Se NAS Drives versus Red NAS Drives ... Are Se Drives Really Better?

This post solicits a response from Western Digital.

I’m looking at available information as I consider purchasing a NAS … and populating it with drives.   It’s a six bay NAS, so according to WD’s recommendation, I shouldn’t use economical WD40EFRX (Red) 4TB drives.  Rather I should use the WD4000F9YZ (Se) drives. 

Fine.

WD know their business, so I’m all for heeding such recommendations.

However. 

The issue of load/unload cycles that has re-emerged since November 2013 (with the widespread identification of the apparent original WD misconfiguration of 4TB Red’s drive-idle parking behaviour at 8 Sec … instead of the current 300 Sec value) has got me wondering. 

Is my trust in WD guidance perhaps less than fully warranted?

Are Se drives truly better suited for use in NAS enclosures holding more than 5 drives?

Under  Reliability/Data Integrity of the respective specification sheets, the Se drives are all rated at 1/2 the value of the Red drives with respect for the tolerated load/unload cycles. 

  • The costlier, middle-tier WD4000F9YZ is  rated for ‘only’ 300,000 load/unload cycles, while

  • The more economical, bottom tier WD40EFRX is  rated for 600,000 Load/unload cycles.

Under Environmental Specifications of the respective specification sheets, the Se drives can be expected to produce non-recoverable errors at a significantly lower temperature of the Red drives.

  • The costlier, middle-tier WD4000F9YZ is  rated for error-free operation at up to 50 degrees © or 122 degrees (F), while

  • The more economical, bottom tier WD40EFRX is  rated for error-free operation at up to 70 degrees © or 158 degrees (F).


Some questions for Western Digital rep(s) perusing this forum.  (I’m also interested in reading Community comments.  I really want to learn what WD has to say about this topic.)

Question 1.  Why is the Se ‘weaker’ with respect to tolerating load/unload cycles?

Question 2.  Does the lower tolerance for load/unload cycles result from the higher average power requirements of the Se drives (9.5W while operating, 8.1W at idle) compared to the Red drives (4.5W while operating, 3.3W at idle)?  If not, what causes the difference?

Question 3.  Why is the Se ‘weaker’ with respect to tolerating high ambient temperatures during operation?  

Question 4.  Operating at twice the power-level of the Red, it seems likely that the Se drive will produce more BTUs while operating and thus tend to run warmer.  With this in mind, why are these drives more suited to large NAS cabinets than the heat-tolerant Red drives?


I look forward to reading information from Western Digital that adresses the four questions above.  Absent such a response in a reasonable amount of time I shall try to assess the consequences of these differences in technical forums and at sites selling both products.

I’d rather learn Western Digital’s stance than starting a number of public debates about this topic.  At this point, I still tend to trust the OEM of the drives I have unerringly used and recommended over the last 20 or so years.

Hello,

This is mostly a user to user forum. You will see WD Staff commenting on some of the threads but if you wish specific information about WD drives then you should contact support directly.

WD Red phone support.

I submitted a request for assistance from Technical Support staff already … after reading another contribution that mentioned the modality.

JustSomeGuy99 wrote:

Under  Reliability/Data Integrity of the respective specification sheets, the Se drives are all rated at 1/2 the value of the Red drives with respect for the tolerated load/unload cycles. 

 

  • The costlier, middle-tier WD4000F9YZ is rated for ‘only’ 300,000 load/unload cycles, while
  • The more economical, bottom tier WD40EFRX is  rated for 600,000 Load/unload cycles.

 

Under Environmental Specifications of the respective specification sheets, the Se drives can be expected to produce non-recoverable errors at a significantly lower temperature of the Red drives.

 

  • The costlier, middle-tier WD4000F9YZ is rated for error-free operation at up to 50 degrees © or 122 degrees (F), while
  • The more economical, bottom tier WD40EFRX is  rated for error-free operation at up to 70 degrees © or 158 degrees (F).

 

Maybe I originally made a mistake while drafting the original post … or maybe gnomes/gremlins were at work …

I noticed just now that the links to the Se-drive data sheet in my original post, resolved instead to the Red-drive data sheet.  Because this would make a comparison between the drives a little more difficult, I will edit the original post back to having the correct links for the Se-drive datasheet.  (The quote above reflects the correct information.)

I’ll just sign this,

Puzzled in Portland

(Perhaps ‘Answer-less in Albequerque’ would be a better sig … as I’ve learned no relevant information in spite of two separate customer service tickets.)