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Old 09-20-2020, 12:12 AM   #1
Curious.George
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Default WD drive "colors"

I typically have "black" WD drives, here. A couple of purple -- but special purposed. I've had bad luck with Green so avoid them.

But, recently offered a box of Blues. As I understand it, these are "consumer" grade? (so, a bit less performant/reliable than the Blacks).

In practical terms, what are the real differences?

(the drives in question are small-ish -- 500G -- so I'd obviously have to deploy them appropriately)
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Old 09-20-2020, 01:28 AM   #2
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Default Re: WD drive "colors"

It is quite impossible to know due to lots of shenanigans like this:

https://www.techspot.com/news/86680-...what-they.html

https://www.techspot.com/news/85441-...-smr-hdds.html
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Old 09-20-2020, 04:28 PM   #3
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Default Re: WD drive "colors"

yea some of the wd blue drives which are high capacity are actually rebranded green drives.

i dont seem to like wd drives at all these days. i sometimes grab their enterprise grade re4 2tb drives which are retro from a decade ago on junkbay if they show up for a good price. i've mostly jumped ship to hitachi now. hitachi drives are the most reliable according to statistics from backblaze, even though hitachi is actually owned by wd. hahaha! maybe hitachi should just do a reverse takeover of wd roflmao!
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Old 09-21-2020, 04:48 AM   #4
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Default Re: WD drive "colors"

Honestly this is what I know pretty much about WD's color codes:

RE series - Enterprise drives, pretty much similar to Seagate's Barracuda ES/Constellation series. Can be used as daily consumer drives with no issues whatsoever (I have 2 x 1TB Barracuda ES.2 running in my main PC and one came from a IBM server, none of them are any different from a consumer drive in my experience)

Blue - Consumer grade drives. The ones before the Green-to-Blue rebrand are actually good. Laptop based Blue drives are good mostly, but every now and then I've happened to hit a lemon or two.

Black - almost the same as blue but all drives are usually exclusively 7200RPM drives, including laptop drives, and are oriented for performance. Same rule applies to laptop drive - they're good, but expect to hit a few lemons, especially since these heat up quite a lot than a normal Blue.

Green - the literal poison of the brand. Most ECO drives were Green, some were reintegrated as Blue drives (and I wouldn't be surprised if some were actually altered at HW and SW level to run at 7200RPM instead of 5400RPM) but AFAIK green drives still exist. The only laptop drives I know of that is from this line are the 2TB WD20NPVT and WD20NPVX, with the rest of their 2.5' Green line being purely SSDs I think.

Red - NAS oriented, so not much to say about these. Surprisingly, I've seen 2.5" Red drives being sold for daily usage in laptops by a romanian retailer named CEL, and the drive I've seen was a WD10JFCX, and was at a really good price. Might order one next month just out of curiosity on how it would fare in a laptop, especially since these have a huge amount of cache usually.

Purple - DVR/surveillance oriented, although I presume these could work as a cheap alternative to people who want more TBs for less, I guess. My dad has a 4TB Purple running in a Sempron 145 w/ DDR3 machine I built for him as a secondary storage drive and it works surprisingly well.

Gold - I don't know too much about them, but I suppose these are the successor to RE4 drives, so what I said about RE4 should also apply to these, I guess.

White - basically the older drives from before WD started color coding. Most of the 80,160,250,320 and even some 500GB drives had white labels, and were usually called Caviar SE. This color also includes the Velociraptor drives.

This is all the knowledge I have of WD "Colors" drives. It would be interesting for me to gather a 2.5' Red (regardless of how much capacity it has) and see how it performs against a 750GB Blue I have here.
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Old 09-21-2020, 09:54 AM   #5
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Default Re: WD drive "colors"

Any regular drive you use and attain in your country you should make it a ssd except for soho storage

I actually have two RE4s in my nas (raid 1) and one in my shop box. Older sata II. But still my nas dosen't get a lot of activity needing high I/O
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Old 09-21-2020, 10:07 AM   #6
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Default Re: WD drive "colors"

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Originally Posted by Uranium-235 View Post
Any regular drive you use and attain in your country you should make it a ssd except for soho storage
100+TB of SSD is a bit pricey. :> I don't see the performance gains to represent a REAL "productivity enhancement" -- at least not for the types of work that I do (load app ONCE, then spend your time working in RAM).

