WD Se vs. WD Red Pro

I have searched the web, but cannot find detailed information about the differences between the WD Se and the WD Red Pro series.

They are both enterprise grade discs made for medium to big disc arrays. Based on the marketing info I would use the Se in datacenters and Red Pro in enterprise NAS, but I have no technical reason for this.

The only difference I find is the NASware. But the information I get about NASware is some very diffuse blablabla… that should be crucial for every big RAID setups, not only NAS.

To make things even more strange, the Re series is suggested for NAS, but not the Se. But the Re lacks NASware. Where is the logic?

I’m confused…

PS: I am planning to build either a Windows or FreeNAS storage server with clusters of 4 discs in RAID5/RAIDZ. Should I go for Se or Red Pro? Reliability is most important for me.

Hi Tripol, welcome to the Community. I would try to contact to contact support for the details you need to know. 


Hi Tripol,

Sorry about the confusion between the different drives.

WD Se falls into the “Datacenter” line of hard drives so it is a more expensive drive. However, it was the only solution for NAS units that exceeded 6 or 8 bays (WD Red was adjusted from 1-6 to 1 - 8 bays with the upgrade to NASware 3.0). WD Red Pro was created to help fill this gap. This way the price is closer to a consumer style drive but it can handle the higher bay NAS units and has additional testing.

WD Se could still be used in a NAS if a user wanted but WD Red Pro kind of filled this now. That is why it jumps to WD Re as the next model for really large enterprise NAS units or NAS with 16+ bays. I summarized the info below if it helps:

WD Red

IntelliPower; 1-8 bay NAS

WD Red Pro

7200rpm, 1-16 bay NAS

WD Se (could be used in place of WD Red Pro)

7200rpm, 8-16 bay NAS


7200rpm, 16+ bay or enterprise

Thanks for a good reply.

So the right choice for the FreeNAS solution would be WD Red Pro.

However if I went for a more regular storage server, like the Windows Server 2012 R2 with a maximum of 15 bays, divided into 3 pools with 5 discs in RAID 5 each, would WD Se be a better solution (since it’s not a NAS)?

From your answer it seems that WD Se is better than WD Red Pro, but the price is almost excaclty the same, at least in my country.

What is even more confusing is the reliability specs:

WD Se:

Load/unload cycles: 300,000

Non-recoverable errors:  <1 in 10^14

MTBF:  1,000,000

WD Red Pro:

Load/unload cycles: 600,000

Non-recoverable errors:  <1 in 10^15

MTBF:  1,000,000

From these specs the WD Red Pro seems to be the better one.

I still miss a more technical explanation for the difference between the two drives.

The specs between the WD Se and WD Red Pro will be pretty similar. The Load/Unload is higher on WD Red Pro because of lot of consumer based NAS units have a sleep mode, so the drive will reach a load/unload count quicker than a higher end NAS. Also, this is just a counter and doesn’t mean that a drive will fail when it reaches this threshold.

The Non-recoverable errors should be the same for both drives. I believe that there was an error in the documentation that they are correcting.

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Thanks again.

I hope the error was in the WD Se specs, where it says <10 in 10^15 (which is the same as <1 in 10^14). If the WD Se in reality is <1 in 10^15 I will go for it. This can make an important difference in bigger RAID arrays.