Western Digital Red vs Western Digital Red Plus

Both the contenders are made with NASware technology which helps in increasing your drives’ compatibility with your NAS system. They offer 24/7 reliability and are manufactured with very advanced features. Both the drives are specifically designed for NAS environments.

WD Red is built for 1-bay to 8-bay NAS systems and packs the capacity to store your precious data in one powerhouse unit. It operates with maximum efficiency with a high cache memory size. It transfers data at a very fast speed in 4TB, 3TB, and 2TB hard drives.

On the other hand, the WD Red Plus is designed specifically for medium and large-scale customers as it is engineered to handle high-intensity workloads. It is available in more storage capacity sizes and lower power requirements.

It provides optimum performance in extreme temperatures with a wider operating temperature range. It also provides a higher transfer speed in a 6TB hard drive.

Comparing Both:

Compared to Red, the WD Red Plus is available in more storage sizes, has lower power requirements, provides better performance in extreme temperatures due to a wider range, offers a higher transfer speed in a 6TB hard drive, and has a more advanced design.

On the other hand, WD Red has more cache memory size and a higher transfer speed in 4TB, 3TB, and 2TB hard drives. Both the contenders have a warranty of 3 years with Red having a lower price than its competitor.

Technical SpecificationsWD RedWD Red Plus
Product FamilyNAS Hard DriveNAS Hard Drive
Rohs compliantYesYes
Recording TechnologySMR (Shingled Magnetic Recording)CMR (Conventional Magnetic Recording)
InterfaceSATA 6GB/sSATA 6GB/s
Advanced Format (AF)YesYes
Native Command queuingYesYes 
Warranty3 years3 years

Design and Hardware

Both the contenders have the same rectangular-shaped design with curved edges. Both of them seem to have equivalent dimensions but Red Plus is relatively heavier than its competitor.

They both have a design that consists of the raid error recovery control which helps to reduce failures within the NAS system.

WD Red is designed with multi-Bay NAS drives which help in protecting your data.

It has very tighter regulation which prevents vibration to a great extent.

Their shape with flexible design makes them optimized for multi-drive use.

When talking about WD Red Plus design, it is made with 6 arms but only five platters with a total of 10 heads and also has a parking frame for the heads.

It also contains very powerful neodymium magnets. It consists of a desiccant bag within its structure to keep the moisture out of the hard drive.

The design and hardware specifications of both contenders are almost the same. But WD Red Plus will be considered superior to its competitor due to its slightly more advanced design as it is been built for usage in small and medium-sized companies whereas WD Red is used mostly for home purposes.

ParameterWD RedWD Red Plus
Dimensions (L × W × H)147mm × 101.6mm × 26.1mm147mm × 101.6mm × 26.1mm
Weight, g640690
Form Factor3.5-inches3.5-inches

Common Features of both drives:

  • Both the contenders have a motherboard with the right interface, slots, and form factors making them very compatible.
  • Both the contenders deal with vibration and noise quite well preventing read-write errors in the operation
  • Both are made with exclusive NASware 3 Technology which improves the system storage performance by increasing integration, reliability, and upgradeability.

Features of WD Red:

  • It comes with SMR recording technology which helps in writing data to a hard disk drive.
  • It offers a performance class of up to 5400 rpm.

Features of WD Red Plus:

  • It is made with dual balance control technology which enhances the performance over time by preventing excessive vibration and noise in the drive.
  • It is designed with CMR recording technology which aligns the poles of a magnetic element perpendicular to the surface of the disk in a hard drive.

Compare WD Red with other:

Cache Memory

Cache memory plays an important role in enhancing the performance of a hard drive.

Cache memory stores program instructions and data which are used repeatedly in the operations of the program and provides data required by the CPU.

A higher size cache memory always has an added benefit as it improves the efficiency of data retrieval.

Red has a 256MB size while WD Red Plus has a 128MB size. Red has two times more size than its competitor which makes it superior in this category.

ParameterWD RedWD Red Plus
Cache Memory Size (2 TB) 256MB128MB

Which offers better Storage Capacity?

Both the contenders offer 4TB, 6TB, and 8TB storage capacities but Red Plus is available in more sizes than its competitor.

Due to higher product diversity, WD Red Plus will be considered superior to its competitor in terms of storage capacity.

ParameterWD RedWD Red Plus
Storage Capacity 2TB, 3TB, 4TB and 6TB1 – 4TB, 6TB, 8TB, 10TB, 12TB, 14TB

Power Requirements

The more power required by the hard drive to fulfill specific operations, the more heat will be produced with a higher energy bill to be paid.

WD Red requires more power to work efficiently in both scenarios, when it is reading/writing or when the device is idle.

This makes it inferior to its competitor in this category.

Hence, WD Red Plus becomes more energy efficient with lower power requirements than its competitor.

Working SituationWD RedWD Red Plus

Transfer Speed Differences

Red has a higher transfer speed in 4TB, 3TB, and 2TB hard drives than its competitor.

Although WD Red Plus has a higher transfer rate in 6TB drive, still it would be considered inferior to its competitor in this category due to WD Red providing higher transfer speed in more available sizes.

Devices SpeedsWD RedWD Red Plus
2TB180 MB/s175 MB/s
4TB180 MB/s175 MB/s
6TB180 MB/s185 MB/s

Performance Differences in Extreme Temperatures

Every storage device has an operating temperature range which shows us how efficient the hard drive is in extreme temperatures.

Hard drives with a broader temperature range will always be considered superior in this category.

Both the contenders have the same temperature range of -40 to 70 oC in non-operating situations.

But the situation is quite different in operating conditions as the WD Red Plus takes the lead due to having a comparatively wider temperature range and wins this competition.

Operating Temperature RangeWD RedWD Red Plus
0 to 60 oC4TB and 6TB
0 to 65 oC2TB and 3TB2TB, 3TB, 4TB, 6TB

Is one more Reliable over the other?

Whenever we are discussing the reliability of a hard drive, its MTBF (Mean time Between failures) value will always be considered. MTBF is measured by dividing the total operational hours by the total number of failures that occurred in that period.

It simply gives us the value which will indicate for how long the hard drive will operate successfully before experiencing a failure.

Both the contenders have an MTBF value of 1 million hours which makes them equally reliable hard drives.

ReliabilityWD RedWD Red Plus
MTBF1 million hours1 million hours


WD Red;

  • Has more cache memory size.
  • Has higher transfer speed in 4TB, 3TB, and 2TB hard drives.
  • Has a lower price.

WD Red Plus;

  • Consumes less power.
  • Survives better in extreme temperatures due to a wider temperature range.
  • Has higher transfer speed in 6TB hard drive.
  • Has a more productive design.
  • Is available in more storage sizes.