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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > [SUITABILITY] WD Red NAS drive as a general purpose backup drive.

[SUITABILITY] WD Red NAS drive as a general purpose backup drive.
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Jan 4, 2014, 03:22 PM
 
Hi everyone,

I am looking for a bit of advice please regarding getting a new internal backup drive for my 2008 Mac Pro.

I'm looking for really good reliability/warranty (I have 5 external drives that are also used for backup purposes - 4 of which are then kept off-site for safety/security reasons) and I have come across the Western Digital Red series of drives that are designed to be used in NAS drives and come with a 3-year warranty in the UK.

So, my eventual question is this - is this NAS-purposed drive a good bet for an "internal" backup drive on a Mac Pro? My understanding is that a drive designed for NAS use (my understanding being 24/7 use) would be a good bet for a Mac that is only on for maybe 3-4 hours a day on average (more during weekends and arguments). I can pick up a 3TB WD Red for £100/$155 including tax and delivery at the moment.

Or would I be better just getting a general consumer 3TB drive with the bog-standard 1yr (2yr if you are lucky) warranty?

I hope someone can offer some sage-like wisdom.

All the best,

Matthew
Early 2008 Mac Pro (8 x 2.8), original Core Duo 2.0GHz MacBook Pro
     
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Jan 5, 2014, 12:45 AM
 
For your use, the (cheaper) WD Greens are fine.

The key difference between the two is how aggressively the on-board drive controller tries to keep sectors which are going bad. The Greens are aggressive, the Reds aren't.

The reason you wouldn't want to be aggressive is it takes time. This isn't an issue with a single drive. The amount of time we're talking is measured in nanoseconds.

With a RAID setup, a few extra nanoseconds can be just long enough to throw off the delicate time synchronization RAIDs need to operate at full speed. If that happens, the RAID controller will declare that drive totally dead, and ask you to put in a new one.

The Reds are designed not to allow that to happen. If a particular sector is going to take too long for the RAID controller, it marks the sector as bad and moves on.

Does that make sense?
     
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Jan 5, 2014, 04:10 AM
 
Very interesting. So, how do the WD Black I have on my Mac Pro fare to the Red/Green series.?
     
P
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Jan 5, 2014, 06:48 AM
 
WD's color scheme is:

Green: Cheap, slow, large. Tends to be quieter as they spin slower, but that's more of a side-effect.
Blue: Midrange - except that for some reason all laptop HDDs are blue, and they don't make the Blue ones at top capacity.
Black: High end.
Red: Specially designed for RAID setups.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Jan 5, 2014, 04:09 PM
 
Thanks for all the replies.

I'll look at either the Greens for cost-effectiveness or the Blacks for warranty and reliability.

All the best,

Matthew
Early 2008 Mac Pro (8 x 2.8), original Core Duo 2.0GHz MacBook Pro
     
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Jan 6, 2014, 10:32 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
WD's color scheme is:

Green: Cheap, slow, large. Tends to be quieter as they spin slower, but that's more of a side-effect.
Blue: Midrange - except that for some reason all laptop HDDs are blue, and they don't make the Blue ones at top capacity.
Black: High end.
Red: Specially designed for RAID setups.
They also make "Enterprise" grade drives, which are meant for RAIDs, and are faster than Reds, but like the Green/Black setup, the Reds are quieter than the Enterprise drives because they spin slower. This is nice as I have a 10 bay server stashed in my bedroom. It's whisper quiet.

If you've ever been in an big server room, you'll have noted how much noise things make is just not a concern.
( Last edited by subego; Jan 6, 2014 at 06:05 PM. )
     
   
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