If you’re still rocking a 1TB or even 2TB hard drive on your PC, you’re probably starting to feel squeezed by that capacity ceiling sneaking closer and closer. Game download sizes are swelling with the addition of ever-increasing detail and 4K textures (Star Citizen is rumored to exceed 100GB) and content producers can never have enough space to store and edit their digital creations. If you’re looking for a seriously roomy new hard drive or three, Western Digital has you covered with today’s launch of the WD Black 6TB HDD and the NAS-friendly WD Red Pro 6TB. They're also launching 5TB versions of each, but we'll take the maximum storage allowed by law, thank you very much.
The newest hard drives slide up alongside Western Digital's other 6TB options. We'll start with a rundown of the WD Black 6TB since the majority of my systems use these drives. (In my experience the WD Black line has been reliable, quiet, and affordable, so I'm eyeballing these personally.) These are of course 7200 RPM SATA 6Gb/s drives, with a 128MB cache. What I'm digging most, however, is that it's not merely a capacity upgrade. Western Digital says the 6TB model is up to 29% faster than the previous WD Black 4TB in maximum data throughput, and they're claiming a 10% faster score in PCMark Vantage.
The drives also inherit features of their smaller predecessors like StableTrac technology which secures the motor shaft to increase reliability and decrease impact from vibrations. And they also come with the added comfort of a 5-year limited warranty.
The 6TB version of the WD Black is shipping right now for a suggested retail price of $294.00. If all you need is 5TB, that should cost in the neighborhood of $264.
For business in constant need of expandable storage solutions, Western Digital is augmenting their existing WD Red Pro lineup with 5TB and 6TB drives, clocking in at MSRPs of $269 and $299 respectively.
These are ideal for NAS (network attached storage) environments with up to 16 drive bays, and are especially useful for small businesses with the ability to drop in new drives, effectively creating a roomy personal or business-sized cloud. Someday I'm going to rock at least 4 of these bad boys in my living room when I finally go digital and rip my entire Blu-Ray collection. But I digress...
“WD is providing customers a full portfolio of high capacity NAS storage solutions (WD Red and WD Red Pro) for home, consumer and business NAS solutions,” said Cindi Grace, senior vice president of WD storage technology group. “With the capacity expansion, there is now a path for customers to increase the storage density of their systems while knowing their data is protected with the most trusted and valued brand on the market.”
The new WD Red Pro 5TB and 6TB drives shipping out today are capable of 214Mb/s transfer speeds, boast a multi-axis shock sensor, and feature NASware 3.0, the company's exclusive firmware that brings optimized performance and data protection to the party. WD Red Pro drives also arrive with a 5-year limited warranty.
We're fanatical about our SSDs here, but you can't beat the dollar-per-Gigabyte attractiveness of traditional mechanical drives.
By the way, my Steam Library clocks in at about 1.4TB, how about yours?