from the 5TB and 6TB variants. According to the company, the NASware 3.0 in the WD Red 5TB NAS drive further “optimizes WD Red for the NAS environment with added support for 6 to 8 NAS bays. WD Red now supports small NAS systems from 1 to 8 bays thanks to NASware 3.0, which further improves drive compatibility and reliability. At 48 TB of total capacity in an 8 bay system, WD Red expands your NAS experience.”

WD Red 5TB Review-01 WD Red 5TB Review-02

NASWare 3.0 comes with Error recovery controls making RAID configurations much more reliable and significantly reduces RAID errors compared to desktop hard drives. WD Red drives also produce lesser noise and vibration compared to your typical hard drives. The noise or vibration coming from a single drive might not be that loud, but we are talking about several hard drives put together. Noise and vibration may reduce the life span and degrade performance, so it’s important to control and lessen them.

Here are other important features of the WD Red NAS drives for system integrators:

  • Streaming Support – NASwareprovides built-in compatibility with the ATA Streaming Feature Set, which is important for AV storage applications such as Windows Media Center.
  • SMART Command Transport (SCT) support – NASwareallows monitoring and measuring of drive performance via the SMART command set. SMART can return data like thermal profiles, drive access statistics and more. NASwarealso delivers temperature accuracy within 1°C.
  • Power Management Support – Enables optimized power usage within the NAS system and protects your data in the event of a power loss or disruption.
  • BIC Performance – Optimized seek to provide BIC performance while reducing the power and acoustics.

WD Red 5TB Review-04 WD Red 5TB Review-06

Aside from the new NASware 3.0, both the WD Red 5TB and 6TB NAS drives also features the company’s StableTrac technology where it secures of the motor shaft at both ends in order to minimize vibration. The WD Red 5TB also features 3D Active Balance Plus technology. It’s basically an enhanced dual-plane balance control that significantly improves the overall drive performance and reliability. Hard drives that are not properly balanced may cause excessive vibration and noise in a multi-drive system, reduce the hard drive life span, and degrade the performance over time.

Just like its predecessors, the WD Red 5TB drives features IntelliPower rotational speed. It’s basically “a fine-tuned balance of spin speed, transfer rate, and caching algorithms designed to deliver both significant power savings and solid performance.” But the 5TB comes with a tad faster 5700RPM compared to the 4TB which has only 5400RPM. Its internal transfer rate is up by 170MB/s for the 5TB capacity.

All WD Red NAS hard drives have 1 million hours of Mean Time Before Failure, and comes with a 3 year warranty, which is 1 year longer compared to your desktop drives that usually comes with a 2 year manufacturer warranty.

WD Red NAS Drive Specifications

Specifications6 TB5 TB4 TB3 TB2 TB1 TB
InterfaceSATA 6 Gb/sSATA 6 Gb/sSATA 6 Gb/sSATA 6 Gb/sSATA 6 Gb/sSATA 6 Gb/s
Formatted capacity6 TB5 TB4 TB3 TB2 TB1 TB
Form factor3.5-inch3.5-inch3.5-inch3.5-inch3.5-inch3.5-inch
Advanced Format (AF)YesYesYesYesYesYes
Native command queuingYesYesYesYesYesYes
RoHS compliantYesYesYesYesYesYes
Data transfer rate (max):
Interface speed6 Gb/s6 Gb/s6 Gb/s6 Gb/s6 Gb/s6 Gb/s
Internal transfer rate175 MB/s170 MB/s150 MB/s147 MB/s147 MB/s150 MB/s
Cache (MB)646464646464
Rotational speed (RPM)IntelliPowerIntelliPowerIntelliPowerIntelliPowerIntelliPowerIntelliPower
Reliability/Data Integrity
Load/unload cycles600,000600,000600,000600,000600,000600,000
Non-recoverable read errors per bits read<1 in 10 ^14<1 in 10 ^14<1 in 10 ^14<1 in 10 ^14<1 in 10 ^14<1 in 10 ^14
MTBF (hours)1,000,0001,000,0001,000,0001,000,0001,000,0001,000,000
Limited warranty (years)333333
Power Management
12VDC ±10% (A, peak)1.751.751.751.731.731.2
5VDC ±10% (A, peak)------
Average power requirements (W):
Environmental Specifications
Temperature (°C):
Operating0 to 650 to 650 to 650 to 650 to 650 to 65
Non-operating-40 to 70-40 to 70-40 to 70-40 to 70-40 to 70-40 to 70
Shock (Gs):
Operating (2 ms, read/write)303030303030
Operating (2 ms, read)656565656565
Non-operating (2 ms)250250250250250350
Acoustics (dBA):
Seek (average)282828242422
Physical Dimensions
Height (in./mm)1.028/26.11.028/26.11.028/26.11.028/26.11.028/26.11.028/26.1
Length (in./mm)5.787/1475.787/1475.787/1475.787/1475.787/1475.787/147
Width (in./mm, ± .01 in.)4/101.64/101.64/101.64/101.64/101.64/101.6
Weight (lb./kg, ± 10%)1.65/0.751.65/0.751.50/0.681.40/0.641.32/0.600.99/0.45

Test Setup

In testing the WD RED 5TB NAS Drive, I installed it on a Gigabyte Z97 Gaming G1 WiFi BK Black Edition motherboard, powered by an Intel Core i7-4770K processor. The firmware version is 82.00A82.

