Mechanicals - spinning platters - WD Red VS Blue

OK - so my current set of HDD’s in my FreeNAS have lasted since late 2019…

Back then it was 4x3TB Seagate pieces of crap HDDs (in ZFS Raid Z+1)… 1 failed… so I was down one member… bought a pair of 4 TB WD HDD (blue) but accidentally added one as non-RAID stripe member (concat)… Doh!

So I bought a 6 TB external USB HDD and migrated all my stuff onto that - and a 1.5 TB HDD in my computer at the time (since retired AMD Phenom II X6) - as it wouldn’t all fit on the the 6 TB HDD…

Then I bought 2 more of those WD Blue 4 and setup a new RAIDZ1-0 i.e. 4 x 4 TB, should give me 12 TB of useable space (but in reality and practice, under 11 TB)…

They’ve been good for nearly 4 years, not a single failure - unlike with Seagates…

But I see people recommending using WD Red “NAS” HDDs… but they’re usually $100 dearer than the Blue and I’m perfectly happy with the life and performance of the WD Blue HDDs… Going to go for 8 TB HDDs - unless 12 or 16 TB drop in price…

Of course - I’d LOVE to replace them all with SSD’s - but that’s EXPENSIVE!

Anyway - I will need to grow my NAS soonish, and with FreeNAS I can do that incrementally, by removing one member, and adding another - I don’t have to get ALL of them at the same time… If I put an 8 TB HDD in with the 3 x 4 TB HDD’s, it will only act like a 4 TB HDD, until I REPLACE ALL of the members - when I will effectively doubled my capacity…

And this time I will be EXTREMELY careful to add them as RAIDZ1-0, and not as concats…

Any opinions on WD Blue VS Red ? The specs look nearly identical, both are 5200 rpm and 256 MB cache…


dude, go with the red for sure. WDD Reds are NAS rated drives, which means they’re rated for more run time and can take the stress of being a drive next to other vibrating hot ass drives. Shit like Synology states that they don’t support anything except NAS rated drives, so WD Red, Seagate Ironwolf, etc…

SSDs aren’t just expensive, if you’re using them for raw data storage, it’s kind of a waste IMO … I tend to favor SSDs as application drives… so you can take advantage of the fast I/O.

I’ve kind of had the opposite experience from you in that most of the WD drives I’ve had turn out to be flaky, and I’ve had relatively good luck with Seagates. But the WD Reds are the one drive I have in my machines that don’t seem to have problems.

I did not realise the difference between the two colours and performance issues. Tend to use what is in the box and then just look at prices on Amazon for replacement

So far I used Toshiba, WD (Red, Green Blue, and a Black in a laptop), Seagate (both HDD and SSHD), and Samsung.
I found all of them can fail at any time. Multiple WD greens failed for me, those were 1TB to 3TB sized spinners.
Some people consider Toshiba drives are the most cheap (unreliable). My own experience is that 2,5" drives from Toshiba fail with a higher probability, but 3,5" drives from Toshiba work (for me) just the same as WD drives do.
My oldest drive is a WD Green, which has more than 60000 running hours, it’s not perfect, has some glitches that a close look to SMART data can make obvious, but hey, it still works… I expect it to die tomorrow, but if it survives just another day, it’s a good luck again :slight_smile:

My “server” has a 4TB Seagate, which has approx. 25000 hours, and it’s totally perfect. The other HDD in my server was a 2,5" 1TB Seagate which showed bad signs recently, so I replaced it with a 2,5" 1TB WD before it really failed…
I choosed WD because it was the most quick to buy.

I don’t trust ANY of my drives (and I recommend this to everyone), be it the underestimated Toshiba, or the highly welcomed WD. I always have important data on 2 physical drives at least.

The Only one HDD that broke for me without any sign before was a 750GB Samsung. (That made me learn the lesson not to store data on a single drive :cold_face: )
All my other drives failing could be predicted via SMART, way before they really died.


I think I’ll go for WD Blue (8 TB) after all considerations…

  1. my 4 x 4 TB WD Blue have been rock solid for coming up to 4 years…
  2. Red are on average $100 (AUD) more than Blue.
  3. if I buy 4 x WD Blue I will save $400 (AUD) VS Red.
  4. if one of the WD Blue fails, I can buy another one for ~$200 (AUD) - thus still $200 cheaper than buying 4x WD Red… if 2 should fail - it’s still the same cost as going for 4 x WD Red… and if that should eventuate, the WD Blue will be even cheaper by then… Having said that - WD Blue don’t seem to be available in 12 TB - so if I want to go 4 x 12 TB, I will probably have to go for WD Red anyway…

I’ve had mixed success with WD Green HDD’s however… I’ve had one of them for about 10 years, and it’s still good… But I had 2 other ones fail on me, that I bought later (they were 2nd hand from ebay).

I had 2 x 3 TB Seagate drives fail in my NAS, so won’t consider Seagate again…


Full stop.

The absolute piles of data BackBlaze have been collecting since they started reporting their drive failure stats in 2013 have made a few things very clear right from the beginning:

  1. Any spinning-rust drive can fail, at any time, often without warning.
  2. (SMART is some help in detecting failing drives once they start failing, but it’s not as great a predictor as we’d all hoped.)
  3. There are no “good manufacturers” or “bad manufacturers”. Any company might release a model that turns out to be the new IBM DeathStar, and their next model could end up topping the charts for long-term reliability.
  4. There definitely are “good models” and “bad models”, but there’s no way to know which is which up front — only extensive use over the collective lifetimes of the drives will separate the diamonds from the turds. Any particular model usually doesn’t reveal itself to be exceptionally reliable or unreliable until after it’s been discontinued in favor of newer models (which nobody can make any reliability predictions about).

In short, BackBlaze summed up their original 2013 stats post like so:

[…] how long should you assume a hard drive you are going to buy will last? The correct answer is to always have at least one backup and preferably two, keep them separate, and check them often一the 3-2-1 backup strategy. Every hard drive you buy will fail at some point—it could be in one day or 10 years—be prepared.


Explore WD Hard Drive Colors: Blue, Green, Black, Red, Purple - Data Recovery in Ahmedabad, Best Data Recovery in India.

Think all drives fail at some stage, answer is backups and you can never do enough.

Now i use usb keys but have several on the go