WD Red 6tb WD60EFAX SMR?

Are these SMR drives? I cannot get any confirmed information anywhere. I cant even seem to get this information from WD support. Ive been told that this information is not available. I dont get it. Really need to know before try and add more of these drives to my PMR raid array.

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Hi criskoe,

You can refer to the link below for further information.


WD will continue to invest in PMR, and other next-generation technologies such as tunneling magneto resistive (TuMR) heads combined with proven ramp load technology.

Hey john thanks for the reply but it unfortunately doesn’t really answer the question. Seems while WD may be still investing in PMR, these drives are reported to be SMR. One of the more reputable outfits that labels them as SMR is Synology.

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For “reasons” WD won’t tell a consumer if it’s PMR or SMR. So your only options are to ask a certified reseller/integrator whom they do tell. Or just buy it and benchmark it. If it turns out to be not what you’re looking for just return it and keep doing that till you get what you want.

Here’s finally a definitive answer:

I think WD need make a lot clear of device uses SMR.

I think WD needs to make a separate brand name for SMR drives like RED-archive.
Where the documentation clearly list that is SMR, that disk are not meant for devices to actively run applications of it, not to be mixed with non-SMR devices if in a RAID, and that this is do to lower random writes.

I think WD need to make SMART flag for what type of record type is used, so we easily troubleshoot error, and we can build notification system if some try to mix SMR with CMR.

I bought 4 WD60EFAX drives for my Qnap expansion array, hoiping to use it as backup for my existing arrays. They may be labeled ‘NAS’ but my backup is generating errors as the transfer rate very quickly fell to 27mb/second – so a 12 hour backup looks like it will take 2 days to complete. If WD does not wish to replace these with actual NAS drives then perhaps they could advise as to how to use them to get less appalling performance. I have 10 of their 4tb drives in various places and had been satisfied with their performance.

So what’s the outcome here? The drives I bought that were sold to me as NAS drives are in fact not suitable for use in my FreeNAS mini. That in itself is a breach of consumer protection laws where I live. To make it worse, at the time I purchased there was no way I could have known this because WD were still lying about the technology the drive uses. Now the truth is out and the WD website is very clear and honest, it even contains a compatibility checker!! But what about me and the other people who purchased while they were still lying? Are we getting refunds? Is there a class action lawsuit?

I’m the person that started this thread almost a year ago. I was expanding my NAS that was at the time populated with the older 6tb versions of the red line up and ran into this question about the newer 6tb models being SMR after I noticed huge performance issues after expanding my array. I never got anywhere with WD. I even got pretty high up in the customer service chain with WD and was reached out to by a engineer level person but was never given a complete answer. Basically would not confirm. But also at the time did not dispute synologys claim that the new drives were in fact SMR.

After a good long discussion with a synology rep who was adamant that these newer drives were in fact SMR drives, I Decided to follow synologys advice and NOT use what was believed to be a SMR drive in my raid configuration. I pulled the drives and ended up returning the newer 6tb red drives with SMR to amazon. Posted a review about them being SMR which looks to have saved some people some grief which is nice. I also created a reddit post about this in the WD subreddit around the same time. Wanted to save as many people as possible going down this path. Then I phased out the older 6tb drives I already had and switched all of the drives to 10tb helium drives that are still PMR/CMR drives and noticed the proper performance returned and have not had any more speed issues.

Looking back. Now that WD has FINALLY done the right thing and admitted the truth about these drives is good I guess. Late for some people it seems tho. I’m so glad I didn’t go down that path.

The truth is the main reason WD is doing this is cause SMR is easier and less costly to manufacture. SMR requires less platters so they can make larger drives cheaper at a cost of sustained write performance. Now SMR has a place in the HD world. But in the archive world. It doesn’t belong in high write raid scenarios. WD really needed to make this clear to consumers.

now there is a more clear statement from WD, but we are watching for they steps and update db about SMR and CMR in our independent Synoforum.com.
Also you can find in our Blog section many explanations and recommendations for cases when SMR is useful and when it’s just a fail.
When someone from the WD support has an interest to join us, it’s welcome. But we need just skilled answers. No hiding.

Western Digital WD60EFAX hard drives use SMR technology, which should NEVER be used with RAID arrays.