The WD Red 5TB was plugged in a SATA 6Gbps port using AHCI (Advance Host Controller Interface). The drive was also not populated with any files, meaning it has a 100% free capacity. For the RAID 0 test, I changed AHCI to RAID in BIOS. Below are the specifications of the test unit.

Operating System: Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z97X Gaming G1 WiFi Black Edition
Processor: Intel Core i7-4770K
CPU Cooler: Corsair Hydro H105
Memory: Avexir Blitz 1.1 DDR3 16GB 1600MHz
Graphics card: Club 3D Radeon R9 285 royalQueen
Hard Drive: Kingston HyperX 3K 120GB for the OS and WD RE 4TB for game files
Power Supply: Seasonic X750 Gold Series v3

WD Red 5TB Benchmark Results

Below are benchmark results of a WD Red 5TB drive via AHCI settings.

WD Red 5TB ATTO Benchmark

WD Red 5TB CrystalDiskMark Benchmark

WD Red 5TB HD Tune Pro Read Benchmark WD Red 5TB HD Tune Pro File Benchmark WD Red 5TB HD Tune Pro Info

WD Red 5TB AJA 720p WD Red 5TB AJA 1080p

WD Red 5TB Anvil Incompressible
WD Red 5TB Anvil Benchmark
WD Red 5TB Anvil Compressible

WD Red 5TB PCMark 8 Storage Benchmark

WD Red 5TB RAID 0 Benchmarks

Below are benchmarks results of two WD Red 5TB drives configured in RAID 0. Notice the capacity doubled to 10TB, and speed almost doubled.

WD Red 5TB RAID 0 ATTO Disk Benchmark

WD Red 5TB RAID 0 CrystalDiskMark Benchmark

WD Red 5TB RAID 0 HD Tune Pro Read Benchmark WD Red 5TB RAID 0 HD Tune Pro Info WD Red 5TB RAID 0 HD Tune Pro File Benchmark

WD Red 5TB RAID 0 AJA 720p Benchmark WD Red 5TB RAID 0 AJA 1080p Benchmark

WD Red 5TB RAID 0 Anvil Storage Incompressible Benchmark
WD Red 5TB RAID 0 Anvil Storage Compressible Benchmark
WD Red 5TB RAID 0 Anvil Storage Benchmark

Price and Availability

Both the WD Red 5TB and 6TB NAS Drives are widely available. At the time I published this review, the 5TB (WD50EFRX) model has an MSRP of Php 10,950. Meanwhile, the 6TB (WD60EFRX) model has an MSRP of Php 13,400. However, do note that actual retail price or street price could be lower than the MSRP price. There are retailers selling these hard drives for a (much) lower price.

addtocartIn the US, the 5TB and 6TB capacities respectively has a retail price of $225.94 and $289.99 at the time I posted this review. It’s also available in 1TB, 2TB, 3TB, and 4TB capacities. You can check out the latest best price and order one here, or get the retail kit here. WD is also offering a 3 year limited warranty and customer support.Note that prices are subject to change from time to time. Check out the link for updated prices.

WD Red 5TB Review: Conclusion

Once again the WD Red NAS drives didn’t disappoint me. I’ve seen improvements in terms of speed compared to the WD Red 4TB I previously reviewed. Thanks to its slightly faster 5700RPM speed and 170MB/s internal transfer rate. You can see from the benchmark results above that the drive was able to reach around 170MB/s. Surprisingly, CrystalDiskMark returned a much faster result.

I also installed both the WD Red 5TB on the QNAP HS-251, but this time setting it to RAID 0 rather than as an individual drive. It’s actually hard to tell the improvement specially that I don’t have the enough tools or hardware to gauge the difference. But I did notice a tad improvement in terms of data transfer. Oh, the HS-251 got a little bit hotter since there are now two drives running on passive cooling. Not really an issue with the drives, rather it’s on the HS-251 itself due to its design.

I didn’t get the chance to test the 6TB capacity, but based on specs sheet and from the other reviews I’ve read, the 6TB capacity does have a little bit of an advantage, not only in capacity but also in terms of speed as well. So if you got the budget for a 5TB or 6TB capacity, better get them instead of getting the lower capacities.

Aside from having a higher capacity, the WD Red 5TB comes with the newer NASware 3.0 firmware, faster read/write speed and more power efficient as well. The WD Red 5TB also gets my vote and I can definitely recommend this as a good upgrade to your existing NAS system or if you are planning to build a new NAS system.


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