WD - Red Vs. Blue

mattspace

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 5, 2013
1,221
942
Australia
Hi,

So thinking about swapping out a 2TB WD Green time machine drive (also have a small external 2TB USB TM drive for redundancy) from one of my sleds for a larger drive, and the easy choice from a budget perspective is the 4TB WD Blue (WD40EZRZ), but for an extra $40 I could stretch to a 4TB Red (WD40EFRX). The Red drives are marketed as NAS specific reliability-focussed drives, but I'm wondering if the whole "optimised for 24/7 operation" thing is actually a disadvantage for a machine which is put to sleep every night.

Any opinions?
 

curmudgeonette

macrumors 6502a
Jan 28, 2016
505
325
California
The Red drives are marketed as NAS specific reliability-focussed drives, but I'm wondering if the whole "optimised for 24/7 operation" thing is actually a disadvantage for a machine which is put to sleep every night.
Apparently the Red drives are shipped with their error retry limit set very low. The idea is that in a RAID you don't want a drive going to heroic measures to read a sector when the same data can be read from an alternate drive.

Thus, a Red drive isn't a great choice if you don't have redundancy. Black might be a better choice. Or maybe Purple - the security camera drives that are meant to write data 24x7.
 
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h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
12,776
5,584
Hong Kong
For TM, and especailly you have multiple TM drives. I think just get the cheapest is good enough (unless that particular model has a significant higher failure rate). TM is just a background process, virtually transparent to the user. No reason to get a high performance HDD to do this job. I don't think anyone should keep checking the TM backup progress. It require 30min or 45min to complete the backup process doesn't really matter.

For recovery, yes, faster drive helps a bit, but not much. Because the files are not in sequential order anyway. Also, the real question is, how often do you need to recovery a large amount of data from TM. If less than once a year, why invest more on a faster HDD?
 

mattspace

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 5, 2013
1,221
942
Australia
Well, I bought the Red to put my time machine on - i figured the longer warranty etc was worth the $40 vs the (rebadged Green) Blue for peace of mind on my data backup. Also picked up a 500GB 850 evo for the 2nd optical bay to use as my boot and user drive (which is only ~350gb at the moment). I'll shift my current 2tb WD Green TM drive to replace the 1tb Green drive I'm using for photos, and keep the 1tb as a transfer / utility spare.

Now I just have to research how to spoof drive IDs to stop TM doing fresh complete backups when I move stuff between disks.
 
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orph

macrumors 68000
Dec 12, 2005
1,852
380
UK
hay been ruining a red drive for ages not noticed any problems, but as mentioned error retry limit is set low so if the drive is in raid it wont get seen as bad if it's taking to long to read a sector (or something like that).
but iv had a 2TB drive for 2-3 years? i gess with no problems and as it's a backup drive it's unlikely to die at the same time as your system drive.

i think the blue drives are a tad faster? and the black are seen as the best.
i have 2 blacks and 1 blue + 1 red (sounds like a fight :p black & blue with red coming out)