Also, I wouldn't trust an SSD for reliable, longterm storage. Too many opportunities for spectacular failure (instead of a gradual reduction in performance).
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Old 09-21-2020, 10:09 AM   #7
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Default Re: WD drive "colors"

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It is quite impossible to know due to lots of shenanigans like this:
I don't mind if a manufacturer changes an implementation -- even within a particular model number.

But, the "contract" that the interface specification represents should be sacrosanct. I'm not buying "implementation" but, rather, "specification".
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Old 09-21-2020, 10:15 AM   #8
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Default Re: WD drive "colors"

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Originally Posted by Curious.George View Post
100+TB of SSD is a bit pricey. :> I don't see the performance gains to represent a REAL "productivity enhancement" -- at least not for the types of work that I do (load app ONCE, then spend your time working in RAM).

Also, I wouldn't trust an SSD for reliable, longterm storage. Too many opportunities for spectacular failure (instead of a gradual reduction in performance).
At work our data center went to all SSD several years ago, and since a lot of what we do involves data/databases there have been significant performance improvements. There is the issue of failure, but our rate of failure hasn't been significantly higher than it was with conventional HDDs (and is much better then when we were using tape for much of the "non-live" data) and that is what redundancy and backups are for (the drives also get replaced every 5 years, just as their magnetic counterparts did in the past, so "long-term" is somewhat relative in this case). There is also the higher cost, but much of that is offset by lower power usage over the life of the drive (a big deal in a ~250,000 sq-ft data center).

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Old 09-21-2020, 11:06 AM   #9
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Default Re: WD drive "colors"

i trust wd over seagate any day,
but some of the recent bullshit like selling 5400rpm "black" drives has me wondering wtf they are thinking.

there used to be a pattern,
blue - regular crap
black - performance with cost.
red - black with a firmware tweak relating to seek errors
yellow - black with a bigger cache

dont know what white was based on - but it had special firmware for sequential access for low latency video work such as pvr's and security systems - probably blue based.

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Old 09-21-2020, 11:29 AM   #10
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Default Re: WD drive "colors"

I remember when Blues were probably always 7K and seemed not much different than the Blacks! The Blues, used to be the "poor man's Black".

IIRC, it wasn't until very late when the Blues also were the same thing as the previous Greens.

I remember when even Blues were a big improvement over the Greens.

Now, even the Blacks seem to have a PCB that wasn't more reliable than a Blue.

(At least sometime before 2019)

My Black from 2016, IIRC, seems to have oxidation already!

Purple looks like something ideal for repeated video recordings. Western Digital is very into ad-hoc and semi-ad-hoc HDD marketing stuff.

Yellow=I can't recall Western Digital actually having a brand called "Yellow", but that color, is synonymous with non-Black enterprise grade HDDs, with many of them of course, being the 'Raptors and the 7K'ers being the REs.

And 5K Blacks? I suspect those are the Scorpios, their brand intended for laptops, albeit they can be used on desktops. Ever since SATA, laptop HDDs don't have totally-different-style-connectors. PATA 2.5-inch HDDs, usually require an adapter, just to even access them from a desktop PC!
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Old 09-21-2020, 12:36 PM   #11
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Default Re: WD drive "colors"

in short, it's a total clusterfuck - wd needs to sack it's entire marketing dept - they have failed biggly!
(as trump would say)
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Old 09-21-2020, 01:37 PM   #12
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Default Re: WD drive "colors"

Quote:
Originally Posted by RJARRRPCGP View Post
And 5K Blacks? I suspect those are the Scorpios, their brand intended for laptops, albeit they can be used on desktops. Ever since SATA, laptop HDDs don't have totally-different-style-connectors. PATA 2.5-inch HDDs, usually require an adapter, just to even access them from a desktop PC!
Black Scorpios are all 7200s. I have at least two of them, and even searching WD Scorpio Black on Google gave me only 7200RPM results for 2.5' drives. Likewise, all Blue Scorpios seem to be 5400RPM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uranium-235 View Post
Any regular drive you use and attain in your country you should make it a ssd except for soho storage
I do have a SSD running in one of my laptops (a monster of an ASUS RoG G70S I scored for cheap and managed to fix) but alongside I always stick a HDD.

