Western Digital Red VS Western Digital Purple

Both the contenders are very efficient and reliable in their operations with an MTBF value of up to 1 million hours. Purple is built with CMR recording Technology while Red is built with SMR recording Technology.

WD Red is designed with NASware Technology, with NAS compatibility, typically made for NAS environments. It is built for single-bay to 8-bay NAS systems. Red produces less heat so it consumes less power which makes it very power efficient. It has a cache memory size of 256MB on all its drives.

It is built with a very flexible and adjustable design which makes it very suitable for small businesses.

Coming to the other, the WD Purple is engineered specifically for surveillance security systems and supports up to 180TB/year workload rate. It is designed with TLER and ATA streaming support.

This SSD provides more space with a storage capacity of up to 8GB. It works very efficiently in extreme temperatures due to a broader temperature range. It has an advanced hardware configuration than its competitor.

Comparing Both Devices:

Compared to Red, the WD Purple has more storage capacity, deals better with extreme temperatures, and has more advanced hardware.

Whereas WD Red consumes less power, has more cache memory size, and has a more advanced design. Both the contenders give a 3-year warranty with Red having a lower price than its competitor.

Technical SpecificationsWD RedWD Purple
Product TypeNAS HDDSurveillance HDD
TechnologyExclusive NASware TechnologyAll Frame Technology
Recording TechnologySMRCMR
Warranty3 years3 years

Features of WD Red:

  • It has a unique algorithm and is built with NAS compatibility that balances the performance in NAS and Raid environments.
  • It is made with Exclusive NASware 3.0 technology that helps the hard drive to deliver more performance in a small NAS setup and also increases compatibility, reliability, and integration within the system.
  • It is made with error recovery control which ensures that hosts don’t mistakenly assume that busy drivers are dead and need maintenance, this averts unwarranted drive swaps and Raid rebuilds.
  • It protects the hard drive from vibration and reduces noise to a great extent due to its flexible design.
  • It is made with SMR recording Technology which efficiently writes data to a disk by increasing areal density and storage capacity per disk.

Features of WD Purple:

  • It has a workload rating of up to 180 TB/year which is higher than desktop drives making it very efficient in playing mainstream videos.
  • It is made with Exclusive All Frame Technology which enhances ATA streaming and improves overall video playback.
  • It consists of WDDA which involves an algorithm to interpret the data and alert the system administrator to check various issues.
  • It is built with CMR recording Technology which provides comprehensive information and has superior diagnostic and prognostic power, without the need for radiation.

After analyzing the features of both the contenders, it would be quite fair to say that Red has more advanced features than its competitor.

Compare WD Red with other:

Differences in their Design/Hardware

Both the contenders have the same rectangular shape with WD Red consisting of a red-colored template branding while WD Purple is displayed with a purple color template branding. The four corners of both the contenders are also designed the same way.

WD Red has a flexible design which is very suitable for personal and home office NAS systems.

It is designed with raid error recovery control which helps to reduce failures within the NAS system.

They perform quite well in multi-bay NAS system environments due to their adjustable design.

On the other hand, WD Purple is designed with All Frame Technology which reduces frame loss.

Its design is very effective for surveillance solutions which helps it to monitor system behavior.

In terms of hardware, both the contenders have the same form factor of 3.5 inches and a workload rate of 180 TB/year. They are also supported by Advanced Format Technology.

WD Purple has support for up to 16 bays while Red has the support for up to 8 bays. Both the contenders have the same dimensions but Purple is more compact and has more weight than its competitor.

We finally reach the conclusion that WD Red has a better and more flexible design while WD Purple hardware is more advanced.

ParameterWD RedWD Purple
Dimensions (W x H x D)101.6mm x 26.1mm x 147mm 101.6mm x 26.1mm x 147mm
Weight 0.68kg0.57kg
Form Factor3.5 inches3.5inches
Advanced FormatYesYes
ROHS CompliantYesYes

Differences in Storage Capacities

WD Purple has a storage capacity of up to 8TB while its competitor has a storage capacity of up to 6TB. More than that, it is also available in 6 different sizes while Red comes in only 4 sizes.

With a higher storage capacity and more product variety, it wins this contest against its competitor.

ParameterWD RedWD Purple
Storage Capacity2TB, 3TB, 4TB and 6TB1TB, 2TB, 3TB, 4TB, 6TB and 8TB

Cache Memory Size

Cache memory accommodates several tracks of data and makes one-to-one intervening possible. It gives the disc heads enough time to locate the next block.

A higher cache memory size provides more space to accommodate data making it a very important factor in a hard drive to analyze.

Both the contenders can provide up to 256MB cache size but still, Red will be considered superior to its competitor in this category because WD Purple comes with a cache size of 64MB in 4TB and 6TB hard drives, whereas WD Red will still provide a cache size of 256MB with these drives helping it to more smoothly store and hold your data.

ParameterWD RedWD Purple
Cache Memory Size (4TB and 6TB)256MB64MB

Which drive consumes more power?

Due to more power consumption, more heat will be produced which will make your device less efficient as it will cause delays in carrying out specific operations.

Less cost will also be associated with lower power consumption as electricity bills over time would reduce significantly.

WD Red consumes more power in 4TB and 6TB hard drives while WD Purple consumes more power in idle mode.

WD Red will be considered superior to its competitor in this category as it has lower power requirements in both the reading/writing and idle mode than its competitor in a 2TB hard drive.

Power ComponentsWD RedWD Purple
Read/Write (6TB)4.8W4.6W
Idle (6TB)3.1W3.2W
Read /Write (2TB)4.1W4.4W
Idle (2TB)2.3W4.1W

Extreme temperature performance:

Hard drives are not designed to withstand high heat which means that if their temperature increases beyond the threshold level, they can overheat and fail. Hard drives with broader temperature ranges are always considered superior to the ones with shorter temperature ranges as they heat up more quickly causing lag in the system.

WD Purple has a temperature range of 0-65 oC for all of its hard drives in different sizes.

WD Red also has a temperature range of 0-65 oC for its 3TB and 2TB hard drives. It has a shorter temperature range of 0-60 oC in 4TB and 6TB hard drives which makes WD Purple superior to its competitor in this category with a broader constant temperature range in all its sizes.


Not only warranties but also MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) values play an important role in analyzing the reliability of a hard drive from which you can estimate how long a drive would last.

It is a very useful reliability factor as it enables you to access the average lifetime of your hard drive. MTBF can be calculated as the arithmetic mean time between failures of a system.

We can say that both the contenders are equally good in terms of reliability as they have the same MTBF value of up to 1 million hours.

ReliabilityWD RedWD Purple
MTBF (hours)1 million1 million

Warranty & Price

WD Purple has a higher price than its competitor as it performs better in extreme temperatures, provides a higher storage capacity, and has an advanced hardware configuration.

Both the contenders are manufactured by the same company Western Digital which offers the same warranty of 3 years for all of their products.

To Sum up Quickly:

Both the contenders;

  • are equally reliable with the same MTBF value.
  • have a warranty of 3 years.

WD Red;

  • consumes less power.
  • has a more flexible design.
  • has more cache memory size.
  • has a lower price.

WD Purple;

  • has more storage capacity.
  • provides optimum performance in extreme temperatures due to a broader temperature range.
  • is built with CMR Recording Technology.
  • is designed with All Frame technology.