Western Digital Red Pro WD6001FFWX 6TB Review (Page 2 of 11)

Page 2 - A Closer Look, Test System

As always, with our storage reviews, before we move on to the benchmark results, let us briefly discuss the physical attributes of this hard disk drive first. The Red Pro WD6001FFWX 6TB is your quintessential 3.5" hard drive from Western Digital; all you have at the top is bare metal with a dull silver finish, and a large label placed across the middle. It weighs in at 1.66lbs each. As a differentiating element between product lines, the top and bottom of the sticker is printed red in color, because, well, it is part of the Red Pro series designed for network attached storage systems. The label also says "WD Red Pro" at the bottom, just so you can tell this is not a regular Red. On the label, you will also spot information like its 6TB drive capacity, SATA interface with 128MB cache, WD6001FFWX model code, NASware 3.0 firmware, manufacturing date on August 3, 2015 for our particular unit, and that it is a product of Malaysia. A QR code is prominently displayed as well. Once scanned, it will bring up Western Digital's product page for you to learn more about this particular hard drive. The Western Digital Red Pro comes with a five year limited warranty, compared to just three years for the non-Pro model.

Turning the Western Digital Red Pro WD6001FFWX 6TB around, and you will see a green printed circuit board that interfaces between its SATA 6Gb/s interface and the physical mechanical components. Mechanically, the Western Digital Red Pro WD6001FFWX 6TB is a 7,200RPM drive with five 1.2TB platters inside. These are very high density platters, and should translate to great performance in our benchmarks. You will see 5.45TB in Windows. The rated power consumption is 10.6W under load and 7.4W idling, which is pretty high; the Red Pro is a performance NAS drive that does not even pretend to save power. It is rated a 0.2W lower than the WD Black 6TB in idle. Meanwhile, it is specified to consume 1.6W standby.

As far as electronic components are concerned, the Western Digital Red Pro WD6001FFWX 6TB features a LSI TT07143 dual core drive controller. Pins can be set to force backwards compatibility, in case you have a system that does not correctly negotiate interface speed automatically. The motor is controlled by a WD Pike driver. A large Samsung K4B1G1646G-BCK0 128MB DDR3-1600 IC acts as the cache for the drive. The drive firmware is stored on an array of seven Winbond 25Q20BWVIG ICs. This is practically identical to the Western Digital Black WD6001FZWX 6TB, which is what the Red Pro is based off of. This hardware selection is quite different compared to the non-Pro version of the Western Digital Red series, which are based off the consumer Green series instead.

But before we delve into the benchmarking, I would like to spend a little bit of time discussing the unique characteristics of the Western Digital Red Pro WD6001FFWX 6TB NAS drive. What makes a NAS drive, a NAS drive? From a hardware perspective, usually, it will feature lower consumption. However, the Western Digital Red Pro WD6001FFWX 6TB is based off the Black WD6001FZWX, and being 7,200RPM and all, it sucks quite a bit more power than the regular Red. That said, WD Red Pro features a multi-axis shock sensor, which is usually exclusive to enterprise class HDDs. What it does is it actively measures subtle shock events, and with dynamic fly height technology, it automatically compensates head positioning to ensure each I/O operation will not induce excessive physical wear on the disk components. This works in conjunction with dual actuator technology, which improves the data track positional accuracy and drive head positioning, as well as StableTrac, which stabilizes drive platters by securing the motor shaft to reduce vibration caused by the system. Most network attached storage oriented models like the Western Digital Red and Seagate NAS HDD recommends no more than five drives per system, but the Western Digital Red Pro will play nice even if you have up to sixteen drives running concurrently. The Western Digital Red Pro WD6001FFWX 6TB is also rated as having 1,000,000 hours MTBF. Reliability enhancements are also made with what company calls the "3D Active Balance Plus", which refers to the disk being physically balanced properly to reduce excessive vibration and noise in a multi-drive configuration, such as your network attached storage system.

One big element, obviously, comes down to the Western Digital Red Pro being TLER enabled. If a drive is not TLER enabled, it may be dropped out of a RAID array unexpectedly down the road. TLER stands for 'Time Limited Error Recovery', which is Western Digital's name for a feature that limits a hard drive's error recovery time to seven seconds (Seagate calls it ERC; Hitachi calls it CCTL). According to Western Digital, desktop hard drives may enter deep recovery mode, and could take up to two minutes to deal with a bad sector. During this time, the hard drive will not respond. Because of this, RAID controllers may mark the drive as unreliable, because it has failed to respond within a set period of time.

For small NAS environments, most people probably will not need hardcore enterprise grade drives, which are usually quite expensive. TLER and related RAID array configuration problems are more crucial with demanding business environments than a home or SOHO NAS setup with just two or three drives. Linux software RAID that your network attached storage system implements is much more lenient with consumer desktop drives. Personally, I have run RAID 5 arrays in my QNAP systems from 2010 to 2014 using regular disks -- from Western Digital, no less -- with absolutely no problems at all. That said, products like the Red Pro WD6001FFWX we are reviewing today is essentially an enterprise grade drive designed specifically for large network attached storage systems, especially when their physical operating environment becomes a concern for hardware reliability. Additionally, they are specifically tested for compatibility, and comes TLER enabled from the factory to ensure you will not experience related issues down the road.

Our test configuration is as follows:

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K @ 4.6GHz
CPU Cooling: Noctua NH-D15S (Single fan)
Motherboard: ASUS P8P67 WS Revolution
RAM: Kingston HyperX Savage HX324C11SRK2/16 2x8GB
Graphics: Gigabyte G1 Gaming GeForce GTX 960 4GB
Chassis: SilverStone Temjin TJ04-E (Noctua NF-S12A PWM, Noctua NF-P12 PWM)
Storage: OCZ Vector 150 240GB; Crucial MX200 500GB
Power: PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk III 1200W
Sound: Auzentech X-Fi Bravura
Optical Drive: LiteOn iHAS224-06 24X DVD Writer
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 Professional

Compared Hardware:
- Western Digital Red Pro WD6001FFWX 6TB (Hard Drive)
- Crucial MX200 500GB (Solid State Drive)
- HGST Deskstar NAS 4TB (Hard Drive)
- Seagate Desktop SSHD ST4000DX001 4TB (Hybrid Hard Drive)
- Seagate Laptop SSHD ST500LM000 500GB (Hybrid Hard Drive)
- Seagate NAS HDD ST4000VN000 4TB (Hard Drive)
- Western Digital Black WD6001FZWX 6TB (Hard Drive)
- Western Digital Blue SSHD WD40E31X 4TB (Hybrid Hard Drive)
- Western Digital Red WD40EFRX 4TB (Hard Drive)
- Western Digital Red WD60EFRX 6TB (Hard Drive)
- Western Digital Red Pro WD4001FFSX 4TB (Hard Drive)

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look, Test System
3. Benchmark: AIDA64 Disk Benchmark
4. Benchmark: ATTO Disk Benchmark
5. Benchmark: Crystal Disk Mark 3.0
6. Benchmark: HD Tach
7. Benchmark: HD Tune Pro 4.60
8. Benchmark: PassMark PerformanceTest 8.0
9. Benchmark: PCMark 7
10. NAS Performance, Power Consumption
11. Conclusion