SSD are way too pricey, and have less life than a "spinning rust" drive. At least with the spinning drives, you can squeeze quite a lot of life, considering you don't handle the laptop (or PC) like a monkey lol. That's why I usually rack up on new or at least working drives. I recently bought a WD 750GB Scorpio Blue (WD7500BPVX) and a 1TB Seagate ST1000LM024 (which came from an Apple, given by the black sticker that Apple loves to use).

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Old 09-21-2020, 01:39 PM   #13
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Default Re: WD drive "colors"

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Black Scorpios are all 7200s. I have at least two of them, and even searching WD Scorpio Black on Google gave me only 7200RPM results for 2.5' drives.
That's what I would expect for Black.
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Old 09-21-2020, 04:07 PM   #14
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Default Re: WD drive "colors"

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At work our data center went to all SSD several years ago, and since a lot of what we do involves data/databases there have been significant performance improvements.
An RDBMS has completely different storage usage requirements than most applications. A dataset is rarely small enough to reside completely in primary memory (RAM). OTOH, I can design a complex circuit/PCB/document/spreadsheet and easily fit the entire application and "data" in memory. So, unless there is a real "additional user" competing for machine resources, you can easily add RAM to a point where the machine doesn't page/thrash (my boxes are each sporting 96G and on their way to 192G).

There is also a VALUE to performance when running an RDBMS as most aren't used as offline/batch applications; you are running queries in real time and expecting results in same.

If rendering a 3D animation or routing a PCB, I can afford to walk away and let the machine work at it's capacity -- I'm not "wasting money" by sitting and waiting for its results!

Quote:
There is the issue of failure, but our rate of failure hasn't been significantly higher than it was with conventional HDDs (and is much better then when we were using tape for much of the "non-live" data) and that is what redundancy and backups are for (the drives also get replaced every 5 years, just as their magnetic counterparts did in the past, so "long-term" is somewhat relative in this case). There is also the higher cost, but much of that is offset by lower power usage over the life of the drive (a big deal in a ~250,000 sq-ft data center).
I don't have a budget -- or staff! -- for periodically replacing storage media. :> So, I have to rely on what I have working for as long as I need it. E.g., I've started transfering data from anything smaller than 500GB onto larger media simply because it cuts down on the NUMBER of drives that I have to shepherd. (i.e., the old drives still work, they're just too small to be efficient uses of space)

And, I don't have much spinning at any given time so there's little to be saved by replacing my archive with more power efficient media. I've just found keeping the archive on spinning rust instead of tape to be far more reliable and accessible; I can verify the contents (hashes) at essentially the transfer rate of the drive -- instead of the transfer rate of a transport!

(and, no retensioning issues)
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Old 09-21-2020, 04:22 PM   #15
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Default Re: WD drive "colors"

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I do have a SSD running in one of my laptops (a monster of an ASUS RoG G70S I scored for cheap and managed to fix) but alongside I always stick a HDD.
I have ~12 250G SSDs that I rescued -- but I've never been motivated to put any into use (esp given that I don't know their history). I may try installing one in the DVR just to see how it fares (keeping the rust drive on a shelf to deal with any spectacular failures!)

I have another dozen of TINY -- in capacity (16G - 64G) as well as physical size (essesntially just a SATA connector and ~2 sq in PCB) -- SSDs (intended for appliances) that I thought I would use for some of my appliances but have, instead, settled on PXE-booting each of them. Even at 100Mb, they boot faster than a traditional PC (running MSbloatware). So, I'm still waiting for the right application to present itself.

Quote:
SSD are way too pricey, and have less life than a "spinning rust" drive.
For PC applications, the performance benefits of the SSD don't seem to justify the cost. E.g., I've had ONE application open on my primary workstation now for several weeks. So, the time that it took to load/start that app is an insignificant portion of the time spent USING it. And, given that the app can "autosave" my work WHILE I am working ("multitasking"), I don't incur any penalties for those disk writes while using it.

