WD RED vs. Regular Desktop Drives

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by joelhinch, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. macrumors member


    Oct 2, 2012
    I have a 'server' running OS X Mountain Lion Server.

    I have it so it is only on for half of the day (turned on and of every day) trying to save some power :D

    I am planning on purchasing more drives, and i wanted 2x 3TB Drives (1 for storage, and the other backing up that drive).
    As its a 'server' I was leaning towards the WD Red drives, but i have seen that they are designed for a 24/7 environment, whereas in my case they would be powered up and down every day.

    All im worried about is reliability and performance.

    What do you think is best for this scenario?

  2. macrumors 603


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    Turn your "server" on and leave it on 24/7. It'll either sleep or idle as it needs to, dramatically reducing power draw (under 10 watts or so). Turn the monitor off when you're not using it and you're good to go.

    Starting the thing up drastically increases the power draw for the first several minutes, not to mention the wear and tear on your drives, and the downtime of your "server."
  3. macrumors 65816

    Aug 26, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    What model is this "server"? If it's a Mac Pro, it's going to be pulling some power, up to 300w if running full boar (which it should almost never do). If it's a maxxed out 27" iMac, it might pull about 200w going full. A MacMini might pull around 85w. And a MacBook Pro could also pull around 85w.

    With my local power rates, this would cost the following to run 24/7:
    Mac Pro: 38 cents a day
    iMac: 25 cents a day
    Mac Mini: 11 cents a day
    MacBook Pro: 11 cents a day.

    Note that these numbers are for computers running at their CPU max. Average use is a fraction of the numbers above. So even with a MacPro, you might spend $6 a month for it to run. $1.50 for a MacMini or MacBook Pro. If it's just serving files, it might be even less than that! The hard drive choice is negligible.

    I say leave it on all the time and forget about the power-up, power-down thing. Every computer in my house stays on 24/7. In fact, my laptop hasn't even been restarted in 38 days, and my iMac only gets restarted when new software is applied.

    But yeah, I can't make an informed decision on which drive to use.
  4. macrumors G5


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    There is an obvious distinction between both. RED drives are geared towards nonstop usage and being used as RAID drives. So those are more mechanically reliable than traditional HDDs.
  5. macrumors 65816


    Dec 31, 2008
    I have four 1TB WD Greens (WD10EARS) in my home server, as well as one 1TB WD Blue (WD10EALS). All have run faultlessly; the server is a bit over a year old, but none of the drives were new when I put it together - all of them were removed from other builds or external enclosures. My server is an HP Microserver; the drives spin down when not in use, but the machine never sleeps. I leave it on all the time.

    Haven't tried the Reds, but if I were buying a new drive today (for the server), if would be either a Red or a Green, and I would only pick the Green if there was a BIG price difference. That being said, I wouldn't consider another brand than WD unless there was a TREMENDOUS price difference (like double, lol). I have NEVER had to replace any of my personal WD drives in over 17 years of owning a home PC.
  6. Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    The RED drives are in response to problems associated with using the Green drives in many NAS units. The RED drive has a higher MTBF and is geared more towards the demands in a NAS or Server then the green drive.
  7. macrumors 65816


    Dec 31, 2008
    Since I'm just over a year in, I can't state with certainty, but (so far) I've not had any issues with my Greens. Then again, mine are NOT in a NAS, per se; mine are in an actual computer, with proper cooling, defrag, spin-down times, etc. Think it makes a difference? :) All of mine are in good health and have been flawless thus far.

    That being said, I refer to my previous post - if I were buying from scratch with the intention of it being a server drive (none of mine were), then I'd get the Red UNLESS there was a substantial price difference.
  8. thread starter macrumors member


    Oct 2, 2012
    Its an old Mac Pro, customised. Running 6 HDD's (no optical drives).

    I don't have a monitor hooked up to it, but i see what you're saving about wear and tear on the drives, and downtime. The fact is, i don't need it on 50% of the day though.


    Thanks everyone for your opinions / recommendations. :)
  9. macrumors 68040

    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    Reds are essentially WD drives without crippled anti-raid firmware.

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