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Hard disk Western Digital Red (5 ТB) – WD WD50EFRX: review and testing  

After exploring the terabyte and top-end representative of lineup Western Digital Red, another tested solution hardly requires a special presentation. For those who are not familiar with the previous article, we will briefly describe the remarkable sides of drives with the prefix «Red».

"Red" lineup of HDD-ROM drive is designed for use in a network storage system (NAS) that includes up to 8 compartments of hard drives. For more capacious NAS, having 8-16 compartments a separate lineup Western Digital Red Pro was created. A distinctive feature of all solutions with the designation «Red» is the use of improved technology NASware 3.0, which provides excellent integration and compatibility, high data security and optimal performance of hard drives. It includes balancing technology in two planes 3D Active Balance Plus, increases the speed and reliability of disk drives. This fact is especially important in multi-drive systems where excessive noise and vibration are unacceptable, and high reliability is a priority. This allowed to increase the rate MTBF by 35% compared to conventional drives. Therefore, new items can be safely used during 24 hours a day, which is not typical for conventional hard drives designed for home use.

For correct operation in the RAID-array HDD is equipped with intelligent rectification. Due to this it is possible to significantly reduce the downtime required to restore the array. Also, these drives have low power consumption and temperature, and the manufacturer provides a warranty during 3 years (5 years for making Western Digital Red Pro).

Another feature of the series of hard drives WD Red (as well as WD Green and WD Purple) is the use of technology IntelliPower. It implies an optimal balance between the spindle speed, transfer rate and algorithms of information caching, which allows to achieve acceptable performance with low noise and high energy efficiency.

Western Digital Red (WD50EFRX)

After careful learning the benefits of drives WD Red, we had an impression that they combine all the best achievements in the field of hard disk drives. On the one hand, it is true, because in order to operate around the clock a special approach to creating devices is required. On the other hand, let us see the performance of the drive Western Digital Red (WD50EFRX) with capacity 5 TB compared to other models of HDD tested in our lab.

The specs:

Producer and model

Western Digital Red (WD50EFRX)




SATA 6 Gb/s

Capacity, TB

6 (WD60EFRX)

5 (WD50EFRX)

4 (WD40EFRX)

3 (WD30EFRX)

2 (WD20EFRX)

1 (WD10EFRX)

1 (WD10JFCX)

0,750 (WD7500BFCX)

Drive spindle rotation speed


Cache memory, MB


Max data transfer rate from cache to system, Gb/s


Supported data transfer rate between system and drive, MB/s


Noise level during idling, dB


Noise level during seek mode, dB


Power consumption, W





Waiting/sleep mode


Operation/storage temperature, °C

0 … +65 / -40 … +70

Shock resistance in operating mode, G

during 2 ms at reading



during 2 ms at reading/writing


Shock resistance in inactive status (during 2 ms), G


Overall dimensions, mm

147 x 101,6 x 26,1

Weight, g


Limited warranty, years


Producer website

Western Digital

Lineup page WD Red

Do note that the family of WD Red includes hard drives with capacity from 750 GB to 6 TB. In the same time the 2.5-inch form factor is available solutions with capacity 750 GB and 1 TB. But the classic 3.5-inch drives have the capacity 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 TB. WD Red Pro solutions designed for operation in systems with 8 -16 drives are only available in three options: 2, 3 and 4 TB.


Western Digital Red (WD50EFRX)

The novelty is shipped in the usual anti-static bag. Its capabilities are sufficient to protect the board from electrostatic discharges and moisture. On the other hand, the simplicity of the packaging suggests its low cost, which has almost no influence on the price tag of the drive.

Western Digital Red (WD50EFRX)

The right side of the hard drive is remarkable by traditional label, which provides basic information about the device. In particular it specifies the name (WD50EFRX), belonging to the lineup for the WD Red NAS and a 64 MB cache. Additionally, you can see the date of manufacture of the drive, its maximum power consumption on lines 5V and 12V and a considerable list of received certificates. The drive is manufactured in Thailand.

Western Digital Red (WD50EFRX)

On the back side you can see a small circuit board, the main functional elements are prudently brought to its reverse side.

Western Digital Red (WD50EFRX)

Western Digital Red (WD50EFRX)

Data exchange between the hard drive and the computer is realized by using modern and familiar interface SATA 6 Gb/s. Eight-connector is used to change the operating mode of the drive.

Western Digital Red (WD50EFRX)

Western Digital Red (WD50EFRX)

Using the additional tools we could identify the real spindle speed of the drive (5700 rev/min), as well as information about the support of some useful techniques:

  • NCQ (native command queuing) - Command Queuing, which allows to optimize the performance of the drive;
  • S.M.A.R.T. (self-monitoring, analysis and reporting technology) - a monitoring system that monitors the status of the drive, making possible to predict the time of its failure;

Temperature of hard disk placed in a loose pocket during scanning was 40°C. Figure is similar to the 6-TB solutions. This novelty, as well as its more capacious version, is very quiet and you won’t hear any rotation of the plates.

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