Quote:
At least with the spinning drives, you can squeeze quite a lot of life, considering you don't handle the laptop (or PC) like a monkey lol. That's why I usually rack up on new or at least working drives. I recently bought a WD 750GB Scorpio Blue (WD7500BPVX) and a 1TB Seagate ST1000LM024 (which came from an Apple, given by the black sticker that Apple loves to use).
My biggest potential problem is DROPPING a (bare) disk drive as I carry it from "offline" to (temporarily) install it in a machine. I store the offline drives in disk shelfs (12 or 15 per) but don't like spinning up the shelfs (takes too long and makes too much noise!).

So, I *pull* the drives that I am interested in from their shelfs and install them in a small server that can directly accept the sleds used in the shelfs. Once done, I physically move the drives back to their original shelf(s).

[The server automatically recognizes each drive and updates a database that tracks which files are installed on each drive. So, I can search that database to determine which drive I want to "pull" to access some particular content. It also uses information stored in that database to determine which files on THESE drives haven't been "verified", recently, and checks their current hashes against hashes stored in the database. In this way, otherwise "silent" errors get caught before they become uncorrectable!]
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Old 09-21-2020, 05:29 PM   #16
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Default Re: WD drive "colors"

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Originally Posted by Curious.George View Post
100+TB of SSD is a bit pricey. :> I don't see the performance gains to represent a REAL "productivity enhancement" -- at least not for the types of work that I do (load app ONCE, then spend your time working in RAM).

Also, I wouldn't trust an SSD for reliable, longterm storage. Too many opportunities for spectacular failure (instead of a gradual reduction in performance).
ok soho storage was like small nas's and the like. Enterprise is implied to be non-ssd. I should have said soho and higher
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Old 09-21-2020, 05:46 PM   #17
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Default Re: WD drive "colors"

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Enterprise is implied to be non-ssd.

Not so much any more (note my previous post). I work for a company that measures network storage in petabytes and it was all migrated to SSD about two years ago now (and to think, less than a decade ago 70% of it was on tape). Everyone thought SSDs would never displace spinning rust in enterprise environments but they were wrong. With SSDs being much faster and more power efficient (thus recouping much of the initial cost) than traditional HDDs it is a pretty compelling value proposition for any company with a lot of data access/throughput needs and sufficient budget/resources to cover the cost of purchase and maintenance. It will take longer for it to filter down to the SOHO and small-business market but the days of spinning rust are definitely numbered (at least in mainstream use).
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Old 09-21-2020, 06:21 PM   #18
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Default Re: WD drive "colors"

Ive ran across only a few green drives I have a used 2tb from ebay high 30k hours no realocated sectors, read and write speeds kinda suck but seems like a decent drive, but the blacks and blues have been flawless for me.
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Old 09-21-2020, 06:36 PM   #19
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Default Re: WD drive "colors"

I've only ran across one, which was a old lady (long time customer, now no longer due to alzhimers). She had an HP with a WD Green that had died (this was her like, third call? through the year). She had been using like ~100gb, so I set her up with a ss 512 pro (she did tax stuff so I figured she should get pro class)
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Old 09-21-2020, 06:57 PM   #20
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Default Re: WD drive "colors"

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ok soho storage was like small nas's and the like. Enterprise is implied to be non-ssd. I should have said soho and higher
The problem with ever increasing storage densities and falling price-per-bits is that it doesn't incentivize you to do any "housecleaning". It's easier to just KEEP stuff and buy more space than it is to sit down and sort out what you REALLY need (witness I'm at 100+TB and still increasing!).

When I started out, a box of floppies was a "considerable investment"; who could need more than that to develop a product? One for the system disk and tools, another for your "original work". The rest of the box let you preserve a few snapshots of your entire system (on individual diskettes).

Now, I have individual documents that wouldn't fit in that box of floppies! And, complete projects that are many GB. <frown> My smallest SAN is 48TB...

My ToDo list includes adding a "comment" field to each file listed in my database so I can describe what the hell a particular cryptic filename actually MEANS! Then, add fields to track how often -- and how recently -- each is accessed. Maybe, then, I'll be able to prune the collection without a shitload of apprehension/risk! :-/
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