Western Digital Red vs Gold

Both the contenders are rectangular-shaped hard drives with Red being a NAS hard drive and Gold being an Enterprise Class SATA hard drive. They both are also ROHS Compliant (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) which means that they restrict the use of specific hazardous materials in the manufacturing of their products.

WD Red:

  • It is designed for personal and home office environments with Exclusive NASware 3.0 Technology.
  • It helps in providing more efficiency in carrying out its operations and you get exceptional performance in extreme temperatures.
  • Its Raid error controller helps to improve computing performance by accelerating access to stored data.

WD Gold:

  • WD Gold is designed with Opti NAND Technology which incorporates innovative changes to the firmware algorithm.
  • It has a better storage capacity of up to 22TB.
  • It has an MTBF value of 2.5 million hours with a 5-year warranty which makes it quite reliable.
  • It can transfer data at a speed up to 269MB/s and has a very flexible design.
  • Its Armor cache feature protects the drive from data loss.
  • It reduces power loss due to its Helio Seal Technology.

Side By Side Comparison of both Devices:

Compared to Red, the WD Gold has more storage capacity, is more reliable, has more transfer speeds, a more flexible design, and more advanced features. Whereas, Red provides better performance in extreme temperatures and is more power efficient. When talking about warranties, Red has a 3-year while Gold has a 5-year warranty. Red also has a lower price than its competitor.

SpecsWD RedWD Gold
Product TypeNAS HDDEnterprise-Class SATA HDD
TechnologyExclusive NASware TechnologyOpti NAND Technology
Native Command QueuingYesNo
Warranty3 years5 years

Hardware and Design of these storage devices:

Winner: WD Gold

Both the contenders have exactly the same rectangular shape. Their corners are curved at the same angle and the only difference comes in the template covers.

WD Red has a quite suitable design for personal and home office environments. It is designed with NASware 3.0 Technology which improves your system performance.

They consist of Raid error recovery control and are specifically designed to thrive in multi-bay NAS environments.

On the other hand, WD Gold is designed with Opti NAND and Vibration Protection Technology. Its design consists of monitoring electronics and Armor Cache which provides protection of your data.

When talking in terms of hardware, both the contenders have a form factor of 3.5 inches and a SATA 6GB/s interface.

Both the contenders have exactly the same dimensions but Gold is more compact and has more weight than its competitor.

After analyzing the design and hardware of both the contenders, we can come to the conclusion that Gold is superior to its competitor in this category.

ParameterWestern Digital RedWestern Digital Gold
Dimensions (W x H x D)101.6mm x 26.1mm x 147mm 101.6mm x 26.1mm x 147mm
Weight 6TB= 1.4LB6TB= 1.58LB
Form Factor3.5 inches3.5inches
Advanced FormatYesNo
ROHS CompliantYesYes

Features of Western Digital Red:

Winner: WD Gold

  • It is built with Exclusive NASware 3.0 Technology which optimizes your drives and improves your system performance by increasing compatibility and integration.
  • Red has a unique algorithm that helps in providing excellent performance in NAS and RAID environments.
  • It is built for Optimum NAS (Network-attached storage) compatibility which enables multiple users and heterogeneous client devices to retrieve data from centralized disk capacity.
  • Its error recovery control Boosts RAID performance by flagging disks slowed by errors.
  • It has support for up to 8 bays.
  • It provides a 180TB/year workload rate which is the amount of user data transferred to or from the hard drive.

WD Gold: What features does it have?

  • It is built with Opti NAND Technology which cleans up space on the rotating media and reduces the number of reading/writing operations which further improves performance.
  • Its innovative Armor Cache feature protects those drives from the risk of data loss due to EPO.
  • It is built with Vibration Protection Technology which reduces and suppresses unwanted vibration by which the drive performance increases.
  • It provides great performance when used with enterprise-grade storage systems and data centers.
  • It offers a cache size of up to 512MB and a transfer speed of up to 269MB/s.

With more Advanced features, Gold becomes superior to its competitor in this category.

Compare WD Red with other:

Which device has better Storage Capacity?

WD Red has a storage capacity of up to 6TB hard drive while Gold has a storage capacity of up to 22TB hard drive.

It is available in four sizes while Gold is available in 12 sizes.

WD Gold offers higher storage capacity and is available in more sizes which makes it superior to its competitor in this category.

ParameterWestern Digital RedWestern Digital Gold
Storage Capacity, TB2, 3, 4 and 61, 2, 3, 4, 6,  8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20 and 22

Differences in Transfer Speeds

A higher transfer rate has many benefits such as it boosts the supply of data to applications. It causes high functionality and convenient streaming while a lower transfer rate could cause some applications to stop working.

WD Red has a transfer speed of up to 180MB/s while Gold has a transfer speed of up to 269MB/s. With a higher transfer speed Gold wins this contest against its competitor.

Power Consumption

The hard drive which consumes less power will be considered more power efficient.

More the power consumption, the more heat will be produced so your laptop or pc will cause halts quite early and more energy will be used due to which a higher electricity bill would have to be paid.

In this scenario, WD Gold consumes more power in both the operational and idle phases than its competitor. It will be termed inferior to its competitor in this category.

With this said, WD Red is considered a more energy-efficient hard drive.

Power ComponentsWestern Digital RedWestern Digital Gold
Read/Write (6TB and 4TB)4.8W7W
Idle (6TB and 4TB)3.1W5.9W

Which drive can endure more Temparature?

Temperature is one of the biggest factors impacting hard disk longevity.

Every hard drive has an operating temperature range and the more the hard drive temperature comes near to that limit point, the probability of disk failure increases.

WD Gold has the same temperature range of 5-60 oC for all its drives while WD Red has different temperature ranges for drives of different sizes.

In 4TB and 6TB it has a range of 0-60 oC, and in a 2TB hard drive it has a range of 0-65 Degrees. By all means, Red has a broader temperature range than its competitor so it will be considered slightly better to its rival in this category.

Is one reliable over the other?

Whenever we are going to talk about reliability in a hard drive, we will always consider its MTBF (Mean Times Between Failures) value.

When we divide the total operational hours from the number of failures, we get the MTBF value.

It simply means the mean time between system breakdowns and failures.

The higher the MTBF value, the more reliable the hard drive will be considered.

WD Red has an MTBF value of up to 1 million hours while WD Gold has an MTBF value of up to 2.5 million hours.

So, WD Gold will be considered more reliable than its competitor and becomes superior in this category.

ReliabilityWestern Digital RedWestern Digital Gold
MTBF (hours)1 million2.5 million

Warranty and price

Both the contenders are manufactured by Western Digital Company with Red having a 3-year while Gold having a 5-year warranty. This shows that Gold with a higher MTBF value and more warranty years will be considered more attested than its competitor.

Speaking of cost. Gold has a higher price than its competitor as it has more storage capacity, is more reliable, has more transfer speed, has more advanced features, and has a more flexible design.

It all comes down to this:


  • provides better performance in extreme temperatures due to its broader temperature range.
  • consumes less power which makes it more power efficient.
  • has a warranty of 3 years.
  • is built with Exclusive NASware Technology.
  • has a lower price.


  • offers more storage capacity of up to 22TB.
  • is more reliable with a higher MTBF value.
  • has more transfer speeds.
  • has a warranty of 5 years.
  • offers more advanced features and has a more flexible design.