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[nextpage title=”Introduction”]
The Western Digital WD Red Pro 5 TB is a NAS (Network Attached Storage) hard disk drive. Let’s test it and see if is it a good option for a desktop computer.
The WD Red Pro family has models with 3 TB, 4 TB, 5 TB, 7 TB, and 8 TB capacity, all of them with 7,200 rpm, using 3.5” format, SATA-600 interface and 26.1 mm tall. The 8 TB, 6 TB, and 5 TB models have 128 MiB cache memory, while the 4 TB and 3 TB models have 64 Mib of cache RAM.
Being focused to the enterprise network enviroment, the WD Red Pro focus on performance, but also on data protection. They are recommended to NAS units with up to 16 drives and, according to the manufacturer, come with the NASWare 3.0 technology, which helps to protect data even under mechanical vibration.
We tested the 5 TB model, code number WD5001FFWX. As the other models of the same series, it has a five-year warranty.
Figures 1 and 2 present the WD Red Pro 5 TB hard disk drive.

WD Red Pro 5TBFigure 1: the WD Red Pro 5 TB

WD Red Pro 5TBFigure 2: the WD Red Pro 5 TB

WD Red Pro 5TBFigure 3: the WD Red Pro 5 TB

In our tests, we will be comparing the WD Red Pro 5 TB to the WD Black 4 TB, which is a high-end desktop model with similar characteristics. In the table below, we will compare the basic specifications of these products.

Manufacturer
Model
Model #
Rotational Speed
Interface
Buffer
Capacity
Price*
Western Digital
WD Red Pro 5 TB
7,200 rpm
SATA-600
128 MiB
5 TB
USD 253
Western Digital
WD Black 4 TB
7,200 rpm
SATA-600
64 MiB
4 TB
USD 210

* All prices were researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.
[nextpage title=”How We Tested”]
We tested the Seagate Desktop SSHD using HD Tune Pro and CrystalDiskMark programs. The drives were connected, one at a time, to an internal SATA-600 port. The only variable component between each benchmarking session was the HDD being tested.
Hardware Configuration

Operating System Configuration                      

  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home 64-bit

Benchmarking Software

Error Margin
We adopted a 3% error margin in our tests, meaning performance differences of less than 3% cannot be considered meaningful. Therefore, when the performance difference between two products is less than 3%, we consider them to have similar performance.
[nextpage title=”CrystalDiskMark”]
We used CrystalDiskMark’s default configuration for our tests, which benchmarked each hard drive using a file size of 1,000 MB with five test runs.
WD Red Pro 5TB
In the sequential read test, the WD Red Pro 5 TB was 21% faster than the WD Black 4 TB.
WD Red Pro 5TB
The results in the sequential write test were pretty much the same; the WD Red Pro 5 TB was 24% faster than the WD Black 4 TB.
WD Red Pro 5TB
In the random read test using 512 kiB blocks, the WD Red Pro 5 TB was 10% faster than the WD Black 4 TB.
WD Red Pro 5TB
Moving on to the random write test using 512 kiB blocks, the WD Red Pro 5 TB was 24% faster than the WD Black 4 TB.
WD Red Pro 5TB
In the random read test using 4 kiB blocks, the WD Red Pro 5 TB was on a technical tie with the WD Black.
WD Red Pro 5TB
In the random write test using 4 kiB blocks, the WD Red Pro 5 TB was 42% faster than the WD Black 4 TB.
In the random read test using 4 kiB blocks, the Desktop SSHD 2 TB outperformed the Barracuda 2 TB by 53%.
In the random read test using 4 kiB blocks and queue depth of 32, the WD Red Pro 5 TB was 36% faster than the WD Black.
In the random read test using 4 kiB blocks, the Desktop SSHD 2 TB outperformed the Barracuda 2 TB by 53%.
In the random write test using 4 kiB blocks and queue depth of 32, the WD Red Pro 5 TB was 48% faster than the WD Black 4 TB.
[nextpage title=”HD Tune Pro”]
Now we will look at the results recorded using HD Tune Pro.
In the random read test using 4 kiB blocks, the Desktop SSHD 2 TB outperformed the Barracuda 2 TB by 53%.
In the burst speed test, the WD Red Pro 5 TB was 19% faster than the WD Black 4 TB.
WD Red Pro 5TB
In the average read speed, the WD Red Pro 5 TB was 14% faster than the WD Black 4 TB.
WD Red Pro 5TB
In the maximum read speed benchmark, the WD Red Pro 5 TB was 30% faster than the WD Black 4 TB.
Access time is another important measurement. It measures the time the storage device delays to start delivering data after the computer has asked for given data. It is measured in the order of milliseconds (ms, which are equal to 0.001 s); the lower this value, the better.
WD Red Pro 5TB
In this test, the WD Red Pro 5 TB obtained an access time similar to the WD Black 4 TB.
[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]
Analyzing the performance of a NAS hard drive is a little tricky, because we have to benchmark it into a different enviroment than the one they are intended to work. They are designed to be used in specific cases connected to a network, that fit from one to a large amount of hard disk drives.
The WD Red Pro HDDs are aimed on enterprise enviroments, into NAS units up to 16 drives. However, some people ask if is there any problem to use such a hard disk drive in a desktop computer (gaming or workstation). Theoretically, the only problem is its price, usually higher than the high-end desktop-aimed HDDs.
In our tests, the WD Red Pro 5 TB was consistenly faster than the WD Black 4 TB, which is a high-end desktop drive. So, if you can (and want to) pay a little higher, the WD Red Pro 5 TB is a very high performance drive, that can be used on a desktop PC.